SANDUSKY, OHIO, April 10, 2018 – Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the destination marketing organization for Erie and Ottawa counties, held its 2017 Annual Meeting and State of Tourism Address last week at Sandusky’s Kalahari Resorts & Conventions. During the event, attended by tourism partners, government officials, and special guests, 2017 travel and tourism statistics and marketing highlights were shared by Lake Erie Shores & Islands President, Larry Fletcher.

While full economic impact won’t be known until later this year when the biannual report is released for 2017, local tax collection information shows over $158 million in lodging sales, more than $6 million in county lodging tax generated, and more than $24 million in local sales tax generated attributed to tourism in Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

A number of successes were touted as well, including more than 600 positive media mentions about the region, with potential impressions of more than 340 million. Lake Erie Shores & Islands social media channels continue to grow in followers and engagement with over 200,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In 2017, the two welcome centers in Port Clinton and Sandusky served nearly 20,000 guests from 45 states and 16 countries.

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands group sales team impacted 87 different groups that represented 38,521 room nights. They also obtained 406 future group leads by attending 17 group-related tradeshows, from incoming calls, website, partners, and other prospecting leads in 2017. Lake Erie Shores & Islands was able to award 32 conference support and event grants for over $97,000.

Fletcher also spoke about exciting new initiatives the organization embarked on in 2017 including a new and improved website, the addition of live webcams at several locations, and some fantastic new events brought to the region such as Bash at the Bay, Dragons & Bacon Fest, and the Halloween Hustle race. 2018 will bring many new and exciting things which Lake Erie Shores & Islands is thrilled to promote.

Special guest speaker for the evening was Matthew MacLaren, Esq., new Director of TourismOhio. MacLaren spoke about state tourism successes and promotional plans utilizing the “Ohio. Find it here.” brand for the current year.

A new addition this year to the annual meeting was the inclusion of two new tourism industry awards.


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