- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials say Ohio saw more tourism visits last year than ever before.

Statistics released Thursday by TourismOhio show the state saw about 200 million visits in 2014. That’s a state record and an increase of 5 million from 2013.

About 38 million of 2014’s trips involved overnight stays. Officials say overnight visitors spend about three times more on average than those on day trips.

The uptick in visits led to $31 billion in direct visitor spending last year. That’s a $1 billion increase from 2013.

Officials say tourism-related jobs are also on the rise in the state. Tourism supported 412,000 jobs in 2014, an increase of 7,000 from 2013.

Director of TourismOhio Mary Cusick says that by increasing marketing outreach, tourism officials have told Ohio’s story to more people.

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