Summit County's tourism industry is growing.
The latest report on economic impact of tourism in Summit County shows that there was a 5.7% increase in 2011 over 2010.
Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, tells AkronNewsNow that it's not just the high profile events like the Bridgestone Invitational that drive tourism growth.
He says it's also the smaller events all year round.
"A lot of groups of 100, or 500, multiplied numerous times, start to make up the same amounts as some of those larger groups," Mervis tells AkronNewsNow.com. "The important thing is, there's a combination of both."
Tourism, directly or indirectly, brought in nearly $1.8 billion to the Summit County economy last year. Mervis says that the area's hospitality industry and affordability helps drive tourism.
"The graciousness of our people, and the staff of our industry," Mervis points out. "And then, too, there's economics...the affordability to host an event, be it a meeting, conference or trade show, or just to come for a weekend."
He says Summit County's accessibility via the Akron/Canton Airport and numerous highways is also a plus for the region.