By Kristin Rover
Clermont County Commissioners welcomed the new executive director of the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau to the county during their Dec. 4 session.
Chris Smith, interim executive director for the visitors bureau, introduced Mark Calitri during the session.
Smith said Calitri brings with him years of experience in the tourism industry, including his experience as director of sale at Winegardener and Hammons, a hotel management company.
Smith said Calitri will continue to build on some of the new marketing and business strategies they have been implementing over the past year.
“I am excited about the opportunity,” Calitri said. “And the timing couldn’t be better with so many events going on. This county is primed for growth.”
Calitri said Smith has done an excellent job the past year, and Calitri said he is excited to bring his experience and leadership to the visitors’ bureau.
Calitri said Clermont County has a lot to offer including parks, attractions, shopping opportunities, hotels, and more.
“Clermont County has some of the best kept secrets,” Calitri said.
He said he would like to continue to improve some of the county’s attractions.
“We have a plan in place and are working through the channels to make some infrastructure improvements,” Calitri said.
He said he is also hoping to host more events and activities in the area to increase the amount of people who get to experience Clermont County.
“What we are going to try to do is expand our booking out 12 months,” Calitri said. “And try to work at booking more things.”
He said one of the ways he is hoping to accomplish this is to be available to residents who may want to partner with the bureau to host events.
“Where I came from in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, some of the biggest conventions were created by local people,” Calitri said.
He said drawing people into the county affects every aspect of business from hotels to shopping and restaurants.
“We want people to come in and experience this area and maybe stay,” Calitri said.
He said they are also working to remind residents about the great things they have in their community.
“Something I have found is they take for granted what is in their backyard,” Calitri said. “There are fun, interesting things people want to see and experience.”
For more information about the Clermont County Visitors’ Bureau, visit www.visitclermontohio.com. Calitri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (513) 732-3600.