The Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau staff and board held a Tourism Open House on Friday, May 6. The event was held at the 198 West Center Street location to provide an opportunity for tourism partners to see the MACVB’s new downtown location.
Annually the Marion Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Trustees selects an individual or individuals to be honored as Tourism Ambassador of the Year. The decision is based upon an individual’s influence and impact on Marion's tourism industry.
During the celebration, MACVB director Bev Ford announced Luke Henry and Alex Sheridan as this year’s recipients of the award; noted specifically was the work of their Main Street Reimagined project.
While many have invested in downtown redevelopment, Ford commented on the uniqueness of this particular project to inspire others to believe their investment would make a difference, too. Since the launching of Main Street Reimagined, Marion’s downtown development has seen significant growth.
This growth positions Marion for increased tourism opportunities. Redeveloped downtowns are drawing guests into revitalized communities across the State. Ford thanked the pair for their investment, which she noted will continue to draw visitors, and impact locals alike, to engage in Marion’s unique experiences for years to come.
The tourism award comes amidst the Ohio Department of Development’s announcement of 2021 tourism statistics statewide.
The report states 2021 showed visitors to the state at just 3% under the totals of 2019, measuring against pre-COVID numbers. This data shows a strong rebound from the closures of 2020. While recovery for some destinations is slower than for others, across the industry, tourism partners remain hopeful for a strong 2022.
Ford holds that same hope for Marion’s tourism industry.
“The welcome mat is out. Many in Marion continue to invest in and grow our community making it a destination worthy of day trips, long weekends, and week-long getaways. We’re inviting guests to come and experience an adventure that is uniquely MarionMade!”
Travel and tourism mean big business for Ohio’s economy. TourismOhio reports visitors to the State in 2021 spending $46.9 billion and accounting for 40 million overnight stays, which supported 411,000 Ohio jobs.
For more information on the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Marion’s unique destinations, visit the MACVB website at www.visitmarionohio.com.