LAKE ERIE SHORES & ISLANDS, OHIO, June 17, 2021 --- Internationally recognized destination expert Roger Brooks, founder and CEO of the Destination Development Association, recently visited the area for nearly two weeks of destination assessment and discussion. He was brought to the region by Lake Erie Shores & Islands (LES&I) as part of a strategic goal to evaluate the organization’s current branding and marketing approach for the partnership between the Erie and Ottawa County visitors bureaus, now in its 15th year.

Mr. Brooks’ focus areas include place-branding, downtown development, tourism promotion, and community & economic development. He has worked with more than 2,000 communities representing all 50 states and several other countries.

During his time here, Roger visited all corners of the area and talked to dozens of stakeholders representing not only tourism but many other business and organization categories. He met with the LES&I staff team, evaluated research on the destination, and reviewed marketing collateral and that of many of our tourism industry partners.

This background, along with focused discussion with members of the LES&I Boards of Directors and Marketing Committee, resulted in 21 recommendations designed to advance the destination. Over the remainder of 2021, these recommendations will be evaluated and action plans will be created for implementation of those that will have the greatest immediate impact.

One of the recommendations involves the name of the destination. While there is much work to do in finalizing plans before an official launch, starting in 2022, the name Lake Erie Shores & Islands will be shifted to Shores & Islands Ohio. Since Lake Erie is bordered by three other states and a province in Canada, this change will eliminate any confusion that may exist with consumers who, when seeing Lake Erie as part of the name, don’t immediately identify the destination as being in Ohio.

Matt MacLaren, Director of the state’s marketing arm - TourismOhio, commented, “The name Shores and Islands Ohio will help call attention to the incredible scenery and attractions that Ohio has on its north coast, especially in the Lake Erie Islands area.  Adding the word Ohio will help consumers visualize their destination on the map, and connects it to the Ohio. Find It Here. marketing. We look forward to seeing even more visitors on the shores and islands of Ohio.”

LES&I will also be adjusting its logo and promotional efforts where applicable to include three geographical identifiers to pinpoint the destination on the map: Cedar Point, Sandusky,
Put-in-Bay. These three places are all easily found on maps and also have high name recognition with consumers in the markets that LES&I advertises in.

LES&I President Larry Fletcher noted, “This branding shift to more clearly identify where Shores & Islands is, along with our continued efforts to promote all of the communities and attractions in Erie and Ottawa counties, will be a powerful combination we anticipate will generate increased economic impact across the region.”
Look for news of additional components of the “refresh” of the Shores & Islands marketing strategies in the months to come.



Shores & Islands Ohio is the Midwest’s favorite getaway. This coastal destination boasts 152 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, the best fishing on the Great Lakes, welcoming communities, rich history, a wine trail, and an abundance of family-friendly attractions. World-famous Cedar Point Amusement Park calls it home, along with Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, other indoor and outdoor water parks, animal parks, sports venues, and more. Visitors enjoy ferries and cruises to Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass, and Kelleys Island. One of the country’s best areas for spring and fall bird migration, the area is overflowing with natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation. More at

Media Contact:

Jill Bauer, Public Relations Manager
Shores & Islands Ohio
Phone: 419.625.9495