Branding Ohio: State launches $2 million effort to find slogan that pays off in more tourists

By: Susan Glaser, The Plain Dealer

The team is in place. The work is under way. The goal: Take the many diverse parts of the state -- big cities, small towns, vast farmlands, a Great Lake -- and capture all of it in a single brand.

Posted by Ohio Travel Association on Friday, March 27, 2015


Ohio Visitors Don't Know County Lines

Melissa Topey, Sandusky Register


TourismOhio Taps Marcus Thomas, Cult Marketing for Creative and Media Services

Laura Nichols, PR Week


Ohio Travel Association Tourism Cares Scholarship Presented to Erin Holter

Established in 1991, the scholarship is presented to support a travel, tourism or hospitality student from Ohio

Erin Holter of North Royalton, is attending Johnson and Wales University pursuing hospitality, culinary and restaurant management. She would like to use her education to plan and create healthy, unique meals on a large scale for big events and hopes to begin her own banquet facility or event planning business.


Economic Driver, Heartland Travel Showcase, Presented in Chicago

30th Annual Group Travel Showcase Attracts National Tour Operators, Highlights Ohio Group Tour Destinations

(Chicago, IL) 2/26/15 - More than 500 destinations, tour operator companies and media partners from across America's Heartland region gathered at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago Feb 20-22. For those in attendance, the 30th annual Heartland Travel Showcase, produced by the Ohio Travel Association, was an opportunity to promote group travel itineraries, develop professional relationships, and learn about the group tour market.


Ohio Travel Industry Professional Development Study Shared at OTA Regional Meetings

More than 85 industry representatives shared ideas and thoughts

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.


Grant Funds Available for Historic Markers

William G. Pomeroy Foundation Supporting Heritage and Tourism

The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is now offering grants for Ohio Historical Markers and Ohio Corporate Limit Markers in Erie, Huron, and Seneca counties.


A Perfect Pairing: Craft Breweries and Ohio's Travel Industry

Presentation Given at Ohio Craft Brewery Association Conference in Wooster

Craft Brewers

Speaking before craft brewery business owners and managers is a great opportunity to generate ideas for boosting their business and enhancing the brewery experience in Ohio. OTA Director Melinda Huntley discusses what travelers are seeking, how craft breweries provide the experiences they're seeking, and how to connect to the travel industry.


Assistance to Grow Your Business is Available

Ohio Development Services Agency Director and TourismOhio Chief Share Information on Industry Conference Call

2/3/15 (Columbus) - DSA Director David Goodman and TourismOhio Chief Mary Cusick discussed programs and services available to help Ohio's tourism businesses during a conference call, Feb. 3, 2015.


Ohio Report Provides Trend Data on Outdoor Recreation

Track most popular outdoor activities, including those that include an overnight stay

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently released its Ohio Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP, for short). This study provides useful information for travel industry businesses and organizations who want to incorporate nature-based activities in their strategies.


Data-Driven Marketing Insights for the Ohio Tourism Industry

New Studies Reveal the Potential Impact and Applications of "Big-Data"


TourismOhio Advisory Board Meeting Held Nov. 13

Agenda included ethics training, discussion of draft strategic plan, and 2015 funding


TourismOhio Announces Details of Spring/Summer 2015 Co-Op

Co-Op Opened to Industry Nov. 17


OTA Holds Annual Board Retreat in Hocking Hills

Board of Directors Builds on 3-year strategy


Ebola Virus Crisis Planning and Support Documents Provided by the U.S. Travel Association

Guidelines Provided for Assessing Risk, Prevention, Preparing, Responding and Recovery

As discussed at the 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism, the Ohio Travel Association will be keeping you informed on resources and guidelines related to the recent Ebola virus outbreak. Thanks to our partners at the U.S. Travel Association, preliminary guidelines are available.


Nineteen Travel Industry Members Complete Statewide Leadership Training

Graduating Class Represents Diverse Sectors of Ohio Travel & Tourism Industry

Nineteen travel industry professionals graduated from the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy during the 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism. There are now 88 alumni of this innovative and powerful program. Applications for the 2015 program are being accepted until Nov. 28.


Ohio Travel Industry Gathers in Springfield

Nearly 300 Industry Members Attend 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism

Members of Ohio's travel and tourism industry gathered this month in Springfield for the Ohio Conference on Tourism. The event included education, networking, and industry celebrations. Mark your calendars for Nov. 16-18 for the 2015 Ohio Conference on Tourism at the Hilton-Polaris in Columbus.


2014/15 Ohio Travel Association Leadership Elected

Karen Raymore Sworn in as OTA President

At the 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism in Springfield, Karen Raymore was sworn in as the 2014/15 Ohio Travel Association President. Other officers include Eric Hansen (Hotel and Leisure Advisors) as Vice President, Jodi Burroughs (Hocking Hills Canopy Tours) as Treasurer, Richard Nachazel (Destination Toledo) as Secretary, and Lute Harmon Jr (Great Lakes Publishing) as Past President.


We Asked. You Answered.

Summary of OTA Membership Results Provides Insight for the Future

Here's a quick glance at what you, the OTA membership, want from your Ohio Travel Association.


Study Launches New Thoughts on why DMO Promotions is Important

Those Exposed to DMO Promotions More Likely to Book, Stay Longer, Spend More

A new study by the global technology and analytics firm, Rocket Power, demonstrates the role of destination marketing in influencing travelers to book on online travel agency sites.


17th Annual RUBY Award Winners Announced at 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism

Winners of the 2014 Ruby Awards were announced and celebrated Oct. 16 at the Ohio Conference on Tourism in Springfield. Presented annually by the Ohio Travel Association, the Ruby Awards recognize advertising, marketing, and public relations excellence in Ohio's $38 billion travel industry.


Meet Sam, a Front-Line Worker from the Ohio Travel Industry

A Look at how our Jobs are Meaningfully Different

This speech was delivered by Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association, at the 2014 Ohio Conference on Tourism in Springfield, Ohio.


Bringing Buses to Your Downtown

Trends and Tips to Help You Attract Group Travel

Adapted from a recent Heritage Ohio presentation, this article is a Group Travel 101 filled with research and information on Ohio's $1.14 billion group travel market. In addition to discussing the basic buying process of group travel, it talks about the changing dynamics, trends, and creating group experiences that will sell.


OTA Announces 2014 Board of Directors Election Nomination Slate

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.


OTA Welcomes New Intern Ryan Little

Ryan Little isn’t just an intern. He’s a passionate student and young professional who will learn from OTA and help the team in any way. He is interning with OTA for the fall semester, working on website and content development, event marketing and planning and social media marketing.

Ryan is a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in marketing with a minor in professional writing. Ryan has been involved with several organizations, including Mount Leadership Society and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity where he is currently serving as treasurer.


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.


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


Ohio Tourism Industry Meets with Congressman Jim Jordan

Discusses several federal policy decisions that would help our industry prosper

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.


National park tourism in Ohio creates $149 million in economic benefit

New report shows visitor spending supports 2,300 jobs

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.


Ohio Department of Natural Resources Releases Updated Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

BY: Jason Fallon, ODNR

(Columbus) 6/27/14 - Ohio's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), updated in 2013 and valid for 5 years, sets Ohio's outdoor recreation strategies and funding priorities. It establishes Ohio's eligibility to receive and award federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) monies. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) just posted this great publication full of exciting and valuable information on their website

PUCO Forum to be held June 27

Find out more about PUCO regulations of ferryboats and our state's utilities

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.


Marketing the Ohio Tourism Experience with Location-Based Mobile Advertising

By: Jeremy Myers

Location-based Advertising usersA recent study by Google and Ipsos shows conclusively that travelers expect and want relevance from advertisement delivered through their mobile devices. This research shows that four out of five smartphone users want search ads that are customized to their immediate location. These location-based ads fulfill a consumer's needs by returning an attractions’s address, turn-by-turn directions, a phone number and business hours.

By developing a location based advertising strategy—one that considers a person's current location—Ohio tourism destinations will be be able to provide visitors with the information they need, while driving increased sales... Read More

Tourism Workforce Training Survey Launches

Looking for Feedback from Front-Line Workers

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?


Joint Caucus on Ohio Tourism Held May 7

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 ...


TourismOhio Advisory Board Meeting Notes

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 ...


Unprecedented Investment in Ohio State Parks Announced

$88.5 Million In Capital Improvements To Be Made Over Two Years

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


Ohio’s $582 Million Wine & Vineyard Tourism Industry Assesses Damage Caused By Polar Vortex

Reserves from record harvests in 2012 and 2013 will meet consumer demand, ensure stable pricing

Ohio Vineyard(4/10/14) - Wine producers are working to identify the extent of damage caused by 30 days of historic lows across the state as farmers and industry associations partner with state agencies to identify solutions, mitigate the damage, and move the industry forward. Ohio wines have emerged as a major draw for thousands of tourists and wine enthusiasts from across the region, generating direct tourism-related expenditures of nearly $100 million.

Current estimates, as reported by The Plain Dealer on March 24, indicate at least $12 million in damage to vines has occurred at Ohio vineyards, resulting in a significantly reduced harvest forecast in 2014. As vines recover and return to full production, producers may experience several years of diminished harvests. Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association assures that the industry was well-prepared for a harsh winter and remains optimistic about continued growth prospects for the industry.

“While this is a difficult viticultural situation for farmers, record harvests in 2012 and 2013 ensure the industry is well-situated to handle demand...Read More>>

ODNR Warns of Cold-Water Dangers

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.


ODOT, ODNR and TourismOhio Launch "DiscoverOhio by Bike"

Brochure Map and Website to Help Cyclists Navigate Ohio Trailways


Marketing the Ohio Tourism Experience - Innovative Visitor Engagement

Experience Columbus Uses Scooters as Mobile Visitor Centers

Scooters on High Street

Have you ever been to a conference in another city and wished there was a friendly local on every corner to help you find the cool points of interest?

A mobile visitor center is typically a wrapped van or trailer, featuring many of the amenities of a brick and mortar visitor center. But as I started looking into ways Experience Columbus could engage our visitors on-site, I realized there are many limitations with these full-sized mobile visitor centers. They’re expensive to purchase and maintain, limited in where you can place them, and they must be stored when not being used. One day while riding my scooter to work, I realized it was the ideal combination of mobility, accessibility, visibility, and affordability...

Read More>>

Capital Projects Budget Implementation Summary

Ohio Tourism Assets Receive State Construction Funding

A breakdown of all projects that will receive funding under the $4.2 billion Capital Projects Budget, including county-by-county and project summaries.


2014 Ohio Travel Guide Now Available

2014 Ohio Travel Guide 4/4/14 (Columbus) - The Office of TourismOhio has released the 2014 Ohio Travel Guide in both print version and as an iPad App, available in the Apple App Store and on iTunes. This free publication features captivating photography and provides information for sports & recreation seekers, family fun buffs, connoisseurs of arts & culture, and history & heritage enthusiasts. The Guide focuses on more than 3,000 listings featuring attractions, recreation, shopping, dining, visitor services and lodging, organized by the state’s five travel regions. Free copies are available for distribution at your location.

CLICK HERE to order your free copies.

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>>


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>>






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