Local tourism expo planned for March, rescheduled for 2018

By Miranda Wood - mwood@civitasmedia.com

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau has listened to the public and rescheduled an upcoming event to better serve the community and exhibitors.

The Southeastern Ohio Tourism and Business Expo County Tourism Convention in March at the University of Rio Grande was canceled due to the the Gallipolis Visitor center receiving too few registrations for the event. The same day that the local expo was to be scheduled, the Heartland expo was taking place in Tennessee. The Heartland expo is a large event that many of the visitor bureaus were going to attend instead.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have the high numbers of exhibitors register like we have had in the past and instead of moving forward with the event we decided to push it to next year,” Assistant Director of the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCCVB) Kaitlynn Halley said. “We wanted to look out for the community and the exhibitors that did register and decided that we did not want the people that did register for the expo to feel as if their time was being wasted.”

The GCCVB has many projects on the way and is now preparing for an event in downtown Columbus at the Greater Convention Center – the AAA Great Vacation Travel Convention. This convention is one of GCCVB’s biggest shows of the year and staff have been preparing for this event months in advance.

“We get the opportunity to meet people from many different areas, primarily individuals in the Columbus area, and we are able to share with them information about Gallia County and all it has to offer such as our attractions, our local shops, restaurants, our history, and our beautiful landscape here in Gallia County,” Halley said.

The GCCVB is being innovative in its approach to getting more visitors to come to Gallia County by changing its logo, purchasing promotional items for the event, creating new brochures, creating a tourism mobile app, and focusing this year on the different tours that are offered in Gallia County, such as the Heritage Tour.

Halley explains that she, along with the other GCCVB members, would “love to see more bus tours coming to Gallia County and that is one thing that is strongly encouraged at this convention and to get groups to come to Gallia County.”

Halley likes to share interesting facts and folklore that surrounds the area:

“An interesting part of the story of the history of Gallia County, that not a lot of people know, is that when the French 500 are leaving France to come to America on three ships, one ship sinks, though no on was killed, and the other two ships arrive in Virginia. The French were surprised to find out that their deeds were not valid or legal for the state. George Washington finds out about this and assigns his general to send out some men to clear out woods for these settlers in what we know today as our city park. These people that were settling in and building cabins to live in, were mostly aristocratic people and as the legend goes, the men wanted to leave the area but the woman wanted to stay. The women knew they could learn how to work the land and stay in this beautiful land near the river. These upper middle class French aristocrats learned how to thrive in the area. They learned to farm and they were able to stay here.”

Halley also states that the GCCVB also loves to educate people on the Welsh and German heritage in the area.

“We also love to remind or inform people that Southeastern Ohio is part of Appalachia. Our new slogan is ‘100 percent pure Appalachian adventure,’” Halley said.

As for the upcoming local expo being canceled, Halley added: “Though we at the GCCVB are sad to not participate in the local expo this year, we can not wait until the 2018 expo and are looking forward to the many events in between now and then.”

To find out about the The Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau visit their website, visitgallia.com.

By Miranda Wood