Travel bureau awarded for website marketing

Phil Castle, The Business Times

The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau has earned what’s considered the Oscar of the travel industry for its website.

The VCB and Miles, the firm that developed and maintains the website, received a Magellan Award in an annual program conducted by Travel Weekly, a publication that serves the travel industry. The VCB and Miles received a silver award in the category for destination marketing websites.

Debbie Kovalik, director of the economic, convention and visitor services department for the City of Grand Junction, said the VCB and Miles were among only 40 winners out of more than 1,500 entries submitted for the competition. Those entrants included not only other cities, but entire countries, Kovalik said.

In addition to receiving a nearly foot-tall statuette, the winners will be featured in a special edition of Travel Weekly.

Mistalynn Meyerann, marketing and public relations coordinator for the VCB, said the website located at plays an increasingly important role in efforts to attract visitors to the Grand Valley. The VCB reported nearly 375,000 unique visits to the website during 2013, an almost 59 percent increase over 2012.

The goal, Meyerann said, is to convert people considering traveling to Grand Junction and conducting online research to visitors who actually come here.