About Positively Cleveland
What is Positively Cleveland?
Positively Cleveland is an award-winning, DMAI-accredited destination marketing organization. Recently we've earned the 2009 Facilities & Destinations' "Top Destination" award, Corporate and Incentive Travel magazine's "Award of Excellence for Outstanding Service to the Meetings and Incentive Travel Industry," Successful Meetings' prestigious Pinnacle Award (for the 18th year in a row) and a 2010 Meetings & Conventions Gold Service Award. We promote the region to convention and meeting planners and to leisure travelers. Positively Cleveland was one of the first convention and visitors bureaus in business in the nation.
Research shows that tourist destinations depend heavily on marketing efforts. Positively Cleveland is the only organization that promotes the entire region to this audience. Our marketing efforts for leisure tourists mainly include public relations (story placement) and online advertising: web ads, social networking and search engine optimization. We also advertise in magazines that target specific audiences.
We aggressively market and advertise to surrounding markets such as Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh and fly in markets such as Baltimore and Nashville, helping to drive 13 million visitors to Cuyahoga County each year.
What does Positively Cleveland do?
Most of our own family members don't totally understand what we do, so it's okay if you're a little confused. We do more than just bring conventions into the convention center. We also bring in meetings, tradeshows and conferences to outside venues like hotels and the I-X Center and help facilitate them--often offering registration or housing assistance, logistical help and other services free of charge. We pitch media on story ideas related to business and leisure tourism in Cleveland. We bring motorcoaches and group tours to the area to experience our attractions. We provide valuable visitor information. We sponsor major events in the area... the list goes on and on. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Proactively work with the media and meeting planners to promote the Cleveland area. This includes about 5,500 contacts and visits a year with associations, professional and corporate planners, transportation companies and travel, sports and food writers.
- Book more than 250 meetings and conventions each year into various venues ranging from the I-X Center to individual hotels to the Convention Center, accounting for more than 200,000 room nights for local hotels. For every $1 Positively Cleveland spends selling conventions and meetings, we return $105 to the community.
- Send 40 targeted news releases to a database of more than 2,900 writers.
- Promote Cleveland at more than 20 tradeshows annually as a business and tourist destination.
- Support the 61,000 small business jobs and $5.9 billion of economic impact (generating $225 million in local taxes) from the tourism industry in Cuyahoga County. Tourism is the fourth largest employer in the County.
- Proudly present to more than 200 organizations a year highlighting our world-class museums, restaurants, music and theater offerings, attractions, parks and waterways, sports teams, arts and culture, historical significance, business centers of excellence, health-care, retail, nightlife and our business location advantages.
- Creatively drive more than 600,000 unique visitors a year to our two websites and six social networking sites providing visitors and business decision makers with fresh, up-to-date, factual and unbiased information.
- Provide visitor information in the form of maps, four annual visitors/destination planning guides, two websites, etc.
- Provide training and informational sessions to its membership.
- Support events, projects and attractions to the tune of about $450K a year. (In 2009, we contributed $500K to bring the Rock Hall inductions here)
- Advocate for the hospitality industry.
- Support major initiatives like the NCAA Women's Final Four, the RNC bid, the US Figure Skating Championships, the Gay Games, etc.
- Service groups and meetings (more than 250 in 2009)-making rooming arrangements, handling registrations, etc. All with no fee to the client/group.
How is Positively Cleveland funded?
Positively Cleveland is funded by a combination of membership dues and Cuyahoga County bed tax funds. The bed tax is collected from people who stay overnight in hotels so, in essence, we are funded by travelers and partner organizations.
County Bed Tax Distribution
The County Bed Tax is currently used for a number of funding needs. Positively Cleveland, the region's only marketing organization for tourism, receives just 57%. However, quite a few community organizations and needs are funded out of that 57% right off the top, leaving Positively Cleveland with just $4.2 million of the bed tax.
- Administrative Fund - $1,085,281 used by the County to cover the overhead costs of auditing and distributing the bed tax funds.
- Municipality Fund - $22,668 distributed to each municipal corporation or township in the county that does not levy its own excise tax.
How much goes to community organizations first?
|In 2009, 57% of the bed tax ||$6,533,071 |
|Less Gateway payment ($1,425,996) ||$5,107,075 |
|Less supplemental funding provided to other local organizations ($699,030*) ||$4,408,045 |
|Less support provided to CLE+ Visitors Center ($110,270) ||$4,297,775 |
|Less support provided to CLE+ Marketing Alliance ($100,000) ||$4,197,775 |
|Total remaining (after $2,335,296 community support) ||$4,197,775 (just 36.6% of total) |
*Includes $500,000 to support the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
How Positively Cleveland earns income
- $500,000 through membership dues raised from our more than 650 members
- $300,000 of advertising sales for our visitor, motorcoach and meeting publications and websites
- Interest income on our investments
- In-kind donations from our members to offset the cost of hosting meeting planners, motorcoach operators and travel writers
Positively Cleveland is devoted to creating an economic impact for the region by promoting business and leisure travel to the area. Most residents don't fully realize how important tourism is to the region, whether it's a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or a weekend getaway built around a Broadway blockbuster at PlayhouseSquare.
Did you know?
- 13 million people, who live at least 60 miles away, visit Cuyahoga County each year.
- The hospitality industry is the fourth largest employer in the region - behind medical, government and industry.
- 61,000 jobs in Cuyahoga County depend on maintaining a strong tourism industry. That number extends to 163,000 jobs throughout Northeast Ohio.
- 90 percent of local hospitality jobs are in small businesses.
- Cuyahoga County's tourism industry generated $865 million in tax receipts and fees; $466 million of which were state and local.
- Northeast Ohio (which includes 21 counties but does not extend west to Sandusky/Lake Erie Islands, an area actively promoted by Positively Cleveland and other destination marketing organizations, or DMOs) claimed $13 billion in tourism sales and accounted for 36% of tourism sales in Ohio-the highest of any region of the state.
- Cuyahoga County brought in 46% of Northeast Ohio's tourism sales.
Positively Cleveland's Board of Trustees
City of Pepper Pike
Cleveland State University
InterContinental Hotels Cleveland
Executive Director of Advisory Services
Ernst & Young
President and CEO
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture
Sheraton Airport Hotel
President and CEO
Northeast Ohio - Fifth Third Bank
Regional Sales Director
Cleveland Convention Center &
Global Center for Health Innovation
Chief Marketing Officer
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Chief of Government Affairs
City of Cleveland
Area General Manager
Cleveland Marriott Downtown
Kohrman, Jackson and Krantz
University Circle Incorporated
President and CEO
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
William (Bill) Summers
Director and Advisor
Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research
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