Visit Baltimore Reports Third-Highest Sales Bookings in Fiscal Year 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 1:45pm

(Baltimore, MD) – Visit Baltimore President and CEO Tom Noonan shared convention and leisure sales and marketing results from fiscal year 2013 with the meetings and tourism industry during Visit Baltimore’s annual business meeting at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel this evening. 

Visit Baltimore ended fiscal year 2013 with 477,764 convention room nights booked for future 
years, representing a future economic impact of more than $270 million. The fiscal year 2013 
numbers mark the third-highest number of convention room nights booked in a single year, 
behind the all-time record of 522,541 in fiscal year 2009 and 495,896 in fiscal year 2010. Of the 
total room nights booked in fiscal year 2013, 63 percent, or 305,283, represented 60 future 
Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) meetings and conventions. 
 
The Visit Baltimore sales team, in partnership with the BCC and downtown hotels, was also able 
to drive short-term bookings for 2013 through 2015, generating 228,500 room nights for those 
years alone, helping to solidify the base of convention business for the next few years. The team 
also confirmed 14 citywide conventions, or large conventions that require multiple downtown 
hotels and the convention center, for November through March, which is typically a need period 
for the city’s hotels.
 
Other key accomplishments for fiscal year 2013 included: 
 Secured a three-year commitment from the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s 
Basketball Championship for 2014-2016. 
 Expanded Visit Baltimore’s advertising efforts, including a four-page advertorial in the 
New York Times “T” Magazine, Baltimore A to Z, which colorfully highlighted the 
“classic gems and quirky delights.” Subsequently, the advertorial was turned into a 
comprehensive microsite and repurposed for other markets, including direct mail to 
meeting professionals. 
 Hosted the American Association of African American Museums Convention in August 
2012 and the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo in May 
2013, including the promotion of the first Baltimore Museum Week. 
 Launched Baltimore InSite app through a new microsite, instructional video, “3-D” direct 
mail program and print ad. 
 Executed the inaugural Baltimore Hotel Week, which, according to the Smith Travel 
research, showed significant increases in occupancy rates over key weekends of the 
promotion, February 8-18, 2013. 
 Expanded LGBT marketing efforts, including partnership with Baltimore Gay Life for 
second LGBT Visitor Guide; sponsorship of East Coast LGBT film festivals, with the 
theme, All-Access Baltimore; and the launch of a LGBT wedding microsite immediately 
following passage of the state marriage equality referendum. 
 Achieved a record $29.9 million in advertising equivalency through public relations 
efforts, including national television coverage on the “The Today Show,” “CBS Sunday 
Morning” and “CBS This Morning,” and print coverage in National Geographic Traveler, 
Travel + Leisure, Southern Living, New York Times, Go Magazine, Southwest Spirit 
Magazine and Pathfinders, to name a few. 
 The evening included the presentation of several awards to recognize special achievements in 
Baltimore’s meetings and tourism industry and outstanding contributions to the city’s economic 
growth as a destination for visitors. 
 
The William Donald Schaefer Baltimore Tourism Visionary Award was presented to 
Doreen Bolger, director of The Baltimore Museum of Art, for her leadership and 
advocacy in the arts community. Doreen served as the general conference chair for the 
American Alliance of Museums, guiding the efforts needed to bring the more than 5,000 
museum professionals to Baltimore. She also tirelessly works to mentor and encourage 
the development of young artists through her work with MICA and the emerging arts and 
entertainment districts and advocates for funding for the arts community in Baltimore and 
throughout the state of Maryland. 
 
 Customer of the Year was presented to ROC Exhibitions for their ongoing commitment 
to Baltimore. In fiscal year 2013 ROC Exhibitions signed agreements for the National 
Fire Protection Association for June 2021 and a two-year commitment for its NFM&T 
and Maintenance Solutions Expo for March 2014 and 2015. NFM&T has a long history 
in Baltimore, meeting annually since 2001. The convention brings more than 7,000 
facility professionals, maintenance directors and engineering managers to the city each 
year in March, generating more than $2 million in economic impact for Baltimore 
annually. ROC Exhibitions also provided Visit Baltimore with a lead for a 
February/March 2015 convention that could generate $5.4 million in future economic 
impact. 
 
 Baltimore Salesperson of the Year was awarded to J.P. Grant, managing partner of 
Race On LLC, for his leadership in taking over the organization and sales efforts for the 
Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2012, which drove more than $43 million in economic 
impact, despite the short time frame in which to organize and promote the race. 
 
 Charlyene E. Grimes Customer Service Award was given to Dave Callaway, president 
of Callaway Transportation, for his partnership in hosting customer events that showcase 
and help to sell the city of Baltimore. 
 
Noonan also reviewed several organizational initiatives for fiscal year 2014, including the 
redesign of the organization’s website www.baltimore.org; the implementation of the first annual 
Baltimore Family Reunion Expo; an expansion of Hotel Week and Winter Restaurant Week to 
include museums and attractions to create a “Baltimore Week”; and positioning Baltimore as a 
hub for sporting events including the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball 
Tournament, the Preakness Stakes, the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four and the new LPGA 
International Crown. 
 
Noonan previewed highlights from calendar year 2014 that add up to a banner year for 
Baltimore’s tourism community, including the culmination of the bicentennial of the War of 
1812, a great calendar of citywide conventions that includes the National Association of Student 
Personnel Administration in March, three weeks of back-to-back meetings each utilizing more 
than 19,000 room nights in June, and a number of other convention and meeting groups in key 
industry sectors of health care and education. 
 
Full details of Visit Baltimore’s fiscal year 2013 results and fiscal year 2014 initiatives can be 
found in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 Annual Report and Business Plan, available online at 
Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates 
economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure 
visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org. 
 
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Sara Warfield

410-659-7071

swarfield@baltimore.org