CLEVELAND — In an effort to promote tourism across the state, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made three tour stops across the state on Wednesday, including one in Cleveland.
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DeWine's tour on Ohio Tourism Day began at 10:30 a.m. in Findlay, where he visited Dietsch Brothers chocolate and ice cream shop. At 1 p.m., he then visited the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo.
At 4 p.m., DeWine made his third and final stop in Cleveland, where he saw the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. His stop in Northeast Ohio also included a press conference, occurred inside of Kirtland Hall.
"We're just excited about this coming summer," DeWine said, noting how businesses are starting to pick up as more people get vaccinated for COVID-19. "Whatever you want to see is certainly very, very much in Ohio."
You can watch the governor's remarks in the player below:
Joining DeWine on the tour were his wife Fran and Ohio's Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik. The director also spoke Wednesday from the museum about a $4 million regional campaign to help promote the state's many attractions.
"It's really the first time since the pandemic that Ohio is marketing outside of the state, and the timing at this point really couldn't be any better," Mihalik said. "Research is telling us that 88% of American travelers at this time are planning trips in the very next six months." (Other studies put the number closer to 66%)
As a part of the tour, DeWine also promoted the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, as he has been doing at each of his weekly press briefings in recent months. As of Wednesday, more than 40% of Ohio's population has received at least its first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, although demand has tapered off in recent weeks.
"It really is our ticket back," DeWine said, while also noting more than 75% of residents over 65 have gotten at least one dose. "If you want to have a great summer, the way you have a great summer is [to] not have to worry about it."
Forty-eight percent of Americans say the COVID vaccine will have an impact on their travel plans. DeWine had also allocated $50 million in his state budget proposal to boost tourism, but Ohio House Republicans removed it.