Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:07:02 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Office of Tourism
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Office of Tourism Hosting Tourism and Brand Workshops in Communities Around the State
-- First workshop scheduled for February 3, 2012 in Hamilton --
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce Office of Tourism (MTOT) will be hosting tourism and brand workshops throughout the state in the coming months. The free workshops are an outreach effort to assist communities in bolstering their ability to attract and retain visitors to their area.
With tourism being one of Montana’s leading industries and a key economic driver for the state, MTOT views the workshops as an opportunity to help businesses attract some of the 10.5 million visitors that travel to Montana each year. These non-resident visitors bring new money into Montana’s economy spending $2.5 billion annually during their stay.
“Over 90% of our visitors’ expenditures go towards products and services provided by our main street businesses such as gas, retail, restaurant, groceries and lodging,” said Dore Schwinden, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “We want to work together with our communities to find ways to spread the wealth to the thousands of small businesses throughout Montana that help cater to our visitors.”
The workshops will include an overview of MTOT’s efforts in supporting and promoting tourism both statewide as well as in the featured community, in addition to a brainstorming session to discuss how the host area can draw more visitors annually.
Prior to the workshops, a social media team, comprised of a combination of individuals from MTOT, MercuryCSC and the tourism region hosting the workshop, will spend a few days traveling the area, gathering information about attractions, activities, restaurants, and the like, to highlight on Montana’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/visitmontana) and Twitter (twitter.com/visitmontana) pages. Findings will be shared with participants during the brainstorming sessions of the workshops as well.
“We are eager to reach out to our partners across the state to find ways we can continue to build on the success we’ve seen with tourism over the years,” said Jeri Duran, Administrator for the Montana Office of Tourism. “Through third-party research we have found that every dollar MTOT invests in tourism promotion returns $104 in visitor spending to Montana.”
MTOT is launching its inaugural tourism and brand workshop, entitled “Coming Together to Expand Montana’s Tourism Story,” in the Bitterroot Valley on Friday, February 3, 2012. It will be held at the Bitterroot River Inn Conference Center in Hamilton from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, however, for planning purposes, interested parties are requested to pre-register for the workshop. Please RSVP to Carmen Levick at MTOT at (406) 841-2873 or at bit.ly/BitterrootRegistration.
In addition, MTOT will be holding random drawings at the workshops. For every 20 attendees, the state will be giving away one complimentary registration to the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation to be held April 11-13 in Great Falls (includes lodging). Also, one business in attendance will be randomly chosen to receive partnership marketing support valued at $500. Additional details will be shared at the workshops; drawings will be held at every workshop location.
The Montana Office of Tourism plans to bring the workshop to areas throughout the state, customizing the content gathering and brainstorming session to each location. Please contact Pam Gosink at firstname.lastname@example.org if your community is interested in the team coming to your town to work together to “Expand Montana’s Tourism Story”.