LAKE ERIE SHORES & ISLANDS, OHIO, May 14, 2019 --- Lake Erie Shores & Islands President Larry Fletcher and Vice President of Operations Dawn Weinhardt joined colleagues from across the state on May 7th for the 2019 Ohio Tourism Legislative Day. The event was a collaboration of the Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau Association, the Ohio Travel Association, and the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association.

This is an annual event held during National Travel and Tourism Week, designed to provide an opportunity for participants to meet with their individual elected representatives and other members of the Ohio legislature to discuss local and state tourism industry issues.  

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands team held focused meetings with Senator Theresa Gavarone and Representative Steve Arndt. Each has shown strong support for the tourism industry in the past and were very receptive to the information presented.    

The group’s main focus this year was to advocate for increased funding for TourismOhio, the state’s marketing agency. Current funding for the office is approximately $10 million annually, which is $8 million below the national average, $13.5 million below Ohio’s main competitors, and $25 million below what Michigan invests to promote tourism. 
Ohio budget hearings and votes will take place over the next several weeks. 

A natural segue from this event was to the May 8th Ohio Tourism Day on the grounds of the Statehouse. Lake Erie Shores & Islands joined 100 other visitor bureaus and attractions from across the state to showcase our powerful industry. Governor DeWine, Director of the Development Services Agency Lydia Mihalik, and TourismOhio Chief Matt MacLaren all addressed the hundreds of guests who enjoyed the many exhibits. 

In addition, TourismOhio used the event to release updated economic impact of tourism data showing that 222 million visits to Ohio in 2018 generated $46 billion in sales and supported 429,000 tourism-related jobs. The Lake Erie Shores & Islands region generates $2.1 billion in annual impact that supports more than 14,000 jobs.    



Shores & Islands Ohio is the Midwest’s favorite getaway. This coastal destination boasts 152 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, the best fishing on the Great Lakes, welcoming communities, rich history, a wine trail, and an abundance of family-friendly attractions. World-famous Cedar Point Amusement Park calls it home, along with Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, other indoor and outdoor water parks, animal parks, sports venues, and more. Visitors enjoy ferries and cruises to Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass, and Kelleys Island. One of the country’s best areas for spring and fall bird migration, the area is overflowing with natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation. More at

Media Contact:

Jill Bauer, Public Relations Manager
Shores & Islands Ohio
Phone: 419.625.9495