LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Fair is just one of the attractions that bring people to the county every year. Now, community leaders are coming together to help create a tourism bureau to attract more visitors.
Attempts were made in the past to create a tourism bureau, but it never got off the ground. Recently, several county officials felt there was a serious need.
“I recognize the fact that we don’t do a great job marketing ourselves,” said Eileen Dray-Bardon, co-chairperson of the Columbiana County Parks District.
If you do a search, you can find plenty of tourism websites but not one for Columbiana County, so county leaders got in touch with a marketing class at Kent State University. They are recommending using social media.
“I think the timing is good now because we can do a lot with social media, and it doesn’t require that we have a full-time executive director to run the thing,” Dray-Bardon said.
Dray-Bardon says she favors showing off nature scenes but also mentioned attractions such as homes in Salem that were part of the Underground Railroad or Firestone Farms in Columbiana and the events they host.
“A two or three-day stay is going to be a greater economic driver to the economy than somebody who comes in, has dinner and leaves after three hours,” said Tad Herold, director of development for Columbiana County.
Herold is also chairman of the tourism bureau. Right now, there are eight board members.
Herold said they want to attract people from Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but to do so, you have to give visitors more than one reason to come.
“If you are coming to the city of Columbiana, why don’t you also spend some time in Lisbon. Also, spend some time in East Liverpool. These are the things that they have to offer,” Herold said.
The board is in the process of asking local governments and chambers of commerce to become members for a fee.
“We don’t have any funding at all, so that will help us with some of our marketing ideas,” Dray-Bardon said.
A website has been created where you can find out about things to do in Columbiana County.