28
Apr-2014

Southern Delaware Tourism and Partners Represent Sussex County at Regional Trade Shows

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Southern Delaware Tourism and Partners Represent Sussex County at Regional Trade Shows

Southern Delaware Tourism attends trade shows this time of year to attract vacationers and corporate events. Shown at the Delaware booth at the Washington D.C. Travel and Adventure Show are (l-r) Sharon Palmer, Andrew Greeley, Jason Wilson and Scott Thomas.
Late winter and early spring are trade show season for Southern Delaware Tourism. The office attends three shows this time of year including two consumer shows in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, and a third show for conference, convention and event planners, also held in D.C.

“It’s important for Southern Delaware Tourism to go on the road and engage our visitors and potential visitors before they make all of their 2015 travel plans,” says Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism.

At the consumer trade shows, Southern Delaware Tourism partners with the Delaware Tourism Office and Kent County and Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with 10 other partner businesses and organizations that contribute many prizes for each show including free hotel stays, rentals, adventure tours and more.

“Delaware’s exhibit is fortunate to have an energetic, knowledgeable staff comprised of tourism offices and partner businesses in the Delaware tourism industry,” Thomas says. “Team Delaware makes a strong impression.”

The Travel and Adventure Show, the largest travel show in the United States, is a consumer show held in Washington and Philadelphia as well as five other locations around the country. The show allows travel industry representatives and destination representatives to meet face to face with highly qualified travel enthusiasts. Consumers pay to attend these shows; they are serious about finding new destinations to visit. In fact, 72 percent of attendees take multiple regional getaways each year. These shows provide an opportunity for southern Delaware to provide not just information but a personal connection and a real sense of what travelers will experience when they visit.

Thomas says the 2014 Travel and Adventure Shows attracted 10,000 to 12,000 attendees and those staffing the Delaware exhibit engaged with as many as 3,000 interested travelers during the course of the show.

Attendance at Destination Marketing Association International’s Destination Showcase, the trade show for conference, meeting, and event planners, hovers around 500. This select group of Washington, D.C.-area professionals allows destinations to conduct in-depth conversations about what their areas have to offer groups by way of meeting venues and group activities. These conversations result in qualified leads and contacts that destination representatives bring back to share with their respective hotel and meeting venues.

According to DMAI, 80 percent of meeting planners who attend the show book travel in the Mid Atlantic, and 85 percent of attendees book meetings with 200 or fewer participants, ideal numbers for many local venues.

Southern Delaware Tourism supports and encourages the identification, development and promotion of sustainable, year-round tourism in southern Delaware that contributes to economic growth and improves the quality of life. For more information, call Southern Delaware Tourism at 302-856-1818 or go to www.VisitSouthernDelaware.com.

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