February Message from Mary
2016 was a big year for TourismOhio! We’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished over the past year and attribute our success to the strong support and partnership of our industry leaders and the guidance provided by the TourismOhio Advisory Board. Last week we held our first Advisory Board meeting of 2017 and shared our 2016 Year In Review which you can check out here.
Even though Buckeye Chuck has declared six more weeks of winter, we’re looking ahead and are pleased to share our 2017 Spring/Summer Calendar of Events which you can go here to request. From arts festivals to outdoor concerts, you’ll find information on more than 750 events in Ohio to help you plan unforgettable experiences with those who mean the most to you.
We’ve also just released our 2017 Ohio Travel Guide which celebrates a full year of fun, exploration and adventure. You can take the Ohio Travel Guide and calendar wherever you go by downloading the official app onto your smartphone! Be sure to check it out throughout the year as new features will be added.
Our 2017 Co-op is off to a great start with 114 organizations registered to participate in the Destination Builder Plus program with total investments by participants of approximately $1.2 million (up from 108 partners and investment of $1.1 million in 2016). Investment will be matched by TourismOhio, effectively doubling the spend to $2.4 million to promote Ohio as a destination of choice.
In just a little more than a month as consumers begin to plan their summer getaways, you’ll see us back on the television airwaves with our commercial. The initial flight will be four weeks long, followed by a hiatus of several weeks and then return on air several times throughout the summer and fall -- subsequent flights precede holiday weekends when consumers are especially inclined to travel. In total, TourismOhio plans to be on air 11 weeks during 2017. Look for print, digital and paid social that will complement the television ads and keep us “in the conversation” all year long.
You’ll notice that there’s an opportunity for you to help your lodging partners by sharing information about Operation Safe Stay, a voluntary incentive program for the lodging industry to recognize hotels in Ohio that consistently comply with the Ohio Fire Code and Revised Code sanitary standards.
We are saddened to learn about the passing of a friend and colleague, longtime tourism industry leader Joan Van Offeren. Joan’s career spanned more than three decades in the Lake Erie region where most she recently worked as Community Relations Director at Lake Erie Shores and Islands. Although Joan will be greatly missed, her legacy of leadership through her industry work and civic engagement will live on.
Thanks for all you do to deliver on the visitor experience.
For the Good of Ohio,
Mary L. Cusick