Conventions set sights on Tulsa as prime destination
Tuesday, March 28th 2006, 1:12 PM CST
Tulsa is making quite an impression on possible visitors.
According to an article in USA Today, smaller cities are taking convention business away from big cities. Tulsa was specifically mentioned as one of those cities.
News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren found out more than 200 professional golfers from a three-state area are in Tulsa for their annual meeting, held every year at the DoubleTree at Warren Place.
"It's just a great city. A good place to come," says Tom Jones, who is visiting from Arkansas.
This is considered a small meeting. Some conventions that come to Tulsa bring as many as 25,000 people.
Workers at the Convention & Visitors Bureau say, big or small, conventions are very important to the local economy.
"Economically, the travel and tourism business, including conventions and meetings, events and tourism provide over a billion dollars in economic impact to Tulsa every year" says Bureau's Suzann Stewart.
In the USA Today article, StarCite, a company who organizes conventions world-wide, released some promising numbers about Tulsa.
They say inquiries into Tulsa as a meeting place have risen by 245% in the last year.
People at the Chamber of Commerce say they have seen a significant increase in inquiries into Tulsa. But they say it's not the 13,000 hotel rooms and Tulsa's facilities that actually bring them here.
For one, it's cheaper here. According to the DoubleTree, one night's stay at a big city hotel could cost up to $300 a room.
The DoubleTree's Connie Otis says, "In Tulsa, our corporate rates are not nearly that high. About half of what that is."
Plus, when they're here, companies say they feel like a big fish in a small pond.
"Excellent service. The fact that you can be a big player in a smaller community," says Suzann Stewart. "We take extra good care of our customers and that goes a long way today."
And according to our golf pros, that's exactly why they choose to stay in Tulsa year after year.
Golfer Tom Jones says, "the people are anxious to see us. They're glad we're here and they give us great service."
Tulsans can expect to see a lot more visitors in the future.
With Vision2025 projects underway and being completed, the chamber of commerce expects the interest in Tulsa to rise even more.