09/23/2016

Interview with Mary Cusick, Director of TourismOhio and Speaker at the Ohio Conference on Travel

Learn More on this Topic at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Travel

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.


09/23/2016

The LGBT Market: Best Practices and Trends

Learn About the Diversity and Opportunities Available within the LGBT Market

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.


09/15/2016

Double Your Advertising Budget for FREE

Register Today to Learn About the 2017 TourismOhio Co-Op

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!


09/15/2016

Beauty is in the Eye of the Internet User

Tips for Boosting Your Business Via the Ever-changing Internet

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?


09/09/2016

TourismOhio Advisory Board Gets Campaign Updates and Hears Future Plans

Holiday Campaign to Kick Off

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).


09/09/2016

Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) and Panelists Educate Ohio Businesses on the Student and Youth Travel Market

Ohio Travel Association Workshop Helps Businesses Grow their Product

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.


09/01/2016

Meet OTA’s New Communications Intern, Shana Meyer

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.


09/01/2016

Interview with Jacquie Chakirelis, Senior Digital Media Expert and Speaker at the Ohio Conference on Travel

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


08/18/2016

Travel Technology Trends to be Closely Monitored

Six Key Advancements That Could Change Marketing

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.


08/09/2016

Interview with Melissa Luebbe, National Travel Director and Speaker at the Ohio Conference on Travel

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.


08/04/2016

Industry Members Learn About ODNR's Resources

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.


07/27/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Tourism’s Economic Impact on Ohio Counties

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.


07/21/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Examining the Role of Tourism in Historic Preservation

Partnering with Historical Sites

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.


07/15/2016

TourismOhio Advisory Meeting Held July 15

Marketing and PR Updates, Plans for the Future Discussed

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.


07/14/2016

New Pokémon GO Encourages Travel

How to Add Stops, Report Unsafe Stops and Leverage Business

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.


07/14/2016

Sen. Portman Gathers Lake Erie Experts and Industry

Actions to Protect the Lake Outlined

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.


07/07/2016

Collaboration: History, Breweries and Partnership

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.


07/07/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Healthy Water = Healthy Tourism

Reducing Dissolved Phosphorus, Using Prairie Grasses and Wildflower Buffer Strips

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.


06/27/2016

Ohio Heritage and Cultural Travelers Stay Longer and Spend More

Tips for Creating Exceptional Experiences, Marketing the Heritage Experience, and Connecting to Ohio's Travel Industry

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.


06/21/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Reputation Management

Helping Members Build Reputation & CVBs Build Relationships

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.


06/15/2016

Apply Now for the 2016-2017 Ohio Travel Association Board

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.


06/15/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Ohio Rivers Lack of Access = Lack of Recreation

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.


06/15/2016

Keep Up with the Times, and Learn About 2016 Internet Trends

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.


06/09/2016

OTLA Group Project Highlight: Meeting Expectations in Nature-Based Tourism

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.


06/09/2016

Interview with Barbara Wold, Customer Experience Expert and Speaker at the Ohio Conference on Travel

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.


06/02/2016

Q & A: Ohio History Connection’s Engagement with the Travel Industry

Historic Preservation and the Travel Industry

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.


06/02/2016

Three Reasons Why Receiving an Award is Good for Business

Apply Now for the 2016 RUBY Awards

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.


06/02/2016

Meetings Mean Business, and a New Website Helps You Spread that Word

Facts, Talking Points, Infographics and other Tools Demonstrate the Value of Business Travel

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.


05/27/2016

OTA Helps Members with Substantial BWC Savings, Education and Service

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?


05/26/2016

Lake Erie Algal Blooms Projected to be Milder than Last Year

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…


05/19/2016

Tips on Submitting a Winning RUBY Award Entry

The Inside Scoop from a Judge’s Perspective

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.


05/19/2016

Newly Launched Heartland Travel Showcase Website Boasts Online Registration for Group Tour Sector of Industry

Website Users Find Valuable Resources at heartlandtravelshowcase.com

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.


05/12/2016

Instagram Best Practices Tailored to the Tourism Industry

Quick and Easy Methods to Launch and Grow Your Instagram Account

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.


05/12/2016

Ohio Tourism Momentum Continued in 2015 with $42 Billion in Visitor Spending

New Economic Impact Information Released

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.


05/12/2016

Ohio Has IT! Group Tour Marketing Meeting May 27th

Ohio's Industry-led Group Tour Marketing Partnership Invites all to Attend

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.


05/06/2016

TripAdvisor Shares Tips on Leveraging and Managing Online Reputations

Ohio Travel Association Workshops Help Ohio Businesses Succeed Online

"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.


05/06/2016

Ohio Travel Industry Celebrates National Tourism Week

Product Launches, Special Events and Opportunities to Share the Travel Economy Story Highlight the Festivities

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.


05/04/2016

Agritourism and Capital Bills Head to the Governor's Office

Another House Bill Proposes Tax Exemption of Digital Advertising Purchases

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.


04/29/2016

New Public Opinion Poll Released about Great Lakes Importance

Talking Points Shaped to Support Restoration and Protection

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.


04/29/2016

Recent Travel Research Shows Promising Outlook for 2016 Leisure Market

Increased intent to travel and low gas prices among the signals

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.


04/21/2016

TourismOhio Provides Updates and Seeks Input

Summit Held April 18

On April 18, TourismOhio gathered at the statehouse with travel industry leaders. Progress on TourismOhio's strategic plan, Plan2Win, was shared.


04/21/2016

National Tourism Week Resources for Your Business

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.


04/15/2016

Ohio Museums, Attractions and Parks May Soon Receive Assistance

Ohio's Proposed Capital Bill Released this 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.


04/15/2016

Retiree Travel: the Market that the Travel Industry Forgot

With the Time and Money to Travel, Boomers are Looking for Places to Go

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.


04/14/2016

Growing Visitation by Enhancing Your Customer Experience

Stories Worth Sharing from Ohio Industry Partners

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.


04/07/2016

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness for Small Businesses

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.


03/31/2016

Three Misperceptions about the Travel Industry Debunked

Setting the Facts Straight about the Importance of Ohio's Travel Economy

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.


03/31/2016

Facebook Instant Articles Leverage Rich Storytelling Opportunity

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.


03/24/2016

Industry Leaders Share Insights on Group Travel

Where Millennials Fit, the Growing Volunteerism Group Market, and More

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.


03/18/2016

Travel Industry Leaders Learn More about TourismOhio Brand

Ohio. Find it Here. Launches Television Ads Monday

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.


03/11/2016

Industry Colleagues Share their "Luck" Just in Time for St. Patrick's Day

Hear their Thoughts on the Travel Industry

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.


03/11/2016

Save the Date! TripAdvisor Workshop Coming to City Near you in Late April

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.


03/03/2016

Spread the Importance About Heritage in Ohio

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.


03/01/2016

Support Travel during National Travel & Tourism Week

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.


02/25/2016

TourismOhio Advisory Board Met Feb. 25

Media Plan Kicks Off in March

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.


02/25/2016

Heartland Travel Showcase Generates Sales for Attendees and Host City

Relationships Developed at Heartland Led to $9.7 Million in Sales over the last Three Years

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.


02/18/2016

9 Ways to Follow up with Your Appointments

Group travel show season is winding down, with many shows in the books. Now what do you do? How do you make the most of the connections and sales opportunities you made at these shows, including Heartland Travel Showcase? In an effort to help you maximize your experience, we’ve compiled 9 helpful follow-up tips to convert conversations to bookings.


02/16/2016

The New Ohio Brand Guidelines

TourismOhio just shared their new brand guidelines. If you are interested in promoting the new state brand, please use these best practices and guidelines.


02/11/2016

Partner Highlight: Explore Licking County

We would like to take the time to thank one of our incredible dinner sponsors who helped to support our 2015 Conference on Tourism. As part of Explore Licking County’s rebranding process, they have changed the messaging they share with potential travelers. Here is just a sample of this enticing new strategy.


02/11/2016

What do you Love about the Travel Industry? Hear from a Few of Your Colleagues!

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it is great to reflect on all of the things we love! So, OTA decided to ask a few of our industry members: “What do you love about the travel industry?”


02/11/2016

Heartland Travel Showcase Wrap-Up

Last weekend, the Heartland Travel Showcase hosted both tour operators and exhibitors for its 31st year. More than 500 tourism industry members met to strike deals within the group tour industry, all while having a great time and exploring the beautiful city of Grand Rapids, Michigan!


01/29/2016

How to Hook the Leisure Traveler

The leisure market represents approximately 78% of all travelers. Aside from representing a large segment in the marketplace, leisure travelers also have money to spend. The direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers in the U.S. totaled $644.9 billion in 2014. Learn what interests and tools leisure visitors use to book trips.


01/29/2016

Check out 15 Reasons to Renew Your Membership Today

As the New Year gains momentum, ensure that this is the year that you grow your business by again engaging in Ohio’s $40 billion tourism industry. The benefits of membership in OTA are many, but we’ve chosen the 15 that our members tend to value the most. Learn more about how the Ohio Travel Association can benefit your organization by renewing your membership today. The process is easy, and the investment is priceless. Simply contact Karen Eylon, at keylon@ohiotravel.org, for more information.


01/22/2016

The Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy Launches for its 8th Year!

Members of the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy, otherwise known as OTLA, met in Columbus this week to discuss tourism’s contributions to the economy. This program aims to teach members about opportunities and challenges of Ohio’s travel industry.


01/22/2016

Mutigenerational Travel: Why it Matters and What Impact it Could Have on Your Business

Multigenerational travel is an increasingly popular form of travel where entire families travel together as a unit, sharing both their experience and developing strong bonds. This growing trend can have a large impact on travel destinations and businesses, particularly those who now target a singular demographic. Multiple generations in a single travel group can greatly influence choice of destinations, accommodations, dining and attractions these groups visit, as they aim for activities and events that interest folks across generations.


01/22/2016

Register Now for Ohio Statehood Day

Travelers seek authentic experiences. Ensuring that our communities preserve and protect their stories and heritage is one way we can be competitive. Consider taking part in the Ohio Statehood Day on March 1 to support our partners in historic preservation.


01/22/2016

Register for the Toledo OTA and OHLA Regional Meeting to Learn about Ohio’s New Tourism Brand

There is not much time left, so please register for the OTA and OH&LA regional meeting next Tuesday in Toledo. TourismOhio Chief Mary Cusick will be introducing Ohio’s new tourism and travel brand, an opportunity you will not want to miss.


01/14/2016

The AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO is Almost Here

This year’s AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO, headlined by Travel Channel’s very own Samantha Brown, is one of AAA’s premier events nationally and is important to the travel industry in Ohio. From Jan. 22-24, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, guests will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with top travel experts and will also have exclusive access to information and discounts. This EXPO is a must-see for those to attend, as it includes presentations, entertainment and fun activities for those who attend. Hear from Debbie Sproul, Executive Vice President of AAA Ohio, who discusses reasons why guests should attend.


01/14/2016

Spread the Word, and Support Tax Checkoff Programs in Ohio

Several critical Ohio programs, that have a direct influence on tourism, are in jeopardy of expiring. As tax season approaches, many organizations rely heavily on donations from tax checkoff programs. Through a tax checkoff program, taxpayers can designate where they want part of their money to be allocated, allowing for the support of programs like the Ohio History Fund or Natural Areas Program. These tax checkoff programs have seen a dramatic decrease in donations, and since programs need to reach a cap amount in order to be funded, these programs need our support. With contributions across the state, a substantial difference can be made in communities throughout Ohio which are foundational to the travel industry. Support our local communities this tax season, and learn how to promote the programs you care about.


01/14/2016

Meet OTA’s New Communications Intern, Sean Mekinda

The Ohio Travel Association welcomes Sean Mekinda to the OTA team as its new communications intern. Sean is currently a senior at The Ohio State University, and brings with him a fresh perspective and knowledge of communications. Sean will be focusing on a number of various writing projects for OTA.


01/07/2016

Check out These Tips on How to Build an Effective, Informed Profile Sheet

Second to face-to-face interaction, profile sheets are one of the most effective tools to reach those planning group travel. Use them to follow-up to visits or leads generated through your trade show and advertising marketing efforts. These easy-to-read reference sheets provide a snapshot of group experiences and your business offers. Tour operators use them to get excited about planning new tours, as well as to expand existing tours. The Ohio Travel Association, through Heartland Travel Showcase, is offering a special deal to get your profile sheets in front of the tour operators attending the 2016 Heartland Travel Showcase in Grand Rapids, MI. If you are interested in getting your profile sheet in front of tour operators currently planning trips to the Midwest, please contact Janet Johnson at 614-572-1931 ext. 2, or email her at jjohnson@ohiotravel.org.


01/07/2016

Introducing the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy Class of 2016!

The Ohio Travel Association is proud to announce the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy Class of 2016 members. These 26 professionals begin their tourism journey on Jan. 20 and represent the largest class in the program’s history. They’ll delve into tourism’s role in outdoor recreation and resource conversation, heritage and preservation, arts and humanities, and economic development at all levels. Plus, they’ll study media and communications opportunities and challenges and will visit the Ohio Statehouse to hear from lawmakers about how best to present issues. The Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy builds leaders by building knowledge, developing leadership skills, strengthening networks and informing participants about the responsibilities of boardmanship.


12/16/2015

The Ohio Travel Association's 2015 Highlights

The Ohio Travel Association accomplished many of our goals in 2015, and we would love to share our highlights. Read more...


12/16/2015

Heartland Travel Showcase: Check out These Q&A Tips

The Heartland Travel Showcase is a group tour tradeshow focused on the Heartland region of the United States. In its 31st year, Heartland Travel Showcase (HTS) provides the opportunity for tour operators from across the United States to meet via scheduled appointments with more than 250 exhibitors from 12 states. Discover how you can optimize your time at the Heartland Travel Showcase, and register today!


12/16/2015

Tracking Travel Trends Help in Decision Making

TripAdvisor Releases TripBarometer Report

‘tis the season . . . when year-end reports and travel forecasts start appearing to help us understand the travel economy. One of the most important of these studies is TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer. They surveyed 34,026 travelers, 90% who were planning trips in the U.S. next year. Read more ...


12/10/2015

Group Travel Study Shows Growth and Predicts Even Higher Growth in 2016

Register Today for Heartland Travel Showcase

Nine out of 10 tour operators surveyed by the U.S. Tour Operators Association anticipate growth in 2016 with more than half predicting growth of 7- to 10-percent. Learn more about group travel forecasts, as well as how to get your share of this market.


12/03/2015

The New Ohio Brand Concept. What You Need to Know

"Ohio. Find it Here" Brand Concept is Adaptable, Unique, Inspiring and Tested

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.


12/03/2015

Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy Accepting 2016 Applicants

Join Your Industry Colleagues for this Intensive Exploration of Ohio Tourism

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.


12/02/2015

Ohio Conference on Tourism: It's a Wrap!

This year, approximately 500 tourism industry members attended events at the Ohio Conference on Tourism held Nov. 16-18 at the Hilton Polaris/Columbus. Attendees heard from nationally-recognized speakers on a plethora of topics, including tourism trends and opportunities. At the Ohio Tourism & Hospitality Industry Gala on Monday night, Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker inspired all attending and TourismOhio announced the new Ohio tourism brand!


11/12/2015

The 2015 Ohio Conference on Tourism: Join the Conversation

Engage with colleagues and join the conversation at the 2015 Ohio Conference on Tourism where more than 500 industry members will convene to learn, network, and be inspired by the momentum of the travel industry. This year’s conference marks the largest industry gathering of its kind in Ohio, as the Ohio Travel Association partners with the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association for a Monday night gala celebrating the Ohio tourism industry.


11/11/2015

Meet OTA's Incoming President

Eric Hansen to be Installed Nov. 18

It was a joy to interview Eric Hansen who had a lot of insight to offer on the tourism industry and OTA.


11/05/2015

New! Bid on a Research Study Discount During the Silent Auction

Get a Discount on a Conversion and ROI Study

If a research study is part of your strategy for 2016, pay attention here! During the Ohio Conference on Tourism’s silent auction on Nov. 16, you could bid on a gift certificate to buy a research study through North Star Destination Strategies. North Star helps clients understand the depth of their target community, competition, and consumers. This information has proven to be crucial in understanding consumer perceptions, visitor spending, advertising area hotspots, and many other components of this industry. Interested attendees are encouraged to bid on a $5,000 discount off a study. The amount bid will be deducted from a full research package. This item can be invoiced. Click here to read details.


10/30/2015

OTA Members Respond to Proposed Bill Exempting Businesses to Serve Same-Sex Marriage Couples

Members-Only Overview of Findings

In response to an Ohio bill exempting businesses from participating in same-sex ceremonies, Ohio Travel Association sought industry member input. Seventy-five percent (75%) are opposed to the legislation.


10/30/2015

Meet OTA's Communications Manager, Chad Duplain

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.


10/23/2015

Tourism and Great Lakes Issues Discussed in DC this Week

OTA, Cedar Fair and the Ohio Environmental Council Team Up to Express Concern and Request Action

Making the connection on why a healthy environment is important to the travel economy was the mission this week when Ohio Travel Association joined Cedar Fair and the Ohio Environmental Council in Washington D.C. Meetings were held with Rep. Bob Latta, Rep. Bob Gibbs, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Joyce Beatty and Rep. David Joyce, as well as key staffers in the offices of Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. Jim Renacci, and Rep. Jim Jordan.


10/16/2015

Yesterday's OTA Workshop with TripAdvisor and Viator was Full of Information and Ideas

The stunning Granville Inn was the site for an OTA workshop on reputation management. OTA brought in officials from both TripAdvisor and Viator (which is offering new online ticket purchasing.) Learn a bit of what we discussed and learned by reading this summary. OTA is working with both companies to bring additional training and resources to Ohio because of the importance of online reviews and to keep Ohio at the cutting edge.


10/09/2015

Legal Efforts to Protect Integrity of Lodging Tax Successful

OTA, OACVB and OH&LA Collaborated to Stop Illegal Lodging Tax

This week, the Court of Common Pleas of Lorain County, Ohio issued a decision in favor of the travel industry and Ohio visitors, declaring that a three percent tax enacted by Avon in 2014 conflicts with the Ohio Revised Code and is illegal. The City of Avon had adopted an ordinance enacting an additional lodging tax over and above the amount it was statutorily permitted to impose. OTA joined its partners at the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association (OH&LA) and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (OACVB) on legal action to protect the integrity of lodging tax, as well as to protect our guests. OH&LA perhaps said it best in a recent announcement, when it spoke of OTA, OH&LA and OACVB continuing to “fight for travelers and for our industry.”


10/09/2015

Business Owners Discuss Impact of Algae Blooms

OTA Emphasizes the Need for a Solution, as this is not just a Tourism Issue

Lake Erie business owners outlined the costs of harmful algal blooms this summer at a press conference held Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center in Port Clinton. The event was sponsored by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, whose members appear to have been impacted the most as the bloom changed fishing patterns and may have kept customers away.


10/02/2015

TourismOhio Provides Updates, Future Plans and New Research

Advisory Board Meeting Held Sept. 29

TourismOhio held its Advisory Board meeting at Young's Jersey Dairy on Sept. 29. The agenda included a review and updates of promotional activity, DiscoverOhio.com, public relations, 2016 plans and more.


10/01/2015

Karen Eylon Joins the OTA Team as Partnership Development Manager

OTA Welcomes this Experienced Professional to Manage Membership and Heartland Tour Operators

Karen Eylon has joined the OTA team as partnership development manager. Eylon brings more than 25 years of experience in destination marketing and management, development, communications, event operations, and sales to her new role with the Ohio Travel Association. She will be managing membership and Heartland Travel Showcase tour operator relationships, as well as contributing greatly to the association's strategy.


10/01/2015

Five Lessons We Learned at “Budgets Are More Than Just Numbers. They’re About Ideas!”

A Summary of Some of the Items Discussed at OTA's Focus on Tourism Workshop this Week

With coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, we sat down at our tables at 10 a.m. this past Wednesday, ready to learn how to break free from budgets. Our group of experienced panelists turned the workshop into an exciting, open dialogue about taking chances, generating creativity, and creating wonderful experiences without being held back by numbers.


08/19/2014

Opportunities for Leveraging Ohio's Great Outdoors

New Report Shares Findings of Recent Studies and Conversations with Ohio's Tourism Businesses

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.


08/07/2014

Ohio Travel Industry Gets Up Close and Personal with Outdoor Recreation Resources

OTA and ODNR Team Up for Tourism Day at the Ohio State Fair


03/04/2014

Statehood Day: Ohio’s Past and Ohio’s Future

3/4/14 (Columbus)-Representatives of Ohio's historical sites and business community (including several from the tourism industry) gathered at the Ohio Statehouse on Feb. 27 for the 2014 Statehood Day hosted by the Ohio Historical Society, Heritage Ohio, and Preservation Ohio. Statehood Day is an opportunity for attendees to meet with legislators on important history related topics. The 2014 event emphasized the... Read More>>


03/04/2014

Proposed Regulations Target Ohio's $220 Million Recreational Hunting Industry, 550,000 Hunters

3/4/14 (Columbus) -Over half million Ohio hunters may be impacted by recently proposed changes to ODNR regulations, including increased permit fees, county-by-county bag limits, and relaxed rifle restrictions. The Division of Wildlife just held a series of public meetings to gather comments about the new regulations. Added cost may be a factor for some hunters during the 2014-15 season if new rules take effect, particularly a planned increase to Read More>>

 

 

 

 


07/17/2013

Supporting the Efforts of the Office of TourismOhio

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.


05/21/2013

Government Shutdown


05/21/2013

Travel Information Center Brochure Distribution


03/27/2013

Register for the Back to School Workshop