GREENVILLE – The Darke County Visitors Bureau released the results of the recently received 2017 Tourism Economic Report, commissioned by the bureau and the state of Ohio and compiled by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics Company.
The report showed total tourism spending in the county reached $73.8 million in 2017, a 12.6 percent increase from 2013 ($65.5 million).
“We’re very pleased with these numbers,” said Matt Staugler, executive director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. “Tourism continues to be a big driver of the economy locally, and these numbers back up those statements. The more effort we put into bringing people to the county to experience our attractions, restaurants, hotels and events mean more money being spent with local small businesses and more tax revenue for local governments.”
The report indicated 5.8 percent of private employment in the county is sustained by tourism (more than 1,300 jobs), and tourism generated more than $1.8 million in local tax revenue. Some of the local industries impacted the most by tourism include retail trade ($15.5 million in direct sales), food and beverage ($13.5 million in direct sales) and recreation and entertainment ($8.5 million). Statewide, Ohio attracted more than 219 million visits to the state, and visitor spending rose to $35.2 billion.
“As we continue to see a tightening labor market and an overall robust economy, investing more in destination marketing and branding will not only help to continue the upward momentum of visitor spending but can also help set Darke County apart in the minds of people who could potentially move to and invest in Darke County,” Staugler said. “The places that are seeing the most dynamic growth in Ohio are those that have placed the most emphasis on building unique experiences for people to have in their cities and communities.”
The full report can be requested from the Darke County Visitors Bureau by calling the Welcome Center at 937-548-5158 or stopping by in person to pick up a copy. More information on the Bureau can be found at www.visitdarkecounty.org.