Ohio, USA may not be the center of world tourism, but it is applying a new philosophy that it hopes can determine how effective its tourism promotions are at drawing vistors to its region. The office of the Governor, is testing the proposition that success in the marketplace should be the yardstick for evaluating and funding the Ohio state government’s new tourism agency.
The fundamental approach is nothing new to corporate business, but in is welcome news to those in the public asking for more accountability.
- Funding for the agency beyond its base appropriation will be determined by increases in sales tax revenue that can be attributed to new spending on tourism.
- The state will make an annual review of the return on the investment that it is making to promote tourism. Currently, each dollar of state investment in tourism puts $14 into Ohio’s economy.
- The funding setup will end in five years, at which time state officials will decide whether to continue or change it.
This business model gives TourismOhio employees, and tourism officials across the state who receive state money, an enormous incentive to make smart decisions that lead to measurable progress.
The businesslike approach to TourismOhio seems like a natural fit between government and the tourism industry.
With about 437,000 full-time equivalent jobs sustained by Ohio’s travel and tourism industry with a total income of $10 billion its not surprising that the state wants to know how well its promotional campaigns are functioning. In May, 2010, the Ohio Department of Development Tourism Division reported that its consumer marketing efforts generated approximately $360 million in new visitor spending, returning $13 in state and local taxes for every $1 invested in the campaign.