CLEVELAND — Cleveland’s most popular attractions and events are coming back as Ohio COVID-19 restrictions expire. Now, more visitors may be making their way to Northeast Ohio.
Destination Cleveland’s Senior Public Relations Director, Emily Lauer, said summertime fun is exactly what the city needs to bring back tourists. Lauer said events like the Blossom Festival, July Fourth fireworks, the NBA All-Star game and others could help Cleveland fully revive its travel and tourism economy.
“It's really a variety of events, sports, culture, music, outdoors, you name it. It's here,” she said. “Events play a really big role in attracting visitors and it's, yes, the friends and family that are going to come and see people they know in Cleveland, but it's also what we call a marketable trip.”
In 2019, Cuyahoga County had 19.6 million visitors, which ultimately brought a total of about $9.7 billion to the economy, according to Destination Cleveland's report. The numbers for 2020 are still being crunched, but after being in the national and international spotlight thanks to the NFL Draft, Cleveland's economy may already be on the right track.
“When you layer that with continuing our clean committed program, with the declining case number is the increasing vaccination numbers, we think that Cleveland, Northeast, Ohio and really Ohio as a whole are well-positioned to attract visitors this summer and into the fall,” Lauer said.
Though COVID-19 safety protocols like masks and social distancing may still be in place, Lauer said the future looks to be bright.
“Here's to hoping that when we get to Labor Day in the fall we will look back and see 2021 as a healthy and safe summer in Cleveland," Lauer said.