According to the Smith Travel Research Report, the hospitality industry continued to grow in Columbus in 2011, despite the economic recession. A total of 395,418 room nights were booked in 2011, which Experience Columbus cites as an increase of 10.3% over 2010. Additionally, Experience Columbus helped to host more than 600 meetings in 2011, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city.
“This information shows a rebound in the visitor industry in Central Ohio and that affects the economic health of the entire region,” says Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “The visitor industry represents ten percent of the local economy.”
Astleford cites our increased national profile, top-ranked attractions and growing reputation as a culinary destination as reasons for the increase in tourism.
Additional findings from the Smith Travel Research Report include:
- Columbus area hotels had an average occupancy rate of 59.5%, up 5.6% YTD.
- The average daily rate at Columbus area hotels was $81.42, up 3.2% YTD.
- Revenue per available room (RevPAR) at Columbus area hotels averaged $48.46, up 8.9% YTD.
Beyond visitor spending, Columbus will also benefit from the hospitality boost through the hotel bed tax collection, which was up 7.55% in 2011. That tax generated over $30 million in revenue in 2011, which funds Experience Columbus and the Convention Center in addition to public arts programs, social services and affordable housing initiatives.
“We must aggressively sell, market and promote Columbus to compete on the national stage,” added Astleford. “The potential for growth of the tourism and hospitality industry here in Central Ohio is huge.”
More information can be found online at www.experiencecolumbus.com.