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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
The Ohio Travel Association accomplished many of our goals in 2015, and we would love to share our highlights. Read more...
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!
‘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 ...
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.
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.
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!
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.
It was a joy to interview Eric Hansen who had a lot of insight to offer on the tourism industry and OTA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
If Congress doesn't pass a budget by Oct. 1, nearly $185 million is at risk as tourism is disrupted. The U.S. Travel Association is coordinating a communications strategy to notify federal legislators. Your stories and voice are needed.
Following the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry in all states, Rep. Ron Young is sponsoring a bill concerning the religious freedom of businesses in Ohio. The Ohio Travel Association board asks you to voice your opinion.
The National Environmental Education Foundation is funding "friends" groups and other cooperating associations who work with public lands of all kinds - local, state and federal. Deadline is Oct. 30.
The Spruce Run watershed within Hocking Hills State Park has massive hemlock and oak trees. ODNR recently marked the trees to be logged. Environmental groups worked to temporarily stop the logging, and ODNR is now assessing the area as a High Conservation Area.
Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 will be awarded towards trail creation or maintenance in urban areas and in more remote areas on public lands.
Once again, Michigan voters have overwhelmingly spoken in favor of starting the school year after the Labor Day holiday, according to a statewide survey of 1,075 likely 2016 voters conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications August 8-10, 2015.
A senior majoring in strategic communications, Emily is also pursuing minors in professional writing and economics. After graduation, she hopes to work in corporate communications or public relations.
To help the tourism industry communicate about the impacts of harmful algal blooms, and why immediate solutions are needed, the Ohio Travel Association has created some documents and research.
The state has proposed changes to a multitude of building, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical codes. A summary of these rules is provided for your convenience. These rules for posted for feedback and public comment until 8/28. If your business has any issue with some of these, please forward a copy of your comments to Melinda Huntley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in serving the industry as a member of the Ohio Travel Association board? There is an opening in every region.
The Ohio Travel Industry Emerging Leader Award honors budding tourism leaders with less than 15 years of professional experience in the industry. The 2015 Ohio Travel Industry Emerging Leader Award winner, Ally Bussey of Canton Stark County Ohio CVB, was honored Oct. 17, 2014 in Springfield, Ohio. This year's winner will be recognized Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Hilton Polaris/Columbus during the 2015 Ohio Conference on Tourism.
Join us Nov. 16-18 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris for this statewide gathering of Ohio's tourism industry professionals. It's a not-to-be-missed event full of education, networking, research and fun! Early registration deals end Oct. 2.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 Ruby Awards. This statewide competition honors the creative genius of Ohio's travel and tourism industry.
The Paul Sherlock Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism is the Ohio tourism industry's highest honor, recognizing one individual each year who exemplifies professional, personal and career excellence. Nominate a deserving industry colleague today!
Supporting the Ohio Conference on Tourism Silent Auction is one of the best ways you can invest in our industry and your business. Not only is it a fun-filled event for attendees, but it helps support our shared mission for our industry's voice in legislative issues, provides educational programming and tools to our industry, and brings you resources for growing your business.
Hoping to bring some attention to the space-related sites of Ohio, M. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and M. Stinziano (D-Columbus) introduced HR 28 to request the President and federal officials to establish the Ohio Pathway through Space National Heritage Area and the John H. Glenn Trail.
Introduced by J. Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake), HB 97 requires placement of the National Park Service arrowhead logo on all state highway signs providing directions to units of the National Park Service.
Last fall, the Ohio Travel Association partnered with Ohio State University to explore the professional development and education needs of our industry. Before the report is finalized and distributed, OTA reached out to the industry at regional meetings throughout Ohio.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is now offering grants for Ohio Historical Markers and Ohio Corporate Limit Markers in Erie, Huron, and Seneca counties.
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.