Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cleveland Puts Renewed Focus on Tourism

NewsNet5: How does $2 billion in tourism infrastructure sound? That's how the people at Positively Cleveland describe what is going on downtown.

Within the next few years, they said the new Medical Mart and Convention Center, casino, aquarium, Flats East Bank project, hotels and other spin-off development is expected to multiply the number of tourists visiting Northeast Ohio.

What those visitors think -- and tell others -- about their experiences will be even more crucial to the success of the growing tourism industry in this city. Positively Cleveland, formerly the Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau, told NewsChannel5 the tourists are already coming here.

"We have 14 million people who visit Cuyahoga County every single year," said Tamera Brown, Positively Cleveland Vice President of Marketing. "Tourism supports 61,000 jobs just in Cuyahoga County."

As new development comes online, the number of visitors is expected to increase dramatically. "If you think of how many more tourists are going to come here, we definitely see opportunities to improve and make the experience better," Brown said.

"We are going to create a tourism summit in October to talk about exactly that," she added. "We have $2 billion of new stuff happening. And we need to make sure the community gets the best return on investment possible."

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