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LEADERS UNVEIL PLANS TO STRENGTHEN CLEVELAND AS A DESTINATION

OUTCOMES OF NOVEMBER TRAVEL + TOURISM SUMMIT TO BE ANNOUNCED

Press release from Positively Cleveland…

After four months of research, collaboration and idea generation, Positively Cleveland and other civic-minded leaders will come together to unveil plans to strengthen Cleveland as a tourism destination. The Destination Cleveland Travel + Tourism Outcomes Launch will be held at the House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland) on March 27 from 7:30 – 10am.

Free and open to the public, the event will feature the unveiling of the outcomes of the November tourism summit, celebrate the quick wins related to tourism and allow attendees to engage with Positively Cleveland and other industry partners to continue to create regional economic vitality.

Several leaders will present plans to improve the travel landscape of Cleveland. Presenters will include Joseph Marinucci, President, Downtown Cleveland Alliance; Tony Coyne, Chair, Cleveland City Planning Commission and Group Plan Commission; Terry Stewart, President, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Joseph A. Calabrese, Chief Executive Officer, General Manager/Secretary-Treasurer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; and David Gilbert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Positively Cleveland.

In a press release, Gilbert said, “With the spotlight shining brightly on Cleveland, our goal with this initiative is to set priorities for the next five years that will strengthen the future of the region as a travel destination.” “Ultimately, our goal is to grow the region’s economy.”

Space is limited, so the public is asked to register by March 16 at http://tinyurl.com/summitlaunchrsvp.

The Outcomes Launch is the product of the Destination Cleveland Travel + Tourism Summit, which was held Nov. 2, 2011. At the event, some of Cleveland’s most notable leaders gathered to create an agenda for how Cleveland looks, acts and feels as a travel destination during a period of unprecedented growth including more than $2 billion in visitor-related infrastructure development.

In attendance at the November summit were more than 200 community ambassadors representing various tourism-related industries including attractions, area convention and visitors bureaus, government officials, hotels, neighborhood organizations, non-profits and more. Led by Cleveland-based Appreciative Inquiry, this group of key leaders and ambassadors were engaged in a day of open dialogue, creative brainstorming and action planning to determine how to improve the overall visitor experience. To view clips from the summit, visit http://youtu.be/zMSCNoUyqBc.

After defining the ideal future for Cleveland’s travel and tourism industry, participants from both events identified 11 key opportunity areas for strategic focus including (1) access to natural resources, (2) connectivity and wayfinding, (3) hospitality, (4) first impressions, (5) attraction bundling and packaging, (6) local youth outreach and education, (7) civic pride, (8) locals as ambassadors, (9) public transportation, (10) signature events and (11) technology.

Through more careful review, these eleven key opportunity areas were merged and summarized into six key opportunity areas that will be overseen by various community organizations, which will be announced during the Outcomes Launch on March 27.

For more information about the Destination Cleveland Travel + Tourism Outcomes Launch, visit www.positivelycleveland.com/destinationcleveland. For media seeking to attend launch, please contact Lexi Hotchkiss at lhotchkiss@positivelycleveland.com or 216.875.6628.

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