Allyson Bussey Named Interim Director of the Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau

ally_busseyThe Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau (CVB) has named Allyson Bussey as its interim director. Bussey joined the CVB in October of 2007 and has served as assistant director for the past year.

In this role, Bussey will oversee the day-to-day operations of the CVB, as well as represent and help implement the Bureau’s strategic vision of elevating the travel and tourism industry on a local, regional and statewide level. She will continue to oversee marketing and brand initiatives, media and partner relations and sales in the leisure and group tour markets.

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am pleased to share the appointment of Allyson Bussey as our interim director,” said Anne Graffice, executive director of alumni engagement at the University of Mount Union and CVB chairperson. “We are confident leaning on Allyson’s experience within the Bureau and her respected position within the industry. She brings valued expertise and a vision for the future that allows us to continue the implementation of our strategic plan, as well as our ultimate focus which is creating a positive economic impact for our region.”

Bussey has been in the travel & tourism industry for over 15 years and is active in many community and industry roles. She is an executive board member of the Ohio Travel Association, and past president of both the Adventure in Northeast Ohio and Lake Township Chamber of Commerce boards.  She was awarded the Northeast Ohio Tourism Excellence Award in 2014 and was the inaugural recipient of the Ohio Travel Industry Emerging Leader Award, also in 2014.

Business & Tourism Leaders Unite to Support Southwest Airlines® at Akron-Canton Airport, Launch #LUVCAK Grassroots campaign

A strong airport is good for business. Period. That is why business and tourism leaders throughout the region are collaborating to support Southwest Airlines at Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) by launching #LUVCAK today. The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Stark Development Board, the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are leading the communitywide effort.

Why #LUVCAK? Simply, the community-based #LUVCAK campaign is designed to spread the love for Southwest and their single source booking strategy online ONLY at Southwest.com. #LUVCAK includes social media, direct mail, advertising, email, a sales blitz, and events. The partners hope to enroll 20,000 new Rapid Rewards® members as a result. To help generate excitement, Southwest Airlines is offering sixty $100 LUV vouchers good for travel aboard Southwest Airlines from CAK. Travelers who enroll in Southwest’s award-winning frequent traveler program, Rapid Rewards, at http://www.luvcak.com will be entered to win. One lucky entrant will win four round-trip tickets aboard Southwest anywhere they fly in the domestic U.S. from CAK.

“#LUVCAK will help educate our business community about the value of low fare service at our airport,” according to Denny Saunier, president and CEO, Canton Regional Chamber. “We plan on building a successful future with Southwest at CAK. This campaign will encourage business and leisure travelers alike to check Southwest.com every time they fly to be sure they are getting the lowest fare. It just makes sense.”

Southwest landed at the local airport in late 2012 bringing legendary low fares and customer service to our community. Additionally, Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in 2011 and is in the process of combining the carriers into a single airline. In 2013, AirTran was the largest carrier at CAK moving nearly a million customers to and from the airport. Approximately 75 percent of the AirTran flights from CAK will transition to Southwest flying by June 2, 2014 (including flights to Atlanta, New York (LGA), Boston, Orlando and Tampa).

“We have been eagerly anticipating the integration of AirTran into Southwest,” said Dan Colantone, president and CEO, Greater Akron Chamber. “Every community in the U.S. hopes to land Southwest Airlines. Not only do we have Southwest, they are keeping fares low and retaining key business routes at CAK, positioning this region as an excellent location for business expansion. It would be an understatement to say we are thrilled to launch #LUVCAK today.”

“Promoting CAK as a low fare portal is very attractive to companies considering locating or expanding in Stark County,” according to Steve Paquette, president and CEO, Stark Development Board. “We want local business leaders to understand that Southwest drives those low fares. Our support of #LUVCAK and Southwest.com is vital to business development in the county and the region.”

“Our tourism community benefits from low fares and a growing route map at CAK. Southwest will bring even more visitors to this region which is why we are on board with #LUVCAK,” said Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “Akron-Canton Airport is vital to the region, saving travelers nearly a billion dollars in air fare since 1997. We want to keep that momentum going.”

John Kiste, executive director, Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors Bureau agrees, “Southwest’s arrival puts CAK on the map like no other airline can. We can’t wait to spread the news about Southwest.com. It is a simple way to preserve the low fares and exceptional service we have come to enjoy at our airport.”

Visit www.luvcak.com to enroll in Rapid Rewards, learn more about the #LUVCAK campaign and its partners, and for complete rules and regulations to win prizes.

Stark and Tuscarawas County Visitors’ Bureaus host joint tour

CANTON, OHIO (February 12, 2013) – The Canton/Stark County and Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus will host a joint Familiarization Tour (FAM) for bus tour planning professionals prior to the Heartland Travel Showcase. The FAM Tour allows planning professionals to experience first-hand the potential tourism experiences available in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties, and the goal is to encourage future tours to the area.

The Canton/Stark and Tuscarawas CVBs will escort 14 midwest bus tour operators around the region. During the FAM Tour, the tour planners will have the opportunity to interact not only with Stark County tourism partners, but with over a dozen regional partners, including Positively Cleveland, Akron/Summit County CVB and other attractions.

The FAM Tour concludes the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a tradeshow and dinner at MAPS Air Museum. Stark County partners include the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Gervasi Vineyard and Hartville Marketplace, among more than 30 others.

The FAM Tour is held leading up to Heartland Travel Showcase, the Midwest’s premier group tour marketplace. The theme of the tour, “A Salute to American Legends,” celebrates legends from the football field and the battlefield, as well as quirky salutes to Americana.

“Tours of this magnitude allow us to give key tour planners an insider’s look at our amazing destinations. The dollars generated by tour buses to our region are a major driver of the economic impact of tourism,” said Allyson Bussey, tourism marketing manager for the Canton/Stark County CVB.

Media access is available. Please contact Allyson Bussey at (330) 806-9631 for more information.

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Who do you think is the “BEST of Stark County”?

CANTON, OH (April 9, 2010) – In an effort to promote the wonderful opportunities that Stark County has to offer, the Canton • Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau is delighted to announce that the fourth annual “Best of Stark County Awards” will begin Monday, April 12th and are encouraging all Stark County residents to share their opinions on what they think are THE BEST THINGS of Stark County.

The awards were created as part of Destination Stark County Month, a celebration of tourism in Stark County. The “Best of Stark County” Awards have received such rave revues from local residents and companies that the votes continue to grow exponentially each year! The voting for the “Best of Stark County Awards” will begin on April 12th and continue through April 30th until midnight. The community will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites in a plethora of categories including: best place to spend the day with family, best public golf course, best sporting event, best art gallery and the best tastes of Stark County, just to name a few. Voters are eligible to win a $200 Gas Card Grand Prize simply for casting their vote.

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Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau among those sworn in by Governor

CANTON, OH (Nov. 24, 2009) – John Kiste, executive director of the Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, was among the four officers of the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus (OACVB) to be sworn in to the executive committee by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in Cambridge, Ohio on Nov. 19.
The OACVB works tirelessly to help individual tourism groups bring more visitors and events within Ohio’s borders. One of the organization’s primary goals has been to keep funding at the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism, and the Division’s executive director, Amir Eylon, accompanied Governor Strickland to Thursday’s meeting, where both spoke about the present state of tourism in Ohio and their plans for its future.

Tourism industry urges a stand against eliminating travel budget

CANTON, OH (June 30, 2009) – The Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau works closely with a hard-working but woefully under-funded state Division of Travel & Tourism to bring travelers and events first to Ohio, and ultimately to the Stark County area. Now a push is being made to eliminate funding for the state Division, This action would lead to Ohio being a state without a tourism budget surrounded by states where tourism is being strongly funded, like Michigan, which has recently launched a $30 million tourism campaign.

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