Trumbull Tourism Bureau Wins Innovation Award for Pandemic Response

WARREN, Ohio – The Trumbull County Tourism Bureau was recognized for its response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Ohio Travel Association’s conference this month.

The county tourism bureau received the trade group’s Spirit of Innovation certificate for a campaign to entice county residents to visit family and friends. The social media campaign utilized several videos that highlight Trumbull attractions.

“Early on during the pandemic, we knew we would need to pivot our marketing quickly,” said Beth Kotwis Carmichael, executive director of Trumbull County Tourism, in a statement.“After evaluating the research, we found that one of the top travel inspirations was to visit family and friends. In May, we kicked off our new campaign #CantWaitToSeeYou #IfNotNowSoon and started reminding our residents of all the unique activities they can do here in Trumbull County.” 

Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association, said the state’s hospitality industry answered the call when faced with hardship.

“The hospitality, tourism, restaurant, cultural and entertainment industries were among the first to close their doors, among the last to reopen, and have subsequently been the hardest hit in the Ohio economy,” she said. “And yet, our businesses stepped up and lent a hand to those living in our communities.”

Due to the pandemic and resulting shutdowns and limits on capacity, there has been a $10.5 billion loss in traveler spending thus far in Ohio, based on weekly spending reports by Tourism Economics. Resulting job losses exceed all other Ohio industries, with current industry unemployment rates of more than 30%. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.