ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND – The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (AAACCVB) has selected two Annapolis amateur photographers as winners of the organization’s summer-long photo contest that attracted 62 photo submissions from throughout the United States.

Krishna Wall’s Reflections image capturing early morning at City Dock earned her first prize: a complimentary two-nights’ stay for two at Historic Inns of Annapolis with valet parking and breakfast for two at the Treaty of Paris Restaurant. Nash Borges’ And There was Light image of sunlight breaking through the clouds in Eastport and his Fire in the Sky image of an Eastport sunset earned him second and third place prizes that include a one-night weekend stay for two at the Embassy Suites Hotel BWI, complete with breakfast and a cocktail reception, and an overnight stay for two at the O’Callaghan Hotel Annapolis. Travis Hammond of Annapolis received an honorable mention for the wintry scene depicted in St. John’s Night on the Water.

AAACCVB President and CEO Connie Del Signore says the photo contest is the first in a series of fiscal year 2009 website initiatives designed to extend awareness of the AAACCVB’s Come Sail Away brand through social marketing. “Now, more than ever, individuals are researching their vacations on the Internet. They rely in part on reviews they read from fellow travelers on sites like TripAdvisor. By reaching out to social marketing mediums such as Twitter and YouTube with our message, we are inviting online conversations about the destination and boosting brand awareness at the same time.”

To help streamline the trip planning process for individuals researching the destination, the AAACCVB is running banner ads on the DC and Maryland TripAdvisor sites that link directly to the website. In the months ahead, the AAACCVB will be uploading content to the TripAdvisor sites; posting word of its new promotional video on YouTube; and reaching out to international travelers via French and Japanese translations of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County message on the Travel Industry Association of America’s DiscoverAmerica website.

The photo contest entries were judged by the AAACCVB’s Executive Committee, which is comprised of six board members, including Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer. The winners were notified via email on September 15.

In addition to launching the AAACCVB into the social marketing arena, the June 1 through September 1 photo contest provided the organization with dozens of new images for possible use in its promotional materials and throughout its website. Individuals can view the winning images over the next few months by selecting the Photo Contest Winners button on the website homepage. A gallery page will include all of the images submitted during the contest.