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Merriam Visitors Bureau

Annual Report 2010

Travel & Tourism --- Top 15 Industries! According to a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, travel will continue to be one of the leading industries over the next 15+ years. And, there’s no shortage of travel destinations for these hundreds of millions of visitors to choose from. Further data suggests that consumers are overwhelmed with the thousands of travel options out there, but need leisure and recreation more than ever. It is not a matter of if they will spend money on traveling—it is a matter of where and with whom. Although the past year proved economically challenging for many communities across the nation, we were fortunate that it also brought new opportunities as more Americans chose to vacation closer to home instead of cancelling travel plans outright. As a region accessible to more than 60 million people within a day’s drive—Merriam--although “down,” was certainly not “out” in 2010 due in no small part to our accessible Midwest location, affordable pricing and favorable visitor appeal! As we look forward to signs of improvement in 2011 and beyond, we thank you for your continued support. We encourage you to be a part of Kansas tourism’s $7.2 billion dollar business by inviting your friends and relatives to visit Merriam...next door neighbors to Kansas City! - Karen Crane, Director


Tourism in Kansas amounts to a tax savings of $876 per household. The Merriam Visitors Bureau (MVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Merriam, KS. Our number one goal is to increase awareness of Merriam in the Kansas City region both domestically and internationally. Tourism marketing objectives target leisure and business travelers including individuals, families, groups, meetings/conferences, weddings, reunions, sports competitions, and special events. The MVB efforts generate revenue for hotels, restaurants, retailers, attractions, recreational activities and service organizations. The Merriam Visitors Bureau is funded solely through the collection of the city’s transient guest tax paid by visitors staying at Merriam hotels. No residential taxpayer dollars are used to support Bureau operations, staff or tourism programs.

Did you know… ŪŪ Each Kansas visitor generates about $238 in expenditures ŪŪ Every 203 visitors create one new job in our state ŪŪ Tourism in Kansas amounts to a tax savings of $876 per household ŪŪ Each visitor contributes about $58 in tax receipts, $33 of which goes to state and local authorities ŪŪ Tourism in Kansas is the 3rd largest industry and provided 27.4% of all state and local tax revenue in 2009

2010 Hotel Performance... (Based on official reports from Smith Travel Research)

Hotel Occupancy % This year Last year % of change

2008 51 54 -5.5

2009 47.4 51 -7.1

2010 57.6 47.4 21.6

Hotel Average Daily Rate This year Last year % of change

2008 65.29 63.88 2.2

2009 57.24 65.29 -12.3

2010 54.17 57.24 -5.4

Hotel Total Revenue This year Last year % of change

2008 6,845,471 7,086,949 -3.4

2009 5,576,590 6,845,471 -18.5

2010 6,013,267 5,576,590 7.8

2010 Marketing...

Facebook & social media marketing www.facebook.com/ExploreMerriam

2010 National Tourism Week Cooperative Marketing & Events

GPS ad placed in all AAA publications and Visit KC annual guide.


Noteworthy in Merriam... ŪŪ Celebrated our 60th year as an incorporated City (October 28, 1950) ŪŪ Won the “Take Charge Challenge” contest amongst six Kansas cities, thus receiving eleven solar panels for the Historic Plaza/Visitors Bureau office. ŪŪ Received official site designation at Merriam Historic Plaza within the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area ŪŪ Coordinated and participated in a state-wide trade-show featuring KS’ tour products and communities (Omaha, NE) ŪŪ Launched an online version of the annual visitors guide complete with page zoom, print and flip options ŪŪ Hosted “Flat Merriam” contest between 60 third-grade students in two Merriam Elementary schools during National Tourism Week ŪŪ Increased social marketing exposure and followers via weekly updates and posts; specifically increased papge fans by 20% during the “12 Days of Social Media Holiday Cheer” contest held in December ŪŪ Hosted travel writer FAM tours during the Society of American Travel Writers conference in Kansas City ŪŪ Participated in a $100,000 cooperative marketing campaign geared toward visiting friends and relatives to Kansas City — the outdoor billboards were seen by 250,000 adults daily and provided Merriam with a net radio value of $94,000

In 2010, fifteen area Convention & Visitors Bureaus across Kansas City banded together to launch a $100,000 media campaign targeting visiting friends and relatives. Highlights of the campaign included: ŪŪ Four themed billboards reaching over 250,000 people per day (adults 18+) ŪŪ Added value by from Coca-Cola truck backs and two-liter neck ringers ŪŪ Radio promotional spots for each community and radio remotes at special events and attractions ŪŪ Specially designed flash website allowing visitors to www.kcdestinations.com the option to scroll through community offerings ŪŪ Passport contest encouraging visitation in each community for a chance to win free gas for a year, tickets on Southwest Airlines, free hotel stays and dozens of prize packages ŪŪ Interactive “invitation postcard” local residents can send online to friends and family

ŪŪ Offered four new hidden treasures throughout Merriam as part of the Eat, Sleep, Cache program ŪŪ Welcomed new attraction, KC Skatepark to our city — the Midwest’s largest indoor skate park ŪŪ Certified five new tourism ambassadors working the frontlines for visitors of Merriam

Puzzled? Find the missing piece for your next group tour in Merriam...next door neighbors to Kansas City! Let us help put together a “perfect fit” itinerary for your group. 

Old Fashioned Soda & Espresso Shop Guitar Lamp Rock 'n' Roll Loft K.C. Strings Violin Shop Art Gallery Preview

Group tour ad in Midwest Itineraries through Tour KS coop.

Group tour ad in Tour KC publication.

Tour KS group travel tradeshow in Omaha, NE.

National Tourism Week educational event.


“Travel tops the list of pursuits consumers rank most valuable to their livelihood and well-being (72%), ahead of home entertining with friends or family (66%), and dining out (60%).” - American Express Survey 2010

Merriam Visitors Bureau 6304 East Frontage Road Merriam, Kansas 66202 www.exploremerriam.com • (913) 403-8999


Merriam Visitors Bureau 2010 Annual Report