Center Researchers Measure the Economic Impact of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

A new study by UC Economics Center researchers found that the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s economic impact in Hamilton County from fiscal years 2020 to 2023 totals $679.7 million (approximately $169.9 million each year) and that, over the same period, it generated $34 million in tax revenue for local governments and the State of Ohio.

“We’re a world-class Zoo, and that’s why we attract 1.7 million visitors annually,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “Our partnership with Hamilton County is one of the reasons that our relatively small Zoo has been able to achieve greatness, and everyone in the County shares in our success. The new UC report clearly shows that we deliver an astounding return on investment!”

According to the study, the Zoo successfully leveraged the tax levy funding it received from Hamilton County stating that, on average, for every dollar of tax levy funding the Zoo received, it generated $10 in economic benefits within Hamilton County due to the spending of nonlocal visitors.

“The Cincinnati Zoo is foundational to the Cincinnati region’s economic and societal well-being,” said Center Research Director Brad Evans. “In addition to the qualitative benefits it provides, the Zoo also directly and indirectly supports the local economy. During the four-year period that we studied, the Zoo led to or supported the employment of 8,825 individuals, which created, sustained, and supported a total $295.9 million in wages being paid.”

The study found that nonlocal visitors bringing new money into Hamilton County as a result of their trip to the Cincinnati Zoo led to a total output of $275.0 million over the four-year period, or $68.7 million on average annually. And about 58,115 of these nonlocal visitors stayed in a hotel during their trip to Cincinnati.

“The Cincinnati Zoo’s diverse animal collection, family-friendly experiences and industry-leading conservation efforts all contribute to its significant tourism economic impact in the Cincy region. Not only does it attract and delight visitors, it’s a wonderful asset to our residents,” said Julie Calvert, President& CEO of Visit Cincy.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.