COLUMBUS — Members of the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau Board represented Preble County during the recent Great Vacations Travel Expo, presented by AAA.
The event, which took place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus, Friday, Jan. 19- Sunday, Jan. 21, is a one-of-a-kind event which allows communities travel destinations of all sorts and sizes to market themselves to potential travelers. According to organizers, upwards of 30,000 potential tourists attend the event over the three-day period.
Several members of the Preble County CVB board spent the weekend at the show, manning a booth inviting tourists from around the state to take a day trip and find out what Preble County has to offer. The board also revealed and distributed the 2018 edition of the “This is Preble County” Visitors Guides, produced annually with the help of The Register-Herald. Attendees of the expo could register to win a basket filled with gift items from around the county, donated by area businesses and officials.
According to AAA officials, the GVTE is a “one-stop shop for everything travel-related” and offers consumers exclusive access to the world’s top travel suppliers. Guests have a unique opportunity to talk one -on-one with top travel experts and take home the best advice, values and more on everything from exotic cruises and European vacations to affordable, close-to-home escapes — like a tour of Preble County’s collection of covered bridges, shops and restaurants.
“This is the second year our board set up an exhibit at the Great Vacations Travel Expo,” PCCVB President Stephanie Garrett said. “We find it to be an important way for us to promote all there is to see and do in this wonderful county we call home.”
“The board’s decision to attend this travel show alongside much larger entities demonstrates the members’ dedication to bringing tourism — and economic development dollars — to Preble County,” Preble County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and CVB Vice President Leslie Collins added. “The Great Vacations Travel Expo allowed our CVB to showcase everything we have — our covered bridges, our hometown restaurants and businesses, festivals and more. They were able to get materials promoting all the great things here in the county in the hands of many people who otherwise wouldn’t even know where Preble County is, let alone what we have to offer.”
In addition to offering exclusive information and discounts, the AAA Travel Stage, presented by Royal Caribbean, featured around-the-clock activities, presentations and entertainment, making the Expo a destination in itself. Favorite travel spots came alive with engaging, helpful and educational interactive experiences. Different zones highlighted regional destinations, so visitors could quickly and easily find the ideal getaway for their interests, lifestyle and budget.
The Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau was established by the Preble County Commissioners in October 2011. The PCCVB receives the proceeds of the transient “bed” tax levied on individuals who stay overnight in Preble County hotels, motels and bed and breakfast facilities, not including those located in Jefferson and Israel townships, which have established their own CVBs. Current board members include Stephanie Garrett, Leslie Collins, Mike Zimmerman, Jeff Sewert, Lori Pheanis, Dale Hall, David Maynard, Mary Myers, Misti Spillman and Carolyn Ulrich.