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"Try-City Triangle" Teams Up to Generate Tourism


PITTSBURGH - Destination marketing organizations from Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh compete for convention and meeting business, but they also collaborate to help each other attract leisure tourists. Because these markets are within driving distance of one another, their residents are more easily enticed to visit the collaborating cities when they work together. Representatives from the cities' official tourism agencies, Positively Cleveland, Experience Columbus and VisitPittsburgh have created the TRY-CITY Triangle, a way to get marketing buzz humming around the three participating cities.

According to Colette Jones, vice president of marketing at Positively Cleveland, "We have so much happening in Cleveland that Pittsburgh and Columbus have traditionally been strong leisure tourism markets for us. It just makes sense for us to work together, rather than compete for visitors."

This summer, the TRY-CITY Triangle is initiating a promotion where influential bloggers from each of the cities visit the other two cities in the triangle and write about their experiences. In June, family bloggers from Pittsburgh and Cleveland will visit Columbus. In August, bloggers from the LGBT community in Pittsburgh and Columbus will visit Cleveland, hosts of the 2014 Gay Games; and in October, art bloggers from Columbus and Cleveland will visit Pittsburgh for its Carnegie International. The bloggers decide on the attractions or establishments to visit based on recommendations from Twitter and Facebook members of the hosting city. "Working together gives us the chance to hear from our counterparts on trends and events that can end up being big draws for Columbus," says Kari Kauffman, director of tourism for Experience Columbus. "With our many quality family attractions, it will be great to welcome family bloggers to our city."

These three agencies meet frequently to share marketing information and develop joint promotions to benefit all involved. They advertise and pitch media to each other's cities in an attempt to lure residents to their own city. They offer advice on the best places to advertise, share visitor trends, and coordinate promotions to get locals to travel to other places, something each city recognizes as valuable to the local economy. "In Pittsburgh we want our local residents to travel. The more they do so, the more they understand the value of tourism in their own city," says Tinsy Lipchak, vice president of marketing at VisitPittsburgh.

Lexi Hotchkiss, Positively Cleveland, 216-539-5487
Beth Ervin, Experience Columbus, 614-222-6127
Connie George, VisitPittsburgh, 412-638-6008