December 5, 2014 North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter

Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota

December 5, 2014 Newsletter

Governor's Budget Address
2015 Cooperative Advertising Options
2015 Travel Industry Conference
World Travel Market
ND Tourism Ready to Help
Tech Tip
Travel Updates 

Governor's Budget Address

Governor Jack Dalrymple recently presented his 2015-2017 Executive Budget Recommendations. The $15.7 billion budget includes $2.2 billion in one-time General Fund spending in areas including infrastructure, education, housing, workforce and state parks and conservation; $3 billion in infrastructure investments statewide; and $408 million in additional tax relief.  

Increases with impact on Commerce’s Tourism Division include:

Base Budget  

  • $247,836 additional funding for Tourism international efforts

One-Time Funding

  • $1 million increase for tourism-related marketing in the mid-western markets.
  • $750,000 for large infrastructure grants to attract, retain and entertain North Dakota citizens and visitors to the state. (First added in 2011)
  • $2 million grant for the Special Olympics if North Dakota is selected as the site of the next national games.
  • $500,000 to match private contributions for image/workforce recruitment campaign (Find the Good Life in North Dakota initiative).
  • $30.4 million for capital improvements and expansions at state parks. 

The legislative session begins on January 6 with the Commerce budget to be heard in the House of Representative in early January. 

Upcoming Legislative Dates:

  • Early January - Commerce Department budget to be heard in House Appropriation sub-committee
  • January 8 10 a.m. – Tourism media conference - Governor’s conference room State Capitol
  • January 23 – Tourism Day at the Legislature -  Memorial Hall State Capitol
  • February 27 – Crossover
  • Early March – Commerce Department budget to be heard in Senate Appropriation
  • April – Conference Committee appointed to reconcile Commerce Budget
  • April 29 – Last allowable day of session - Final Budget approval

2015 Cooperative Advertising Options

North Dakota Tourism has introduced its cooperative advertising program for 2015. The program is online at, along with the reservation form. Hurry, as some options are full or nearly full. 

2015 Travel Industry Conference

The North Dakota Travel Industry Conference returns to Minot April 20-21, 2015, and features sessions on marketing, strategic planning, technology and social media. You will not want to miss the Tourism Division Luncheon or the annual Governor's Awards Luncheon and celebration of outstanding North Dakota tourism advocates. Register today

World Travel Market

Sara Otte Coleman and Fred Walker of North Dakota Tourism attended the World Travel Market (WTM) Travel Trade Show in London in November. It has been many years since ND Tourism had a presence in the United Kingdom, which happens to be the largest overseas market to the US with more than 3.8 million travelers each year. 

The other Real America states returned to World Travel Market this year after a two-year absence with a larger and completely redesigned booth focusing on iconic images of the region. WTM is one of the largest travel trade shows in the world and is the largest in the UK, with about 5,000 exhibiting companies representing about 186 countries, and 50,000 global travel professionals visiting over four days. This was the 35th year this event has been held. 

This year there were 213 new exhibitors at the Excel Centre. Total exhibitors increased over last year, which is a good sign of this event’s continuing growth and popularity. Attendance information shows an increase in all attendees of about 7% over last year, from 78,035 in 2013 to 82,213 this year. International media attendance was up 1%.

Media interest was positive as well. Several journalists approached us, having already done some research on the region and having an idea of what they were interested in covering that would have appeal. The states met with several bloggers in the RMI booth, too. 

To celebrate the 125th anniversaries of all four states, a birthday cake decorated with the states’ logos was in the booth. The images of the cake and the booth staffers appeared in Wednesday’s WTM Official Event Daily Magazine distributed to 40,000 people throughout the show. 


There were 70 leads this year, taken during pre-scheduled meetings and by greeting walk-ups to the booth throughout the four days. Feedback from tour operators was overwhelmingly positive. They recognize the popularity of the region as one that already sells well or has the potential to bring more business because of its strong appeal. We met mostly with specialist tour operators who know the region well and already sell it, but who needed assistance with planning new itineraries or with additional lodging suggestions or ideas for additional activities in our region. 

ND Tourism is Ready to Help!

ND Tourism is ready to help!  If you are a ND attraction or event, we are here to assist one time – completed by May 31, 2015!  Members of the Tourism Division will volunteer their time and services as a group to help your event or attraction with a project.  If you have questions or wish to have your project considered, please contact Tammy Backhaus at 328-2526 or [email protected].  All requests will be evaluated on a first-come, first-serve basis and chosen as a Tourism team project.   There will only be one project selected.

Tech Tip

Did you know five Facebook profiles are created every second, or that what's popular on Pinterest on Monday is different from what's popular on Wednesday? Here are 10 surprising social media facts:

Travel Updates

Looking for snow conditions at North Dakota ski resorts and on snowmobile trails? Find them at the links listed here:

Frontier withdraws flight service from Fargo and Minot. According to Frontier’s website, they will be resuming service to Bismarck on April 15th and continue through the summer months with 3 days/week service to Denver.

Road Conditions: For more information about construction and seasonal conditions, visit:

  • US 85 N, Long X Bridge, reduced to one lane. Expect delays of 15 minutes or less.
  • Construction occurring at the intersection of ND 23, SE Watford City bypass. Expect delays.

Hotels recently opened: Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Steele and Mainstay Suites, Tioga.

Best Western Seven Seas, Mandan, is now Baymont Inn & Suites.