The Ohio Travel Association and the United States Travel Association hosted a listening session with Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) on Aug. 6. In addition to hearing about key issues for Ohio’s tourism industry, the Congressman toured the Rutherford B. Hayes home and the presidential museum. Christie Weininger, executive director at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, provided a fascinating tour filled with stories of the former president’s family and political life.
A new National Park Service reports shows that the 2.4 million visitors to Ohio's national parks in 2013 spent $149 million and supported 2,300 jobs in the state. The report also states that the 16-day government shut-down of parks in 2013 accounted for a decline in parks' visitation and consumer spending.
The Ohio League of Conservation Voters presents the The Ohio Conservation Forum to hear how the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio works we have asked a former chair Todd Snitchler to meet, to hear from him about the PUCO, and to hold a rare question and answer session. If you have questions how the PUCO does what it does or about issues including energy efficiency and energy sources in Ohio this would be an important meeting for you to attend. The cost is free. Event location: Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District Address: 1404 Goodale Blvd #100, Columbus, OH 43212 Friday, June 27th 1:00pm to 2:30pm The Ohio League of Conservation Voters presents the Ohio Conservation Forum on Friday, June 27 at 1 p.m. Former Chair Todd Snitchler will talk about how PUCO works and field your questions.
To better understand the training and education needs of the tourism workforce, the Ohio Travel Association is working with the Ohio State University on a workforce development assessment. What skills are most important for our jobs? Where are the opportunities to build the expertise and talents of our workforce? What skills do front-line workers need, and how do they prefer to be trained?
The Ohio tourism industry took a big step forward last week. For the first time, a joint caucus met focused on Ohio tourism. Led by Representative Cheryl Grossman and Senator Randy Gardner, the May 7 caucus meeting was attended by more than 13 state representatives and senators, as well as legislative staff members, state agency officials, and state association representatives. A joint caucus is a gathering of elected officials from both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate who are supportive and interested in particular issues.
Bringing the elected officials up to speed on the economic importance of tourism ...
The TourismOhio Advisory Board met May 7. After hearing an update on the statewide economic impact study for tourism in Ohio, the board learned that county reports will be released soon. TourismOhio Chief Mary Cusick then discussed her plan for moving forward in the next year, beginning with a strategic planning session for industry leaders to help define the direction of the TourismOhio Office.
She said the planning will kick-off in June, and her goal ...
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer and Ohio Senate President Keith Faber today announced in western Ohio that the state will invest more than $88.5 million in capital improvements at Ohio State Parks over the next two years. “This unprecedented investment will allow our facilities to match the impressive natural beauty that defines Ohio State Parks,” said Zehringer. “Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly have shown their unequivocal support for strengthening our infrastructure and modernizing our facilities. Ultimately, this money belongs to the taxpayers
COLUMBUS, OH – As cabin fever gives way to long-awaited sunshine and warm temperatures, water temperatures are still very cold. Lake Erie’s water temperature is around 40 degrees, and water temperatures in Ohio’s inland lakes and rivers are also cold. In 40-degree water, even the best swimmers will experience complete exhaustion in 15 minutes. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) reminds everyone to wear a life jacket when boating. Wearing a life jacket can buy precious time and save lives.
A breakdown of all projects that will receive funding under the $4.2 billion Capital Projects Budget, including county-by-county and project summaries.
Owners and directors of small tourism-related organizations across Ohio very often fall into the trap of believing their business is not large enough or does not have the resources to require the development of written job descriptions for every employee or position.
I hear from OTA members regularly that they and their employees wear many hats. We are so busy, just the thought of writing a description of the specific tasks an employee performs seems overwhelming and time-consuming. In reality, choosing to rely on verbal communication to define job requirements leads to confusion, frustration, and could cost your organization time through inefficiency.
So, what is a job description?You’ve certainly heard the phrase, but let’s define it. A job description is a plain-language tool that describes the tasks, duties, functions and responsibilities of a position...
Tourism officials in Erie and Ottawa counties know that visitors to Lake Erie’s Shores and Islands don’t pay attention to which county they are recreating in. They realized travelers just want to play on the beach, visit the attractions and enjoy good meals.
"The consumer doesn’t know where the county line is and doesn’t care,” said Joan Van Offeren, executive director of the east bureau of Lake Erie Shores & Islands.
In recognition of how arbitrary the county line was to visitors planning trips to the area, the two county convention and visitors’ bureaus decided in 2007 to join forces. Today, a new entity, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, works to promote the region that includes such major destinations as Cedar Point, Sandusky’s indoor water parks, Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay.
The united effort benefits all parties, added Larry Fletcher, executive director of the west bureau of Lake Erie Shores & Islands. Visitors only have to connect with one entity when planning...
Emerging leaders from across Ohio met on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Vern Riffe Center for the first Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy of 2014. The class discussed tourism economics and the role of the Office of TourismOhio in marketing the state as a tourism destination. Class members broke into groups at the second OTLA meeting on Feb. 11 to begin working on a group project to benefit the industry.. The assignment encourages class members to explore an issue or opportunity in the industry, develop possible solutions, and present their concept. The assignment is a great way to learn how to manage an industry-based project and drive it forward with the help of colleagues and peers.
Recognizing the importance of Lake Erie to the overall economy, including the $11.5 billion in tourism dollars generated annually in Ohio by visitors to the counties bordering the lake, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and The U.S Geological Survey continue to study preventative methods to keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes.
Because the Asian carp is able to out-compete native species of fish such as perch, bass and walleye, the impact on the commercial and recreational fishing industries could be catastrophic, with serious impact on tourist activities, including the 700 registered charter boat captains operating out of Lake Erie.
For a second year, TourismOhio and McDonald’s are partnering to increase visits to Ohio destinations during the summer. McDonald’s customers who purchase a large fountain drink from April 28 - June 9, 2014, will receive discounts at featured Ohio destinations. Ohio tourism destinations are encouraged to express interest in participating as one of a limited number of co-op partners. In 2013, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours and Wild Zipline Safari owner Jodi Burroughs saw an increase in exposure and awareness at both locations after participating in the pilot year of the co-operative marketing program.
Gene Strickland likes to compare social media to free kittens.
“Kittens are free, but you have to feed then,” says the assistant professor at Columbus State College. Similarly, social media outlets must be fed information in order to be successful.
To get the most from social media, businesses and organizations need to have a robust, interactive presence, said Strickland. Ohio tourism industry members who have recently been recognized for their social media prowess agree. Would-be visitors are looking for organizations that will engage them.
Group Tour Media offers "8 Keys to Attracting Group Tours: Insights into the Group Tour Industry," a compendium of helpful hints for developing and marketing group experiences.
Last week, Cong. Marcy Kaptur called together a meeting of those most involved and/or impacted by Lake Erie and tributary water quality issues.
Thirty-one (31) tourism industry members gathered at the Ohio Historical Society in November to discuss opportunities for Ohio’s Travel Information Centers. ODOT had indicated that they will cease brochure distribution as of 12/31/13, but the Ohio Travel Association, Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and the Office of TourismOhio requested time to present some alternatives. These three groups then pulled together a meeting of interested industry members to discuss.
Ohio Development Services Director David Goodman announces Mary Cusick will head TourismOhio.
Bowling Green State University is looking to place junior and senior tourism, leisure and event planning students in internships and/or practicums every quarter. These students are required to complete 3-9 hours per week for 15 weeks for practicum experience and a minimum of 40 hours per week for 15 weeks as an internship. These positions can be paid or unpaid. Students come from all over the state, and many are interested in working close to their hometowns.
Here’s your chance to voice opinion on the Tourist-Oriented Directional Signage Rules administered by ODOT.
The Society for Human Resource Management, in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association, recently released a study about the use of vacation time and the impact on the workplace. Their findings support yet another reason why travel is important – to our economy and our lives.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, group health plans will soon be required to make sure that co-pays, deductibles, caps on doctor visits, etc. that apply to mental health or substance abuse benefits are the same as for those on medical and surgical benefits.
Your Ohio Travel Association board gathered Nov. 6-7 for its annual planning retreat. Although the room only held 26 or so, there was a general feeling that there were many more present. That’s because we spent a lot of time reviewing the OTA membership survey where you voiced your thoughts and opinions, and we also compared general membership responses to board responses to make sure our board fully understands what’s important to you, our Ohio tourism industry partner. There was little variance, which was a great sign that the leaders you elected to represent you and your industry are in touch with what you’re thinking.
Seven tourism industry members were named to the TourismOhio Advisory Board last month. According to the law passed during the 2012 summer, nine members are to be named from specified sectors of the industry, including one representative from each of the following: convention and visitors bureaus, lodging, restaurants, attractions, special events and festivals, and agritourism. Three TourismOhio Advisory Board members serve at large.
Today, the House concurred with Senate amendments to allow county commissioners to propose a zoo levy for any number of years, or for a continuing period of time. Previously, the levies were limited to a term of 10 years. The zoo may be operated and maintained by the county itself or by a nonprofit corporation organized to promote the natural sciences.
We’ve all heard about the differences between generations, and this report identifies some important differences in their travel behaviors. Why is this important? Well, for one thing, the report says that those 18 to 30 years of age are more frequent travelers, for both business purposes and leisure. If you want to capture their buying power, then understanding their travel habits and expectations is vital.
Pat Crow was recognized with the state’s highest tourism industry honor, the Paul Sherlock Award, during the Ohio Conference on Tourism, Oct. 16. The executive director of the Knox County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Woodward Opera House redevelopment project manager, Crow was presented the peer award at the Cincinnati Marriott North, West Chester.
In its second week, the U.S. government shutdown is impacting Ohio’s economy. Sixty-five percent (65%) of OTA members who took part in a survey about the issue said they are very concerned or somewhat concerned that additional impacts may be felt if the shutdown continues.
The Ohio Travel Association is proud to present the slate of candidates for the 2013 OTA Board of Directors election. The election will be held at the 2013 OTA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the Ohio Conference on Tourism on October 17, 2013 at 1:00pm. Register online at http://www.ohioconferenceontourism.com Candidates for the OTA Board of Directors will be available for questions at the Meet the Candidates Breakfast, sponsored by Meredith Travel, October 17 at 8:00am.
Marketing Challenges International has released a new report, Social Media Marketing for Global Destinations in the Meetings and Conventions Industry, offering strategy tips on the use of social media for the important meetings and convention market.
Dan Sharpe of the Columbus Foundation, Kathy Blickley from the Nationwide Insurance Foundation, and Kendra Wecker from the Ohio Division of Wildlife shared their tips on Focus on Tourismcreating and submitting proposals that’ll get funded during OTA’s recent Focus on Tourism event, “Show me the Money:Finding & Securing Funds for your Tourism Project", held August 27 at COSI.
Rep. Mike Dovilla called a meeting of the Ohio House Committee on Policy and Legislative Oversight on Sept. 10 to hear updates on the implemention of TourismOhio-related legislation as a result of Senate Bill 314 passed last year. The meeting was held at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in Sandusky. More than 45 Ohio tourism industry stakeholders attended to show their support and to share stories on the economic importance of tourism and how TourismOhio has helped build their business.
According to the Overseas Estimation for U.S. States, Cities, and Census Regions 2012 report issued by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, 28% more international visitors came to Ohio in 2012 than in 2011.
The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation expenses to owners and lessees of historically significant buildings. The program is competitive and receives applications March and September.
Conducted by the travel market research firm Mandala Research and sponsored by the World Food Travel Association and other tourism organizations, the study shows that almost a third (30%) deliberately choose destinations based on the availability of activities related to local food and drink, whether it’s a beer or wine festival, a farmers market, or a farm to table experience.