About the
Ohio Rail Tourism Association

A recent informal survey of railroad-related attractions in Ohio shows there are approximately 30 such organizations that are visited by an estimated 3,030,000 tourists a year. Using standard rates of measuring tourist dollars spent (admission, gas, food, lodging, gifts, et cetera), these railroad visitors generate $200 million for Ohio's economy. Realizing that this industry was more valuable than perceptions might seem, several of the individual rail attractions discussed forming a mutually supportive organization to promote rail tourism.

Developed with the cooperation and support of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, the Ohio Rail Tourism Association was created in 1999 to bring together rail passenger operators and excursion sponsors, railroad companies, historical societies, related companies, and assemblies of individuals to promote and promulgate the Ohio rail tourism industry through education, information, and cooperation by members of mutually benefiting projects.

The Board of Directors and interested members meet quarterly with the spring meeting being the annual meeting. This is the largest of the meetings with seminars, special events, and the annual banquet and election of trustees and officers. It is at this event that the organization recognizes and honors the recipients of the annual awards.

Membership is open to tourist railroads, excursion operators, depots, railroad historical groups, rail museums, attractions that involve rail displays, rail festivals, any business involved in tourist rail activities (i.e., restaurants, suppliers), and individual supporters. Associate membership is available for $50 per year.

Benefits include a listing on this Web site and links to your site, access to the latest information regarding rail in Ohio, participation in cooperative marketing opportunities, educational opportunities related to rail tourism, and being an advocate for the industry in Ohio.

Download ORTA membership application (PDF)
for Rail Attractions
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