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September 21, 2023

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City council discusses tourism’s impact on BG

When most students think of Bowling Green, Ohio, in terms of where the city’s money comes from, they don’t come up with tourism as an answer.

Wendy Stram, director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, discussed Bowling Green’s tourism potentials for 2007 at last night’s city council meeting.

The Bowling Green Convention and Visitors’ Bureau is dedicated to bringing in people from outside the community.

“Our mission is to bring economic impact to the community through visitors,” Stram said.

Bowling Green has more to present to tourists than many people may realize.

“We’re pretty fortunate in Bowling Green to have so much to offer,” Stram said.

The city is home to the Wood County Historical Center and Museum, the newly constructed Civil War Museum and the wind turbines.

“The number one attraction right now is the wind turbines,” Stram said.

Two big events for the city this upcoming year, according to Stram, will be the Foodways Culinary Expo at the Woodland Mall, which will feature food samples from the city’s local restaurants as well as several guest speakers. The exposition will take place on April 22.

The other big event will be the National Elks Bowling Tournament. The tournament will last over eight weeks and will begin on March 7. It brings in approximately 300 bowlers each weekend.

The city has the opportunity to place a bid on the tournament every five years in order for it to be hosted in the city. The last bowling tournament to be held in the city was in 1998.

The National Elks Bowling Tournament is a big deal for the city. The tournament will bring approximately $2 million into the city’s economy.

“Anything that brings that many people to the town is a great thing. They can see the city and what we have to offer,” said Megan Newlove, city council member.

This is a great success for the city Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, as it is the organization’s first year on its own. It split off from the Chamber of Commerce almost a year ago.

“It’s very exciting to be a full-time service CVB,” Stram said. “Everything went very smoothly and the community and visitors embraced us.”

The association also collaborates with the University to create internships for students. Right now the bureau has six interns.

Some of the internships go to hospitality majors who want to become travel and tourism administrators.

However, one does not have to be a hospitality major in order to get an internship with the bureau, according to Stram. For example the bureau currently has a public relations student working as an intern for the upcoming Foodways Exposition.

More information on the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors’ Bureau can be found at the Bureau’s Web site

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