Travel director addresses harmful algal blooms’ impact on Lake Erie tourism
There are algal blooms and then there are algal blooms. Just ask Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association.
The difference among blooms can lead to the loss of millions of dollars in northern Ohio, Ms. Huntley told members of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments at the organization’s January 28 general assembly.
“Not all algae blooms are harmful,” she said, but the impact those words have on businesses that rely on Lake Erie for tourism can be tremendous, leading to trip cancellations, shorter stays, decreased sales and safety concerns.
A 2017 study of the economic impact of tourism conducted by Oxford Economics revealed that for the eight Lake Erie-bordering counties in Ohio, tourism related spending was $15.1 billion.
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