For Immediate Release: September 12, 2007
Media Contacts Only:
Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association
BACVA Reports Increase in Sales Bookings for Fiscal Year 2007
Annual Business Meeting Highlights Sales Success and Honors William Donald Schaefer as Tourism Visionary
(Baltimore) - The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) shared convention and leisure sales and marketing results from fiscal year 2007 (July 2006-June 2007) with hospitality partners and stakeholders during its annual business meeting at the Baltimore Convention Center today.
BACVA President and CEO Tom Noonan reported on sales and marketing activities that included convention sales results, marketing promotions and initiatives, and new strategic and corporate partnerships. For the third consecutive year, sales bookings have increased over the previous year's production. The sales team booked 381,556 future room nights in FY 2007, an increase of 8 percent over FY 2006 and 32 percent over FY 2005.
Other key accomplishments from FY 2007 included:
Increased the marketing budget by $200,000 through partnerships with our hotels and corporate community.VisitMyBaltimore.com
Developed Trends, Analysis and Projections Report to establish benchmarks for booking pace and room night goals based on 48 city variables and past production. VisitMyBaltimore.com
Created a sales partnership with Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau to increase citywide bookings.VisitMyBaltimore.com
Developed innovative Web site, VisitMyBaltimore.com.
Created new proactive and effective sales strategies to raise awareness of Baltimore's convention package with meeting planners - increased size of sales staff and added more experience to the team, redeployed sales territories, produced more customer events, and formed Baltimore Citywide Alliance with hotels.
"This fiscal year we demonstrated that by working together as a destination, we can generate more business opportunities for Baltimore, and we expect even greater results next year," said Noonan. "As a city, it's been one for the record books with blockbuster events and unprecedented national media coverage, all paving the way for continued growth and success in future years."
Noonan also reviewed several sales and marketing initiatives for the new fiscal year including increasing the sales goal to 400,000 future room nights; a citywide customer service program; more strategic partners to increase marketing budget; and a greater push for emerging markets.
The annual meeting also presented the opportunity for BACVA to recognize a number of outstanding contributions to the tourism industry. A tourism visionary award was presented to Governor William Donald Schaefer for his unwavering dedication and vision to growing the tourism industry in Baltimore. This is the first time BACVA presented the tourism visionary award named after Schaefer, and it will be awarded annually to individuals who demonstrate vision and leadership in the tourism industry.
Other awards presented included:
Customer of the Year
Presented to Natural Products Expo East - a short-term citywide convention booking for 2006 and 2007.
Baltimore Salesperson of the Year
Presented to Marty Schwartz for his role in securing the NCAA Lacrosse Championships for Baltimore.
Customer Service Award
Presented to longtime BACVA employee Charylene Grimes; the award will be named after Charylene in the future.
The meeting concluded with an inspiring presentation from Ross Schafer, six-time Emmy-award-winning author and comedian, who discussed his latest book Nobody Moved Your Cheese!
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The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA), a membership-based organization, is the official destination development and marketing leader for Greater Baltimore, responsible for generating incremental economic benefits to the community through the attraction of convention and leisure visits.
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