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Columbus Taking A $200 Million Loss In Tourism This Year

Cars are absent from 3rd Street in downtown Columbus on May 6, 2020, in the middle of Ohio's stay-at-home order.
David Holm
/
WOSU
Cars are absent from 3rd Street in downtown Columbus on May 6, 2020, in the middle of Ohio's stay-at-home order.

Columbus has taken a $200 million hit in tourism since the public health order limiting mass gatherings, a new report from Experience Columbus shows. 

The mid-year report shows the city lost 47,000 jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry. Hotel occupancy and average daily room rates have decreased as well.

“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year, but Columbus is resilient,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president, in an emailed statement. “Though the city’s vital tourism economy has been devastated since the onset of COVID-19, we still have many things to celebrate. 

Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission did outline some hope for the future – their report cites studies suggesting people are comfortable going on car trips, a potential boon due to the city’s proximity to a huge portion of the U.S. population.

Columbus is already seeing higher than average visits from out-of-town friends and relatives. The report also says travelers are more likely to visit states with mask mandates, like Ohio.