COLUMBUS – In conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual celebration of the industry’s $2.5 trillion impact nationally, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission have released their first quarter 2019 State of the Industry Report. From January to March 2019, hotel occupancy grew 1.9%, the average daily rate was flat and RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) increased 1.9%. Bed tax collections remained steady year to date.  

According to the Smith Travel Research Report, from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2019: 



% change

Average in competitive set





Average Daily Rate








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

"It’s fitting that we are releasing our first quarter report during National Travel and Tourism Week," said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. "We’re proud of the impact the tourism industry has locally as it generates $7 billion in direct visitor spending and positively benefits economic and human development, Columbus’ image and quality of life for our residents. Looking ahead, we’re eager to welcome new conventions to the city, including the influential American Society of Association Executives’ Annual Meeting and Exposition, which will draw thousands of decision makers who could bring up to $500 million worth of future meetings to Columbus." 

During the first quarter of 2019, Columbus hosted a total of 96 conventions, trade shows and sporting events, including ten citywide events, those with 1,000 hotel rooms or more on peak night. The American Academy of Audiology welcomed 4,000 attendees to the 2019 AudiologyNOW! Conference; the Reading Recovery Council of North America brought in 2,100 attendees to its 2019 Annual Conference; the National Association for Campus Activities’ 2019 National Convention drew 3,000 attendees; the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds generated 25,000 fans and sold-out sessions at Nationwide Arena; and the Arnold Sports Festival & Fitness Weekend attracted 200,000 attendees.  

"Our first quarter was highlighted by hosting the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds and the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Elite Eight," said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. "These hallmark events not only poured millions of dollars in visitor spending into the community, but also boosted national awareness of Columbus as a major sports destination."

Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business accounting for 85,900 room nights. Future conventions and sporting events include Youth Specialties’ 2020 National Youth Workers Convention, the Fraternal Order of Eagles’ 2022 Grand Aerie and Auxiliary International Convention, and Club Ohio Soccer's 2019 Girls and Boys Club Ohio Nike Challenge Cup.

Year-to-date through March 31, hotel/motel bed tax collections totaled more than $8.5 million, according to reports from the Office of the City of Columbus’ Auditor Megan Kilgore. These funds support not only Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, 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. Annually, visitors make 41.1 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, tradeshows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $7 billion and supporting nearly 78,000 jobs. For more information, visit