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A record-breaking 18.5 million people visited Cuyahoga County in 2017

Visitation was up 2.3 percent compared to 2016
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Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 15:58:33-04

A record-breaking 18.5 million people visited Cuyahoga County for business and leisure travel in 2017, bringing an estimated $8.8 billion in economic impact, according to Destination Cleveland.

The number of people visiting Cuyahoga County increased 2.3 percent over 2016, outpacing the U.S. growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2017, according to Tourism Economics.

Day visitors represented 59 percent of the total number of visitors to the region, with the remaining 41 percent staying overnight, contributing to 5.3 million hotel rooms sold in 2017 — a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Since 2011, overnight visitation has grown 25 percent and day visitation has grown 24 percent, according to Destination Cleveland, the destination marketing and management organization for Cuyahoga County.

The region benefited from $1.1 billion in sales tax generated by tourism and travel activity, translating to a savings of nearly $1,100 in taxes for each household in Cuyahoga County, the Destination Cleveland news release states. The tourism industry supports more than 68,300 jobs, or about 8.2 percent of the county’s private workforce.

“With more visitors coming to the region year after year, perceptions of Cleveland continue to be changed around the country and the world,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. “And a visitor is so much more than just a visitor. Positive travel-related experiences in Northeast Ohio influence visitors’ consideration of Cleveland as a place to live, work, study or invest, which helps us to get one step closer to our goal of becoming a destination city.”

Destination Cleveland attributes part of the increase in visitation to their convention sales team, which has achieved a 30 percent increase in lead volume and meeting and convention bookings in 2017 over the previous year. The organization claims to have reached over 1.3 billion people last year through paid advertising, social media, digital outreach and earned media placements.

You can learn more about Destination Cleveland on their website: https://www.thisiscleveland.com/