Attendance and Site Use
For 2010, tourism generated $2.6 billion in taxes for Ohio, including $1.1 billion in local taxes, according to the Ohio Department of Development (Gongwer News, May 19, 2011). The state saw an overall 7% increase in tourism from 2009 to 2010.
For the combined visitation numbers for the 36 staffed sites in the Ohio Historical Society network there was a decrease from 2009 to 2010. But catching hold of the momentum in a tourism upswing, there was a 24% increase on OHS staffed-site visitation from FY2010 to FY2011. Total visitation for FY2010 was 353,417 and total visitation for FY2011 was 439,705.
Of that total 13% were kids in school groups. In the Ohio Village approximately 200 days overall per year are scheduled for all activities. Most of those days are activities involving school groups; 13,577 school children visited the Ohio Village in 2010.
The busiest staffed-sites for FY2011 included:
- Johnston Farm and Indian Agency 99,402 total visitors (10% increase 2010-2011)
- Ohio History Center/Ohio Village 72,981
- Fort Ancient 31,783
- Hayes Presidential Center 29,598
- Fort Meigs 25,774
- Armstrong Air & Space Museum 24,704
- Serpent Mound 22,331
- Adena Mansion & Gardens 13,753
- Zoar Village 12,011
A major commitment was made in FY2011 to have the Ohio History Center expand its open days per week to be more accessible and convenient for the turnstile visitor. The state museum in the Center is now open five days a week as opposed to one day a week a year ago.
The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute, was one of the five new exhibits opened in the Ohio History Center in FY2011. This traveling exhibit is sponsored by Business of Entertainment, Inc.; EADS North America; the John B. Stetson Company; ArmorSource; Conestoga; The Columbus Dispatch; Ohio Magazine; Outlook Magazine, and 104.9 The River. Coupled with the major renovation of the Welcome Lobby at the Center and the redesign and Ohio History Store, it is expected that the popular new exhibits, in addition to the classic permanent exhibits will continue to generate increasing visits to the museum.
Mounting new exhibits at the Ohio History Center and welcoming more visitors or reopening newly restored historic sites, such as the dramatic improvements at the McCook House, added to the robust increase in visitation from 2010 to 2011.
Continuing to capitalize on the momentum and strength of tourism in the state will create a strong future for increased attendance at the sites.