COLUMBUS – Matt Staugler of the Darke County Visitors Bureau, a member of the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, joined colleagues from across the state on May 23 for the 2018 Ohio Tourism Legislative Day.
Staugler met with state elected officials, including Ohio Sen. Matt Huffman and State Rep. Stephen Huffman.
The day is designed to provide an opportunity for participants to meet with their individual elected representatives and talk tourism. It is a great time to discuss local tourism issues.
This year participants also informed legislators of the importance of funding TourismOhio at a level that allows Ohio to be competitive with neighboring states. They also were asked to support legislation that allows elected officials to serve on local tourism boards and a measure that would set up grants for major sports events. That is needed so that Ohio can compete for large scale events such as all-star games, drafts or the NCAA Final Four. Those types of events bring many visitors and positive media coverage to the Buckeye State.
Legislators also learned that tourism sales in Ohio topped $44 billion dollars in 2017 and that travelers’ spending supported 428,000 jobs last year.
“Tourism continues to be one of the largest industries in the state of Ohio,” Staugler said. “The support the industry gets from the state is critical to help our economy continue to move forward and support small business across Darke County and Ohio.”
During a morning breakfast meeting attendees got a briefing on the issues important to the tourism industry from the directors of the Ohio Tourism Association, the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Following the legislative visits a reception was held at the Capital Club for lawmakers and staff members where more talks about tourism issues took place.
OACVB is statewide organization serving CVBs throughout Ohio helping them to maximize the economic impact of tourism via effective communication, industry education, legislative awareness, issue management, trend identification and professional development.