COLUMBUS, Ohio—The 2022 State of the Visitor Industry: Third Quarter Report made available today by Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission shows Columbus’ tourism industry is projected to end the year on a strong note, with a 62% increase in the number of groups and events hosted so far this year compared to last year. 

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2022, Columbus hosted a total of 236 conventions, trade shows and sporting events, up from 145 during the same timeframe last year. Some of the top groups welcomed from July through September included the International City/County Management Association, which brought 3,500 attendees and filled 8,500 hotel rooms and had an estimated $5M in direct visitor spend and the National Guard Association of the United States, which brought 3,500 attendees, filled 6,600 hotel rooms and had an estimated $3.5M in direct visitor spend. On the sports side, the Buckeye Showdown RecruitFest and Buckeye Elite Showcase Tournament brought in a combined 6,000 athletes and fans in July and generated more than $5.4M in estimated direct visitor spend.  

“We are very pleased with the results we are seeing at this point in the year, with 72 groups hosted in July through September alone,” said Experience Columbus President and CEO Brian Ross. “Throughout the year our Sales team has been working hard to help business travel rebound in Columbus. Since July, they have attended more than 15 events and tradeshows around the country, connecting with event planners and sharing why Columbus is a great place for meetings and conventions.” 

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2022, the STR report shows that all key performance metrics increased year over year: 



% Change 

Average in competitive set 





Average Daily Rate (ADR):  








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

Year-to-date bed tax collections through Sept. 30, 2022 totaled more than $34.9 million, up 57% over the same period in 2021, according to reports from the Office of City of Columbus Auditor Megan Kilgore. Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business accounting for 256,514 room nights. 

“During the third quarter, the sports commission rolled out the red carpet and hosted site visits with the NCAA Women’s Final Four and U.S. Figure Skating Championships in hopes of securing their events in future years,” said Greater Columbus Sports Commission CEO and President Linda Logan. “Our team also prepared to host two new events in October, the American Kennel Club and Major League Pickleball. Finally, earlier this summer we gave back to the community through our Community Youth Camp, which we expanded to two weeks this year, reaching more than 160 children, and the Community Cup, which drew more than 1,000 participants from companies around Columbus.” 

Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission are looking forward to ending the year strong and seeing the new opportunities the city will have for hosting large events thanks to the recent opening of Hilton Columbus Downtown’s second tower. Preparations are also underway for hosting PCMA Convening Leaders Jan. 8-11, 2023. The event brings together the world's business events professionals and is expected to bring in approximately 3,700 attendees and an estimated $5.6M in direct visitor spend. Speakers include Allyson Felix, the most decorated track and field Olympian in U.S. history; Thomas Barg and Ammar Kandil of Yes Theory, one of the most inspiring creative entities to emerge in recent years; and Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and bestselling author who explores the science of motivation, generosity, original thinking, and rethinking.  

“As we approach the end of the year, we are looking forward to seeing how Columbus will benefit from the swell in holiday travel industry experts anticipate,” said Experience Columbus Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Sarah Townes. “Longwoods International’s most recent Travel Sentiment Study shows 31% of Americans plan to spend more on holiday travel this year, and we have a new campaign to highlight why Columbus is a perfect place for a holiday or winter getaway. Also, our new app—the first destination rewards program and mobile app of its kind—is in development.”  

About Experience Columbus 
Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience. Annually, visitors make 42.7 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, trade shows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $6.6 billion and supporting nearly 75,000 jobs. Columbus is proud to be selected as the host city for 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders, which brings together the world's business events professionals, and the 2023 U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting. For more information, visit   

About the Greater Columbus Sports Commission 
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s mission is to rally Columbus to compete and win sporting events, providing a singular athlete and fan experience and positively impacting image, economy and lifestyle. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission has brought nearly 600 new sporting events to Columbus, generating an estimated $625 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit  

# # # 

Media Contacts
Leah Berger, APR, CTA: | 614-222-6145 
Cameron Tirado: | 610-389-6833