By JILL BAUER
The team at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the destination marketing organization for Erie and Ottawa counties, was recently recognized for excellence in marketing communications for a number of innovative and appealing campaigns.
The Ohio Travel Association hosted its annual Ohio Conference on Travel this fall where they announced the winner of the RUBY Awards. In their 22nd year, RUBY stands for Recognizing Uncommon Brilliance, and are the travel industry’s way of honoring those who have found the most innovative ways to market their destination, experiences, or services. There were 217 entries in this year’s competition.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands received a first-place RUBY Award for a 2018 Year-in-Review video, which was presented at the 2019 annual meeting and produced in-house by Social Media Manager Abby Miller. A Citation of Excellence was awarded to a video project called Progressive Sandusky, a collaboration between Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the City of Sandusky, Erie County Economic Development Corp. and Joey Cassel of New Departure Films.
The organization also received Certificates of Achievement as finalists in the categories of print advertisement, promotional video, digital campaign and travel guide/planner.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands was also acknowledged by the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus with the organization’s annual STAR Awards. STAR stands for State Tourism Achievement Recognition and honors outstanding efforts by Ohio Convention & Visitor Bureaus in their work to market and promote their destinations and to generate overall awareness of the tourism industry. Recipients are honored for their innovation, creativity, effectiveness and impact in travel and tourism marketing and advertising.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands received three first-place STAR Awards and one second-place award. Winning top honors were a group profile sheet, a printed piece used by the group accounts team when attending trade shows to inspire group tour bookings to the region. Another first-place award was received for a print ad titled “Start Coasting at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands.” The full-color, full-page ad, aimed at leisure travelers, used beautiful coastal imagery with a play on an “out-of-office” message. The final first-place award was received for the marketing campaign for our recently introduced Lake Erie Shores & Islands Cheers Trail. The Cheers Trail allows guests to be rewarded for visiting a number of trail participants, which include area breweries, distilleries and wineries. The trail has been popular with visitors since its introduction. A second-place award was given in for another group marketing piece which promoted a group tour co-op program offered by Lake Erie Shores & Islands to tourism partners that wish to attract group business.