COLUMBUS – It has been a banner year for Columbus’ travel and tourism industry. Hotel occupancy, revenue per available room (RevPAR) and average daily rate (ADR) have steadily increased, the number of travelers to Greater Columbus has grown to 37.9 million and the city has hosted more citywide conventions and sporting events than ever. Today, according to the Office of the City of Columbus Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian, hotel/motel bed tax collections for 2015 have reached a record amount of $40 million.
Bed tax revenue in 2015 is up nearly $6 million compared to collections in 2012, just before the City of Columbus instituted a change to the code that increased funding to Experience Columbus. The increase in bed tax has spurred new economic growth that’s helped bring more visitors to Greater Columbus who generate $8.7 billion in economic impact and provide 71,000 jobs.
“This is an exciting milestone for our community,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “The additional funds from the bed tax have enabled us to increase our national sales and marketing efforts. This has allowed our team to be even more competitive and win bigger conventions, tradeshows and sporting events. As we look to next year, we’re setting bold goals and aspirations to continue to elevate our city as a preferred destination.”
The bed tax 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.
"The Greater Columbus Arts Council and Columbus' arts and cultural organizations are grateful for the outstanding marketing efforts of Experience Columbus—efforts that are bringing more visitors than ever to our city," said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. "More revenue from tourism means an increasingly vibrant arts and cultural landscape for our city—which means life in Columbus keeps getting better for residents and visitors alike."
“The Human Service Chamber of Franklin County (HSC) and our more than 60 member organizations share in the celebration of this exceptional milestone,” said Margie Pizzuti, chair of HSC and president & CEO of Goodwill Columbus. “We all benefit from the steadily increasing revenues that our vibrant and thriving convention and tourism business brings to our community and are committed to assuring that Columbus is a community where all of our citizens thrive.”
“We’re pleased to see how the bed tax collections have steadily grown year over year,” said Don Brown, Franklin County Convention and Facilities Authority executive director. “This year’s bed taxes will be used by the CFA to renovate and expand the Greater Columbus Convention Center to make it more competitive. The upgrades and additions, including new exhibit hall space and meeting rooms, refreshed finishes to hotel-quality standards, Central Ohio art displays and streetscape improvements, will enhance the visitor experience.”
For more information about the history of the bed tax code and current allocations, visit https://www.columbus.gov/IncomeTaxDivison/HotelMotelExciseTax/FCCFA/.
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 experiencecolumbus.com.