Nicole Absher, Group Sales Manager with Destination Gettysburg, was awarded with a graduation certificate from American Bus Association's Certified Travel Industry Specialist (CTIS) program.
The CTIS program certifies professionals in the tourism industry through a series of courses - specific to the motorcoach and group travel industry - to introduce them to new concepts in the industry and expand professional and personal skills.
"I am excited to have been given the opportunity to advance my education in the tourism industry," Nicole said. "This program has helped enhance my knowledge in all aspects of tourism beyond the group tour market."
Through a partnership with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, ABA's CTIS program is the first industry university-sponsored certification program.
Nicole received her certification at ABA's Annual Marketplace in Charlotte, N.C., this week. Pictured is Nicole with ABA President Pete Pantuso.
>> More about CTIS
The sales and communications teams at Destination Gettysburg are hitting the road again to meet with group tour operators and travel journalists to generate travel to Adams County, Pa.
On Jan. 24, Director of Communications Carl Whitehill headed off to New York City for the second annual International Media Marketplace (IMM) where he'll meet face-to-face with both U.S. and Canadian travel media. Last year, appointments at IMM led to travel coverage in the Toronto Star, and an upcoming feature in National Geographic Traveler, among others.
And on Jan. 26, Group Sales Manager Nicole Absher and Director of Membership Donna White are heading south to Charlotte, N.C., alongside numerous member businesses and organizations to meet with nearly 100 tour operators at the American Bus Association's (ABA) Annual Meeting and Marketplace.
ABA remains one of the industry's strongest tradeshows with more than 3,500 operators and sales representatives expected to attend. Destination Gettysburg's two representatives will be conducting 97 appointments in just one day.
On January 30, Americans are encouraged to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year through U.S. Travel Association's "National Plan for Vacation Day."
Project Time Off, a campaign aimed at encouraging Americans to use their vacation time, believes that taking time off for vacation positively influences relationships, personal well-being and professional success.
So in that spirit, Destination Gettysburg wants to help visitors get a jump start on planning their vacation to Adams County, Pa., this year with an offer to win any of three giveaways, ranging from overnight stays to other prize packages. Already, nearly 200 have entered the contest with more expected in the next week.
How can you help? Destination Gettysburg is encouraging its members to share its "Plan For Vacation" Day contest. You can start with the link below, or share our Facebook post, and remember to use the hashtag #PlanForVacation.
>> Check it Out
Destination Gettysburg, the official destination marketing organization of Adams County, Pa., recently welcomed three new members to its board of directors.
At a board member recognition event on Jan. 9, Destination Gettysburg introduced to its membership new board members Timbrel Wallace of Lark – A Modern Marketplace, Christina Turley of As One Management, and Angela Sontheimer of The Lincoln Leadership Institute. The new board members, alongside Cindy Small of the Gettysburg Foundation and Laura Witt Mares of the Quality Inn Gettysburg Battlefield who were re-elected to the board, will each serve three-year terms.
The board also bid farewell to two longtime board members Jackie White of the Dobbin House who served on Destination Gettysburg’s Board of Directors for 38 years, and Tammy Myers of the Gettysburg Heritage Center who served for 23 years. Also leaving the board is Ed Gotwalt of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum who served for three years.
At the event, Destination Gettysburg’s President and CEO Norris Flowers also introduced the audience of members to the organization’s new executive committee led by new chairman Mike Hanson of the Gaslight Inn Bed & Breakfast. Joining Hanson are Chairwoman-elect Andrea Proulx of the Gettysburg Hotel, Treasurer Max Felty of the Gettysburg Tours Inc., Secretary Hans Schreiber of the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel, and Immediate Past Chair Del Gudmestad of the Shriver House Museum.
Flowers also recognized the efforts of Gudmestad as chair of the board for the past 18 months.
Last fall, Destination Gettysburg worked with our partner, BOOM, to develop our new logo. As part of that process, we distributed two surveys - one to our members and the stakeholders, and the other to our visitors- the 82,000 opt-in subscribers who receive our newsletter each month. We gathered great information on the logo and on the destination. The information below highlights feedback from our visitors that we can use to make future decisions on product needs, experience and marketing.
We collected 1,225 surveys. Of those who responded, 90.49 percent visited and want to return. This is an amazing response and falls in line with what we hear during our Cal U Intercept Study conducted each year. Of the remaining responses, 8.28 percent had not yet visited but are interested in visiting, only 0.98 percent visited and didn't want to return. Only one quarter of a percent had no interest in visiting.
A quick snapshot of the 1,225 respondents shows that of the 165 who gave their age, 111 were over 56 years old. 49 of the respondents were 36-55 and only five were under 35. Knowing the list, and the longevity of many newsletter readers, this is our devoted history traveler. Similar to our Cal U study, of the 1,209 who gave their gender, 51.2 percent were male and 47.56 percent were female.
These visitors shared that they primarily (51.48 percent) travel as couples, followed by 19.36 percent who travel with immediate family (younger kids). Additional visitors shared that 9.64 percent travel with friends, 8.65 percent travel alone, 6.51 percent travel with extended family and 4.37 percent travel as a couple with other couple(s).
We inquired as to things visitors enjoyed, as well as areas in which we could improve. The areas noted as things they love included our history, the town and surrounding towns, as well as our countryside. They also commented many, many times about enjoying our wine.
In regards to areas that these respondents believed we had room to improve included:
Any questions about the survey or the findings can be directed to Stacey Fox, Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are now open for Destination Gettysburg's distinguished tourism honor - the Jim Getty Spirit of Gettysburg Award.
Destination Gettysburg is inviting you to nominate someone for the annual Jim Getty Award - an honor bestowed upon an individual in the tourism community of Adams County, Pa. who exemplifies leadership, dedication and contribution to the tourism industry.
The award is in honor of well-known Abraham Lincoln presenter, Jim Getty, who passed away in 2015.
This annual award will be presented to an individual, who - like Jim - displays qualities of leadership, dedication, contribution to our tourism community as well as being a true champion for the tourism industry of Adams County, Pa.
Check out a video of last year's winner, Terry Fox, a licensed battlefield guide and leadership instructor, here. The winner of the inaugural Jim Getty Award was Jackie White, owner of the Dobbin House Tavern.
Members and citizens are encouraged to nominate someone from their staff or within the tourism community of Adams County. The deadline to submit nominations is Monday, Feb. 19.
Questions about the award may be directed to Carl Whitehill, Director of Communications, at email@example.com.
This year's "Build, Inspire, Innovate" Summit keynote speaker is award winning columnist, author and national champion storyteller Kindra Hall. Kindra wants to help businesses capture attention in a crowded marketplace with effective and strategic storytelling.
In the past, Kindra has worked with brands such as ConAgra, Stryker, Rodan & Field and Hilton Hotels to develop powerful storytelling. She writes a weekly column at Inc.com and has been featured in SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur.com and behind the scenes in New York Times best selling books.
During her presentation, Kindra will share her blueprint for razor-sharp storytelling that will equip attendees with the essential skills for success, a base to build better relationships and a path to blow up their brands by leveraging the power of their own stories. During lunch, Summit attendees will have the opportunity to ask Kindra their questions during a Q&A session.
The "Build, Inspire, Innovate" Summit is on Feb. 6 at the Gettysburg Hotel.
Kindra is just one of the many speakers that will be giving presentations on a variety of topics that will help you improve your business.
Over the last three months, the team at Destination Gettysburg has been busy reviewing the efforts of 2017 and developing a plan that would fulfill on our mission of marketing Adams County as a premier travel destination and producing a positive economic impact. Based on the impact and engagement- which is evident through our owned media channels as well as increases in demand on the Smith Travel Research (STR) report- and an increase in lodging tax revenue, there were only a few tweaks needed to develop the 2018 plan.
We encourage you to download and read the plan, considering places you can overlap your plan and our plan to extend your story. Our target markets, distribution channels and themes will remain the same. Marketing materials will continue to use the "Gettysburg Inspired" headline and "Make Your Own History" tag. What you will see this year is an undertone of the essence of American value woven into our campaigns through imagery and language. It is a way to elevate the feeling of our community of authentic, simplistic love of country, each other and the message of unity.
A few other changes will include:
>> Read the 2018 Marketing Plan
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.