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City Visitor Recognized for Marketing Excellence

Ruby Award

INDEPENDENCE, OH — We are pleased to announce that City Visitor Inc. recently received recognition for achievement in marketing and advertising at the Ohio Travel Association’s RUBY Awards presentation, recently held at Cherry Valley Hotel in Newark, Ohio. The award was given in the “Innovation in Travel Marketing” category for City Visitor’s creative distribution strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to restrictions caused by Covid, we were faced with many of our hotel partners allowing no in-room materials, including their own,” said John Brachna, President, City Visitor, Inc. “So we had to ask ourselves, how do we respond to this? That’s when we came up with the QR code.”
The team at City Visitor developed and implemented a successful QR code distribution strategy that allows visitors to access the City Visitor publication digitally via mobile devices.

“The best response of all was from our advertising and marketing partners,” Brachna said. “They were thrilled that we found a way for their messages still to be seen, with customers drawn to them, when Covid threw our whole world upside down. We found a way to help drive added business to them when they needed it the most.”

The QR code distribution strategy included:

  • 8-1/2 x 11 QR signage in inverted plastic "T's" to be placed in high-traffic areas like hotel front desks, business centers, elevator landings, etc., coated and sealed for added sanitary protection
  • 4x6 QR signage in inverted plastic "T's" to be placed in hotel rooms coated, and sealed for added sanitary protection
  • Uncoated 4x6 QR cards for one-time use like hotel welcome bags
  • Business-card sized QR cards

Hotels have been placing the business-card sized collateral with their hotel key packets. “This size was specifically developed at the request of our hotel partners, so by doing so, we met their critical need,” Brachna said.

During the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, ambassadors at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport passed out the 4x6 QR cards to arriving visitors in the baggage claim area. The airport now has an 8?x11 QR sign in its Welcome Center. Ambassadors will again pass out the 4x6 cards during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland.

The program received accolades from existing hotel partners and expanded distribution as more hotels in the area wanted the value-add piece to give to guests. With the ability to digitally access the City Visitor publication via QR code, monthly views have increased more than 10x typical readership.

The Ohio Travel Association’s RUBY Awards recognize excellence in Ohio’s hospitality and tourism industry for efforts in advertising, marketing and public relations. In this year’s competition, the Recognizing Uncommon Brilliance (RUBY) Awards had 177 entries in 17 categories. The awards, sponsored by Ohio Magazine, were presented during the Ohio Conference on Tourism, the state’s largest conference for tourism industry professionals.
Nine marketing professionals representing academia, consulting firms and ad agencies judged each entry on the basis of concept, results and creativity.
“The competition this year was fierce,” said Melinda Huntley, Ohio Travel Association executive director. “Despite the hardships created by the pandemic, these professionals produced some amazing campaigns and projects that resulted in increased sales for businesses in their communities.”


QR Signage In Use - Hotels

QR Signage In Use - Cleveland Hopkins Airport

About City Visitor
City Visitor, Inc. is the parent company of City Visitor and the Northeast Ohio Relocation Guide. We have a 40-year history serving the travel and tourism industry through our City Visitor guide, by publishing high-quality, in-room visitor guides used to enhance guests’ stays in Northeast Ohio.

City Visitor also serves the relocation industry through our Northeast Ohio Relocation Guide which is used to attract both companies and talent to Northeast Ohio. We have also completed special projects for The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Lincoln Electric and Goodyear to assist with their talent attraction success.

City Visitor provides marketing services and publications for attractions such as The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art and Cedar Fair Parks, as well as a downtown guide for The Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation of Cleveland. For more information, visit

About The Ohio Travel Association
The Ohio Travel Association is a nonprofit trade association representing travel and tourism-related businesses throughout the state. For more information on OTA, visit