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Tourism is Big Business in Licking County

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August 08, 2018

As summer has drawn to a close, many of us just completed an annual rite for lots of families and individuals – a summer vacation. It may have been a trip out of town, out of state, or even out of the country. Travel can be educational, exhilarating, relaxing, and fun. It can also be a significant economic impact to a community and its businesses.

Ohio captured over $35 billion in travel and tourism-related spending in 2017. The number of visits throughout the state was approximately 219 million – that’s a lot of company! This spending supported over 428,000 travel and tourism-related jobs throughout the state. Clearly, people far and wide are finding fun, and interesting things to do in our state!

That’s the case for us in Licking County. While many of us might not think of our community in this way, our county is a travel destination for tourists from throughout the region, state, and beyond. If you step back and think about it, why wouldn’t we be? There are so many beautiful, fun and exciting things to see and do here – many things you can’t find anywhere else – and the list keeps growing! Licking County is featured, in fact, on at least two different Ohio-based “theme tours.” One of our cherished locations – Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill – is featured on the Ohio Ice Cream Trail. Six local wineries are the focus of the Licking County Wine Trail – a self-guided tour featured on the TourismOhio website!

We have community assets that are appealing locally, and beyond. The beauty of Dawes Arboretum is an attraction that draws visitors from across the nation. Our very own National Historic Landmark, the Newark Earthworks, is a must-see location, and hosts visitors from the US and beyond. The National Trail Raceway brings drag racing enthusiast to the Hebron area. The Midland Theater and Thirty One West draw lovers of theater, music, and the arts to our community.  And the charm and history in the village of Granville, from their historic inns to their specialty shops and restaurants – it’s a perfect staycation. And this list could go on and on!

This is not just a reminder of all that we have that is so special in Licking County. It is a PARTIAL list of the community assets that create economic opportunity, right here. Overnight visitors fill our hotels and B&B, county-wide. Our restaurants and retail businesses also directly benefit from tourism – whether overnight or day trips. The work that has been done to expand our offerings and accessibility – the rebirth of Downtown Newark, reinvestment at the Indian Mound Mall, and traffic improvements from SR 161 to Granville, to Heath, Hebron and Newark – improve the visitor experience, and increase the likelihood of more dollars staying in our community, even after the visitors depart.

We have so many wonderful things to see, do and experience in Licking County. They help create a more wonderful community. They help create economic opportunity.  To learn more, visit the Explore Licking County website, www.explorelc.org or stop by their office on the square, 5 S. 3rd Street in Newark.

Contact:
Jennifer McDonald, President & CEO
7403459757

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