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December 3, 2012

Of silver bells and golden payoffs

NORMAN — Gasoline prices are on the decline, and AAA says holiday travel is on the upswing. Add in the “extra” weekend, thanks to an earlier Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, and that should spell additional sales tax receipts versus the same period last year.

The Norman CVB has been aggressively publicizing the extensive holiday activities available through two media blitzes and even advertising on the streaming Christmas station to encourage more shopping, eating and spending while going to our plays, musicals and events.

During those blitzes and a travel show in Dallas, we have given away tickets on radio stations in southern and eastern parts of Oklahoma and Kansas to sporting and fine art events to bring some out-of-towners to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and do some Christmas shopping while they are here.

We also have created a special page on our website that lists Norman’s holiday events to encourage more travel. You also can send a link to your friends and families out of town to our website, VisitNorman.com/Christmas, to show them how much there is to do and see if they are here for a week or long weekend.

The Christmas page has already become one of the top 20 pages visited on our site, and it is less than two weeks old.

Through promotion of our website and search-engine marketing, the number of visitors to our website from November 2011 to 2012 nearly tripled, and the 10th most visited page was one we created for restaurants open on Thanksgiving.

This kind of promotion of what we have happening in Norman during all times of the year creates jobs and increases sales tax dollars. Economic development through tourism means more money for our parks, streets, law enforcement and schools.

Stefanie Brickman is the communications manager of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau. The NCVB exists to promote the city, to attract overnight meeting, convention, sport and tourism business to the community, and to enhance and contribute to the overall identity and economic wellbeing of the city. The Vision of the Norman Convention & Visitors Bureau is to be the leader who proactively markets and develops Norman as the preferred destination in Oklahoma.

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