Springfield has been chosen to host an upcoming tourism conference for the Ohio Travel Association. Taking place at the Marriott Hotel downtown, the conference will be attended by members of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and its counterparts from across the state. The three-day conference is scheduled to begin on Oct. 15.
According to Chris Schutte, executive director of Springfield’s Convention and Visitor Bureau, tourism plays an important role in Springfield.
“Tourism is a major driver of Springfield’s local economy,” Schutte said in an official statement, “with [an] estimated impact approaching $368 million – an increase of nearly $42 million since 2011.”
With attractions such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House, the Hartman Rock Garden, and the Heritage Center Museum, tourism has been one of the city’s biggest success stories in recent years.
“I think our people have done a really superb job with print and online materials to sell the tourist options here in Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor, and Associate Professor of Religion, Warren Copeland. “I think that’s made a splash with the people who do the same thing elsewhere in the state.”
Springfield has attracted growing numbers of visitors in recent years. “We’ve had a significant increase in the use of hotel rooms,” Copeland said. “There are a number of factors connected to that. Some of our companies like Konecranes and Code Blue have been hosting large training events.”
Konecranes is a national leader in the crane industry, while Code Blue works with insurance companies to help mitigate flood damage in homes.
The purpose of the conference is to offer tourism and travel authorities from all over Ohio a chance to engage in discussions and learn from each other. However, the event will also offer the local community a unique opportunity to showcase the city and all it has to offer. The conference will include various workshops and meetings, as well as recreational activities such as a golf outing on the final day.
“I think whenever you have a convention with an organization like this, the number one purpose is to learn from each other,” Copeland said. “However, if you’re looking at it from the point of view of our own local organization, this is really an opportunity for us as the host to try and sell Springfield.”