February may not be the busiest travel season, but there is no shortage of excitement. It is a time of togetherness as we meet with friends to watch the Super Bowl, or in my case - the commercials! It's also the season of love, where couples seek romantic experiences close to home where they can connect - but more importantly, it is a time of great anticipation. While the mild winter and affordable fuel prices are helping to support travel in the state (new 2015 data will be available soon), the knowledge that spring is right around the corner gets people interested in planning a getaway.
TourismOhio is supporting that anticipation and inspiring travel in Ohio in more ways than one. The 2016 Ohio Travel Guide and Spring/Summer Calendar of Events are truly outstanding editions this year – with stories and images that trigger an emotional response and encourage people to turn their heads and hearts to Ohio and want to learn more. They are available for distribution and to download on your mobile device.
In addition, the Ohio Dream Trip Giveaway through Midwest Living has seen a tremendous response from consumers – which is a testament to the relevant and hip experiences being offered such as a stay and private tour at Gervasi Vineyard, a relaxing spa visit at Inn Walden, and a VIP dining experience at celebrity-chef Michael Symon's restaurant Lola Bistro in Cleveland. The trip was the result of insight around the consumer mindset during this time of year. Midwest Living readers are ready for spring to arrive, and looking for opportunities to relax after the holidays. The strategy paid off, with Ohio receiving the majority of entries to date.
Tamara Brown just returned from New York City where she and industry partners met with national media outlets to share the memorable experiences available in Ohio this spring and summer. Desk-side meetings included Parents magazine, Travel + Leisure, Budget Travel, Food Network Magazine, and more. We have more media missions being planned for 2016 including Washington D.C., as well as some in-state visits allowing tourism partners to promote their experiences in other parts of the state. Remember, 160 million of tourism visits in Ohio are from Ohioans themselves!
It is a pleasure to share the brand guidelines with all of you in the form of TourismOhio's brand book. Thanks to those of you who are already using the new logo in your promotional materials. Please be sure to read the information below and save the brand book. These guidelines will help all of us use Ohio. Find It Here. consistently, and as we do, we will present Ohio with one voice. We are always here to help answer any questions you have on the brand.
Ohio tourism advertising will begin on March 21 with an integrated plan involving TV, radio, digital, and more. I look forward to sharing it with you and greatly appreciate your continuing support and feedback as we work together to grow tourism -
For the Good of Ohio,
Mary L. Cusick