Ohio's tourism industry will help sustain itself if a new revenue sharing plan with the state goes as planned.
Governor John Kasich discussed the incentive at a press conference today at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Under the new program, tax dollars generated from tourism will be used to further market those and other destinations to provide an even greater boost to the state's fourth largest industry. The museum dedicated to the NFL is expecting visitor number 9,000,000 by Monday, making it a fitting backdrop to talk about tourism promotion.
"We're not just going to give them more money because they want it," said Kasich. "They're going to have to prove that they're making progress."
Kasich says it's the marketing messages should point people toward specific attractions, and said that whoever designs messages should add some "pizzazz," drawing laughter from the crowd when he compared an advertising campaign by the state of Michigan to something that would be heard in a dentist's office and one that would put a driver to sleep if listening to it in the car.
The governor says that marketing revenue for tourism is only one component of the new law, which he believes adds simplicity to some processes that were already in place. The newly renamed Office of TourismOhio administers the marketing efforts with a budget that could double under the new plan.
"That's what this bill does," said Kasich. "It streamlines that whole process and begins to shed the regulations that hold us back."
Mary Regula, founder of the National First Ladies' Library in Canton and wife of retired Congressman Ralph Regula was eager to take the microphone when the governor at first failed to mention her favorite tourist destination:
Ohio's tourism industry generates $36 billion dollars a year and employs 439,000 people.