Columbus Visits Growing

Julie Bhusal Sharma

Creative campaigns by Experience Columbus have shown their worth by packing in Columbus visitors.

The organization's mid-year 2015 State of the Industry Report shows hotel occupancy increased 2.5 percent from 2014. Hotels profited from the growth in more ways than one. The average daily rate at hotels in the greater Columbus area rose 6.1 percent with revenue per available room rising 8.8 percent and bed tax collections up 9.11 percent from 2014.

Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus, attributes the visitor increase to group efforts and creative thinking. One campaign focused on a specific demographic: mothers who blog.

"We brought mommy bloggers in from regional cities, like Pittsburgh, to come in, experience with their families all the tremendous family-oriented experiences and assets that we have. Then they hopped on the Internet and wrote their blogs. We were able to gain a lot of awareness that way," says Ross.

Ross notes Experience Columbus' LIFEINCBUS campaign may be boosting the city's popularity. The campaign was awarded the 2015 Destiny Award by the US Travel Association.