Worcester County Tourism (WCT), along with area partners working together to promote Maryland’s Eastern Shore as a tourism destination, took home five awards at the 35th annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit in late October.
The Best Media & Public Relations Campaign Award went to Tourism, Art and Downtown Development (TADD) for Eat, Drink, Buy Art on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. An alliance of Eastern Shore businesses, Main Street groups, arts organizations, tourism and economic development offices formed TADD to create an “art drive” campaign that promotes the ease and accessibility of visiting eateries, artists and galleries in the historic towns of Berlin, Cambridge, Chestertown, Easton, Elkton, Denton, Ocean City, Princess Anne, Salisbury and Snow Hill. Learn more about the campaign at www.eatdrinkbuyart.com.
The Best Destination Guide Award went to WCT for producing the Beach & Beyond Visitor’s Guide. This high-quality, visually stunning guide includes sections about eateries, lodging and activities that set each town apart, arts and entertainment, museums, destination weddings, parks and camping, golf, miles of white sand beaches in Ocean City, the ponies of Assateague Island, area breweries, and touts national awards bestowed on the towns and beaches.
“The most innovative feature is that we don’t call it a Worcester County Visitor’s Guide,” Tourism Director Lisa Challenger said. “Since most people don’t travel knowing what county they are traveling to, we branded it as Maryland’s Beach and Beyond.” The guide is available in print and is downloadable at www.visitworcester.org.
The Cooperative Partnership Award was presented to Eastern Shore Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) that created the Eastern Shore Visitor’s Guide and website www.visitmarylandseasternshore.com. The guide promotes Maryland’s Eastern Shore as a travel destination. DMO partners include Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties, and Ocean City.
The Visionary Impact Award went to Ann Hillyer, OceanCity.com, Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, and WCT for www.ShoreCraftBeer.com. This collaborative effort promotes the shore’s expanding craft beer industry. The effort launched successful marketing, overnight hotel packages and events that promote the county and the surrounding region as a craft beer destination and serve to enhance tourism, particularly in the shoulder and off-seasons.
The Maryland Office of Tourism Partnership Award went to the Town of Ocean City and Wicomico and Worcester Counties for their sports marketing partnership, the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA). "These are exciting times,” Worcester County Recreation and Parks Director Paige Hurley said. “This sports alliance partnership will allow us to bring in larger events to this area. We are looking forward to offering these "Play-cations," where teams and families can come and play here, and then extend their time into a vacation."
“MAASA delivers world-class sporting events designed to spur Maryland’s economy,” said Kristen Goller, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism. “The formal sports-marketing partnership is the first of its kind in the nation. Since its inception, the region has successfully hosted two national girls' softball tournaments and the ISSA Eastern Shore senior softball championship. These three MAASA events combined for a total of more than 25,000 hotel room nights booked and $40 million in estimated economic impact.”
Thanks and congratulations go out to all Maryland’s Eastern Shore partners for their investment in improving and promoting the Eastern Shore as a travel destination.