As public relations director for the Park Board, much of my job involves relating to the media, but I do also have opportunities to relate directly to potential visitors to the island.

One such occasion was at the end of March when a colleague and I attended the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show. More than 15,000 consumers, members of the media and travel professionals attended, eager to learn about the 150 destinations from around the world represented there.

Those destinations included places in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Galveston was well represented with the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and Moody Gardens who brought plants, penguins, fish and a snake to their super-sized booth.

The two-day event offered attendees a chance to get up close with travel representatives and plan their trips. It also included presentations from authors and educational sessions from travel professionals.

My colleague and I talked to hundreds of people interested in Galveston. Some were seasoned Galveston visitors who let us know the many reasons they love the island. Others were recent transplants to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and had limited knowledge of Galveston. Yes! It really is an island! It was a great opportunity to let them know that there’s so much more to our island than our beautiful beaches.

Other similar consumer events the CVB participates in include the Texas Book Festival in Austin and the Plano Balloon Festival. The Texas Book Festival is held in the fall at the state capital grounds. The family friendly event attracts 40,000 people and provides the CVB a great opportunity to promote visitation to Galveston during the holiday season. The Plano Balloon Festival, also held in the fall, attracts nearly 100,000 people.

Participating in all these events helps the CVB in its mission to attract visitors from regional drive markets who travel further and tend to stay longer on the island. And, when they stay longer, they take advantage of more of the island’s family attractions, historic sites, special events and restaurants.

“We’re always looking for ways to spread the word about Galveston,” Kelly de Schaun, Park Board executive director, said. “These opportunities for one-on-one conversations are important ways to deliver the Galveston message directly to our potential visitors.”

Park board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 601 23rd St.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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