COLUMBUS – Throughout Greater Columbus, the travel and tourism industry is thriving. According to Smith Travel Research (STR), all key performance indicators show strong growth through the third quarter of 2015. Hotel occupancy increased 3 percent, the average daily rate (ADR) at Greater Columbus hotels grew 5.7 percent, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) rose 8.9 percent. In addition,  bed tax collections were up 10.9 percent.

According to a Smith Travel Research Report, from January 1 to September 30, 2015:



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* RevPAR is a hotel industry performance metric, which is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate

“We continue to be on pace for a record year,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “I’m particularly excited to see the growth happening downtown as occupancy, ADR and RevPAR are each at an all-time high. Couple that with the enhancements to our convention package – the Greater Columbus Convention Center expansion and renovation, Port Columbus modernization and Scioto Greenways project – and we’re positioned very well to attract more national association business. To continue our growth well into the future, however, it’s essential we look at strategic hotel development around the convention center.”

At downtown hotels year-to-date, occupancy is at 72.2 percent, a 7.6 percent increase, average daily rate is $135.89, a 5.5 percent increase and RevPAR is $98.78, a 13.5 percent increase.

“The Greater Columbus Sports Commission had a successful third quarter in both booking and hosting events,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. “Our impact on the city was significant due to the Cleveland Browns Scrimmage and North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) Gay Softball World Series. It will continue next year with Columbus adding two new volleyball events with the Junior Volleyball Association SummerFest in 2016-2018 and the USA Volleyball 2016 Girls’ Junior National Qualifiers.”

During the third quarter of 2015, Columbus hosted a total of 114 conventions, sporting events and groups, including 12 city-wide events, those with 750 rooms or more on peak. The NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series welcomed 6,000 athletes and spectators; Disciples for Christ drew 8,000 attendees for their General Assembly; AmericanHort brought in 10,000 visitors; and Thirty-One Gifts hosted 14,000 for their 2015 Annual Convention.

Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business during the third quarter accounting for 88,960 room nights. Large groups include ASM International and the American Gear Manufacturers Association’s 2017 Heat Treat Expo, Ohio Veterinary Medical Association’s 2017 Midwest Veterinary Conference, Ohio Board of Regents’ 2016 Ohio Educational Technology Conference and Junior Volleyball Association’s SummerFest.

As a result of the increase in daily rates, hotel/motel bed tax collections increased 10.9 percent YTD or $3.1 million as of September 30, with collections totaling $31.5 million, according to reports from the Office of 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 37.9 million trips to Greater Columbus, directly spending $5.7 billion, which generates $8.7 billion in economic impact and supports more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit