The Town of Ocean City Department of Tourism recently teamed up with six Eastern Shore county tourism officials for the “Crab Tank on the Choptank” competition held live during the 38th Annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit in Cambridge. The ultimate pitch competition featured contestants presenting their tourism marketing campaign ideas. The winning “Chase the Blue Crab” pitch was promised $50,000 in promotional exposure by the Maryland Office of Tourism, a division of the Maryland Department of Commerce.

Ever seen the show “Shark Tank?” If so, you’re already familiar with how the competition works!

Ocean City Tourism Director Donna Abbott and Destination Sales Manager Norma Dobrowolski partnered with tourism officials from Worcester County, Wicomico County, Dorchester County, Talbot County, Queen Anne’s County and Kent County. Their award winning pitch consisted of a group tour travel itinerary inviting visitors to “Chase the Blue Crab.” The idea behind the new travel adventure is to celebrate, learn, savor and enjoy authentic experiences across the Eastern Shore.

“We were excited to partner with our fellow destination marketing organizations to make the pitch,” Abbott said. “This group tour marketing initiative will be of great benefit to all of our destinations.”

The Town of Ocean City and Eastern Shore tourism officials competed against ten other Maryland teams. Promotions targeted four specific categories: human-powered recreation, family travel, multicultural/diversity travel and group travel. Each team participated in convincing the crabs to invest in their marketing campaign to increase visitation to Maryland. Charmaine Singh of Reach Global, Vicki Osman of American Bus Association, Chris Adams of Miles Marketing Partnership, Mike DeAnzeris of Meredith Travel Marketing and Michael Haynie the former Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition judged the event.

The Town of Ocean City Department of Tourism also was the recipient of the Cooperative Partnership Award with Worcester and Wicomico counties for the marketing of the National Folk Festival.