National Tourism & Travel Week – Travel Matters to our Jobs
May 7, 2019
Contributed by Justin Sommer
Vice President of Business Development at Bruns General Contracting
Immediate Past President of the Miami County Visitors Bureau Board of Directors
Can you picture your first house? Your elementary school? The restaurant where you took your first date? Do you remember that time in the park when you tried jumping a hill on your 10-speed bike, crashed, and ended up getting stitches? I do.
What about that church you got married in with the amazing architecture outside? Or the taste of the funnel cake from that one booth at your favorite festival? Mmmmm…
We have emotional connections to places. The sights, sounds, and smells bring back vivid memories. They remind us of funny stories, exciting stories, and sometimes scary or sad ones. But that emotional connection keeps us coming back.
The experiences we have in a certain place can impact us for the rest of our lives. For many, tourism directly impacts their lives, as their work is somehow tied to tourism. In fact, in Miami County, over 2,000 people are employed in tourism-related professions.
More than 53% of all U.S. travel industry workers earn middle-class wages or higher, according to the US Travel Association. Travel businesses employ accountants, engineers, executive chefs, senior level sales managers, designers, landscapers, marketers, general managers, park superintendents, IT experts and other professionals. These jobs depend on a strong travel economy in Ohio. And nearly one-third of workers who are working part-time while furthering their education are employed in tourism-related jobs.
Miami County tourism spending has continued to increase over the last five years, creating demand for new hotel rooms and reinvestment into tourist attractions. This investment leads to increased employment in construction and skilled trades.
Quality of place is the driving factor in the tourism industry. Miami County’s parks, trails, museums, downtowns, architecture, restaurants, and shops make us unique. Did you know that Miami County is part of the longest paved bike trail in the US, the longest hiking trail in the US and one of only 22 national scenic water trails in the US?
Miami County’s tourism amenities also impact new business growth. According to Site Selection Magazine, the number one factor in site selection for businesses is the ability to attract a qualified workforce. The quality of life provided in Miami County allows businesses to attract and retain the employees they need. Travelers to Ohio are 94% more likely to identify Ohio as a great place to start a career.
Miami County is Home, Growth, Great Jobs.