MOUNT VERNON — On Wednesday, Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau and invited guests from the tourism industry met at the Alcove for the 2018 Tourism Forum. They discussed recent tourism economic impacts, as well as different ways the CVB has considered welcoming tourists to Knox County and how to encourage more visitors.
Pat Crow, Executive Director of the CVB, and Justin Bauer, Marketing Director of the CVB, started the forum by discussing not only what the CVB is, but what the economic impacts of tourism are in Knox County. As Crow explained, the CVB is a “destination marketing organization.” Meaning, they want to promote ways to get people to visit Knox County, be that advertisements or promotions of events and organizations within the county.
There was a total of $92.9 million in tourism-related sales in Knox County in 2016. Of this, $61.3 million was in direct sales — meaning, people purchasing from the tourism-related industries directly. Food and beverage, and retail trade, were listed as making up over two-thirds of that $61.3 million.
Tourism-related industries also provided 1,676 employment opportunities in the county, according to the report.
Bauer added that the state-wide tourism impact for Ohio in 2017 had been $44 billion, with 219 million travelers visiting Ohio last year, so Knox County’s numbers would be higher than were reported in the 2016 report, as well.