Cleveland sees tourism increase in 2013

Cleveland sees tourism increase in 2013

Positively Cleveland, the city's convention and visitors' bureau, is reporting that the Greater Cleveland area has seen a 4-percent increase in the number of visitors to the area in 2013.

According to the county's Visitor Volume Report, about 15.6 million people visited Cuyahoga County in 2012, and the number increased to 16.2 million in 2013.

"You begin to see the core values of this town and it's coming back," said Edward Gustely.

Gustely is "back" visiting. He was born and raised in Cuyahoga Falls, but has been living in Indonesia for more than 20 years. His walk down E. 4th Street was jaw dropping.

"This is the first time I've been in this area. I literally just parked the car and walked, and I was completely shocked by what I see. So, it's very inspiring," said Gustely.

"I think we're in a real magical time right now," said David Gilbert, president and CEO of Positively Cleveland.

Gilbert says the increase of visitors quickly adds up, because more visitors spending more money creates more jobs. A study by TourismOhio showed that tourists to the area boosted the economy by $7.4 billion in 2013, up 6.7 percent from 2011. It's also credited with supporting 63,394 jobs. 

All this happened in 2013, a year before the Gay Games, talks of the RNC, LeBron James' return and Johnny Manziel coming to the Browns.

"Last year was no doubt a gateway year for the visitor industry to increase its economic impact in Cuyahoga County," said David Gilbert, president & CEO of Positively Cleveland. "Cleveland's status as a visitor destination continues to improve, which is validated by these numbers. We expect this momentum to continue as we open six new downtown hotels and host larger scale meetings, including the 2016 Republican National Convention."

With the new Cleveland Convention Center, the downtown area can hold conventions, meetings, and other events. More hotels and restaurants make the area even more attractive. Partnerships with the Sports and Film Commission brought in hundreds of leads.

With the promise of the RNC Convention in 2016, these numbers can only go up.

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To read the full statistics, check out the report HERE by Positively Cleveland.

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