Baltimore issues RFP for three-year contract

BALTIMORE: Visit Baltimore, the city's nonprofit tourism organization, issued an RFP as the city's current agency contract expires June 30.

BALTIMORE: Visit Baltimore, the city's nonprofit tourism organization, issued an RFP as the city's current agency contract expires June 30.   

According to the RFP document, the organization is offering a three-year contract with options for two additional one-year periods. Annual budget, based on fiscal year beginning July 1, is $330,000, and participating agencies should have a presence in Baltimore and New York.

“We hope to continue promoting the city of Baltimore as a top travel destination to travel and national media,” said PR director Sara Hisomoto. 

She confirmed that the nonprofit has been working with incumbent M Silver Associates for at least five years, and that the firm is participating in the bid process.

“We are only rebidding as it's something we do every few years, not because we are unhappy with our current agency,” she told PRWeek via e-mail.

The search is part of an ongoing goal to position Baltimore as “a destination for diverse interests, concentrating on the city's key tourism differentiators including affordability, convenience, [and] walkability,” the document stated. 

Specifically, the organization is looking for support in raising awareness of 2011/2012 events such as the “Bicentennial of the War of 1812;” promoting the city as a destination amongst key niche markets including African American, Hispanic, and GLBT travelers, and enhancing its “burgeoning” culinary reputation.

Proposals, due May 1, will need to feature case studies showing tourism and travel PR experience. The organization expects to make a decision by June 30.

Among other elements, the document requests a financial bid on how the agency would allocate a national PR budget of $205,000, including monthly retainer and out-of-pocket costs.

PR activities include FAM tours, media events, media relations, and convention trade outreach.  

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