Shore Tourism Officials Score $50K In ‘Crab Tank’ Contest

Shore Tourism Officials Score $50K In ‘Crab Tank’ Contest
Wicomico County Tourism Manager Kristen Goller and other shore tourism leaders are pictured before a panel of judges at this month’s Maryland Tourism & Travel Summer. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY — The Town of Ocean City Department of Tourism recently teamed up with six Eastern Shore county tourism officials for a “Crab Tank on the Choptank” competition held live during the 38th Annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit in Cambridge last week.

The ultimate pitch competition, loosely based on the hit television show “Shark Tank,” featured contestants presenting their tourism marketing campaign ideas.

Ocean City Tourism Director Donna Abbott and Destination Sales Manager Norma Dobrowolski partnered with tourism officials from Worcester County, Wicomico County, Dorchester County, Talbot County, Queen Anne’s County and Kent County. Their award-winning pitch consisted of a group tour travel itinerary that invites visitors to “Chase the Blue Crab.” The idea behind the new travel adventure is to celebrate, learn, savor and enjoy authentic experiences across the Eastern Shore.

“We were excited to partner with our fellow destination marketing organizations to make the pitch,” Abbott said. “This group tour marketing initiative will be of great benefit to all of our destinations.”

Ten Maryland based teams created programs and promotions that targeted four specific categories: human-powered recreation, family travel, multicultural/diversity travel and group travel.

Each team participated in convincing the crabs to invest in their marketing campaign to increase visitation to Maryland. Judges included Charmaine Singh of Reach Global, Vicki Osman of American Bus Association, Chris Adams of Miles Marketing Partnership, Mike DeAnzeris of Meredith Travel Marketing and Michael Haynie, the former Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

The winning “Chase the Blue Crab” pitch received $50,000 in promotional exposure by the Maryland Office of Tourism, a division of the Maryland Department of Commerce.

The Town of Ocean City Department of Tourism also was the recipient of the Cooperative Partnership Award with Worcester and Wicomico counties for the marketing of the National Folk Festival.