Thousands of new guides hit market so tourists can experience best of Springfield

Economic impact of travel to Clark County hit $460 million, according to recent study.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Local travel and tourism experts have released a new version of a travel guide, one designed to attract even more people to Clark County to build on the $460 million annual economic impact tourism generated in 2021.

The new Greater Springfield Travel Guide is a smaller-format magazine with more of a “Field Notes” feel, according to Chris Schutte, the vice president of destination marketing and communications for the Greater Springfield Partnership.

“It contains everything a visitor would need to plan a trip including attractions, dining, recreation, and lodging listings. But the book is also the perfect size to carry while a visitor is ‘in market,’ “ he said.

It includes improved map listings in the guide that feature breakouts for both downtown and public art, Schutte said.

Our 2023 Greater Springfield Travel Guide will be in wide distribution througout the State of Ohio soon. Here's a digital preview!

Posted by Visit Greater Springfield on Monday, April 24, 2023

He said 20,000 copies will be printed and distributed in local travel information centers, including Young’s Jersey Dairy, the Clark County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, hotels and attractions. It also will be shared statewide via interstate travel information centers and hotel information racks.

The print edition is not dead, bucking a myth, Schutte said.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth with this particular publication,” he said. “While we offer a very user-friendly website and other digital vehicles promoting our community, demand for our print guide is at its highest mark ever. There is still something to be said for a tangible piece that denotes the overall quality of your destination.”

The digital version is shared in newsletters and social media, and QR codes point to the digital edition, Schutte said.

The travel guide includes what Schutte called influencer itineraries to help visitors plan their Greater Springfield road trip, including themes such as Foodie Weekend, Girls Trip, Family Fun, Outdoors Weekend and Arts Focus.

“These guided itineraries allow you to experience the best of Springfield in a short weekend getaway,” he said.

Traditional tourism guide materials — dining, lodging and attractions — are included.

The new guide no longer features a glossy photo cover used for several years, but rather an illustrative look that Schutte said is unique in the marketplace.

“The perfect binding and soft touch cover also make the book stand out among our competitive set,” he said.

In August last year, the Convention and Visitors Bureau released results from an economic impact study that was conducted by the group Tourism Economics in partnership with TourismOhio.

It said Clark County visitors generated about $460.3 million in local economic impact during 2021 as tourism drivers bounced back after the coronavirus pandemic.

That includes hotel stays, restaurant and retail activity as well as recreational entertainment, transportation, the price of fuel and other expenditures associated with travel and tourism.

The study by Tourism Economics said tourism provides nearly 4,500 local jobs and sustains 7.5% of private employment.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau has received more than 100 awards in the past 10 years for statewide and national marketing excellence. The Travel Guide, which remains the flagship marketing piece, has been awarded 20-plus awards, Schutte said.

“These awards are especially significant,” he said, noting they are judged against peers, attractions, museums, amusement parks and other travel entities.