January 19, 2017, North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter
Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota
North Dakota Tourism research shows 21.9 million trips taken in the state in 2015, with visitor spending reaching $3.1 billion. The study, commissioned by North Dakota Tourism and conducted by Tourism Economics, indicates tourism is outpacing many state industries and positively impacts every county statewide. "Tourism and the travel economy are well-positioned for growth and can help us diversify our economy, attract a skilled workforce and sustain and grow vibrant communities throughout North Dakota," Gov. Doug Burgum said. "Visitors also appreciate walkable downtowns that honor our past and celebrate our uniqueness. These three pillars that we have outlined for economic success tie directly to our state’s tourism infrastructure and marketability." The study showed tourism in North Dakota equals approximately 4 percent of the gross domestic product and contributes 5.8 percent to the state’s tax base. In 2015, visitor activity directly contributed $327 million in state and local tax revenues with visitor spending concentrated in amenities: 29.8 percent spent on food and beverages, 21.6 percent on retail and 12.7 percent on recreation. The findings were presented during Tourism Day at the Legislature. Click here for more on tourism's impact.
Tourism partners from around the state represented the industry at the biennial Tourism Day at the Legislature. The event included a news conference with the Governor, tourism research presented to the Governor's staff, legislators and stakeholders, and tourism partner booths in Memorial Hall at the Capitol. Lunch was sponsored by the Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota and the Tourism Alliance Partnership. Thanks to all tourism partners who helped make the day successful.
The Commerce Department, which includes North Dakota Tourism, made its presentation to a joint meeting of the Senate and House Industry, Business & Labor committees. The report summarized the results of all Commerce programs from the 2015-2017 biennium. The Senate Appropriations Committee had its hearing on Commerce’s appropriations bills, SB 2018 and SB 2078, as well. Committee Chairman Sen. Ray Holmberg and other committee members remarked how well the testimony was put together and easy to follow. Numerous tourism partners provided written testimony to the effectiveness and importance of Commerce’s programs, and Terri Thiel of the Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau and Dawn Keeley from the Red River Regional Council testified on behalf of the bill. Click here for a full list of tourism-related bills.
North Dakota delegates scored a win at the American Bus Association annual meeting and marketplace Jan. 14-17 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ermuun Bulgan, Sara Michaels, Joe Wiegand, Anne Wild and Deanne Cunningham, representing Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Regency Hotel management and North Dakota Tourism, received a first-place award in the Small Booth Display category. American Bus Association members include tour operators, motor coach operators and charter services, along with receptive operators, destination marketing organizations, attractions, lodging and associate organizations. More than 3,500 tour operators, suppliers and exhibitors kicked off the new year with more than 140,000 prescheduled appointments with 800 pre-qualified operators. For more information regarding American Bus Association, please contact Deanne Cunningham.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Hotel & Lodging Association have released the results of a survey of mayors across the nation that shows the valuable partnerships hotels and the travel sector have with cities from coast to coast, serving as critical components to local economics, career opportunities, community development, tax revenue and growth. Click here for more.
Alicia Ewen has joined North Dakota Tourism as a marketing specialist. She will be the primary partner contact for cooperative marketing and assisting with creative and media planning, social media, the upcoming Travel Conference and other events and projects. Ewen is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and raised in St. Francis, Minn. A graduate of the University of Mary, Ewen worked as a reporter for KXMB and later as social media marketing specialist at the University of Mary.
- Jaci Cutforth of Beach has announced the opening of Rollings Hills Farms, a community supported agriculture farm north of Beach. The farm will be open to the public for tours, as well as hosting art classes this summer. Click here for more.
- Interior Secretary-designate Ryan Zinke testified January 17 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which is considering his nomination to serve as the nation’s 52nd Secretary of the Interior. His remarks drew praise from the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, which supports Zinke’s nomination. The Montana congressman has declared himself "an unapologetic admirer of Teddy Roosevelt" and praised the former president for his conservation efforts. Click here for more.
- Get the latest North Dakota travel conditions here.