2015 data show growth in visitor volume, economic impact and jobs

Columbus – Visitors matter to the Greater Columbus economy where the number of visitors, amount of money spent and jobs created have grown. Today, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission released data from an extensive study on the impact of the tourism and hospitality industry in Columbus and Franklin County.

According to industry-leading researchers at Oxford Economics and Longwoods International, in 2015:

  • Central Ohio welcomed 39.3 million day and overnight leisure visitors, sports and arts enthusiasts, convention attendees and business travelers.
  • The number of overnight visits grew by 400,000 – a 4 percent increase over 2014; and the average length of stay increased from 2.3 nights to 2.9 nights. On average, an overnight visitor will spend three times more than a single day visitor. Daytrip visits grew by 1 million – a 3 percent increase over 2014.
  • Visitors spent $6.4 billion in Greater Columbus supporting an overall economic impact of $9.7 billion – a 12 percent increase from 2013.
  • Businesses serving the visitor industry support nearly 75,000 jobs in Columbus and Franklin County – a 5 percent increase from 2013. Tourism provides one in every 12 jobs in Franklin County.
  • Visitors to Franklin County generated $1.13 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue, which provides $2,384 in annual tax savings to county residents.


“The data tell the story. Tourism is a big part of Greater Columbus’ economy,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “We have the ability to greatly impact the city’s economic prosperity and quality of life by increasing direct spend, job creation and revenue through bringing more leisure visitors, conventions, meetings and sporting events to the city.” 

The top five industry sectors benefiting from visitor spending include: Retail; Food and Beverage; Transportation; Attractions, Recreation and Entertainment; and Lodging.


2015 Tourism Numbers


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 39.3 million trips to Greater Columbus, spending $6.4 billion generating $9.7 billion in economic impact and supporting nearly 75,000 jobs. For more information, visit experiencecolumbus.com.