Peak travel season is just beginning, but Columbus is already seeing increases this year in visitors to the region.

Experience Columbus’ first quarter report shows hotel stays in the city are up 3.3 percent with bed tax collections rising by more than 8 percent and representing an increase of nearly $650,000 through March 31. Experience Columbus staff work with meeting planners and group tour operators to keep visitor numbers climbing, says CEO Brian Ross.

Tourism also continues to grow on the state level. A new TourismOhio report for 2016 shows a seventh consecutive year of growth, with direct visitor spending increasing by $1 billion to $34 billion from 2015 to 2016

One place you don’t want to visit is the emergency department, but mishaps with bikes, scooters, skates and skateboards send 50 children to the ED every hour, according to a new national report. The study was done with support from Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program, one of our 2017 Healthcare Achievement Award finalists in the Pathway to Population Health category.

Going out for ice cream is always a good idea when temperatures climb. Area options are increasing as Johnson’s Real Ice Cream plans a Dublin grand opening weekend starting June 1. Or if you want to go really far for ice cream, you can find Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams all over the country.

Getting away for golf is another warm weather travel enticement, and Columbus-based Coach Quarters offers trips throughout the Midwest. President Mike Middaugh has some advice for corporate excursions as well.

For getting around Franklin County, COTA is selling $62 summer season passes for youth 17 and younger, good from June 1 through Aug. 31.  

Just when you’re getting used to COTA’s new routes, more changes are planned to begin in September. Learn more and offer your feedback in public comment meetings set for noon Thursday or 6 p.m. May 25, with two more sessions in August.