Garrett County Government - Department of Business Development

Chamber Wins Three Awards at Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit

Last Updated on Aug 3, 2020 at 10:34am | Tourism & Recreation

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. From Staff Reports. Photo Credit: Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.
 
 
L-R: Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts for the MD Dept. of Commerce, Lisa Ratliff, Wisp Resort, Sarah Duck, VP of Tourism and Marketing, GC Chamber of Commerce, Tom Riford, Asst. Secretary overseeing the Marketing and Communications Division, of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, Judy Bixler, Chair of the MD Tourism Development Board, and Jim Meyer, Writer/.Editor at the MD Office of Tourism.The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce won three awards at the 39th annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit presented by the Maryland Tourism Coalition at Rocky Gap Resort in Flintstone, Md., in November.
 
Competing against nominees from other counties and businesses in the state, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce won two awards for their 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion: the Transactional Outcomes Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism and the Best Media & Public Relations Campaign Award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition. The Chamber also won the Best Website Award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition for the redesign and launch of the new garrettheritage.com.
 
The Transactional Outcomes award is presented to the entrant who created a strategic, sustainable and creative tourism product or program that resulted in increased room night revenue, group sales or convention bookings over a minimum of two years.
 
The Best Media & Public Relations Campaign award is given to a campaign that focuses on a single, unified theme that is related to a special event, crisis management program or overall promotion.
 
In 2012, the Garrett County Chamber brainstormed an idea with Chamber members to drive business during the slower seasons of Spring & Fall. It was decided the Chamber would manage a county-wide 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion: stay three nights for the price of two and purchase a discounted activity.
 
When the Fall promotion ran from Oct. 16 to Dec. 13, 2018, non-holidays, and the Spring promotion ran from March 14, to May 19, 2019, non-holidays, Garrett County lodging collections for those periods increased 6.3% and 12.2% over the previous year, respectively, for a total increase of 18.5%.
 
In fact, March-May lodging collections in Garrett County have increased 52.0% and October-December collections have increased 37.5% since its inception in 2012.
 
“We are so honored to accept the Transactional Outcomes award from the Maryland Office of Tourism and the Best Media & Public Relations Campaign award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition for our 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion,” said Sarah Duck, Vice President of Tourism & Marketing at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “We want to thank our lodging and activity partners for participating in this promotion — we could not do it without their support. And, we look forward to continuing this promotion with our partners, and for our visitors, each Spring and Fall for years to come.”
 
The Best Website award is presented to a new website that demonstrates a creative implementation of a brand that, not only captures the spirit of the brand, but is visually pleasing, unique and user-friendly.
 
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, launched its new garrettheritage.com website in January 2019. The site includes updated navigation, new social media integration, a trip builder, virtual reality tours with 360° videos, historical and cultural resources, heritage events, heritage area funding opportunities and more. Since the new launch, the site has had a 9.2% increase in visitors, an 8.8% increase in page views and a 28.8% increase in average time spent on the site.
 
“We are honored to have received the Best Website award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition,” said Kim Folk, Heritage Area & Groups Director at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “To be recognized by our tourism industry peers with this award is particularly gratifying and we invite everyone to visit and explore our new garrettheritage.com site to learn more about our County’s history and heritage.”
 
For more information about the Maryland Tourism Coalition and the annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, visit mdtourism.org. For more information about the Maryland Office of Tourism, please log onto visitmaryland.org. For more information on the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, please visit garrettheritage.com. For more information about the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, please call 301-387-4386 or log onto visitdeepcreek.com.
 
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and, additionally, to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization and Heritage Area Management entity for the County.