In mid-September the Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee released information about their hearing on TourismOhio. Tourism in Ohio ranks number four in the state for industry. Chairman, State Representative, Mike Dovilla (R-Berea), held a field hearing to focus on what is happening with TourismOhio set up by Senate Bill 314 from the 129th General Assembly on November 27, 2012.
The meeting found no appointees on the TourismOhio Advisory Board since it was established. The committee in their report urged full staffing of the board to get this program under way. The TourismOhio is part of the governments Development Services Agency.
Chairman Dovilla announced, “Our committee extended an open invitation to public officials, private companies, trade associations, and Ohio residents. We are grateful that many Ohioans answered our call and provided an in-depth conversation on the efforts of our state to market Ohio as a tourist destination.
“Witnesses from numerous trade associations and businesses stressed the importance of having a fully functioning TourismOhio Advisory Board in order to provide guidance to and support the efforts of the Office of TourismOhio.
“In addition, our committee was pleased to learn of the support the Office of TourismOhio is providing to our convention and visitor bureaus by engaging in cooperative marketing campaigns to efficiently and effectively utilize tourism marketing funds.”
The Ohio Restaurant Association reported that Ohio had an increase in international visitors at 28 percent in 2012, which is the largest increase across the nation. Small, family-owned businesses have been impacted by increased tourism and could invest in their workers, services and their communities.
Other key points addressed in these findings can be reviewed at the Majority Caucus Blog or contact Representative Mike Dovilla at (614) 466-4895.