July 7, 2016, North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter
Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota
July 7, 2016, E-Newsletter
From the Director
There are a few things that you only get to do in the summer: ride the Lewis and Clark Riverboat; enjoy a corn dog at the fair; savor a Saturday morning at a farmers market; and revel in the night sky at the Medora Musical. The tourism team has been working hard to sell all your special summer experiences and early indicators show that summer traffic should be strong. While there are factors beyond our control that have dampened the outlook, there are others showing signs of encouragement. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is setting records with a 35% increase over a strong 2015 and we are seeing strong month-over-month gains in Canadian border crossings, hotel occupancy rates and ndtourism.com analytics.
I spent the July 4 weekend in Medora and TR National Park where I met visitors from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. I never tell them where I work, thus gathering valuable insight on if, and how, our marketing played a role in their vacation choices. What I relish the most is hearing about the stops and experiences they have chosen to enjoy in our state. Although my sample wouldn’t be large or evenly distributed, it’s a pretty inexpensive way to do research. What I am hearing on the street seems to echo what we have heard in the office - that visitors have been learning more about North Dakota and that our advertising this year pushed them to actually book the trip. This is supported by the growth in our social audiences and the very strong results on our digital marketing. We have exciting new research that tracks visitor arrivals and travel patterns on smart phones that have interacted with our marketing. This new sample will help us further refine our strategies. Formal ad effectiveness research will be conducted this fall.
With state revenues down, we were required to cut our budget. Barring significant additional cuts, our marketing is poised to generate new revenue for tourism businesses, non-profit attractions, events and local and state governments. We may have some challenges ahead, but I am hopeful that our industry will rally to communicate the importance of tourism to North Dakota’s economy.
Have a great summer - and lots of ice cream.
Bismarck-Mandan CVB Unveils New Brand
Congratulations to Partners
Regional Tourism Research Conference Invitation
Partners Brochures Through One Fulfillment
Facebook Notification Reminder
North Dakota in the Blogosphere
Fill the Gaps Webinar
- Get the latest travel information and road reports here.
- Construction begins July 5 on US Highway 83 in Minot, expect delays
- Construction on I-94 west near Jamestown. Expect delays.
- Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery open for business outside of Dickinson.
- Lake Tschida Koehler’s Point campground reopens
- Woodspring Suites now open at 1090 35th St. N., Fargo.
- Cobblestone Inn now open at 1801 Highway 2 E., Devils Lake.
The Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced a new brand identity and statement. The new brand statement lets visitors know that there are "No Boundaries" to what you can do and experience while in Bismarck-Mandan. The new logo and icon begin with a hand drawn font that separates Bismarck-Mandan from other destinations. The icon, a fun play on a compass and pin on a map lends well to Bismarck Mandan as a destination and also ties into the “No Boundaries” statement.
- Watford City has released a new app.
- Papa's Pumpkin Patch was named one of America's Best by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
The CenStates Travel and Tourism Research Association annual conference is September 21-23 in Rapid City, S.D. Conference registration is $325 for non-TTRA members ($295 for members). This is a regional conference with 125-200 attendees, making it ideal for learning from industry experts and networking with peers from the Central States region. This year’s conference features an emphasis on research-driven programs, practical ideas, innovative strategies and sharing among colleagues. Click here for more information, or to register.
Session line-up includes:
- Digital Marketing Analysis
- Measurement of Place-Based Investments
- Redefining the Female Traveler
- Media Usage Trends
- Delivering Relevant Content
- Grassroots Downtown Development Tour
You may have noticed some changes on North Dakota Tourism’s website regarding display of partner brochures. If you are currently part of the One Fulfillment Program, your brochures are now included in the order form page where visitors request the North Dakota Travel Guide. Our partnership with One Fulfillment has not changed. It will still fulfill all domestic leads for our partners. However, partners in the program can now receive international leads from North Dakota Tourism in an Excel file and decide whether or not they wish to fulfill the international leads. We hope these changes lead to increased orders for our partners and fulfillment of international leads if they so choose. Additional changes in appearance will display more of a design to showcase which brochures are in each kit. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact Tricia Miller at 701-328-5328 or email@example.com. Tammy Backhaus will be contacting all partners in the program to explain changes in details. If you are interested in joining the partner brochure program through One Fulfillment, please contact Backhaus at 701-328-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make sure you’re seeing the Travel North Dakota posts on Facebook, double-check your “Liked” settings to make sure that notifications are on. Facebook defaults notifications to off when it updates. You might want to make this recommendation with your followers so they see your posts as well.
It’s FAM season in North Dakota and we are excited about hosting a number of talented writers and bloggers this year. In June, we hosted travel bloggers Midwest Wanderer and Travel with Sara, a collection by Sara Boers who made a number of stops across the state. We also welcomed golf writer Valerie Rogers as she explored the Lewis and Clark Golf Trail. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in North Dakota and captured some unique content, so we look forward to seeing some fun stories from Valerie. There were also two New York journalists here on assignment. They will share their stories later this Fall. A big thank you to all of our partners for helping us host writers throughout the year and we will be sure to keep you posted as Legendary experiences are shared with us.
Your visitors don't want to see a bunch of empty lots. They want activity, life and quirky local color. You don't have to spend a fortune to turn empty lots into attractions. But you do have to invest $20 and an hour of your time in this webinar we're co-sponsoring with SaveYour. Town about Filling the Downtown Gaps. Won't your visitors love open-air art galleries, in-town beaches or beer gardens more than empty lots? Click here for more information.
North Dakota is out there! Join us as we continue to promote and showcase your destinations, attractions and events.