Tourism is alive and well

By Wayne Allen | Reporter

A new report from Longwoods International, Tourism Economics shows, tourism is alive and well in Scioto County.

Kim Bauer, executive director of the Portsmouth-Scioto County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the report is issued every other year and details the local, regional and state impact of tourism.

In Scioto County, the report indicated that tourism is responsible for $188.2 million in total sales, $45.2 million in wages, $23.6 million in taxes and supports 2,168 jobs. According to the report, one in every 12 jobs in Scioto County are supported by tourism.

“This is basically a report card on how we’re doing in our area (when it comes to tourism),” Bauer said.

She said a clear indication of tourism in the area can be found at the Scioto County Welcome Center.

“In the last three weeks, we’ve had three different groups from Germany, we’ve had Australia, New Zealand, Norway, China, India and Canada. Also, in the last three weeks we have people from 18 different states,” Bauer said. “Tourism is very much alive and well in Scioto County.”

She said as much as people do not want to believe it, Scioto County is a great area to live and visit.

The Portsmouth-Scioto County Convention and Visitors Bureau along with the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Portsmouth maintains a community calendar, full of events happening throughout the community.

“I recently stapled together the calendar of events and we have events through September of next year. We have a lot of great local musicians, we have great entertainment at the Vern Riffe Center (For the Arts). The same entertainment you can get here, the tickets are sometimes two and a half times more in Columbus for the same performance,” Bauer said.

Bauer said there is a family from Canton, Ohio, that’s been to the area three times and each time they bring more people with them to experience the area. She said there’s a group from Australia, that’s visited the area and recently brought friends from New Zealand to experience the area.

When asked what’s bringing people from various parts of Ohio and the world to the area Bauer said, “When you think about it, how many people see the murals everyday, a lot. I think it’s a package deal, a lot of people I speak with say they love the area, everyone is so friendly and nice, they love the local restaurants, they love the antique shops and they love the murals.”

She said there are also a number of events held throughout the year that brings people to town.

“There are a lot of people that come in for the Gene Bennett Classic. When they have off time, you can find them all over the county,” Bauer said.

The report also breaks down categories of tourism employment, in the food and beverage trade there are 910 jobs are supported, in the retail trade 412 jobs are supported, in the category of other transportation 194 jobs are supported and there are 162 lodging jobs supported.

Local tourism dollars employ people is agriculture, fishing and mining, construction and utilities, wholesale trade, communications, finance, insurance and real estate, business services and education and health care among many others.

The report breaks down tourism sales by category, leading the way is finance, insurance and real estate with $68.5 million, retail trade brings in $29.9 million, food and beverage brings in $27.4 million, manufacturing brings in $11.2 million and business services brings in $10.5 million.

Other categories include, agriculture, fishing, mining, construction and utilities, wholesale trade, air transport, communications, education and healthcare along with many others.

According to the report, in 2015 there was $49.7 billion in tourism spending in Ohio. Tourism employment grew 2.2 percent in 2015, faster than overall Ohio employment growth of 1.4 percent. In the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Ohio household would need to pay $690 to fill the gap.

By Wayne Allen | Reporter

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter