$2.2 Billion in Total Tourism Sales in 2019

LAKE ERIE SHORES & ISLANDS, OHIO, August, 2020 – A wide variety of world-class activities, attractions, restaurants, overnight accommodations and more, combined with the marketing power of those businesses and Lake Erie Shores & Islands, helped drive the tourism industry to new economic heights last year. The Lake Erie Shores & Islands region attracts an estimated 11 million visitors each year to the region.

According to a bi-annual study conducted by Tourism Economics, one of the world’s leading providers of economic analysis, visitors helped generate $2.2 billion in tourism sales in 2019, an increase of nearly 5% from the 2017 study.

Total tourism sales include direct, indirect, and induced spending and represent a number of different economic activities, including: transportation; recreation; retail; lodging; and food & beverage. The direct sales spending breakdown by sector for our area is approximately 23% retail, 14% food & beverage, 13% recreation & entertainment, 12% lodging, and 9% transportation. Transportation costs comprise the cost of air, train, ferry transportation, car rental, etc. Gasoline costs are included in the retail sector.

In the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region, tourism also means jobs. One in every four jobs in Erie County is tourism-related as well as one in every six jobs in Ottawa County. Approximately 14,000 people are employed within the travel and tourism industry locally. Tourism wages were $371 million in 2019.

“Our core mission is to grow the region’s tourism economy through collaborative promotion that increases visitor spending and makes our home the ideal place to play, live, and work,” said Larry Fletcher, President of Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands. “These bi-annual reports reinforce for us and the community that the travel and tourism industry is, in fact, a major economic driver for the region. We are proud to support the local economy through our promotion efforts.”

In 2019, the tourism industry in the region also generated $270 million in taxes. More than $77 million in State of Ohio taxes were generated by Erie and Ottawa County tourism activities, with an additional $59 million in county taxes for both Erie and Ottawa Counties. Tax dollars generated through tourism help support many of the municipal services our residents count on, and reduce our residents’ tax bills. It is estimated that in 2019, state and local tourism tax receipts contributed tax savings of $3,582 per household in Erie County and $1,403 per household in Ottawa County.

The data for this study is coordinated by TourismOhio and executed by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics.



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 SHORESandISLANDS.com

Media Contact:

Jill Bauer, Public Relations Manager
Shores & Islands Ohio
Phone: 419.625.9495
Email: jill@shoresandislands.com