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Tourism and Marketing Dir. Donna Abbott says metrics show tremendous summer

(Jan. 3, 2020) The Ocean City Tourism Commission had a lot to brag about this year, according to Tourism Director Donna Abbott. 

“Overall, the 2019 season was one of, if not, the best season ever, according to our metrics,” Abbott said. 

The year kicked off with a successful endorsement of a resort promotion campaign developed by MGH Advertising and the Tourism Department, and approved by the mayor and City Council. 

“While some may attribute all of the success to good weather, that weather scenario played out similarly at other competing destinations, and we remained competitive,” Abbott said. 

Abbott’s claims are not biased personal opinions, either, as the commission’s efforts have received state recognition.

“Ocean City Tourism Department … recently won the “Best Use of Social Media” at this year’s Maryland Tourism Coalition state conference,” Abbott said. “We are very proud to be recognized by our state tourism industry. 

Abbott also highlighted the focus commission members had at each meeting.

Each meeting allowed the commission to gain momentum for each of its tourism strategic plan goals, and produced new ideas to enhance tourism initiatives.

Some of these goals included extending weekend stays in Ocean City and producing more city-sponsored activities. 

To do this, the commission directed resort Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller to devise a new extended weekend schedule for the 2020 season. 

Another big topic this year had been extending the city’s traditional markets, and targeting states such as Ohio and West Virginia, and increasing the city’s advertisement and marketing campaign as a whole. 

Perhaps one of the commission’s biggest ambitions is to claim the title of “Maryland’s amateur sports capital.” 

Councilman John Gehrig first mentioned the idea during the city’s strategic plan update meetings in October, and readdressed the idea at a commission meeting on Nov. 13. 

“We are built to dominate and be the national leader in [sports] events,” Councilman John Gehrig said on Nov. 13. 

With the completion of a sports complex feasibility study earlier in December, the commission will be able to pursue this goal more aggressively in 2020. 

Looking toward the future, Abbott said the commission would continue to concentrate on heightening its influence. 

“As far as 2020, the Tourism Commission is already discussing plans to enhance and continue to grow tourism in Ocean City. We are looking at various initiatives and promotions,” Abbot said.

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