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.

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep Found

Viral Video: Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep Found In Australia, Are There More Out In Ocean?

Viral Video - Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep. The latest discovery off the coast of Australia has given anyone more reasons not to venture into the deep blue sea. Ocean scientists have discovered an “Alien of the Deep.” What exactly is this new discovery and are there many more out there?

California Droughts To Increase With Human-Caused Global Warming, Says Stanford Study

California Drought Climate Change: California Droughts To Increase With Human-Caused Global Warming, Says Study

California Drought Climate Change – Climate change caused by humans will reportedly helped bring about the current bout of California drought, according to a Stanford University study released Monday.

Turkish Airlines jet skids off on runway in Nepal, passengers safe

Jet Skids Off Runway: Watch Passenger, Crew Survive As Turkish Airlines’ Lucky Escape At Nepal Runway

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 jet skids off runway, and everyone on board the plane survived as it landed through dense fog, Wednesday, around 7 a.m. at Nepal's lone international airport. After the jet skids off runway, 40 arriving and 40 departing flights at Kathmandu, Nepal, were forced to cancel because the immobile plane covered almost a section of the runway, according to authorities.

Chile Volcano 2015

Chile Volcano 2015 (VIDEO) Eruption Of Lava Sends Thousands To Evacuate

A Chile volcano erupted early Tuesday, causing a serious threat among local residents and leading them to evacuate the area as lava surged down the volcano’s slopes.

Lisbon

Dream of Summer: Lisbon Getaway

While it is still cold and snow falls, escape the depressing winter by planning your trip to Portugal. As it is a Mediterranean country the temperatures stay milder in winter. And while you may not necessarily think the high 50s is warm the humidity is well over 50%, so the temperature will feel much warmer. Also the sun is out to warm you.

Mood of India

Delhi Rape Victim Blamed For Her Attack, Convicted Rapist Says She Should 'Just Be Silent And Allow The Rape', Internet Outraged, India Bans Interview

Delhi Rape Victim – In a shocking new interview banned across India, one of the rapists convicted in the 2012 New Delhi bus rape case has spoken up. According to Mukesh Singh, the victim is to blame for her rape. His comments have caused outrage across the world, whereas Indian authorities claim the video interview had violated four statutes in their penal code.

Community Responds to LAPD Shooting

LAPD Shooting, Killing Of Homeless Man Caught On Video

The LAPD shooting and killing of a home man in downtown Los Angeles Sunday had reportedly been caught on video. According to authorities Sunday, the LAPD shooting occurred on skid row during a struggle over an officer's weapons.

Tokyo, Japan

Safety First: Some of the World’s Safest Cities

When considering traveling somewhere for any length of time, it is crucial to be aware of the level of safety in the place that you are going to. The Economist has recently come out with the 2015 safe cities index so that people will know where they can and cannot feel safe.

Pakistani Child Being Vaccinated

471 Pakistani Parents Arrested After Refusing To Have Their Kids Vaccinated Against Polio

Pakistani parents were arrested and hundreds of others are being sought by authorities after refusing proper polio vaccination for their kids.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics