Every day county-level convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) are on the front lines of tourist attraction, interaction and retention.

While the Delaware Tourism Office (DTO) leads the overall state effort of reaching out-of-state travelers, the county CVBs are having constant and consistent interaction with area businesses and visitors, further ensuring a positive experience that keeps tourists coming back and businesses prospering.

Each of the CVBs operates visitor centers providing in-person information and consultation for visitors. Southern Delaware Tourism (SDT) lends financial support to five locations across Sussex County, including the bustling beach area. The Greater Wilmington CVB (GWCVB) staffs one in the heart of Wilmington. And Kent County Tourism (KCT) is taking its personal outreach services to the next level with a new mobile visitor center, called “The Villager.”

Through partnerships DTO works closely with the visitor bureaus, which cover areas, industries and events with a county-specific focus. Each of the CVBs has seen recent success in multiple projects that have helped maintain tourism as a significant revenue generator for Delaware.

Nemours Mansion and GardenGreater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau
•    The Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport is popular with visitors to the northern part of the state. Sales are up 38 percent this year over 2016. Purchasers have come from 11 different states. 
•    The GWCVB also has staff dedicated to meetings sales and a significant transportation incentive. To date in FY2017, GWCVB has brought 10 meetings to New Castle County and assisted with 29, which has created an economic impact of $1.5 million for the county.

Sunrise Delaware beachSouthern Delaware Tourism
•    SDT works to promote Sussex County as a meeting, retreat and group destination. The office offers incentives to this target market. 
•    Southern Delaware administers nearly $600,000 in annual tourism promotion for nine chambers of commerce in Sussex County. Investment here has led to achievements that include 100 percent hotel occupancy throughout the area the weekend of the Sea Witch Festival, held during the beaches’ off-peak season.

First State Heritage ParkKent County Tourism
•    KCT works on unique ways to deliver business to the capital region during off-peak times of year. For example, KCT staff markets the county as an ideal place to hold military reunions, especially for veterans who have served at Dover Air Force Base. 
•    The office is also the only of the state’s three CVBs that produces events for the area. Dover Days, the Amish County Bike Tour and the Delaware Wine & Beer Festival are all well-loved draws for out-of-staters and Delawareans alike.

Delaware’s county convention and visitors bureaus play a vital role in the success of tourism statewide. With continued reinvestment and funding support from Delaware’s Public Accommodations Tax and local partners, they will be in a strong position to help the industry grow for years to come.