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CVB presents annual update to Washington County Commissioners; Tourism Week Proclamation 2011

L-R: CVB Board of Directors Chair Carrie Cirrito, Washington County Commissioners President Terry Baker, CVB President and CEO Tom Riford, CVB Board of Directors Vice Chair Clarence Horst, CVB Director of Operations Jolene Thomas, CVB Board of Directors Chair-Elect Julie Rohm, CVB Board of Directors Secretary Dan Spedden)

CVB presents annual update to Washington County Commissioners; Tourism Week Proclamation 2011

(Hagerstown-MD) -- On May 10th, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau presented its annual update on the status of the tourism industry. The presentation included a re-cap of 2010, the financial audit of the organization, plans for 2011, and a snap-shot of the tourism industry today.
The CVB reported that for 2010 local hotel occupancies increased slightly over the year before. Also, most attractions, including parks and museums, reported an increase in visitation.
CVB Board Chair Carrie Cirrito discussed the current financial state of the organization, and highlighted some of the CVB's successes in 2010, and several initiatives in 2011.
The CVB has produced significant marketing collateral material, including a new visitor's guide, a new calendar of events, new bike maps, new brochures, and new advertising. Also, the CVB is working hard on promoting the activities and events taking place during the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
New this year for the CVB, the organization has produced a Spanish translation of its web site. The CVB used a local company, and created more than 23 pages of Spanish web pages, to help attract Hispanic visitors.
"Hotel occupancy in Washington County was up 2.5 percent over 2009, and hotel revenue was up 3.1 percent," said CVB President and CEO Tom Riford.
Because of a reduction in controllable expenses, the Convention and Visitors Bureau paid off the organization's debt in 2010. Riford also noted that the lodging tax received was up slightly over the year before.
Tourism is, by virtue of the number of Leisure and Hospitality jobs, taxes collection generated, and visitor spending, the second largest industry in Washington County. Last year the tourism industry created more than $68-million in total tax revenue. There are more than 6,000 people working in the tourism industry locally, and visitors spent about $278-million.
The Mission of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau shall be to develop tourism and market Washington County to meeting planners, leisure travelers and business customers. The CVB help creates vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry.
According to the presentation, the CVB is a first-class destination management organization in promoting Hagerstown and Washington County as the regional visitor's industry leader. The County Commissioners noted that the CVB had a clean audit opinion, and is a careful steward of the revenue and resources.
In the proclamation presented to the CVB, the County Commissioners declared May 7-15 to be Washington County Tourism Week, and praised the Convention and Visitors Bureau for helping the local economy, and for attracting visitors to the area.

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