Updated Tue, Sep 20, 2011 3:02 pm
Leaders at the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau say despite the struggling economy, the agency still manages to bring more tourism to Athens than ever before.
Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Paige Alost credits several tools with helping the bureau bring visitors to the area: the visitors guide, the website and an ability to connect with people online.
This year, the ACCVB won three Middy Awards, given to outstanding tourism promotion organizations in the region.
They earned first place for their 2011 visitors guide, a 60-page guide to Athens. The bureau's social media promotion through Facebook, blogs, and newsletters also took the top spot.
The visitors bureau's tourism website took a second place award.
The ACCVB launched their social media efforts more than a year ago and now they are reconnecting with current residents, as well as with those out-of-towners who have community ties.
Alost attributes part of the bureau’s success to its Facebook page.
With more than 5,000 fans, Alost says the page is a useful way to reach people and receive feedback inexpensively.
The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau also provides a connection for local businesses. The ACCVB offers free listings for all local businesses.