Athens Tourism Tops $130 million

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The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau has just released data showing tourism generated more than $130 million in local sales in 2011.

According to a new report, Athens County's tourism industry contributed more than $17 million in taxes.

The industry also sustained more than 2,100 local jobs in 2011, with earnings of $36 million.

A news release says "The numbers reflect a strengthening in Athens County's tourism economy as the state recovers from the recession."

Comparing numbers from 2007, 2009 and 2011, the report found that across the board, sales, wages and tax values have all returned to, or significantly exceeded, 2007's pre-recession numbers.

The economic impact study was organized by the Ohio Department of Development.