Cleveland Comeback: Tourism on rebound after pandemic prevented growth

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 8:52 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The tourism industry in Cleveland is making a comeback, and it’s directly benefitting families at home.

Visits in the city are back up and slowly working towards pre-pandemic levels.

“We think probably sometime between early to mid 2024, we’ll probably be back to the numbers we were in prior to COVID in terms of overall visitors,” CEO of Destination Cleveland David Gilbert said. “Our goal is just to keep it going from there.”

Gilbert said overall visitors grew 17% from 2020 to 2021. That growth has a direct impact on our local economy.

The tourism bounce back also means less taxes.

“If travel and tourism spending did not happen in our county, every household in our county would have to pay more than a thousand dollars in taxes to make up for that,” Gilbert said.

Despite the savings the industry generated last year, there are challenges ahead like inflation and worker and supply shortages.

According to Gilbert, that’s where good marketing, a beefed up sales staff and YOU come in.

“Whatever you love best about Cleveland, get online, and share it with the world,” he said.

Gilbert said one of the best ways to spread the word about our city is by sharing you’re favorite thing to do, whether it’s a restaurant or a dog park.

It could go a long way in turning a first-time visitor into a permanent resident.