COLUMBUS, Ohio—Experience Columbus, the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience, is proud to announce its selection as the host city for the U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) 2024. The event, which is coming to Columbus for the first time, will take place Aug. 10-13, 2024, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC).
Celebrating its 40th year in 2024, ESTO is the nation’s premier educational and networking event for destination marketing professionals. The four-day conference offers attendees the chance to network with the best in the travel industry, learn through sessions that showcase current and future trends and celebrate the year's best campaigns, promotions and creative during the Destiny and Mercury Awards program. Attendees will also give back to Columbus through ESTO Cares, a volunteer activity that supports and generates awareness for a local charitable organization.
"We are honored to have been selected as the host city for one of the most valuable conferences of the year in the tourism industry,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. “We can’t wait to showcase Columbus to this important group of industry leaders and show them all that our city has to offer, from our vibrant and diverse neighborhoods to our welcoming and inclusive community to our top-rated attractions and experiences.”
The conference will have a significant economic impact on Columbus with more than 1,000 attendees expected, $1.6 million in anticipated direct visitor spend and a total of 2,439 room nights.
“We are thrilled to welcome ESTO attendees to our great state and show them why Ohio truly is the heart of it all,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, which oversees TourismOhio. “With so many unique attractions and activities to discover, visitors don’t just see Ohio has a place on a map. It’s a place in their minds, a place in their hearts, and a place they can’t wait to come back to.”
Columbus is quickly emerging as a top-tier meetings destination. Standout events like PCMA Convening Leaders 2023, which was attended by 3,300 participants in January and generated $4.2 million in direct visitor spending, as well the 2023 U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting held in June, showcase how the city rolls out the red carpet for major national and international events. With the U.S. Figure Skating Championships coming to Columbus in January 2024, the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in July 2024 and the recent win of securing ESTO 2024, Columbus stands poised to further solidify its reputation as a thriving hub for meetings and a remarkable year ahead.
“We look forward to bringing the 40th edition of ESTO to creative and vibrant Columbus,” said Nan Marchand Beauvois, ESTO General Manager and Senior Vice President of Membership and Industry Relations at the U.S. Travel Association. “Ohio’s capital city is a proven and popular host for national meetings and events, and we are proud to add ESTO and its best-in-class programming to the lineup next year.”
To learn more about why Columbus is an ideal meetings destination and about the city’s dynamic convention package that can fit the needs of any group, visit experiencecolumbus.com/meetings. For more information about ESTO 2024, visit experiencecolumbus.com/esto2024.
About Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus' blend of neighborhoods, dynamic nightlife, noteworthy music scene, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are all made unforgettable by the diversity of its outgoing locals who eagerly await and warmly welcome visitors. Columbus is proud to have hosted the 2023 U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in June and PCMA Convening Leaders 2023, which brought together the world's business events professionals in January. Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com. Visitor information is also available on Instagram: @ExperienceColumbus, Facebook: @ExperienceColumbus, Threads: @ExperienceColumbus and