COLUMBUS — The Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (OACVB) held its 21st annual awards of Excellence Luncheon in Columbus on Thursday, Dec. 20.

State Tourism Achievement Recognition (STAR) Awards honor outstanding efforts by Ohio Convention & Visitor Bureaus in their work to market and promote their area destinations and to generate overall awareness of the tourism industry. Recipients were honored for their innovation, creativity, effectiveness and impact in travel and tourism marketing and advertising.

The Miami County Visitors Bureau attended this luncheon and brought home a First Place STAR Award for their creative marketing campaign, Holiday Welcome Weekend. This campaign was created to offer awareness to potential visitors that we have five lovely downtown communities that offer an enjoyable shopping experience to kick-off the holiday season. The Miami County Visitors Bureaus also brought home two second place awards; one for their website, HomeGrownGreat.com and one for a print ad promoting Miami County Outdoor Adventure.

Winning entries were recognized for excellence in objective, results, creativity and originality. Eighty nine entries were received in print, advertising, promotion, social media, website and marketing campaign categories. All entries are judged by a team of experts in the communications, advertising, public relations, publications and/or tourism fields from outside of the OACVB membership.

Convention and visitor bureaus are best described as destination marketing organizations and are responsible for promoting travel and tourism product awareness to visitors. Winning a STAR Award and being recognized for a job well-done in the promotion of travel and tourism throughout the state of Ohio is a highly valued achievement.

OACVB is a statewide organization serving CVBs throughout Ohio helping them to maximize the economic impact of tourism via effective communication, cooperative marketing, industry education, legislative awareness, issue management, trend identification and professional development.