Cuyahoga County Reaches New Peak For Visitation

October 2, 2017

RNC, NBA Finals, and MLB World Series contribute to growth in leisure and business travelers as well as overnight visits in 2016

CLEVELAND (October 2, 2017) - Destination Cleveland, the convention and visitors bureau for Cuyahoga County, today announced 18 million people visited Cuyahoga County in 2016 for business and leisure travel - surpassing the previous record of 17.6 million set just one year prior. Visitor volume grew at a rate of 2.8 percent, outpacing the U.S. growth rate (1.2 percent in 2016) for the seventh straight year, according to Tourism Economics.

Both day and overnight visitor volumes grew from 2015 to 2016, with the growth rate for overnight visitors (2.9 percent) outpacing day visitor growth (2.6 percent) for the second year in a row. Since 2011, overnight visitation has grown by 22 percent while day visitation has expanded by 21 percent.

"Continued record-setting growth in our visitor volume shows that Destination Cleveland's sustained marketing and sales efforts combined with opportunities that shine a positive spotlight on Cleveland, such as the 2016 RNC, the NBA Finals and MLB World Series, are motivating more people each year to discover for themselves all that Cleveland offers," said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. "With continued short-term gains in travel and tourism, Cleveland is better positioned for broader economic success as many of those who move to a new city often had a favorable visitor experience first.1"

Since 2009, visits to Cleveland have grown by an average of close to 800,000 per year.

ABOUT DESTINATION CLEVELAND: Destination Cleveland is Cleveland's convention and visitors bureau.  This private non-profit organization's mission is to drive economic impact and stimulate community vitality for Greater Cleveland through leisure and business travel. Cleveland welcomes 18 million visitors annually. For more information, visit


1 Metrics were obtained from Cuyahoga County's 2016 Visitor Volume study produced by D.K. Shifflet as well as the 2016 Tourism Economic Report, which is a study published by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics and a world leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis.

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