Increase in number of citywide events boosts hotel performance

COLUMBUS – Just in time for National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual celebration of the industry, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission released their first quarter 2017 State of the Industry Report. From January to March 2017, all industry key performance indicators (KPI) increased over the same time period in 2016. Overall, the average daily rate at Greater Columbus hotels grew 2.8 percent, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) rose 6.2 percent and hotel occupancy increased 3.3 percent. Bed tax collections were up 8.23 percent.

According to the Smith Travel Research Report, from January 1 to March 31, 2017:



% change

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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 hosted twice as many citywide events in the first quarter compared to the same time frame last year, which played a big role in boosting hotel production and bed tax revenue,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “To keep Columbus competitive and top of mind, our team is focused on hosting more meeting planners, group tour operators and media to show off our destination and increase awareness of all there is to see and do in the city.”

During the first quarter of 2017, Columbus hosted a total of 149 conventions, tradeshows and sporting events, including nine citywide events, those with 1,000 hotel rooms or more on peak night. The Reading Recovery Council of North America welcomed 2,100 attendees to its 2017 Annual Conference; the American College Personnel Association drew 3,500 to its 2017 Annual Convention; the 2017 Ohio State Wrestling Championships brought 55,600 athletes and fans; the American Collegiate Hockey Association Championships welcomed 10,500 attendees; the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship drew 6,000; and the Arnold Sports Festival & Fitness Weekend attracted 200,000 attendees.

“The Greater Columbus Sports Commission also had a strong first quarter hosting and booking events,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. “As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we look forward to continuing our momentum into the second quarter with recent news of landing 12 NCAA championships for 2019-2022, which has reinforced our city’s standing as a premier national sports destination.”

Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business accounting for 92,710 room nights. Future conventions and sporting events include the Thirty-One Gifts 2018 Annual Convention, Warehousing Education and Research Council 2019 Annual Conference, the 2018 USA Volleyball Girls’ 18’s National Qualifier and Club Ohio Soccer 2017 Boys and Girls Nike Challenge Cup.

As a result of the increase in daily rates and occupancy, hotel/motel bed tax collections increased 8.23 percent YTD or $647,801.95 through March 31, with collections totaling more than $8.5 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 and enhancing the visitor experience. In 2016, Columbus was ranked “Highest in Visitor Satisfaction in the Midwest” by J.D. Power in the 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction StudySM.  Annually, visitors make more than 39.3 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, tradeshows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $6.4 billion generating $9.7 billion in economic impact and supporting nearly 75,000 jobs. For more information, visit