While enjoying those online sales this holiday weekend, make sure to visit the Ohio Tourism Division's website (www.DiscoverOhio.com), where you will see Dublin as the featured city for its November contest. The Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau secured Dublin as the feature destination on the website's monthly contest page and is promoting its Kids Go Free Columbus Zoo Wildlights package and all the great things there are to do in Dublin during the holidays.

While enjoying those online sales this holiday weekend, make sure to visit the Ohio Tourism Division's website (www.DiscoverOhio.com), where you will see Dublin as the featured city for its November contest. The Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau secured Dublin as the feature destination on the website's monthly contest page and is promoting its Kids Go Free Columbus Zoo Wildlights package and all the great things there are to do in Dublin during the holidays.

This contest is just one example of how the bureau uses contests and promotions to market the city and its great tourism product. This strategy is an effective tool in generating exposure at no cost to the bureau.

Have you ever tried calling in to your favorite radio or television station to win a contest prize? The bureau works closely with stations in our key feeder markets to create such contests to promote Dublin. Over the past year alone, the bureau has secured promotions with stations in Akron/ Canton, Marietta, Oberlin, Findlay, Charles-ton and Huntington, W.Va., and others. We've created packages for travel during St. Patrick's Day, the golf season, summer and holiday travel.

Over the course of a week or two, the stations promote the Dublin contest and urge listeners to call in to register to win. These announcements mention our local partners, upcoming special events or package deals and drive listeners to our website (www. Irishisan Attitude.com) to learn more. Some of our partner stations even "turn up the volume" on the contest creativity—holding Zoo animal coloring contests or registering listeners with the best Irish brogue.

Through these partnerships, the bureau secures some great exposure for Dublin, our partners and attracts visitors to Dublin through our packages while generating strong brand awareness in our key markets. The equivalent cost of paid advertising for these types of promotions would cost the bureau thousands of dollars.

Our primary role is to promote Dublin as a great place to visit and to encourage visitors to spend their travel dollars in our city. Over the past year, we have adapted our marketing strategies to meet the changing travel habits of visitors, who are seeking great value. Creating value-oriented packages that combine a wide array of options has become an effective way to attract visitors.

The bureau also uses our Destination Dublin E-Travel Club and Social Media outlets like Twitter and our blog as platforms for contests, free ticket giveaways and more. (The 'word of mouth' factor goes a long way with the effectiveness of social media.)

To stay "in the loop" with bureau promotions, register for our Destination Dublin E-Travel Club by visiting our website. To book a package or to join in the conversation via our blog, Facebook page or Twitter, visit our website at www.IrishisanAttitude.com.

Scott Dring is the Executive Director of the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Scott

Dring