Tourism trade continues to grow in Adams County

According to the latest report by the Ohio Development Services tourism growth in Adams County jumped by 8.6 percent in 2017, more than doubling the statewide average growth of 3.5 percent.

“Adams County is experiencing a nearly double-digit growth in the tourism industry,” said Tom Cross, Executive Director of the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau. “To bolster the economic growth that this study by the Ohio Development Services shows, the last couple of years nine new lodging establishments have been built (or remodeled) and opened up to take advantage of the growing tourism market in Adams County.”

In the just released 2018 report on the Economic Impact of Tourism in Adams County, tourism spending grew by 23.1 percent generating $42.1 million in sales in 2017 both directly and indirectly as a result of tourism in Adams County. The report by the Ohio Development Services goes on to say that tourism in Adams County created $14.7 million in wages (up 11.36%) and $5.1 million (up 8.5%) in state, local and federal taxes. The findings also say tourism is an integral and driving component of the Adams County economy sustaining 7.8% of salaried employment and employing 640 people representing a 6.5 percent increase in tourism employment from the last report. Tourism is a composite of various economic activities including recreation, retail, lodging, food and beverage.

Statewide visitors spent $35.2 billion across Ohio in 2017 generated $53.3 billion total business sales. Visits to Ohio destinations grew by 5.8 percent, hotel demand grew 7.2 percent.

The Economic Impact Study on Tourism throughout the state is generated every two years by Ohio Development Services Office of Tourism Ohio.

• Total Tourism Impact on Adams County for 2018 (2016 results in parentheses)

– $42.1 million in sales ($34.2 million)

– $14.7 million in wages and personal income ($13.2 million)

– $5.1 million in taxes ($4.7 million)

– 640 employed by tourism trade (601 employed)

Adams County tourism sustains 7.8% of private sector jobs in the county, and according to the report, tourism supports one in every 13 jobs in Adams County.

Southwest Ohio has a 23.4% share in Ohio tourism, including employment, and is the third largest generator of tourism dollars and earnings) in Ohio. The northeast region leads the state in tourism. The largest generators of tourism in Ohio are Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.

The $42.1 million in sales represents the largest growth in Adams County tourism to date. This is a 23 percent increase over the 2016 report when 34.2 million in sales was generated in Adams County as a result of tourism.

This continues the upward trend of tourism dollars flowing into Adams County. In 2013, according to the study, $29.1 million in sales were generated; in 2017, $42.1 million, representing a nearly 45 percent increase in tourism dollars over the past five years.

Tourism sales in Adams County were again led by (1) Retail Sales, (2) Food and Beverage, (3) Transportation, (4) Recreation (hunting, hiking, outdoors), and (5) Lodging.

According to the report $967,039 in local taxes were generated by tourism in Adams County.

For the third straight year in a row lodging tax received by the Bureau has exceeded $50,000. This number has steadily increased over the past 10 years and as it stands now represents a 34 percent growth in lodging since 2007.

“Over the past few years the Bureau has explored different marketing strategies,” said Cross. “We improved our website, beefed up our social media presence, use imagery, engage the media, improve access to visitor information, create visitor attractions, build relationships with the Cincinnati market and finance TV ads in both the Cincinnati and Columbus markets. Of course leading the way through this tourism boom are the Amish shops, Serpent Mound, Murphin Ridge Inn, The Edge of Appalachia Preserve, hunting, hiking, canoeing and outdoor related activities, festivals and events that draw visitors, and I expect the trend to continue for the foreseeable future.”

The Adams County booth is always a popular stop at the annual Cincinnati Travel Show. (Provided photo) Adams County booth is always a popular stop at the annual Cincinnati Travel Show. (Provided photo)