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Ohio's tourism industry rebounding with visitor numbers near pre-pandemic levels

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Posted at 10:45 AM, May 13, 2022

CLEVELAND — Ohio’s tourism industry is rebounding, and numbers released by the state show visitors to Ohio in 2021 are nearly back to what they were pre-pandemic.

The tourism industry reported $46.9 billion in visitor spending and welcomed 219 million visitors into and within the state.

Tourism numbers are an increase from 2020, which came in at 201 million visitors. In 2019, the state reported $48 billion in sales and 226 million visits.

"To see so many visitors coming to Ohio speaks volumes to the dedication and reputation of our tourism partners across the state," said Gov. Mike DeWine in a news release.. "People from all over recognize that Ohio has so much to offer when it comes to destinations and experiences including outstanding state parks and one-of-a-kind attractions! We are confident that even more travelers will find the fun and enjoyment they're looking for in Ohio this year."

SafeGraph, which uses location information to track actual foot traffic data, shows visits to tourist attractions across Ohio dipped significantly in April 2020 and remained below average in 2021, but began to rebound in March of 2022. The data includes traffic to museums, nature parks, historical sites, zoos and botanical gardens.

Data sourced by Tourism Economics and released by the state showed the average person spent $115 during a day trip and $343 overnight.

This year, residents and visitors in the state can check out attractions like Marblehead Lighthouse, which is expected to see record crowds this year as it celebrates its 200th birthday. The 50-foot lighthouse sits along Lake Erie and is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes.

Other notable attractions include Playhouse Square. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the schedule in the theater district is packed with comedians, musicians and Broadway plays.

The Ohio State Fair and the Armstrong Air & Space Museum are other attractions expected to see large numbers, the state said.

RELATED: New Ohio tourism video features some of Cleveland's best spots to visit

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