The Ross Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau kicked off National Tourism Week with its inaugural Tourism Celebration, Monday. Guest speaker Melinda Huntley, Executive Director of the Ohio Travel Association, said tourism is a "powerhouse" industry.


"It creates not only revenues for local businesses, but, if we follow the tourism dollar and the traveler dollars that flow through the economy, you start to see the true impact," said Huntley. "It's not just hotels that benefit, it's not just the main attractions, but it's all of their suppliers as well." 


She added that tourism is a $36-billion industry in the state of Ohio and the one of the fastest growing sectors in the nation. 


Also during the event at the ChristopherConferenceCenter, six individuals were honored for their contributions to local tourism:


  • Volunteer of the Year: June Gregg, of the Fall Festival of Leaves
  • Jacki Merritt: Behind the Scenes Associate
  • Elsa Hudon, of Holiday Inn Express: Front Line Associates
  • Andrea Digges, of Hampton Inn and Suites: Director/Inn Keeper of the Year
  • Dan Ramey and Mike Smith, of WBEX’s “Dan & Mike in the Morning”: Grand Pineapple Award


(Pictured above: award nominees and recipients/Photo credit: Gene Betts)

(Pictured above: Melody Young, Dan Ramey, and Eric Woodworth/Photo credit: Gene Betts)