The launch to the Put-in-Bay summer tourism season began Friday at the Jet Express dock in Port Clinton, where public officials spoke about the region’s importance to the tourism industry. From there, the boat line took members of the media to Put-in-Bay to interview islanders and business owners.
Tourism Ohio director Matt MacLaren, Lake Erie Shores & Island president Larry Fletcher and former Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce president Brad Ohlemacher each spoke.
“So many of Ohio’s greatest attractions are right here on Lake Erie’s shores and islands,” MacLaren said. “This region is a major contributor to the $44 billion tourism industry … $2.1 billion of that comes from this area, Lake Erie Shores & Islands.”
After arriving in Put-in-Bay, the village’s chamber of commerce president Peter Huston led a guided tour showcasing the family activities that often get forgotten when people think of the island.
“The people who had positive experiences here in their 20s are now in their 40s with young children and want to come back,” Huston said. “We feel like this a growing demographic and something we want to appeal to here on the island.”
The day included plenty of activities kids are sure to enjoy like Perry’s International Peace Memorial, Perry’s Cave, gem mining, the antique car museum and the largest geode in the world Crystal Cave.
But it also encompassed plenty of things that parents would enjoy like wine and food tastings from some of the spots on the island’s foodie trail like Heineman’s Winery and Mossbacks/Fishbowl.