Ray Hoyt Named VisitTulsa Leader


The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s president and Mike Neal announced the selection of Ray Hoyt to lead VisitTulsa, the convention and visitors program at the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

Hoyt previously served as the director of national games and athlete relations in the National Senior Games Association, headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., where he oversaw the direction of all national events and programs. Prior to that he was the executive director and president of the Senior Games in Louisville, Ky., where he was successful in partnering with businesses and agencies to gain financial and community support for the 2007 Senior Games and helped the event reach national prominence.

As the senior vice president of VisitTulsa, Hoyt will oversee marketing and promotion of Tulsa with the goal of attracting national meetings, conventions and events as well as provide leadership and guidance to the Tulsa Sports Commission, a division of VisitTulsa. Hoyt will report to the Chamber leadership, VisitTulsa and Tulsa Sports Commission Advisory Councils.

“The people already here, the vision of the leadership and the engagement of the community were all major factors that influenced my decision to accept this position and relocate to Tulsa,” says Hoyt. “Tulsa has recently built several new facilities to support a strong passion and commitment to a successful convention and visitor’s program in the region. When my wife and I visited, we were impressed with the beauty and cleanliness of the city, the thoughtfulness of the people and their sense of community pride.”

In fiscal year 2009-2010, the city of Tulsa, through the collection of the hotel/motel tax, invested approximately $1.8 million in tourism marketing services through a contract with VisitTulsa. For this investment, the City of Tulsa will receive more than $162 million in future economic impact.

The tourism and entertainment industry is an emerging economic sector. The industry provides a $1.2 billion economic impact each year and serves as a key revenue generator for the community by helping support more than 24,000 jobs on an annual basis in the region.

“Ray provides excellent leadership, and his ability to seize challenges and create opportunities is second to none,” says Mike Neal, Chamber president and . “As the Chamber and VisitTulsa advisory boards have observed his professionalism, work ethic and relationship building over the past several months we have no doubt that he’s exactly where he should be: in Tulsa leading our convention and visitors program.”

Hoyt also unveiled the intent to hire a strategic planning consultant to help identify key measurements and markets in the visitor industry. This consultant would work with hospitality partners such as the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association, Tulsa County, , regional universities, Arts and Humanities Council and more to develop a long-term vision for the VisitTulsa program.

Through its directed marketing activities, VisitTulsa actively recruits conventions, meetings and sporting events. It offers professional assistance in every area of meeting and convention activity, including planning, promotion, housing and registration, and visitor services.

In 1903, the founders of the Tulsa Commercial Club included visitor attraction as a primary focus of duty. For more than 107 years, the Tulsa Metro Chamber has continued this focus as a partner to the city of Tulsa.

Updated 05-17-2011

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