A new way to fund tourism marketing within the State of Ohio became a reality this month when Governor John Kasich signed into law SB 314. The new five-year funding pilot, which has the potential of doubling the state’s investment in marketing Ohio tourism, provides a tremendous opportunity for the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau to further market the City as a great destination. The current budget is $5 million, half of the average investment spent by competing regional states. The new law also renames the Office of Ohio Tourism as TourismOhio and establishes an 11-person advisory board to provide guidance for TourismOhio.

By providing a dedicated funding stream to TourismOhio, the new law enables Ohio to become more competitive in its tourism marketing abilities, generating additional revenues and jobs. Tourism is a $40 billion industry within the state sustaining 443,000 jobs. Simply put, a new model for funding tourism advertising and promotion will mean more jobs, more visitors, and more revenue for Ohio and its businesses. And when tourism in Ohio increases, it’s good for our community as well.

There are numerous cooperative marketing opportunities the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau participates in with the Office of TourismOhio to stretch our marketing dollars. One such effort this summer is the state’s “Too Much Fun” Mobile Tour that visits various festivals across the Midwest. As part of this effort, the Bureau will take the Irish attitude on the road to increase awareness of the 2012 Kids Eat Free Summer Getaway package and Dublin as a great family destination. Staff attended the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh and will attend the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair in a few weeks – both being important feeder markets to Dublin for the leisure market. The partnership in the state’s program includes leads gathered from all 13 of the Tour’s summer festival stops.

Other efforts include participating in Media Missions to meet with editors of national and online publications to promote Dublin and the state of Ohio as a great visitor destination, sponsoring the DiscoverOhio.com monthly contest annually, posting Dublin photos, event listings and itineraries on the state’s consumer website and consulting with Division staff on best digital marketing practices and tourism trends.

To learn more about what tourism means to Ohio, visit www.ohiotourismworks.org

~Post by Scott