The Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be hosting a two day Familiarization (FAM) Tour for group tour operators Wednesday and Thursday.
During the two day tour, group tour operators from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia and Pennsylvania will be guided around the Marietta and Parkersburg areas.
The group tour operators will be picked up in Toledo by the CVB and should arrive at the Historic Lafayette Hotel by late Wednesday morning. A busy day lies ahead including a visit to the newly appointed minor basilica, the St. Mary's Catholic Church. Afterwards the tour will head to Anderson Hancock Planetarium at Marietta College and then check out the Peoples Bank Theatre. After visiting these locations The Cook's Shop will provide wine, spirits and appetizers. Shortly after the cocktail hour, dinner will be served at the Galley/Adelphia Music Hall with live entertainment and a presentation by Hidden Marietta's Lynne Sturtevant.
The second day will begin with the Team Tourism Expo held in the Rufus Putnam Room at the Lafayette Hotel. The Team Tourism Expo should feature at least seven local businesses from the area, this according to Shannon Beacham, member relations and group tour coordinator for the Marietta-Washington County CVB. "The expo allows local, group friendly business owners a chance to interact one on one with the operators."
In the afternoon the tour continues across the river in Parkersburg. From there group tour operators will experience Holl's Chocolates, lunch at the Parkersburg Art Center, the Blennerhassett Museum, and dinner at the Blennerhassett Hotel. Wrapping up the second day of the FAM Tour will be a backstage tour of the Smoot Theater.
Beacham stated this FAM Tour is extremely important in showcasing the area as a distinctive destination for group tour operators to book. "We've lost some of our larger group tour attractions," said Beacham. "This allows us to present what we currently offer and how it can benefit these group tour operators and their customers."