New report shows increased tourism in Cuyahoga County
CLEVELAND — Like most cities, the Cleveland-area tourism industry collapsed in 2020, due to the pandemic.
However, new numbers from Destination Cleveland show the area has started to rebound in 2021.
There were more than 16 million visits to Cuyahoga County last year, a 17% increase from the worst of the pandemic in 2020, and that growth was nearly double Ohio’s increase .
“It’s exciting to see us grow out of this, and we think we’re on track that probably in early 2024 we’ll have the same visitors back as before COVID,” said Destination Cleveland CEO David Gilbert. .
“It’s picked up since he came back last year, but at first it was really slow,” said Sam Spain, owner of Slammin’ Sammy’s Chicken and Ribs.
For the past four years, Spain has been a faithful participant in downtown Cleveland’s Food Truck Tuesdays.
“It was packed. You know the lines from the start,” Spain said.
Then, the pandemic hit in 2020, changing the flow of traffic.
“Last year it was just coming back. They didn’t know how it was going to be. People were still working from home. There weren’t as many people downtown, but now people are working downtown. city, so more people are going out,” Spain said.
On Tuesday, a report by Destination Cleveland shows the situation has improved in 2021, with more than 16 million people traveling to Cuyahoga County.
Overall, this data indicates a 17% increase from 2020, when the county experienced a 30% loss in visitation volume due to the global pandemic.
For some, a 17% increase may not seem like much.
“It’s a very big number, but we still have a long way to go,” Gilbert said.
We also asked a professor from Case Western Reserve University to break it down.
“I think people are still suffering from the impact of inflation. Gas prices are high and with the recent OPEX announcement on production cuts we expect gas prices to rise so people are looking for how they can save on every dollar and that may mean one less trip and refuel to visit,” said Michael Goldberg, a professor in the Department of Design and Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Goldberg went on to say, “I think those numbers reflect good growth. It certainly could have been a bit higher, but I think people here are happy to see those numbers coming back in the right direction.”
Like Goldberg, Gilbert said they won’t take their progress for granted.
Gilbert said they will continue to be creative and innovative in bringing county numbers back to pre-pandemic levels.
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