Clermont County leading region in tourism sales
When it comes to tourism, Clermont County is increasingly becoming a destination location.
This fact is evidenced in data from the recently released 2015 Tourism Ohio report and is being eagerly shared by Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing and Communications Manager Sarah Gleason.
Statistics for the food and beverage are telling, she said. “That was the most important one. They might be coming here for specific reasons but they are…willing to do other stuff,” Gleason said of visitors to the county. “The food and beverage category represents more than a quarter of all visitor spending. That was probably the most significant highlight.”
So why are folks visiting Clermont County? Many for sporting events at the various venues throughout the county.
“All of these events bring them to the county, and while they are here they are looking to do more things,” Gleason said. Visitors are dining at restaurants, shopping, going to movie theaters and more.
“This report from Tourism Ohio shows Clermont County is on the move forward and continues to grow,” Clermont County Commissioner David Uible said. “It illustrates that tourism is an integral and driving component of the Clermont County economy, sustaining 7.1 percent of the salaried employment.”
The statistics for earning by industry provided data that further outlined the spending habits of visitors to the state, region and county. For example, 2015 visitor spending in Ohio reached $32.8 billion, Gleason said. Total tourism sales in Southwest Ohio in 2015 were at $11.6 billion – an increase of 5.5 percent.
According to Gleason, Clermont County is leading the region and state in tourism sales which were up 5.8 percent in 2015. Last year visitors to Clermont County generated business sales of $565.5 million directly and indirectly, she said. Tourism generated $70.1 million in taxes for the county last year.
The Clermont CVB is looking for even bigger numbers from 2016, this due to events such as the Head of Hidden Dragon Regatta and new tournaments introduced in the county such as the Kings Hammer Blue Chip Invitational, Gleason said.
The Head of the Hidden Dragon, in October, involved 270 athletes from 15 clubs and had an estimated economic impact of just more than $44,000, according to Clermont CVB statistics. Also conducted over two weekends in October, the Kings Hammer Soccer Boys and Girls Blue Chip Invitationals attracted to the county more than 2,100 athletes from 160 teams. Combined the two tournaments had an estimated economic impact of nearly $1.2 million.
Earlier this year U.S. Rowing Club National Championships brought to Clermont County more than 1,850 rowers in 1,570 boats from 103 clubs representing 30 states. The event provided an estimated economic impact of more than $3 million.
“It’s a team effort to produce this much success,” Clermont CVB Board Chairman Jim Comodeca said. “Our hotels, their managers, and associates are on the front line generating these outstanding results. Tourism is a diverse component of economic activities, including transportation, recreation, retail, lodging, and food and beverage sectors.”
The numbers are impressive and the Clermont CVB is a key ingredient to this success, he said.
“We have built a remarkable board of directors made up of positive community leaders who are committed to ensuring our region stands out among the rest,” Comodeca said.
With the tourism report now in hand, Gleason said there’s no time to rest on laurels. The Clermont CVB is analyzing the data and looking for ways to grow the numbers. They are looking for events to add, hotel needs and entertainment options.