In the news-leaving your Mark!


Meeting planners have spoken and have awarded a Readers Choice Award to Visit Owensboro as one of the BEST OF THE BEST of Kentucky!

Meeting planners have spoken and have awarded a Readers Choice Award to Visit Owensboro as one of the BEST OF THE BEST of Kentucky!

We are extremely honored to be one of 14 hospitality organizations across the state of Kentucky to receive this award, said Mark A. Calitri. We have build a great team that is working hard under very difficult conditions brought on by COVID 19.


ConventionSouth” Associate Publisher, Ashleigh Osborne said the value in receiving the prestigious recognition is that it comes from the country’s top meeting professionals who hold events in the South.

“These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that the Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require,” Osborne said.

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2020 Awards Issue of “ConventionSouth” magazine.


Mark A. Calitri displays dedication to the tourism industry, earns re-certification of Certified Destination Management Certification

Mark Calitri earns Certified Destination Management Executive designation

The CDME status is recognized within the convention and visitors bureau industry as its highest educational achievement.

Mark A. Calitri, President of the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau has earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry. The focus of the program is on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies.  Calitri was recognized at the (DMAI) 2016 Annual Convention on Wednesday, August 3 in Minneapolis, MN.
“This distinction is awarded based on coursework completed at the national level over a period of two years,” Calitri said. “I look forward to using this information in continuing to build on the great momentum that the Clermont County CVB has developed.”
The CDME program is designed to better prepare senior destination marketing organization (DMO) executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders.  The class of 2016 included more than 40 graduates. Over the course of 22 years, more than 400 students have participated in the CDME program.
“Education is the foundation to what DMAI provides for its members,” said Gary Sherwin, DMAI Chair and President and CEO, Newport Beach and Company.  “CDME is the only comprehensive educational program available to destination marketing organizations around the world, and we will continue to reinvest in this critical offering so that industry leaders may continue to learn from their peers, share best practices and propel our industry forward.”


Mark Calitri releases information from Longwoods International-Covid 19 Travel Sentiment Study

Mark Calitri releases information from Longwoods International-Covid 19 Travel Sentiment Study

According to the most recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, half of American travelers are currently planning to stay home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Years. A similar percentage reported that COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months.

However, four in ten American travelers are planning a holiday road trip, while less than a quarter intend to fly. Travelers’ plans for holiday trips are equally split between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

“With the number of new COVID cases rising in more than half the states, we can expect further disruption in family holiday travel plans,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “The number of actual holiday travelers in 2020 will likely be driven by the perceived safety and/or risk of taking such trips during the holiday period.”

According to the most recent survey, over a third of American travelers support opening up their local communities to visitors, a slight decline in support in the past month. Conversely, local consumer confidence has remained stable with about half of travelers feeling safe shopping in local stores and eating in local restaurants.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded October 7, 2020 using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over. Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the U. S. population.


Mark Calitri announces: Daviess County Kentucky has been selected to host the MOGA geocaching mega event for Memorial Day weekend 2021


Daviess County has been selected to host the MOGA geocaching mega event for Memorial Day weekend next year.

Geocaching is a recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. Geocachers seek out treasures hidden by other players while exploring interesting locations. At its most basic level, geocaching is a game where players use GPS receivers to track down a container, or cache.

MOGA (Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure) is typically the world’s largest “geocaching competition mega event,” said Jesse Tuttle, executive director of AFK Geocaching.

“Participants from around the world will travel to compete in the timed checkpoint, orienteering style event,” he said. “In addition, several activities will have attendees exploring attractions, shops, and hometown restaurants within the region.”

Hosting the MOGA event is a partnership between Visit Owensboro, Daviess Fiscal Court and the city of Owensboro and is an example of the continuing creative effort being made to bring new events to Owensboro-Daviess County, said Mark Calitri, president of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

According to Visit Owensboro, the weekend-long event on May 28-31, 2021 is expected to draw more than 1,200 geocachers from across the U.S., and have an economic impact on Daviess County of about $250,000.

The event will begin with registration at the Owensboro Convention Center on May 28.


On May 29, geocachers will be able to take in some of Owensboro-Daviess County’s offerings through the BBQ, Bourbon, and Bluegrass Geotour in Smothers Park, followed by the MOGA competition at Yellow Creek Park on May 30.

The event will conclude on May 31 with a community clean-up geared toward giving participants an opportunity to give back to Owensboro and Daviess County for hosting the event.


Mark Calitri announces new nationwide marketing campaign promoting Owensboro Kentucky

Mark Calitri announced that Owensboro has been named a top place to visit in a nationwide publication.  Calitri said, “Visit Owensboro is excited to be recognized as a top place to visit and our organization is looking to promote this positive news.”

Travel publication names Owensboro a top place to visit this fall


Mark Calitri Reports: Blue Angels air show, international hydroplane racing and 118 additional events-year long- create a huge economic impact!


“Events are vital to the Owensboro tourism infrastructure,” Mark Calitri, president of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said last week.

“Tim Ross and his department go above and beyond in not only ensuring Owensboro’s events are sustainable, but also adding new events that are attractive for both a local and visiting audience,” he said. “They serve as both an amenity and a reason to make the trip to Owensboro.”

Ross said more than 80 events have been canceled this year because of the pandemic and its restrictions on crowd sizes.


Mark Calitri applies lessons from Dr. Seuss to 2020

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,Nothing is going to get better. Its not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

UNLESS, it’s one word that means a lot to Dr. Seuss. It’s funny how a quote from a children’s book written over 45 years ago applies so much to us today. As we close out 2015 and look to start a new journey into 2016 take a step back from our hectic and over scheduled lives to reflect on what you care about most.

Ask yourself these important questions.

  • Are you proud of any accomplishments in 2015? What are you going to continue?
  • What am I doing today to become a better, more valuable person?
  • Think about your job, family, and friends. What are you going to start caring a “whole awful lot” more about to make things better? Who are you going to care about?

Maybe one person can’t change the world, maybe they can, but the real aspiration should be to become the best YOU that is possible. UNLESS is a powerful word and unless you care, nothing is going to get better. Your UNLESS starts now.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot: Dr. Seuss


Mark Calitri reports: National spotlight shines bright on Owensboro Kentucky! Home to the Worlds only Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum

National spotlight shines bright on Owensboro Kentucky! Home to the Worlds only Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum


Calitri reports: If Covid will cooperate the 2021 headlines will again say: Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, Museum attracting global tourism


More than six months after opening, Owensboro tourism officials say the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is attracting visitors from around the country and world.

In a tweet, Mark Calitri, of Visit Owensboro, says people from 11 countries and 35 states toured the museum in its first six months.


Mark Calitri reports: Owensboro Convention Center acquires top talent as director of Sales

“Dave brings a strong resume of successful experience. I look forward to working with him and General Manager, Laura Alexander to bring more business to Owensboro and create an economic impact to our community,” stated Mark Calitri, President and CEO of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.