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ASHLAND -- Visitors to Ashland County created $200.5 million in total tourism sales for 2019, according to a recent press release from Explore Ashland's executive director Amy Daubenspeck.

The recent study found 1,692 jobs are tied to the tourism industry, representing 7.1 percent of total county employment, $40.1 million in wages were paid out and generated $23.8 million in tax revenues. 

“Visitor spending and employment figures are essential factors to consider when evaluating the importance of travel and tourism to Ashland County’s economy,” Daubenspeck said. “By generating $11.8 million in state and local tax revenue, this decreases overall taxes by $573 for each household in Ashland County.”

The research collected in the "2019 Economic Impact of Tourism in Ashland County, Ohio" was conducted by Tourism Economics. Explore Ashland, Mohican Visitors Bureau, and Ashland Area Economic Development partnered to participate in this study. 

The top three sectors for visitor spending in Ashland County were retail trade, food and beverage and lodging. Combined total sales of these three industries was $110.8 million.

"It helps that Ashland has an interchange along I-71. Because of this, a lot of travelers will stop and spend money in Ashland at one of our gas stations, restaurants, or hotels. As development continues out on the 250 Corridor, we will see even more increases in tax revenues and wages in the coming years," Interim Director for Ashland Area Economic Development, Cameo Carey said. 

Tourism administrator for the Mohican Visitors Bureau, Miranda Burrell also spoke to the impact of tourism. 

“Tourism means business. When visitors come to Ashland County, it helps everyone," Burrell said. "Every visitor spends hundreds of dollars on local businesses, bringing money into our community, creating jobs, and supporting tourism attractions.” 

Tourism in the state of Ohio is a $48.6 billion industry, producing over 430,000 jobs. This is a 4.1% growth over the past five years.

Tourism in Ohio generated $7.3 billion in state and local taxes, saving each Ohio household $691 in taxes.

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