Winners of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) 2013 Mercury awards were announced last week during U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Richmond, Va. The NCSTD honored Travel Oregon with two Mercury awards – Best Overall State Marketing Program and Best State Travel Website in the country.

 

Mercury awards recognize excellence and creative accomplishment at the state level in tourism marketing and promotion, and for inspiring the continued development of exciting destination marketing and promotion programs.

“Earning these Mercury awards is a tribute to the remarkable teamwork, ingenuity and know-how of Travel Oregon’s staff and our partners,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition from our tourism peers across the nation because the awards acknowledge both the innovative and creative elements of these endeavors along with the strong results they achieved.”

Oregon Bounty, called out specifically in the Best Overall Marketing award, was developed by Travel Oregon to boost tourism during the fall. It highlights Oregon's many food artisans, farmers, ranchers, chefs, winemakers and brew masters who make the state a premier culinary destination. In 2012, Travel Oregon took on the challenge to keep the state’s indie-food scene fresh in the minds of potential visitors. In May, 2012 Travel Oregon showcased 50 local artisans at a New York event attended by more than 200 media and food influencers, where they unveiled “Trails to Feast” – a series of inspirational trip ideas curated by Oregon chefs and artisans. The Oregon Bounty advertising campaign inspired food explorers to taste the whole state and to experience Feast Portland: A Celebration of Oregon Bounty – a first-of-its-kind food and drink festival in the Pacific Northwest, exposing a whole new audience to Oregon’s epicurean wonderland.

The goal of TravelOregon.com is to be the most trusted resource for Oregon travel inspiration and trip information. The initiative to overhaul the entire website was based on a complete rethinking of what a statewide tourism office should be doing to attract visitors. The site provides both original and curated editorial content, advice from locals – such as the innovative Ask Oregon ambassadors program – and stunning photography combined with ‘plan-your-trip’ information like lodging, restaurants, attractions, recreation and events that potential visitors can trust to plan a remarkable Oregon vacation.  This year, the awards were judged by J. Walter Thompson (JWT), an internationally recognized marketing and communications firm. Judges offered a unique perspective because the agency was chosen to help develop Brand USA’s national tourism promotion strategy.

The Oregon Bounty campaign was executed in collaboration with local and regional destination marketing organizations statewide, Maxwell PR, Robeson Communications, In-House Graphics, Wieden+Kennedy, Sparkloft and Feast Portland. TravelOregon.com was developed in partnership with Substance, Ten Bridges, MEDIAmerica and Wieden+Kennedy.