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Riford speaks at marketing summit

April 17, 2010

Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, was a key panelist March 15 at the first Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath Marketing Summit in Cumberland, Md.

Riford summarized the marketing effort for tourism and was the speaker who concluded the daylong summit.

More than 130 business owners, municipal officials, elected officials and civic leaders attended the summit.

The purpose of the summit was to bring together stakeholders along the trails to network, collaborate and share marketing ideas.

Attendees from Washington County included elected officials and business leaders from Hancock, Williamsport and Hagerstown. Representatives for U.S. Sens. Benjamin Cardin and Barbara Mikulski joined with Maryland Office of Tourism officials and Gov. Martin O'Malley's intergovernmental staff liaison at the event.

Organized by the Trail Town Program, the organization works to help promote tourism and economic development along the Great Allegheny Passage. The economic impact of the Great Allegheny Passage recently was calculated at more than $40 million annually.

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From the visitor perspective, the passage and the towpath together create a total trail experience. Gathering together for the summit and in future meetings will enable collaborative partners to provide a consistent, world-class experience over the entire length of the trail system.

For more information, go to http://www.trailtowns.org.

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