Janice Buchholz and I attended a tourism conference in Cooperstown last week. I just got a new computer so I am finally able to blog on the conference. Annette Schilling, ND Tourism Dept, told us that ND tourism brings in 3.8 billion dollars. The average visitor is 41 years old with 64% married & 1/2 are college graduates. I just heard on TV that a college graduate makes one million dollars more in his life time, so over 1/2 of the tourists have a good income. Later we learned from Sara Otte Coleman, Director, ND Dept. of Tourism, (pictured below) that we would be paying $636 more in taxes if not for tourism. For every $1 spent on tourism, we get back $1.35. ND is promoting the “Legendary theme”.
Web sites are important to attract tourists. Fifty two % of the visitors book on the Internet and only 4% book with travel agents.
Ben Klipfel, UND Marketing Director, gave an excellent talk on Innovative Marketing. He stressed “know thy community” and know what you are good at. One place in Alaska charged $5000 a night for a shack to watch the northern lights and people were very willing to pay that amount. One lady in the audience told how she heard that they were promoting that Japanese children conceived under the northern lights are smarter. If only we could think of a good promotion like that in Anamoose.
Tuesday I took this picture of Jonathan Asmus who lived in Anamoose from 1960 to 1957. He is a typical visitor who comes back to visit friends or family. Jonathan was on his way to serve as a pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in West Bank, BC.