Crab Tank on the Choptank



Ten teams competed for the $50,000 prize in the ultimate pitching competition


(November 16, 2018) - Contestants felt the pinch from the judges known as the “Big Crabs” during the ultimate pitch competition, “Crab Tank on the Choptank.” “Crab Tank,” loosely based on the hit television show, “Shark Tank,” featured contestants presenting their tourism marketing campaign ideas to the crabs in the tank. Queen Anne's County, along side of Five Eastern Shore counties ( Kent, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester) and the town of Ocean City partnered to pitch their idea of "Chase the Blue Crab," a new group tour travel itinerary that invites visitors to celebrate, learn, savor and enjoy authentic experiences across the Eastern Shore.

“We wanted to generate new innovative ways of encouraging out-of-state travelers to explore Maryland’s beauty,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. “Many of us in the tourism industry are use to working in silos where there is a high-level of comfort, but 'Crab Tank' served as an interactive opportunity for those within the industry to cross-collaborate in order to create a program and promotion to encourage travel.”


Image (left to right): Norma Dobrowski, Town of Ocean City; Cassandra Vanhooser, Talbot County; Bernadette Bowman, Kent County; Ashley Chenault, Queen Anne’s County; Lisa Challenger, Worcester County; Donna Abbott, Town of Ocean City; Amanda Fenstermaker, Dorchester County; Kristen Goller, Wicomico County; Stephanie Mervine Blue Crab, Wicomico County

Queen Anne's County Tourism Development Coordinator, Ashley Chenault additionally explains" The Crab Tank on the Choptank was an industry wide marketing concept competition held at the conclusion of the Maryland Travel and Tourism summit at the Hyatt in Cambridge Maryland. Contestants pitched their marketing idea for a chance to win $50,000 in promotional exposure by the Maryland Office of Tourism. We joined forces with 5 Eastern Shore DMO’s to pitch a “Chase the Blue Crab” itinerary for group travel. The concept will promote group travel to our area and highlight the unique opportunities we have in the region to enjoy crab feasts, signature dishes, old bay inspired recipes and learn about maritime history and heritage. It is important to collaborate with industry partners to market the region to generate more money for the state we call home."

The first-ever “Crab Tank on the Choptank” consisted of ten teams from across the state. Teams created programs and promotions that targeted four specific categories: human-powered recreation, family travel, multicultural/diversity travel and group travel. Each team participated in convincing the crabs to invest in their marketing campaign to increase visitation to Maryland. The "Big Crabs" judge panel included: Charmaine Singh of Reach Global, Vicki Osman of American Bus Association, Chris Adams of Miles Marketing Partnership, Mike DeAnzeris of Meredith Travel Marketing and Michael Haynie the former Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

Congratulations to the winning crustaceans, Queen Anne's County & Eastern Shore DMO's, for  receiving $50,000 in promotional exposure by the Maryland Office of Tourism, a division of the Maryland Department of Commerce.