Do you ever consider how lucky you are to live in a community like Columbus, Ohio? At times, I believe we are all guilty of living in a city and thinking, “It’s just my home town; nothing is really exciting here. If I lived in XYZ city, think of all I could experience.” I think that residents of all areas are guilty of not realizing the value of all the opportunities in our own backyards.
For a new outlook on your community, look at the city through the eyes of a visitor! Start with your local Convention & Visitors Bureau website, such as ExperienceColumbus.com or VisitGahanna.com There you’ll find great information about area attractions, restaurants, lodging and shopping.
Visitors spend an estimated $5.7 billion in Central Ohio every year, impacting the local economy to the tune of $8.7 billion! Tourism also supports 71,000 jobs—and not just jobs directly related to the industry. The ripple effect supports businesses that supply linens, food, print pieces, maintenance, window cleaning, gas stations, etc.
On an average day in Columbus, hotel and motel rooms are occupied by more than 20,000 people—and those people have at least two encounters with locals. That means, we have more than 40,000 opportunities to make a difference in a visitor’s day! Are these visitors going to walk away with a positive impression of us? Maybe, or maybe not.
You can provide those visitors with a positive encounter and help create a memorable experience for them, just by being aware of area events, attractions and restaurants. YOU can influence whether those visitors return to your city and what they tell their friends and colleagues about Columbus, Ohio! If you enhance the visitor experience, it builds a positive destination image that increases the economic impact of the tourism dollars spent here.
Interested in learning more about the great city of Columbus, Ohio? Become a Certified Tourism Ambassador. This national certification is a respected professional achievement. The program, offered locally through Experience Columbus and developed by the Experience Institute of Durham, N.C., boasts over 10,000 CTA’s nationwide, and 1500+ in the Columbus area.
What’s in it for you? You will build a lifetime of skills, bolster your resume, build networking skills, and have the opportunity to visit/volunteer for such events as the Arnold Sports Festival, the Asian Festival, the Columbus 10K and the Columbus Arts Festival.
Becoming a CTA is about community pride and capitalizing on the quality of life in your community. I invite you to join the next Certified Tourism Ambassador Program—offered 8 am-1 pm, Friday, February 27 at Gahanna Municipal Golf Course Clubhouse ( 220 Ridenour Rd. Gahanna OH). Register NOW: http://bit.ly/1vhsv9J and gain a new sense of pride in your community and in Columbus, Ohio.
~Post by Susan Peters, Business & Events Manager with the Gahanna Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau