The Heartland Travel Showcase

Wendy and Spider-man at the Heartland Travel Showcase,
highlighting the Wood County Historical Center & Museum's new exhibit:
Be Your Own Museum: Our Community's Collections
   The Heartland Travel showcase is a conference for different Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) attractions, and lodging facilities that are located in over 12 different states. All of these states gather together annually, in order to promote their cities and attractions to tour operators. Tour Operators will have appointments scheduled with exhibitors of their choice. These exhibitors then showcase their city’s special events and attractions. There is a session, for the first time exhibitors where they can learn about the structure and process of the showcase. This year’s convention was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In attendance for this year’s showcase was Wendy Chambers, Executive Director of Bowling Green Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. She attended the showcase in order to promote Bowling Green and what makes the city special to tour groups to motivate them to come and visit the city.  The showcase hosted a breakfast where she is able to host a table to discuss Bowling Green with the attendees. The CVB does a follow up mailing to each of the tour operators that Wendy met with at the showcase. The CVB also does a quarterly email to the operators to highlight something new to BG or a new tour.

The Bowling Green CVB is a member of an organization known as Ohio Has IT! Ohio Has IT! is a tourism-led partnership that was created specifically to showcase the opportunities for Ohio travel for motor coach groups. Ohio Has IT! provides information to CVBs, restaurants and allied partners to aid in publicity of their destinations. This helps create successful trips and tours throughout Ohio.  Tour Operators can browse through the site and choose different destinations that have the option of premade itineraries for certain destinations.

Other unique opportunities can be explored utilizing the eight different tours that the Bowling Green Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has to offer. Some of the tours the CVB offers are the BG Art Tour, the Dark Tour, and the Green and Garden Tour. The BG Art Tour is a self-guided tour through out Bowling Green’s craft stores that include hands on experiences, as well as art galleries, and theater productions. And if music is of interest, Finders Records has the largest record collection in Ohio. The Dark tour offers a unique experience through allegedly haunted locations in Bowling Green. The turmoil caused by a ghost, who haunts Joe E. Brown, Eva Marie Saint and Gish theaters on the BGSU campus occurs when a seat and formal invitation are not given to her. The Dark Tour offers spooky experience for those seeking a little more thrill.

If nature is tourists’ calling, the Green and Garden Tour would be something for them. It offers a variety of you-pick destinations. A you-pick destination is a farm or orchard where individuals can come and pick their own fresh fruits and vegetables. The tour also has several nature hike locations such as Wintergarden Nature Preserve. Wintergarden offers miles of nature trails that the tourists can enjoy as they view the native forest and prairie meadows. Another popular green location is the Bowling Green Wind Farm. Tourists visiting the wind farm have the opportunity to walk right up underneath the massive wind turbines and learn about wind energy.  

From the hustling and bustling of Main Street to the historic district of Boomtown, Bowling Green has many different attractions for all ages. The next Heartland showcase will be held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where CVBs from across the region will once again meet together and showcase the attractions, and perhaps growth, of their cities. 

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