Message from Mary

As our industry moves into fall, I know you are thinking about the business of tourism this past summer and whether or not your efforts and initiatives paid off with better performance.  We are doing the same here at TourismOhio. As we do, it dawned on me that we have been so busy delivering on the mission to “aggressively position Ohio as a relevant travel destination” that we haven’t done a good job of sharing the results of those efforts. Here are just a few of the highlights: 

  • Earned media coverage in the Detroit Press and Washington Post
  • Launch of new consumer and industry websites
  • Record participation in advertising co-ops
  • Tens of thousands of downloads of the 2016 Ohio Travel Guide
  • Unprecedented growth and thousands of social media engagements
  • Increased visibility and lead generation through print mediums – while digital and traditional radio advertising have rounded out the promotional tactics

We will be sharing these performance highlights with you as we continue to aggressively advertise and promote Ohio throughout the fall and winter. Our “ROI” measure is definitely not a “return on ignoring!” Your TourismOhio team has been busier than ever telling Ohio’s story as we transition to new branding and messaging. Look for performance review details beginning in an upcoming Special BuckeyeLine.

Along those lines – you can expect to see 2016 co-op opportunities by mid-October. We have heard from many of you with regard to what we should offer more of and less of for adverting options. You will see much of that feedback integrated into an entire year’s offering, which we will promote with a conference call, as well as in-market “town hall” meetings for in-person consultations.  Thanks to each of you who took the time to share your expectations. Our media services partners at Marcus Thomas especially appreciate the input as they work with us to continue to evolve effective co-op opportunities.

In the spirit of “co-opetition,” I am pleased to tell you TourismOhio will be hosting the closing night dinner for the 2016 American Bus Association (ABA) Conference in January in Louisville in partnership with Cleveland (the 2017 host city for the ABA Conference), Columbus, Cincinnati, and the “Ohio Has IT!” organization.  This is a wonderful opportunity to generate visibility for the entire state since the back-to-back ABA conferences are literally bookends for the Ohio experience. Kudos to leadership and all who are working together on this high-profile event.

Fall in Ohio is literally a breath of fresh air that is as invigorating as the first blush of spring.  In fact, every arrival – a trip or a season – is a starting point, an opportunity to look at the world with a new perspective, apply critical thinking and creativity. It takes a lot of confidence and energy to say “yes” before saying “no”, and a change of seasons brings with it just that kind of optimism.  The Ohio tourism economy is meaningful, vibrant and growing.  It is a privilege for us to have the job of telling Ohio’s story. I am excited about the progress we have made with the branding work and I am looking forward to sharing it later this fall.  It will be key to our messaging going forward and play an important role to consistently and compellingly position Ohio as a destination of choice.

Thank you for all you do to deliver on the authentic travel experiences that make Ohio a relevant travel destination. Congrats on what is sure to be a great 2015 and I look forward to all that 2016 holds –

For the good of Ohio,

Mary L. Cusick

Posted On: September 18, 2015