Updated: Feb 13
Searching for Shawnee's Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB), Chamber of Commerce, or Department of Tourism? You've come to the right place! We've gathered the most frequently asked queries about who we are, what we do, and why below.
What is Visit Shawnee?
Visit Shawnee is the Tourism department of the City of Shawnee, Oklahoma which was formed in June 2019. It is our department's primary focus to grow the visitor economy through destination marketing and management. This department is funded entirely by the occupancy tax collected from hotels and motels.
Why does Shawnee have a Tourism Department?
Tourism is Oklahoma's third largest industry. Our department closely with regional and state partners along with our local businesses to bring the most value to Shawnee through Oklahoma's blossoming visitor economy.
We represent Shawnee on a national stage, enticing would-be visitors to stay the night in our city and visit our museums, restaurants, shops, lake, and other destinations. We also work directly with event organizers and film producers to base their projects here. You can see our latest research and strategic plan here.
Shawnee, OK Convention & Visitors Bureau or Chamber of Commerce
Visit Shawnee serves visitors, event organizers, and destination proprietors of Shawnee, OK much like a convention and visitor's bureau and chamber of commerce in many respects. However, unlike a traditional convention and visitor's bureau or chamber of commerce, our services are completely free to destination proprietors and event organizers and do not require a membership or fees of any kind. If you are looking for information and assistance in bringing an event to Shawnee, we are ready to help your event thrive in Shawnee! If you are looking for support in ensuring your business succeeds in Shawnee, we can help in a myriad of ways as long as your business is a potential visitor-serving place to stay, eat, shop, or play (some restrictions do apply). If your business does not fall into these categories, our friends at Shawnee's economic development office, Shawnee Forward, would be glad to help!
Shawnee, OK Tourist Information Center
We love to welcome new & familiar visitors to our town year-round! In June 2021, we opened a new Welcome Center facility just north of Oklahoma Baptist University at 2820 N Kickapoo Avenue. Whether you're deciding to visit from near or far (or even if you call Shawnee home), our Welcome Center hosts a wealth of information to make sure you find your next great adventure in Shawnee!
Shawnee Exposition Center
Visit Shawnee does not manage Shawnee's Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, but we do work closely with Expo staff to ensure that the events they host have everything they need to thrive in Shawnee. If you are interested in booking the Shawnee Expo for your events, please visit their website at ShawneeExpo.com!
Shawnee Special Event Permits
Visit Shawnee also manages special event permitting for the City of Shawnee, OK. Events that utilize public resources (parks, public parking lots, streets, etc) or that have special considerations (carnivals, concerts, food vendors, etc.) must acquire a special events permit. We're here to help make it easy for great events to flourish in Shawnee. View the event permit FAQ and find the online application at VisitShawnee.com/event-permits.
Shawnee Film & Music Office
Shawnee was one of the first cities to complete the Oklahoma Film and Music Office's Film Friendly City certification. The film industry is booming in Oklahoma, and several film productions have already been to Shawnee, with many more scouting us for the future! Visit Shawnee also functions as the Shawnee Film & Music Office. Learn more about the film industry and Shawnee on our Film Office website.
Our History and Accomplishments
The Tourism Department of the City of Shawnee was formed in June 2019. Previously, the organization was an independent not-for-profit organization that performed CVB functions. City leadership felt that the work could be more financially sustainable and accessible to proprietors as a municipal department, and so we have been growing and learning as a part of Shawnee's municipality ever since.
Shawnee's first Director of Tourism Stacy Cramer Moore was brought onboard in July 2019. Although slowed by the pandemic during her first year in office, Stacy laid a foundation that enabled the department to bloom quickly as the pandemic slowed, and open the new Welcome Center on Kickapoo by June 2021. In 2022, Visit Shawnee was given Oklahoma's highest honor for the tourism industry, the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association's Redbud Award for Tourism Organization of the Year. We also took home a Redbud for Best Tourism Website in 2022, and supported the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in accepting a Redbud for Best Event for the Fireflight Balloon Festival, which takes place in Shawnee each August.