Cincinnati Celebrates Strongest Convention Year in a Decade

Despite the lingering economic downturn, Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrated its sixth straight year of growth — and its strongest convention booking results in more than a decade — in 2010, the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau announced last month at its 2011 Annual Meeting.

According to the CVB, future hotel room bookings totaled 200,317 in 2010 — up 14 percent since 2007 — while the economic impact of conventions reached a six-year high of nearly $60 million, up 33 percent since 2005.

"Successfully winning and hosting conventions of all sizes takes more than just a strong CVB," said Cincinnati USA CVB President and CEO Dan Lincoln. "It takes more than just a dynamic urban infrastructure. More than just a great menu of visitor-friendly attractions. More than just a vibrant network of engaged government and business leaders working to best position the destination for success. It takes all of those elements, and in Cincinnati USA, that's exactly what we have. We've built a team in this community of interconnected people from across our social, civic and business circles, working together to raise our profile and drive new visitors and new dollars to the region."

So far, 2011 is on track to be just as strong as 2010 was. This year, the CVB said, the city will host more than 150 conventions. What's more, Cincinnati is pacing at 115 percent of its target for future hotel room night bookings from 2011 through 2017; according to the CVB, that means it can expect significant increases in meeting and convention business in those years.

One meeting contributing to those increases will be the National Urban League Annual Conference in 2014. Announced last month, it's expected to generate more than 7,000 hotel room nights and an economic impact of more than $2 million.

"Like the NAACP and National Baptist conventions before it, when the National Urban League conference comes to Cincinnati, the eyes of the country will be on this region," said Mayor Mark Mallory. "Influential government leaders, business leaders and civil rights advocates will be here, engaging in important dialogue. It's an extraordinary opportunity for Cincinnati, one that solidifies our stature as a top-tier Midwest destination."