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Study: Tourism boosting Greater Cincinnati economy

Michael Keating

Tourism accounts for one in 10 jobs across Greater Cincinnati and visitors spent $4.1 billion here last year.

Those findings are based on an economic impact study commissioned by the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network. It's the first such report in more than 10 years.

The study also shows for every 10 direct jobs in tourism, four indirect jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.

Tourism Network President Linda Antus says there's another benefit as well.

“Based on the $551 million in tax revenue that was generated in 2011 – those are local taxes – if those taxes as a result of tourism didn’t exist, every household in our region would have to pay $644 more in tax. So what happens is, it’s a driver of our vitality as a region,” she says.

Besides our neighboring states, who likes to visit? Turns out the Southern United States account for 27 percent of visitors.

The Bureau is releasing the full report Wednesday morning.


  • Cincinnati USA (15 counties across three states) hosted 22.7 million visitors in 2011.
  • Visitors spent $4.1 billion, up 4.3% from 2010.
  • Nearly 94,000 jobs sustained by visitors, with total income of $2.7 billion.
  • Employment in tourism grew 2.3% from 2010.
  • Nearly 85% of visitors came for leisure.
  • Half of all visitors from Midwest. Top states of origin: Ohio (32%), Kentucky (12%), Indiana (9%) and Michigan (7%).
  • The Ohio portion of Cincinnati USA accounts for more than three-quarters of tourism spending. Kentucky counties account for 27% of lodging sales and Indiana counties account for nearly 13% of recreation sales.
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.