Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Ohio Eliminates Highway Travel Centers Despite Tourism Benefits

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Jan 29, 2013 10:10 AM EST

Text Size: A A A

Welcome to Ohio
A sign posted on Interstate 70 warns drivers of animals loose in the area around Zanesville, Ohio (Photo : Reuters)

Planning a trip to the great state of Ohio?

Need some tourist information?

Well, don't try looking for those "always ready to help out" folks at the Highway Information Center.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is doing away with them, in the process eliminating 34 jobs staffing 11 travel centers up-and-down the Ohio interstates and one in the Statehouse Capitol.

In another cost-cutting measure the ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner, according to cleveland.com, states that "travelers with smart phones and other web devices can call up information they need on lodging, restaurants and local attractions" as the cover-up reason for the cut.

Share This Story

Even though, upon further investigation, it is revealed that the cutting of these positions will save the state $2.1 million.

Tourism expert Bill Geist, of Sun Prairie, Wisc. seems to think the move is very "shortsighted," saying, "the personal touch  is critical to a successful tourism strategy."

In a good move, the ODOT isn't firing the staffers, merely "re- positioning" them into other open vacancies.

Cleaveland.com reports "the cuts are the latest in a substantial paring of ODOT's workforce, which has shrunk by 500 jobs to 4,700 since Gov. John Kasich took office."

What happened to good-old, face-to-face interaction?

Not everyone spends their days and night with eyes glued to a screen, right?.

Travel-center worker, Katie Gomert, who helps distribute thousands of brochures that visitors gladly take to go over different destinations to see, while in "The Greatest State in the Nation" likes to think not.

"It is slow in the winter, but I'll interact with 40 to 50 people an hour during the busy-season of summer," she said to cleveland.com.

She feels that the tourism sector will struggle without people like her around to aid the tourists.

"It's a big loss, in my opinion. It's a shame because we recommend a lot to do in Ohio," she said.

Adding, "I can't believe the state is doing this. Despite the advances in mobile technology, research out of Iowa confirms that consumers that stop at welcome centers extend their trips and spend more money. While I certainly understand that resources are tight for (Ohio), failing to invest in attracting and serving visitors willing to spend money in Ohio is no way to solve the budget crisis at hand."

It is a sad story, but Gomert and other travel-center workers are just victims of the government's latest attempt at saving money.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Travel Expert Stefanie Michaels aka 'Adventure Girl' Reveals Her Favorite Fourth of July Destinations
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Mickey Pool

Disney Cruises 2015: From Transatlantic Sails To Caribbean Cruises

The magic of Disney isn’t only stationary in its theme parks scattered over the globe. In fact, Disney offers a number of destinations for the Disney Cruises 2015. From Caribbean cruises to sails in the Transatlantic, here are all the destinations offered by Disney Cruises 2015.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Suchomimus Swimming

First Swimming Dinosaur Found: 50 Feet Spinosaurus Fossil Unearthed in Morocco

First swimming dinosaur found- A new horde of fossils have been unearthed from the Sahara revealing that the largest known predator to walk the earth was also an excellent swimmer.

Behind The Scenes At The Invictus Games

Camilla Thurlow And Prince Harry: Another Royal Couple In The Making, Possible Marriage?

Camilla Thurlow and Prince Harry are becoming the next couple watched by many. Will the couple become the next official royal couple stepping into marriage? Fans could only hope. Meanwhile, Camilla Thurlow recently expressed her disappointment for Prince Harry’s 30th birthday party being called off.

Two Vietnam Vets Honored: American Soldiers Awarded with Medal of Honor Decades after Gallantry

Two Vietnam Vets Honored: American Soldiers Awarded with Medal of Honor Decades after Gallantry

Two Vietnam vets honored - President Barack Obama reportedly bestowed the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military honor, on Monday, to a pair -one living and one who died in battle - of soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.

manchineel - hippomane manchinella fruit - 1-2

Manchineel Tree Florida: One Of The World's Most Dangerous Tree

Mother Nature may be the source for every human need however there are a few elements in it that are dangerous to the lives of humans. Out of the ten most dangerous plants in the world, there is one tree that humans don’t need to touch to feel its effects. This is none other than the Manchineel Tree Florida.

In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space.

Solar Flares Today 2014: 'Extreme' Solar Flare Hit Earth, Aurora Borealis Friday? How Is The Earth Affected?

Solar flares today 2014 appear to be growing stronger. According to multiple reports, one of the solar flares today 2014 that erupted from the sun toward Earth are the X-Class kind, which is known to be extreme and the most dangerous kind. The flare hit the Earth yesterday and another one will be hitting the planet today, which could reportedly cause an Aurora Borealis phenomenon.

Lake Tahoe, NV, Sand Harbor (2) 9-2010

Lake Tahoe Earthquake Today: Magnitude-3.5 Earthquake Rattles Near Tahoe Vista, Calif.

Lake Tahoe earthquake today rattled near Tahoe Vista, Calif. and fortunately, it wasn’t strong to have produced injuries to residents of the area. According to multiple reports the, the Lake Tahoe earthquake today was of a magnitude 3.5.

Italy, Campania, Napoli district, Capri, Faraglioni, Seascape with rocks

Isola La Gaiola: The Cursed Island In Italy

Italy is filled with beautiful tourist spots such as the impressive structures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. While some of the tourist spots in Italy are open to the public, there is one island that despite its’ beauty is said to be cursed. Isola La Gaiola found in the province of Naples is allegedly cursed.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics