February 5, 2015 North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter

Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota

February 5, 2014 Newsletter

Legislative Update
Make Nominations and Help Spread the Word

Social Media Driving Website Traffic
Digital Statistics
Last Chance for Cooperative Advertising Options
Group Travel North Dakota Updates
Vacations Good for the Soul
Travel Update

Legislative Update

HB 1243 addresses refunds of sales tax for Canadian residents and residents of adjoining states. It received an 8-6 do pass recommendation from the House Finance and Taxation Committee. The bill was defeated earlier this week by a 32 to 55 vote in the House. Tourism provided background information on the importance of the Canadian visitors and TAP rallied members to contact their legislators to defeat the bill.
HB 1150 relates to elimination of the sales tax exemption and creation of a farm machinery gross receipts tax exemption for purchases by residents of an adjoining state that does not impose a retail sales tax. Several Williston retailers opposed the bill which they felt would affect visitation from Montana, resulting in a do not pass recommendation and its defeat 13 to 78.

Hearings last week:

HB 1420 relating to a North Dakota film production tax credit, was heard before the House Finance and Tax Committee last week. The bill would create a small tax credit to encourage the growth of the film industry in North Dakota. ND Tourism was asked to explain the former film office efforts and explain how the division currently serves the industry. Several North Dakota Film Association members testified in favor of the bill. No action was taken.
HB 1422 provides an appropriation to the Department of Commerce for promoting the state as a production site to the film and television industries. The bill provides limited funding to begin the work with one FTE. The Tourism Division also responded to questions on current practices. No action was taken.
SB 2243 provides $6 million dollars to establish and administer the North Dakota Tribal Tourism Alliance for assistance in developing tribal tourism offerings on each reservation. The Tourism Division updated the committee on current marketing, promotions and cooperative efforts and answered questions and discussed the current interest in tribal tourism offerings. No action was taken.
SB 2241 would create Department of Commerce satellite offices on Indian reservations made up of one staff member from each division, including tourism. No action was taken.
HB 1409 the Outdoor Heritage Bill, was heard by the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The bill would remove some language and add further definition pertaining to the intent of the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Tourism is monitoring this bill as stakeholders often assume tourism projects are eligible for this funding, which has not been the case.

Hearings this week:

HB 1252 relating to extended dates for nonresident waterfowl licenses will be heard in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee Feb. 5, at 9 a.m.
SB 2339 relating to the inclusion of buildings used in agritourism within the property tax exemption for farm buildings will be heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee Feb. 5, 10:15 a.m.
HCR 3023 declaring March 5, 2015, as Canada Day in North Dakota will be heard at 11 a.m. on Feb. 5, before the House Political Subdivisions Committee.
HB 1456 relating to negotiations for the transfer of excess lands around Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe will be heard in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Feb. 5, at 2:30 p.m.

 

Make Nominations and Help Spread the Word

Your nominations for this year’s Governor’s Awards for Travel and Tourism are needed. And please help spread the word by including the link in newsletters and social media.Nominations are due by March 19, 2015. The contact person is Fred Walker (fwalker@nd.gov).

 

Social Media Driving Website Traffic

Look for North Dakota Tourism’s annual report at the end of the month. The report details the myriad ways North Dakota is being promoted and travel is positively impacting the state. One early fact: Visits to NDtourism.com increased 41.2% in 2014 and the number-one referrer to the site was Mobile Facebook. In fact, social media referrals/links to the site increased 121% over 2013. Experts continue to stress the importance of mobile-friendly websites, current information and synergy between your social media and digital channels.

 

Digital Statistics

How did tourism in North Dakota fare in 2014? The digital numbers tell the story.  Let's look

 

Last Chance for Cooperative Advertising Options

These are the cooperative advertising options which still have openings. These are great opportunities to expand your promotion and stretch your advertising dollar. Please contact Heather LeMoine with questions and to make reservations (hlemoine@nd.gov).

  • Summer U.S. and Canadian newspaper insert – limited availability
  • Fall Canadian newspaper insert – one spot remains
  • Centro online digital display program – two spots remain
  • Golf e-mail program with Wave Direct – one spot remains
  • Winnipeg Free Press advertorial
  • Canadian Living advertorial


Group Travel North Dakota Updates

A delegation of North Dakota travel professionals had access to thousands of tourism representatives at the American Bus Association Marketplace Jan. 10-14 in St. Louis, MO and the National Tour Association Marketplace Jan. 18-22 in New Orleans.

Representing North Dakota in St. Louis were Jill Halvorson, Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau; Joslyn Reichert and Ermuun Bulgan, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation; Joe Wiegand portraying Theodore Roosevelt and Deanne Cunningham of North Dakota Tourism. The show drew 3,300 people and 734 motorcoach and tour operators.

The National Tour Association Marketplace provided the opportunity for new business, research, networking and product development. An introduction to three new markets including China, Faith Travel Tourism and United Motorcoach Association.

 

Vacations Good for the Soul

Making time for regular trips or vacations with family and friends is linked to higher overall well-being and Americans who say they take regular trips have significantly higher well-being than those who say they do not. Click here for more.

 

Travel Updates