Cuyahoga County continues to be a popular destination for travelers.
Destination Cleveland, the marketing and management organization for the county, announced Tuesday that Cuyahoga set a new record for visitors last year.
More than 19.2 million people visited the county for business and leisure travel, a 3.9 percent increase over the previous year and a 29 percent increase since 2011. The previous record was 18.5 million visitors set a year earlier.
Cuyahoga outpaced the national growth rate of 1.9% last year and has surpassed the national average for eight straight years, the organization said.
“Once people come to Cleveland their perceptions continue to change for the better, and there is a greater chance that they would be more open to thinking of Cleveland as a place to live, work or invest," Destination Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert said in a prepared statement. "We need to take advantage of the growing number of travelers to Cuyahoga County and harness the power of the visitor to create long-term investments in the region.”
The organization attributed the growth, in part, to its efforts to market the community.
Destination Cleveland said both day and overnight visits grew, with day visits jumping 2.4 percent and overnight visits increasing by 5.9 percent. The day trips represented 58 percent of the total visitors.
Travel and tourism has a total economic impact of $9.4 billion in the county and supports more than 71,000 jobs, the organization said.