Friday, June 24, 2011

OTRD Training Camp to be held August 11

Spaces are available for our latest OTRD Training Camp coming up August 11.

This full-day session will provide the chance to meet and interact with OTRD staff to learn about programs and get assistance with specific areas of focus or concern. Participants will meet in our Oklahoma City office and get to know who we are and what we do.

Then, you will have access to our staff for individual appointments in the areas of public relations, sustainable travel, electronic marketing, group, and international travel. Learn how you can work with the Oklahoma Film & Music Office and what special requirements are needed for this industry. You will also have an opportunity to pitch your story to our public relations staff, Oklahoma Today magazine, and Discover Oklahoma television show.

For more information about this exciting, interactive program, please contact Deb Shumate at (405) 230-8402 or Space is limited, and all registrants will be added on a first come first served basis, so don’t delay!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FY2012 Travel Show Program: Reservations Open May 10

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department’s 2012 FY Travel Show Program is NOW available! Click here to find descriptions of the program and the application/contract.

Opening date is May 10, 2011 at 8:00 am to claim your spot. This allows everyone some time to look over the program and make some decisions. Because booth space and/or sponsorship participation is limited at some shows, the program is on a first-come-basis.

The last three pages are the forms you need to return, which you can do by faxing to 405-230-8600.

Or send to:
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
Attn: Charlie Wallar
210 N Robinson, Suite 600
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

(It is recommended to fax the forms in on opening day to ensure acceptance due to limited space at some shows.)

The program is offered to all Oklahoma tourism industry partners. We hope you are able to join us in promoting our state to thousands of potential visitors!

Call Charlie Wallar, Consumer Travel Coordinator, 405-230-8417 with any questions.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Webinar Discusses the Green Traveler

On May 3, our next ECO webinar will discuss a growing demographic in the hospitality industry. The number of travelers who use sustainability as a guide for their vacation is increasing, and we want to help you connect with them.

Speakers will discuss sustainable travel trends on a national level and how you can use this information to grow your business. Topics will include current and future trends, case studies and communication tips.

Date: May 3, 2011
Time: 2 PM - 3 PM CDT
Speaker: Pat Maher, American Hotel and Lodging Association
Alison Presley, Travelocity

Sign up here for this installment in our spring ECO webinar series. And, as always, it is completely free!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2012 Travel Publication Ad Rates Now Available

As you plan your budget for the coming year, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Dept. wants to make you aware of the advertising opportunities available in the state’s official travel publications for 2012. We plan to produce the Oklahoma Travel Guide, Discover Oklahoma Destination Dining Guide and the Oklahoma Outdoor Recreation Guide which each have advertising space available on a first come first served basis.

Despite the strength of our online and social media resources, our print publications remain popular with travelers. Brochure requests are up by more than 52 percent so far in 2011.

For information on rates and space availability, please view our 2012 rate card here. If you have questions or to reserve advertising space, please contact Kerry Barrick at 405-230-8408 or The 2012 Travel Guide and Destination Dining Guide space reservation deadlines are coming up April 1, 2011.

As always, we look forward to partnering with you as we promote Oklahoma and showcase our many unique destinations around the state.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 RedBud Awards Call for Entries is Now Open

We are proud to announce that the 2010 RedBud Award Call for Entries is officially open! Two new award categories have been added this year, “Outstanding Eco Tourism” and “Outstanding Lodging Property”, so please make sure to spread the word to anyone you think deserves to take home the prize!

The RedBud Awards Ceremony will take place October 18th at the Governor's Conference on Tourism, held October 17 - 19 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. For information on how to register to attend this year’s Governor’s Conference, visit the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association’s website at

You can find information on how to submit entries for the RedBud Awards by clicking the following link: The deadline for entering is 5 p.m. on July 30, 2010.

Thanks, and please feel free to contact Austin with any questions you may have.

Austin Tackett
Travel Communications Coordinator
Travel Promotion Division
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
Phone: 405.230.8413

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Norman Hotel & Conference Center Earns First ECO Platinum Certification

Oklahoma’s largest hotel and conference center has become the first property to earn the highest sustainable travel certification offered by ECO – Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma – the state’s premiere sustainable travel program.

The National Center for Employee Development, located off State Highway 9 in Norman, earned the Platinum Travel Standard certification by meeting set criteria and implementing sustainability programs.

Hardy Watkins, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department executive director, said the NCED is a good sustainability practices model for all conference centers.

“Since NCED is the largest conference facility in the state, its environmental impact is significant,” Watkins said. “By implementing sustainability programs and joining ECO in our conservation efforts, NCED is not only helping Oklahoma reduce its carbon footprint, but is also providing a benchmark that other large conference centers around the nation should seek to meet.”

NCED began implementing green programs about seven years ago, said Yves Badaroux, NCED general manager.

“Going green makes perfect business sense, and can be a significant driver of guest satisfaction, as well as associate engagement,” Badaroux said.

Some of the sustainability efforts include using environmentally-friendly laundry and cleaning products, recycled office supplies, low-VOC paints and converting the chlorine pool and spas to salt water. In addition, an herb garden is planted every year, and food scraps are donated to the Little River Zoo.

During a renovation in 2009, more than 64 tons of wall vinyl and carpet were recycled. Between 2008 and 2009, the facility reduced gas consumption by 18.3 percent, and began using glass water bottles, which eliminated the use of 80,000 plastic bottles a year.

Since 2009, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department and Department of Environmental Quality’s ECO Certification program has promoted, developed and encouraged sustainable tourism throughout the state. ECO Certification requires applicants to meet set criteria and be reviewed by a national certification board. A certification level of silver, gold or platinum can be awarded, based on the level of sustainable practices the applicant chooses to implement.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) is working to advance the exceptional quality of life in Oklahoma by preserving, maintaining, and promoting our natural assets and cultural richness. The department is the steward of the state park system and also promotes Oklahoma as a travel destination through many award-winning programs. To learn more about Oklahoma Tourism visit or follow us at or

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2011 Publication Ad Sales

Many of you have already secured your ad space reservation for the 2011 Oklahoma Travel Guide and our next Discover Oklahoma Destination Dining Guide. If you have yet to submit your contract, please do so ASAP.

Ad rate information and contracts can be found here or by contacting Kerry Barrick at 405-230-8408 or

All artwork is due May 15, 2010 so mark your calendars!