Since unveiling in Oct. 2010, Instagram became one of the fastest-growing and popular social media platforms, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Within the first five years or so, Instagram remained true to its intended purpose: photo sharing. However, with competition rising, Instagram has unveiled several new features within the last year to combat those of Snapchat, an equally popular platform in competition with Instagram. In the last few months, Instagram has launched several new and exciting functions. All of these functions can help you grow your business, expand your audience and keep up with their technological demands. Here are the new features and what you need to know to navigate them.
Partner. Partner. Partner. We are all familiar with the mantra. Many times, travel businesses partner to bring new and unique experiences to their guests and customers. This doesn’t mean it’s easy. Some partnerships are hard to work out or seem farfetched, but unlikely pairings create more unique experiences. Here are a few suggestions on how to connect with business partners to create new relationships, expanding your market and boosting profits.
The relationship between staff and community partners is important, and the practice of that relationship proves beneficial to the work of an organization. The Cincinnati Art Museum did just that with the employee-based exhibition, “Employed: A Staff Art Exhibition,” where they collaborated with staff, who submitted their own art to be shown in the museum. Whether you are a large business or a small organization, there is almost always a creative opportunity to involve staff or community partners with the work you do. You could even implement a small gallery of employee artwork in your own office to forge even stronger relationships. We spoke with Jill Dunne, Marketing and Communications Director, and Erin Geideman, Design and Marketing Assistant, who also contributed her photography to the exhibition. Both told us about the process of collaborating with employees to produce a unique opportunity, showcased in front of tens of thousands of visitors.
As a part of an industry that is about innovation and creativity, make sure you are bringing that same spirit to your staff and board discussions. Discussions do not always have to be focused in boardrooms or over long tables in a more traditional sense. For many, meetings are a great place to mix both professional presentations and discussions with something fun and engaging. Whether it is using a whiteboard to start conversations in an open format, taking your staff to a park or inverting an issue, think about using a few of these techniques to get a more productive outcome in your discussions.
Nancy Willhoite, Director of Business Development for BB Riverboats, is a group tour professional and often attends shows that help grow business. Hear from Nancy who discusses how to sell an experience at a group tradeshow, leading to higher business for years to come. Read more...
With an ever-growing and expanding travel industry, constantly changing trends dominate the majority of the interactions between the traveler and the provider. With an anticipated “boom year,” group travel will continue to grow in 2017 and into the future.
As humans evolve, so does technology. We replaced buggies for trains, trains for cars, and cars for planes. It’s hard to go anywhere without interacting with some sort of technological service. Grocery stores have automated checkout, and hotels have automated check-in. Artificial intelligence may be closer than previously thought. According to the Deloitte Center for Industry Insights’ Annual 2017 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook report, “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are reaching a new level of maturity.” Technology and travel are, and have been, forever intertwined, and as travel grows, so does the technological advancements that propel travel. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the border between tech and travel.
Please join us in welcoming our newest intern, Christian Cholcher. A senior at The Ohio State University, Christian is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in English, with a focus in Creative Writing and a minor in Professional Writing. With his love for both fiction and poetry writing, Christian hopes to use his creative skills in the professional world. After graduation in May 2017, Christian hopes to pursue a career in magazine writing, novel writing or publishing.
It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past, yet set our eyes on the future. As OTA is led by the industry, your feedback and involvement is what helps keep us focused on what is important to you and your business. Here’s a quick 2016 wrap-up touching a few of our many accomplishments and activities. To name a few, we kept you up-to-speed on industry trends and happenings with 90 unique stories delivered to your inbox, helped you save money through two new cost-savings programs, advocated on your behalf, graduated 24 OTLA students, awarded 43 awards to organizations and industry members, brought you four cutting-edge education sessions, created $1.4 million in business at Heartland Travel Showcase and much, much more. Discover the progress we made in 2016 as we continue the momentum for 2017.
The Ohio Travel Association sends a warm welcome to the 2017 members of the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy. Upon completing the six-month program, classmates will graduate at the Ohio Conference on Travel in late-fall, joining more than 130 existing alumni who have gone on to serve on state and national boards, lead tourism development efforts throughout the state, hold public offices and represent the interests of the tourism industry in their community, regions, state and nation.
Heartland Travel Showcase is a group tour tradeshow, produced by the Ohio Travel Association, focused on the Heartland region of the United States. In its 32nd year, Heartland Travel Showcase (HTS) provides the opportunity for tour operators from across the country to meet via scheduled appointments with exhibitors from 12 states. This year, the showcase will take place in Pigeon Forge, TN from March 3-5. Learn more about the show, why it is important for the industry and ways to benefit from attending.
Reviewing results of the 2016 Ohio. Find it Here. brand launch and previewing plans for 2017 topped the agenda of the TourismOhio Advisory Board meeting yesterday. Also discussed was progress toward strategic goals.
The travel industry is typically one of the first industries to take advantage of new technology to enhance visitors’ experience. The Toledo Museum of Art launches a new multisensory app on Dec. 27, during the Great Art Escape, an annual indoor Block Party. This new app takes visitors on a treasure hunt to find clues and solve a mystery all while interacting with the museum’s artwork. The app also features poetry inspired by works of art in the Toledo Museum of Art collection, a multimedia guide for the upcoming exhibition Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, as well as accessibility features to meet the needs of all visitors. This app will be used as a platform for different programs and experiences at the museum. Get the inside look at how this project was developed and staged to provide a unique experience for museum guests. Hear from Maria Iafelice, Docent Program Manager and TMAPP project manager at the Toledo Museum of Art, on leveraging new technology to enhance an experience.
During the recent presidential campaigns, OTA was one of the organizations US Travel called upon to establish relationships with both presidential candidates. We met with leaders in Trump and Clinton campaigns, as well as leadership in some senatorial races. Following Election Day, US Travel reached to us again to build upon these contacts with the Trump transition team. This week, Crain's Cleveland Business published an article written by our executive director, Melinda Huntley.
The Ohio Travel Association board of directors and staff take our work seriously and your input even more seriously. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about OTA programming, events, resources and opportunities offered this past year through the 2016 OTA Membership Survey. As OTA plans for 2017, your insight is used to guide the organization in the New Year.
Through partnership, a small idea snowballs into a new product. For the Butler County Visitors Bureau, a unique idea turned into a tasty trail full of donuts, not to mention sales. In a continued OTA series, we explore how bakeries and a local CVB came together to bring visitors a unique experience. More than 4,600 people have completed the trail since it launched in 2016. Approximately 50% of those completing the trail live outside of Butler County, and 26% of these out-of-towners were visiting Butler County for the first time. Hear from Tracy Kocher, Director of Marketing for Butler County Visitors Bureau, on how to make collaboration thrive.
Through collaboration, partnership and creativity, the Cincinnati Museum Center staff produced a new 15,000-square-foot attraction within the museum. With more than 500 artifacts from the Swedish History Museum and a 122-foot-long ship, Cincinnati Museum Center has brought the world of the Vikings alive with Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibit. The exhibit features the Roskilde 6 ship, the only artifact from the National Museum of Denmark and the first-ever appearance in the United States. Hear from Ann Hobing and Dave Duszynski, with Cincinnati Museum Center, as you get the behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce an incredible attraction.
Meet the Ohio Travel Association's new member, Homestead Furniture & The Gardens!
If you're looking to boost group travel sales, act quickly to reserve your spot at the Heartland Travel Showcase, Mar. 3-5 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Don't forget; OTA members get a discounted rate. Learn more about the business opportunities available to you.
Looking to build strong tourism partners in your community? Do you want to boost your employees’ knowledge and involvement with tourism, leadership and networking? Consider creating a scholarship to send employees and area partners through the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy.
This year at the Ohio Conference on Travel, approximately 600 travel industry members met in the Hilton Columbus at Easton hotel in Columbus, Ohio to discuss travel trends and opportunities, as well as to hear from national experts. The conference, sponsored by the Ohio Travel Association and the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, was held Oct. 26-28.
Engage with colleagues, and join the conversation at conference where more than 500 industry members will convene to learn, network and be inspired. On Twitter? Follow the hashtag #OCOT16 and @OhioTravel for live tweets of the entire Ohio Conference on Travel. Prefer Facebook? Follow the Ohio Travel Association on Facebook here. Use these four ideas to engage with us and the industry.
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced the creation of the Institute for Hospitality Leadership and is working with the Ohio Travel Association as a partner. The Institute will work with schools, colleges and hospitality businesses to create a curriculum to prepare more skilled workers and leaders for the continued expansion of the travel and hospitality sector.
Debra Jasper, Ph.D, Founder and CEO of Mindset Digital, is an international keynote speaker passionate about creating and delivering highly visual, engaging presentations and stories. Before starting Mindset Digital, Jasper spent seven years directing the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University, where she launched the first social media fellowship for journalists in the nation, showing reporters from CNN, 60 Minutes, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other top newsrooms how to take advantage of the latest channels. Get a sneak peek of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for conference.
Please welcome the Ohio Travel Association's new member, Culbertson Brand Group, LLC. This company works with CVBs and tourism entities across the state through consultation and marketing strategies. Learn more about this company through a quick interview.
John Lambeth, founder and president of Civitas Advisors, specializes in developing unique funding strategies for tourism and travel promotion. He has spent 20-plus years working with destination marking organizations and state travel offices. He has assisted with the formation and renewal of 125-plus improvement districts, including 83 tourism districts. John will be covering the topic, “Tourism Improvement Districts: A Stable Funding Source for Travel Priorities” at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel. Get a sneak peek of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for conference.
Jonathan Grella, Executive Vice President of the U.S. Travel Association, heads the communications, government relations, research, grassroots and the political action committee (PAC) of U.S. Travel’s renowned advocacy program. Jonathan will be covering the topic, “Transforming Travel – Travel Trends and Forecasts” at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel. Get a sneak peek of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for conference.
Mary Cusick, Director of TourismOhio, leads the state’s efforts to market Ohio as a destination of choice. She has spearheaded the creation of the first-ever strategic plan for tourism in Ohio, drove the process for building a new TourismOhio website and worked with industry stakeholders and partners to develop a compelling, distinctive brand for Ohio. Mary will be covering the topic, “Who’s Who and What’s What? An Overview of Ohio’s Visitors’ Study” at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel. Get a sneak peak of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel.
The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) market is growing. This community has received a large amount of attention within the travel industry because LGBT individuals travel one and a half more times than travelers outside of this demographic. If you are avoiding marketing acknowledgement to the LGBT community, then you are missing out on opportunities and jeopardizing your business’s hospitality image. Ensure that your business is adopting best practices and the proper training to be welcoming and hospitable to all people. Learn about this growing market and what it means to be LGBT-friendly.
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to grow your advertising budget for FREE! As an Ohio travel destination or attraction, you can take advantage of a great opportunity to request up to $25,000 in state-matching funds to promote your business in 2017 by participating in TourismOhio’s Co-Op Advertising Program. For every dollar you invest in the co-op, TourismOhio will match dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000!
Have you recently assessed how you can improve your business’s online presence to better connect with today’s travelers? Technology is always changing. In a study conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), travelers consistently indicated that the internet is their number one source when it comes to travel planning. So what can you do to take advantage of this trend?
The TourismOhio Advisory Board met yesterday, Sept. 8. This 9-member board advises the Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and the Director of TourismOhio on strategies for promoting Ohio travel. Advisory Board members attending the meeting included Dan Sullivan (HNS Sports Group), Dan Young (Young’s Jersey Dairy), Lee Alexakos (Cedar Fair) and William Kilimnik (The Golden Lamb).
On Sept. 7, the Ohio Travel Association hosted a Back to School Workshop to engage industry members in the student and youth travel market. Last year, the student travel industry accounted for 24 percent of the world’s travelers. Attendees learned this and more while also developing their own itineraries with regional partners at the workshop.
Please join us in welcoming our new intern, Shana Meyer. Shana is a senior at The Ohio State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication and a minor in Professional Writing. She has always had a passion for traveling and exploring and is incredibly excited to merge this passion with her professional goals. Upon graduation in May 2017, Shana hopes to work in the field of hospitality event planning.
Jacquie Chakirelis, Senior Strategic Partner of Advance Ohio, works with the nation’s top media companies that have a proven track in digital marketing and online audiences. With a background in sales, marketing and digital marketing strategies, Jacquie will be covering the topic, “How to Leverage Digital Interactions to Harness Data to Grow Revenue and ROI” at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel. Get a sneak peak of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel
Technology trends constantly change, opening up new opportunities for the travel industry. PokémonGo, an augmented reality experience, happened overnight, allowing for increased revenue for businesses that leveraged the opportunity. Learn about six key advancements that are beginning to gain momentum including, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robots and drones based upon a PWC Global report.
Melissa Luebbe, National Director of Meredith Travel Marketing, and former member of the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, is an industry leader in content marketing. With a background in research and understanding how travelers make purchasing decisions, she will be discussing the results of a survey of nearly 13,000 female travelers at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel. Melissa will be speaking on the topic, “Redefining the Female Traveler, with Generational Insights.” Get a sneak peak of the topic below, and make sure that you are registered for the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel.
Nature-based tourism has become a huge component of the travel industry. On Aug. 3, OTA members and partners learned about the many ways they can work together with Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) staff by visiting the Resources Park at the Ohio State Fair. Attendees even discussed new ways that they can partner, while also learning about the experiences and opportunities available to their businesses.
Tourism is big business in Ohio, generating $42 billion for our economy. In the past, TourismOhio has offered county destination marketing organizations (such as cvbs) the opportunity to purchase countywide or regional reports, showing more local impact. One Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy group explored who purchases these surveys and how the information is used.
Is it the responsibility of the travel industry to help protect historic attractions, or is this something sites should do on their own? According to one Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) group, the answer is simple. We are one industry with one voice. Sectors must work together in order to advance as one. This group explored ways the industry can help to preserve and promote historic attractions by recalling specific examples of collaboration and unison.
The TourismOhio Advisory Board met yesterday at the offices of Cult Marketing. Appointed by the governor, advisory board members provide important industry feedback and insights to TourismOhio and the Development Services Agency.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve either heard about the Pokemon craze or witnessed some of your guests glued to their mobile phones more than usual. Launched just a week ago, Pokemon Go has already surpassed Twitter in the number of daily users and has already doubled the level of Snapchat engagement. Like it or not, this virtual reality scavenger hunt is having an impact on the travel industry.
Some of the leading Lake Erie researchers gathered last weekend at Lakeside thanks to U.S. Senator Rob Portman. Portman hosted an environmental roundtable to update the public on what’s being done to protect the waters. It was appropriate for the discussion to be held on the lawn of Hotel Lakeside, as the reason for having these discussions were right in front of us - the lake’s sparkling waters where kids paddle boarded through the waves.
Collaboration. Partnership. Working together is what we do in the travel industry. We leverage resources, increase knowledge and create richer guest experiences when we work with others. How can we look at collaboration strategically? We can collaborate based on place – working with others in our state, city or community. Or, we can collaborate across industry sectors. In a new OTA series, we’re going to examine strategic collaboration. We’ll start by dissecting ways the history sector of the industry can partner with the breweries sector.
With 312 miles of coastline and more than 9,900 square miles of fresh water, Lake Erie attracts boaters, birders, anglers, recreationists and home-owners. They are drawn to the lake as a resource and place of recreation. In recent years, the lake has experienced increased harmful algal blooms. One Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) group looked at current research and unique ways to mitigate pollutants, not just in Lake Erie but throughout the state. By reducing dissolved phosphorus, one of the culprits of algal bloom development, using prairie grasses and wildflower buffer strips, improvements can be made to the waters’ health, thus leading to better tourism and recreation opportunities.
Ohio's heritage is rich, steeped in inspiring stories and authentic places around every bend. To connect those who manage some of these amazing stories with the travel industry, the Ohio Travel Association worked with some of our state's heritage sites at the Ohio History Connection Annual Meeting last week. Thinking about how we create and market authentic Ohio products, we came up with the reminder to PAUSE and to think about Ohio's exceptional experiences.
With a decline in traditional travel website usage, a demand for user-generated content and the rising importance of reputation management, one OTLA group focused on developing a creative design for a mobile app. This app could be used to build relationships among partners by forging reviews across social media platforms all in one easy-to-use app. Using TripAdvisor as a case study, the group even went as far as to provide engaging photos of the potential app as well as pricing information.
Interested in serving the industry as a member of the Ohio Travel Association (OTA) board? Nominations are due Aug. 2 to be on the slate for consideration at the OTA Annual Meeting (Oct. 27) during the Ohio Conference on Travel.
With Lake Erie at one end and the Ohio River at the other, Ohio is a boater’s dream. In fact, the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail was just designated by the U.S. Department of Interior as a National Water Trail, a distinction given to only 21 other trails in the country. But as one Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) group discovered, we can do more to ensure a positive outdoor recreation experience along Ohio’s waterways.
Do you know what works best with video advertising, what marketing techniques other businesses are using globally or how much time is spent on each social media app on average? Learn this and more in a “2016 Internet Trends Report” released by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). The report summarizes important data in reference to global internet trends, advertising and communication. We’ve summarized a few of the key findings to strengthen your brand and understand current trends.
The final Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) session for 2016 was held this week. A highlight of the year, the final session includes group project presentations. Early on, classmates formed small groups and selected travel-related issues, and began researching and developing solutions. Each group presented their ideas in front of peers and colleagues this week. We’ll highlight each project in eClips over the next six weeks. This week, we’re talking about “Meeting Expectations in Nature-Based Tourism,” a project introduced by Chad Duplain with OTA, Tammy Terry with ODNR and Kelsey Wagner with Great Lakes Publishing.
Barbara Wold, CEO of Barbara Wold International, is known internationally for her exceptional speeches and topics related to the tourism and hospitality industry, specifically retail and consumer markets. With a background in retail experience and sales management, she is known for giving engaging, personal talks that connect to the audience. Barbara will be speaking on the topic, “Moving Tourists from Mere Satisfaction to Real Advocacy” at the upcoming Ohio Conference on Travel. Here’s a sneak peak of the subject she will be covering.
As one of the largest historic site systems in the country, Ohio History Connection is a valuable component of the travel and tourism industry. The organization oversees more than 50 historic sites and museums across 40 counties. In a recent interview with Brian Cheek, Marketing Manager at the Ohio History Connection, the relationship between the Ohio History Connection and the Ohio travel industry was further expounded. Learn what programs and resources are available to your business, and discover the impactful work the Ohio History Connection does for the industry.
The RUBY Awards are one of the highest honors Ohio travel industry businesses receive. Every year, the Ohio Travel Association hand-selects expert judges from across the country to review applicants in 16 unique marketing categories. Awards are given depending on marketing budget size, making the process competitive, yet fair. With the application process now open until Aug. 31, here are three reasons why receiving awards are good for your business.
Meetings Mean Business is a newly-launched national coalition showcasing the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. Its new website features links to meetings research, infographics, talking points and other useful tools for communicating the importance of in-person gatherings to your business and community.
Ohio Travel Association (OTA) membership has many benefits, but did you know that the OTA provides the opportunity to save a considerable amount of money through our strategic partnership with CareWorksComp?
Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s most important natural resources with birders, boaters, anglers, recreationists, home-owners and more all enjoying more than 9,900 square miles of fresh water. The most recent research by Tourism Economics showed that coastal county tourism contributed $12.9 billion in visitor spending and 119,591 jobs in 2014. In recent years, increased amounts of nutrients entering the water has created heightened algal blooms. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) most recent forecast predict milder algal blooms this summer. Read more…
Every year, the RUBY Awards honor those who found the most innovative ways to market their destinations, experiences or services. At the annual Ohio Conference on Travel, the Ohio Travel Association recognizes and rewards outstanding performance in the diverse field of travel and tourism marketing and advertising. Here are some tips for ensuring that your entry stands a better chance of winning one of the biggest honors in the travel industry.
The new Heartland Travel Showcase website, heartlandtravelshowcase.com, is now live. Heartland Travel Showcase brings big business to Ohio’s group tour sector of the industry and gives participants the chance to generate business. With quick and versatile access to online registration, you can now register quicker than ever for a show that brought around $1.4 million in business to attendees in 2016 on the showcase floor. Simplified site navigation and a fresh look give you easy-to-use functions that complement the show’s excitement for 2017.
Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform, and just this week they announced new features to the app including a vibrant logo and white theme that makes images pop. Unlike Facebook, Instagram allows you to post photos without “paying to play”. Although Facebook and Twitter are still great platforms, Instagram allows you to tap a new audience and grow your business in an ever-changing tourism industry.
TourismOhio just released new data showing continued growth in the travel and tourism industry. In 2015, traveler spending supported approximately 420,000 jobs, an 8,000 increase from last year. Total visitor spending amounts to approximately $42 billion, a boost from 2014.
Ohio Has IT!, the industry-led and membership-based group tour marketing partnership hosts its annual meeting Friday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting is open to current Ohio Has IT! members as well as those seeking more information about the marketing initiative.
"The more reviews you have, the higher you are ranked." This was just one of many TripAdvisor tips discussed when approximately 100 industry partners met across the state during Ohio Travel Association workshops last week. In Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, TripAdvisor representatives shared travel data, tips on managing reviews, advice on soliciting more reviews from your customer and more. Learn more.
Although the celebrations around National Travel and Tourism Week wind down soon, travel leaders across the state used this week to engage, educate and talk about the travel economy. Find out how some industry members celebrated here.
Two important bills are on their way to the governor's office. Both provide support for Ohio's $40 billion travel industry. An agritourism bill contains several elements that will make it easier for a farmer to have a farm market, offer hay rides, vint and sell wines, and other agritourism activities, while the capital budget bill includes money for parks, museums, historic sites, zoos and more.
A clean and healthy environment improves the traveler experience, and news stories about environmental issues pollute potential travelers' perceptions. These are among the top reasons why the travel industry should care about the environment. The Ohio Travel Association learned more about how to communicate the importance of a healthy Great Lakes during a recent workshop hosted by Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.
The leisure travel market is booming. In a 2016 study conducted by Destination Analytics, results show that 34% of Americans plan to increase their leisure travel spending in the next 12 months. The report highlights important trends that will lead the industry into an even stronger foothold throughout the next year.
On April 18, TourismOhio gathered at the statehouse with travel industry leaders. Progress on TourismOhio's strategic plan, Plan2Win, was shared.
National Tourism Week is May 1-6. To help you celebrate, our friends at U.S. Travel Association have created a resourceful website with tons of great information and statistics about the importance of travel for the upcoming week.
Museums, parks and attractions across the state may soon receive assistance for renovations and improvements. The $2.6 billion Ohio Capital Bill was introduced into the Senate Finance Committee this week. The bill is expected to be fast-tracked for passage by the end of the month.
Targeting millennials is hot. Travel businesses and ad agencies are often so razor-focused on this market, that a massive market with huge promise is overlooked. Retirees have the time and money to travel, and they are looking for places to visit.
Industry partners who have embraced the shift from marketing and selling tourism “products” to “experiences,” based on consumer travel trends, have seen a return on their investment. Experiential tourism development continues to be one of the key trends in the industry. Savvy representatives who are currently providing VIP or VIG (Very Important Guest) offerings, personalized experiences, strategic amenities and innovations based on their knowledge and understanding of their customer base are realizing nearly immediate gains in visitation, favorable reviews and revenue generation.
It is not enough to just post on social media; you have to measure your engagement too. Travel experts are constantly telling you that you need to become familiar with social media, and I am sure that many of you have invested a lot of time into your accounts. One thing that is crucial for the success of your business is your ability to measure the effectiveness of social media so you can appropriately adapt your marketing plan.
Today is April Fool’s Day—a day focused on deception. Let’s clear the air on a day filled with cloudy falsities. OTA has debunked the most common misperceptions our industry faces. In this article, you’ll find the tools you need to educate people about our most common myths.
On April 12, Facebook launches Instant Articles, giving you the opportunity to market your business in a brand-new fashion. Instant Articles will allow you to master the art of storytelling through a customized visual display that can be viewed instantaneously within the Facebook app.
Change is inevitable. But if you are on top of consumer demands, you can manage change as a competitive advantage. Group travel experts continue to remind us that to prepare for new generations, tour operators and travel suppliers must change the way they sell and create group experiences.
On Tuesday, March 15, the Ohio Travel Association gathered partner association leaders representing multiple sectors of the travel industry to learn more about the new TourismOhio brand and to preview creative. "It was important to us and to TourismOhio that these leaders had the information to share with their industry partners," said Melinda Huntley, OTA executive director. Mary Cusick, TourismOhio chief, shared research behind the campaign, as well as the new television advertisement that will air beginning Monday, March 21.
As we comb our closets for shades of green and make plans for St. Patrick's Day, the Ohio Travel Association used this opportunity to reach out to some travel industry folks. Read why some of our industry colleagues feel “lucky” to be a part of the industry and what “gold is at the end of the rainbow” for travel.
Mark your calendars for a TripAdvisor workshop heading to Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati in late April. With 375 million travelers using TripAdvisor reviews to plan their trips, Ohio businesses need to better understand how to manage their online reputation and leverage their positive reviews.
Ohio Statehood Day, hosted on March 1, was a day filled with engaging discussions, honorable awards and impressive grants that provided the framework for discussing Ohio’s rich history. More than 250 attendees joined forces to strengthen Ohio through legislative advocacy enhancing the state’s heritage assets and knowledge. Conversations centered on boosting economic development, enhancing quality of life and recognizing Ohio’s internationally significant history while boosting heritage tourism. Join us as we discuss a few of the highlights throughout the day.
May 1-7 is National Travel and Tourism Week, #NTTW16. To help the industry mark the occasion, our friends at the U.S. Travel Association just released a toolkit of communications tools to ensure travel is part of the discussion amidst the 2016 election season. We’ve added some stats of our own to help you tailor your messages for Ohio.
TourismOhio Advisory Board members met Feb. 25 at the Vern Riffe Building in Columbus. Several updates were shared, including information on media buys, the co-op program, a new URL (ohio.org) and a new online format for reading the Ohio Travel Guide.
This year's Heartland Travel Showcase generated business for tour operators, exhibitors and the host city. With 48 percent responding to the post-showcase survey, Heartland attendees shared impacts this showcase has on their group travel market.
The Ohio Travel Association board applauds TourismOhio for its work on Ohio's new tourism brand. Learn more about the brand concept, tools that are currently available for your use, opportunities to hear more from TourismOhio on the brand, and our thoughts.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy. This 6-month exploration of Ohio and national tourism issues and opportunities introduces you to today's decision makers. Sessions are held once a month and focus on tourism's relationship and influence on economic development, arts and the humanities, legislative advocacy and tourism policy, media and communications, historic preservation and heritage, and outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation.
OTA welcomes Chad Duplain as Communications Manager. We are excited to bring his expertise in content development and visual communications to OTA and to the industry.
The Ohio Travel Association and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources collaborated on regional meetings in late 2013 to discuss opportunities and challenges for promoting and developing nature tourism experiences. This report shares these findings, as well as recent studies.
Members of the newly appointed TourismOhio Advisory Board convened for the first time on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 from 1-3:00 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center in Columbus.