COLUMBUS – This week we observe National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual celebration of the industry, one of the largest in the U.S. representing $2.1 trillion in economic output. In Columbus, the travel and tourism industry has an $8.7 billion economic impact and is continuing to grow as a result of more conventions, trade shows, sporting events and leisure travelers coming to the city.
Today, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission released their first quarter 2015 State of the Industry Report. From January to March 2015, all industry key performance indicators were up over the same time frame in 2014. Overall hotel occupancy increased 1.1 percent, the average daily rate at Greater Columbus hotels grew 5.1 percent, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) rose 6.3 percent and bed tax collections were up 6.02 percent.
“Columbus is off to a strong start for the year,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “To continue this upward trend, our sales teams are hard at work bringing meeting planners from across the country into Columbus to see our convention package, entertainment districts and nationally-recognized food and arts scenes.”
During the first quarter of 2015, Columbus hosted a total of 158 conventions, sporting events and groups, including 10 city-wide events. The National Hockey League’s 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend welcomed 18,000 visitors; the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships – Second and Third Rounds brought in 19,500 attendees; Arnold Sports Festival upped its attendance to 200,000; American Cheer Power hosted 15,000 for the 2015 World Bid National Championship; and Ohayocon attracted 11,000 attendees.
“Hosting the NHL All-Star Weekend and NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships – Second and Third Rounds not only helped boost our industry production during the first quarter, but continues to show how sports tourism boosts Columbus’ image-building momentum by being in the national and international spotlight,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director.
Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business during the first quarter accounting for 67,115 room nights. Large groups include the 2015 Premiere Beauty Classic, the 2015 Great American Horse Exposition and Ohio Star Ball’s 2016 Dancesport Superbowl.
According to a Smith Travel Research Report, from January 1 to March 30 of 2015:
Columbus area hotels had an average occupancy rate of 57.4 percent, a 1.1 percent increase YTD.
- The average of 10 leading cities in Columbus’ competitive set over the same time period was 58.9 percent.
- The national average over the same time period was 61.1 percent.
The average daily rate (ADR) at Columbus area hotels was $97.27, a 5.1 percent increase YTD.
- The average of 10 leading cities in Columbus’ competitive set over the same time period was $98.87.
- The national average over the same time period was $117.09.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) at Columbus area hotels averaged $55.86, a 6.3 percent increase YTD. *(RevPAR is a hotel industry performance metric, which is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate)
- The average of 10 leading cities in Columbus’ competitive set over the same time period was $58.48.
- The national average over the same time period was $71.56.
As a result of the increase in daily rates, hotel/motel bed tax collections increased 6.02 percent YTD or $439,000 through March 30, with collections totaling $7.7 million, according to reports from the Office of the City of Columbus’ Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian. These funds support not only Experience Columbus, but also cultural and arts programs, social services, affordable housing programs and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority.
Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending that is generated by conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure visitors. Annually, visitors make more than 37.6 million trips to Greater Columbus, generating $8.7 billion in economic impact and supporting more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit experiencecolumbus.com.