Record Number of Tourists Visit Cleveland, Up 30 percent since 2007

cleveland-ohioThe number of tourists visiting Cleveland and Cuyahoga County has been steadily increasing since 2007, according to the 2015 Convention & Leisure Metric Report recently released by Destination Cleveland. The report showed tourism in Cleveland grew 3.7 percent after welcoming a record number of 17.6 million business and leisure travelers to the Northeast Ohio region. In fact, the rate of tourist growth in Cleveland has outpaced the U.S. since 2011, according to a study published by Tourism Economics.

In 2007, there were 13.7 million tourists who visited Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. And within eight years this number jumped to 17.6 million; an increase of almost 30 percent. Cleveland has been registering a consistent rise in tourism for the past several years, giving a much needed boost to the local economy. The increased tourism resulted in an $8.1 billion economic impact supporting 65,900 local jobs and $1 billion in sales tax revenue.

The big increase in Cleveland tourism has also been a boon for the hotel industry with over 5 million hotel rooms sold in 2015, representing an increase of 5.2 percent from the previous year. It was the largest increase ever recorded in the past five years. Additionally, the number of hotel rooms sold in Cleveland outpaced the number of rooms sold nationally by 0.7%. “Growth in nearly every metric we report shows that more people are motivated each year to visit and discover more about Cleveland for themselves,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. “Research shows that continued short-term gains in travel and tourism are the foundation for broader economic success as many of those who move to a new city often had a favorable visitor experience first.”

So, why are so many tourists visiting Cleveland? “There are a lot of exciting attractions throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan area including The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, Cedar Point Amusement Park, A Christmas Story House, Cleveland Aquarium, and Cleveland Botanical Garden, among others that are attracting visitors,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Also, many business travelers come back with their family to explore the region. In addition, the city has beautiful waterfront parks, a lively shopping and entertainment district, a world-class convention center and top-rated hotels that attract business and leisure travelers from around the globe.

Image Credit: Tim

Why Birders From Around the World Are Flocking to Ohio

Northern Cardinal in Ohio

Every year in the month of May, birders from over 32 countries around the world flock to Ohio. The shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio, in particular, is a birders paradise of sorts and has rapidly gained popularity because the area is a popular migratory path for hundreds of species of birds that fly hundreds of miles from their wintering grounds in the tropics to places where they nest in the forests of the northern U.S. and Canada. Migrating birds stop at the Lake Erie shores to rest and hunt for food before they continue on their long journey home.

According to Stacy Wiseman, the Holiday Inn Express GM in Oregon, the flocking of birders to Ohio is amazing, and one may find it hard to believe that thousands of visitors flock to Ohio to see birds. But why does Ohio have such an incredible number of birders in May? Kimberly Kaufman, executive director of Black Swamp Observatory in Oak Harbor, explains that Lake Erie has a rich habitat that attracts birds of all kinds. They are attracted by the easy availability of food, which most find handy when it comes to regaining energy.

Birds such as warblers, finches, blackbirds, and sparrows really like this place. And it is not uncommon to find them in large numbers along the shores of Lake Erie. Most of them are colorful and melodic, which makes this place a stunning destination for birders. “Wherever there are birds, birders will undoubtedly follow,” says Kaufman. Warblers and other species of birds often create this incredible bird watching scenery from the end of April to mid-May. And this prompted Kaufman and others to start a festival dubbed “The Biggest Week In American Birding”. Since its inception in 2010, the festival has made many people more aware of birds than ever before.

“Guides, lectures, and other programs offered during the festival help birders appreciate bird watching even more,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Most of them will always come back to Ohio every May to be part of the spectacular migration. Kaufman says that every year from the end of April to mid-May, over 90,000 birders visit Northwest Ohio alone to view various species of birds. This is a large number that is great for the tourism industry, considering that birders arrive before summer, giving a nice boost to the local economy. In fact, studies indicate that birders spend nearly $40 million during their stay in Ohio.

Ohio’s habitat is ideal for numerous species of birds (a total of 408 species). There are many popular birding locations including East Harbor State Park, Great Egret Marsh, Magee Marsh Wild Area, Maumee Bay State Park, and Erie Marsh Preserve.

Image Credit: Jen Goellnitz

Explore 5 Top Museums in Ohio

Cleveland Museum of Art

“When you think of Ohio, there are a lot of things that come to mind, but museums and culture is probably not one of them for some”, noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.  While touring the Buckeye State from the northern shoreline of Lake Erie to the Appalachian Mountains you will find numerous tourist attractions dotting the landscape including some of the best museums in the country that even the kids will love. In keeping up with its nickname, Ohio really is in the Heart of it All. So, pack up your gear and load the family in the car while we take you on a tour of the 5 top museums in Ohio.

1. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Designed by famed architect, I.M. Pei, The Rock Hall is one of the most unique museums in the world showcasing hundreds of legendary performers that have shaped the American music scene. The fascinating exhibits take visitors on a musical journey through the Rock and Roll revolution. And the building’s unique architectural design is a work of art in its own right.

2. The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)

The Cleveland Museum of Art has been the cultural epicenter of Northeast Ohio since its founding in 1916. It was ranked as the #2 museum in the country in 2016, by Business Insider. The highly acclaimed museum is known for its impressive Asian, Egyptian, American, and European collections from contemporary to medieval art. The original neoclassical building has also been expanded and renovated several times. Every year, the CMA attracts approximately 598,000 visitors.

3. Cincinnati Art Museum

Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in the U.S. Today, the diverse museum has more than 67,000 works in its collection with some artifacts nearly 6,000 years old. Aside from its comprehensive collections, the museum’s old and unique architectural design built in the Romanesque Revival style will surely appeal to any historian.

4. American Sign Museum

Housed in a former factory in Cincinnati, The American Sign Museum is hands down one of the most interesting museums in the world. The museum’s sign collection spans over 100 years. The exhibits in its historic collection include neon signs that recreate a Main Street USA storefront. The 20,000 square foot museum takes visitors on a trip back in time to discover the changing sign styles over the past century.

5. The Dayton Art Institute (DAI)

The Dayton Art Institute or DAI, as it is sometimes referred, was rated one of the top 10 best art museums in the U.S. for kids, by Parents® Magazine. In addition to its rotating exhibits, the museum features an extensive permanent collection of more than 20,000 objects from around the globe dating back 5,000 years. And its Lange Family Experiencenter, an interactive hands-on experience for the entire family is one of its most popular galleries.

Image Credit: Erik Drost

Off the Beaten Path: 5 Unusual Ohio Tourist Attractions


Cincinnati Subway

“Although all states have something to offer as far as tourism is concerned, the state of Ohio is arguably one of the highest ranked tourist destinations in the country,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. From hidden sights to weird attractions and unusual places, Ohio has something for everyone.

One of the most interesting sites in Ohio is the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, which came to fruition between 1000 BCE and 200 BCE. Built by the “mound builders”, this stunning prehistoric effigy mound is 1,330 feet in length and 3 feet in height. A number of earliest records believe that the Great Serpent Mound is a representation of a snake trying to swallow the phases of the moon. However, London West, a local German Baptist minister, proposed in 1909 that the mound represents the woes of the Biblical snake from the Garden of Eden.

Another hidden spot is Helltown, an abandoned village in Summit County, believed to be haunted. According to original folklore, Helltown is teeming with spooked buses, a mutant python, and crybaby bridges, among others. However, many of these myths have been refuted, as reliable sources insist that the “haunted” bus was actually the temporary home of a family waiting to have their permanent home repaired. All in all, Helltown is a great place to explore and let your imagination run wild.

Built by Harry Andrews, an eccentric medieval enthusiast, the Harry Andrews’ Chateau Laroche in Loveland gets its share of tourists every year. Harry used 2,600 sacks of cement and 32,000-quart milk cartons to build the entire castle himself. Although Harry died a couple of weeks after a fire accident, the castle is still run by the youth organization (the “Knights of the Golden Trail”) established by him. Like, Helltown, Harry Andrews’ Chateau Laroche, is worth a visit. Be sure to pack a sleeping bag and spend the night in the castle. You might even spot a ghost while you’re there.

Also, Crystal Cave in Put-In-Bay near Cleveland is the largest geode in the world. It was discovered in 1887 but what’s really unusual about this tourist attraction is the fact that the cave is in a large cavity within a single rock. It features 3-foot long crystals that protrude from the walls. Crystal Cave is estimated to be around 15,000 years old.

The Cincinnati Subway is another off the beaten path that is worth visiting while you are in Ohio, if you can find it. This abandoned project in Ohio came into existence on January 28, 1920, despite the idea originating in 1884. However, the Cincinnati Subway was never completed, as everything came to a halt in 1948. While the old tunnels still exist, the city has blocked the graffiti laden entrances for liability reasons. However, the stunning art-deco Union Terminal should not be missed.

Ohio is filled with numerous unusual tourist attractions making it an attractive destination for both visitors from around the country and international tourists keen on exploring the many sites and attractions. These are fascinating places to visit with a number of them (such as The Great Serpent Mound) boasting a rich and storied history. Whether you are on a vacation, family trip or honeymoon, be sure to experience the thrill of Ohio.

Image Credit: Aaron Bauer

Best Quaint Towns in Ohio to Spend a Weekend

granville ohio

Ohio is one of the most scenic and historic states. And from the Lake Erie shoreline to the rural countryside of the Appalachian Plateau, the Ohio landscape is dotted with many fun and exciting quaint towns giving visitors a glimpse into a unique cultural past with a sprinkling of modernity.


Put-In-Bay is a beautiful quaint island village on South Bass Island. Despite its tiny population (138), it is a popular tourist destination with thousands of visitors each day. Visitors from around the country visit here to go inside and explore Crystal Cave, the largest geode in the world, the town’s top attraction. Golf carts are the primary mode of transportation here, but renting a bike is also a great way to see the sights. Gorgeous sunset views of Lake Erie are not to be missed.

Yellow Springs

Yellow Springs is a quaint artsy town located in western Ohio’s Greene County. The town’s carefree, laid-back and friendly vibe is reflected in its colorful character. While here visitors can explore eclectic shops, get up close with nature at the Glen Helen Nature Reserve, and let loose at the town’s incredibly popular twice-yearly Yellow Springs Street Fair, where just about anything goes. The nearby John Bryan State Park is also worth a visit.

Tipp City

Located just outside Dayton in Miami County, Tipp City has a lot to see and do, making it one of the best tourist destinations in Ohio. This lively town with beautiful parks and amazing local restaurants was voted “One of the Best Hometowns in Ohio,” by Ohio Magazine. This mid-18th-century town is home to a quaint historical downtown, which is listed in the National Historic Register. Additionally, Tipp City attracts a large number of visitors every year to its popular annual events like the Canal Music Fest and the annual Tipp City Mum Fest.


Granville is a picture-perfect quintessential town established in the 19th century by settlers from Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the middle of Ohio’s rolling hills approximately 30 minutes east of Columbus, the town’s New England charm has made Granville one of the must-see places to visit in Ohio. Visitors are impressed with the town’s unique blend of old historic buildings alongside cafes, boutiques, art galleries and vintage stores as they stroll through the quaint downtown. The historic Buxton Inn has been in operation here since 1812.

“In addition to a thriving economy and outstanding educational opportunities, Ohio is a fun state to explore. And these quaint towns are a wonderful place to spend an enjoyable weekend,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Image Credit: Gone-Walkabout

Meet the 7 Inspiring Performers Inducted into the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the induction of 7 great musical performers in 2017. “Since its opening in 1995, more than 300 performers recognized for their significant achievements and contributions to rock and roll and the music industry have been inducted,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

During its history spanning more than two decades, the museum has attracted over 10 million visitors making it one of the most-visited attractions in Cleveland. The museum injects approximately $107 million into the local economy every year.

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

When founding members Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood came together to form Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) in 1970, they had one mission; to start where the Beatles left off, an amazing feat to accomplish. Since then, ELO has sold over 50 million records around the world and the group still has a growing legacy and unending success today.

Joan Baez

Joan Baez, an American folk singer and musician, has performed publicly for more than half a century. During her golden career, Baez managed to release over 30 albums, mostly conveying the message of social justice and political consciousness. Her unwavering activism has not just provoked most performers but also has inspired them and after all these years she is still taking the audience by storm.


The 5-member legendary rock band Journey enjoyed much of its success in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Neal Schon, an incredible rock guitarist, creatively combined his skills with the soaring vocals of front man, Steve Perry to create the band’s distinct sound. Journey had a number of popular hits including “Don’t Stop Believing”, which has been featured on popular televisions shows including “Glee”, as well as in the season finale of “The Sopranos”.

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers is a legendary music producer, sonic innovator and performer who developed a unique dance-rock sound, which became so popular that nearly every artist in the ‘80s and ‘90s wanted to be associated with his signature sound. Currently, many soul-groove, funk-inspired, and electro-musicians still try to imitate Rodgers’ signature sound.

Pearl Jam

When Pearl Jam released its first album “Ten” in August 1991, they were relatively unknown. However, when “Alive” and “Jeremy” became double hits the band was launched into stardom. More than a quarter century later, Pearl Jam is still one of the world’s popular modern rock bands.

Tupac Shakur

Known for his complex, personal, and fearless personality, Tupac Shakur sold over 75 million records worldwide. His lyrics sparked conversation about race relations, young black men in America, and rap. By the time of his death in 1996 at the age of 25, Tupac had left behind a legacy that went on to inspire many artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.


The Grammy-award winning rock band “YES” is best known for expanding the rock genre both in concert performances and in recorded music sales  and is arguably best known for its hit single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. With their progressive and symphonic rock sound, YES is still one of the most popular classic rock artists and are still touring around the country today.

Image Credit: Chris Capell

7 Family Fun Things to Do in Ohio

African Safari Wildlife Park

African Safari Wildlife Park

Ohio is a fun state to explore with a lot of exciting things to do for the entire family. Explore beautiful natural landscapes, quaint little towns and interesting attractions like thrilling theme parks, wonderful museums and outdoor adventures that are unique to Ohio. “Whether you are venturing out with the family for the day or a weekend trip, there is no shortage of fun and enticing destinations throughout Ohio,” noted Victor Bierman an Ohio lawyer and business expert. To kick-start your adventure, here are seven family fun things to do in Ohio.

1. Kings Island

Located in Mason; Kings Island is one of Ohio’s most popular theme parks. Kings Island features what’s popularly known as, “The Beast” (a wooden roller coaster which offers one of the longest ride times on the planet). There are also many other thrilling roller coasters including, but not limited to; Planet Snoopy, The Banshee and the Firehawk. If your family likes adventure and speed, then Kings Island is the place for you.

2. Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Ohio. It’s also a hiker’s paradise with many amazing trails ranging from relatively easy trails which are appropriate for kids, to more challenging ones which cover steep terrains. Surrounding this magnificent park is Hocking State Forest which is great for rock climbing, horseback riding, rappelling and other exciting outdoor adventures.

3. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the 2nd oldest zoo in the country, and welcomes more than 1.3 million visitors annually. It is home to more than 500 animal species like white lions, polar bears, and manatees, and over 3,000 plant species. The zoo is open all year round except on Christmas day.

4. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Located in the First Energy Powerhouse on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium offers a captivating and family friendly experience with sea creatures from all over the world. This amazing aquarium features over 5,000 exotic creatures ranging from Great Lake Perch, to the more exotic lion fish, sea horses, glow in the dark jellyfish, sea anemones and crustaceans.

5. Amish Country Tour

Amish settlers first arrived in Ohio over 200 years ago and the state is home to the world’s largest Amish population. Spend the day in the city of Berlin in the heart of Amish Country and learn about their day-to-day life without modern conveniences. Taking a tour of the Amish Country is a great way to break from the rather hectic pace of our day to day lives, and enjoy the quite and peaceful way Amish families live. While you’re there you will have ample opportunity to shop for locally made Amish goods.

6. The African Safari Wildlife Park

Located near Port Clinton, the African Safari Wildlife Park is like driving through Africa. You’ll see a 100 acre preserve and enjoy watching and even feeding the wildlife from your car; the animals come right up to you, so you can roll down your window and feed them. Here, you’ll get to see a wide range of wildlife like giraffes, white zebras, alpaca, exotic giant eland (an open savannah antelope), water buffalos, and many more.

7. Winter Fest at Lock 3

Enjoy the winter holidays Ohio style at Winter Fest at Lock 3 in downtown Akron where there are plenty of fun and exciting activities for the entire family. Test your skills with indoor putt-putt golf; attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony, have a blast going down a reindeer run slide, and enjoy the welcome Santa parade, to name a few. Lock 3 also features Ohio’s largest outdoor ice skating rink and is one of the most popular destinations for ice skating in Northeast Ohio.

Image Credit: Becker1999 | Flickr

Tourism is Big Business in Ohio

Ohio tourist attractions

When thinking about tourist destinations, Ohio may not immediately come to mind. But tourism is big business in Ohio and its growing. According to a report released by TourismOhio, Ohio has been seeing a steady rise in the number of visitors in the last five years. In 2015, the state welcomed more than 207 million visitors, a healthy 14.4 percent increase since 2011. This has propelled Ohio tourism into a $42 billion industry.

“The rise in tourism has helped to significantly improve economic conditions throughout the state,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. In fact, tourism-related jobs make up significant numbers in Ohio’s job market. Research shows that there is one tourism-related job for every 13 salaried jobs in Ohio, says Christine Pleva, Lima/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. For instance, in 2014, there were 412,000 tourism related jobs and now, there are 420,000 jobs, based on a survey conducted by TourismOhio.

So what’s driving these impressive tourism numbers? It’s a combination of in-state travelers, corporate meetings and conventions as well as visitors from nearby states. There are also a number of highly rated attractions in Ohio that visitors want to see. The incredibly popular Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland is a top draw. And visitors from around the world come to ride some of the world’s tallest and thrilling roller coasters at Cedar Point.

Ohio also boasts a number of highly rated museums including Cincinnati Museum Center, which is located in a historic 1930s art deco building, and the world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art, which was founded in 1916. Other places like Fountain Square (Cincinnati), Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Stan Hywet Hall and Garden, and Hocking Hills State Park are also contributing to the rise in tourism.

Ohio visitors are big spenders. As an example, the roughly 20 percent of visitors who stay in Ohio on an overnight trip will spend $354 on average during their stay.  Also, a recent TourismOhio survey discovered that over 70 percent of visitors are spending their money on “experiences” rather than on souvenirs.

In 2015, TourismOhio unveiled its new “Ohio. Find it here.” logo and slogan as part of its branding Ohio as a top tourist destination. Approximately, $6 million will be spent in 2016 to increase in-state tourism as well as attract visitors from nearby states.

Image Credit: Craig Lloyd | Flickr