Delaware County Convention and Visitors Bureau head discusses tourism with county commissioners


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmedianetwork.com



Delaware County Commissioners Jeff Benton, Gary Merrell and Barb Lewis listen to a presentation by county Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Debbie Shatzer on Thursday.

Delaware County Commissioners Jeff Benton, Gary Merrell and Barb Lewis listen to a presentation by county Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Debbie Shatzer on Thursday.


Tourism in Delaware was bolstered this year by the efforts of the county’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, county commissioners were told this week.

“We printed 50,000 copies of our visitors’ guide, and over 10,000 copies were mailed,” said CVB executive director Deborah Shatzer on Thursday. The 36-page booklet lists attractions, events, recreation, restaurants and shopping throughout the county. Its slogan states, “Stay All Day and All of the Night.” Postcards with the slogan were also produced.

A brief video was also produced which showed off the county’s fine dining, aimed at millennials (people born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s). Its slogan was “Be Here in Delaware County.” Shatzer said there would be other videos to come, including one featuring “family fun.”

The county was advertised in magazines such as Country Living, Midwest Food Traveler and the Ohio Travel Guide. The CVB won an award for its advertising at the Ohio Conference on Tourism, held at the Polaris Hilton.

The CVB’s website, visitdelohio.com, had more than 652,000 page views in 2015. Shatzer said the website will be reformatted in 2016 for easier use on mobile devices and tablets.

The visitor center at 34 S. Sandusky St. welcomed visitors from all over Ohio, 12 other states and 10 different countries, she said.

In the CVB’s annual report, it was noted that tourism was on the rebound in the county and the state in 2014-15.

“Studies conducted for TourismOhio indicate the number of visitors to Ohio increased 2.8 percent, overnight visitors 2.6 percent, visitor spending 4.7 percent, and the number of full-time jobs supported by tourism was up 1.8 percent,” the report stated. “Tourism continues to play an active role in economic development. Destination retail development projects such as Cabela’s, Field and Stream, and the future Tanger Outlet Mall and IKEA attract visitors to the area, increasing tax dollars through visitor spending.”

Another event that should be a boon to the county is next year’s Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon scheduled for Aug. 21 in Delaware. “The CVB has been engaged with the city of Delaware on recruitment of the Ironman 70.3 event,” the annual report said. “The CVB will also serve on the soon-to-be-formed steering committee for planning how to host this major event.”

When asked by a commissioner what was the county’s major attraction, Shatzer said the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Olentangy Indian Caverns, and Alum Creek and Delaware state parks.

“I think it’s great that we have something for everyone,” Shatzer said. “We have a great location.”

Delaware County Commissioners Jeff Benton, Gary Merrell and Barb Lewis listen to a presentation by county Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Debbie Shatzer on Thursday.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/12/web1_DSCF7180.jpgDelaware County Commissioners Jeff Benton, Gary Merrell and Barb Lewis listen to a presentation by county Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Debbie Shatzer on Thursday.

By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@aimmedianetwork.com

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.