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Monthly Report

January 2008

MEMORANDUM TO: Richard Benda

DATE: February 7, 2008

FROM: Melissa Bump

SUBJECT: Tourism’s January Monthly Status Report


You may download and print the entire January  Report  in Adobe Acrobat (PDF).


Contents:

2010 Initiative
Cultural Heritage Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales
Outdoors
Film Office
Information Centers
Hospitality
Inquiries
Photo/Video
Travel Market Advertising
Publications
 Web
Research
Great Events

Governor's Tourism Advisory Board


2010 Initiative
 

Please refer to the web site at www.2010initiative.com for updates.

Or, review Tourism's January Summary Report to Secretary Benda.
 

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Cultural Heritage Tourism
Continued contacting groups for possible inclusion in the new publication. Discussed a “nostalgia” section of the upcoming publication and titles for other sections. Developed timeline.

Agri-Tourism
Worked with Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association and Department of Agriculture on an Agri-tourism conference to be held on July 15th. Contacted potential speaker and sponsor. Contacted Nebraska Tourism for information on their program.
 

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Media & Public Relations
Compilation of earned media: January – estimated ad value of $9,591 (circ. 344,745); and Fiscal Year 2008 – estimated ad value of $455,154 (circ. 7,285,465).

Fulfilled requests from Argus Leader, Midwest Living magazine, South Dakota State University, Seasons magazine, KNBN radio, and inquiries from MediaSD. Interviewed by Eye on Keloland (National Treasure); MyRagan.com (text campaign); KOTA-FM (Tourism Conference and National Treasurer Web traffic); Rapid City Journal (text campaign and Tourism Conference); KCCR, Capital Journal, and Argus Leader (tourism conference); and KVHT-FM (Information Center counselors needed).

Participated in conference call regarding a newly-developed Fossil Freeway project with proposed sites in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Continued monitoring various Web sites for networking and advertising opportunities: My Ragan.com page and Linkedin.com, Web pages for public relations professionals; and Lyro.com, which is being used by Tourism as more of a promotional tool than a networking tool right now.

Researched contact and publication information for media blitzes/appointments in Minneapolis in March and New York City/Washington DC in April.

Posted/sent the following press releases: To in-state media (posted to www.MediaSD.com and the State News Web): Winter Marketing Campaign Gathers Steam, Office of Tourism Unveils Third Pair in Poster Series, National Treasure: Book of Secrets Boosts Traffic to State Tourism Website, Tourism Advisory Board Elects Officers, South Dakota Film Office Teams Up With Reel Scout, Tourism Leaders Recognized by Governor Rounds, and Travel Counselors Needed for Interstate Information Centers.
Posted six industry releases to MediaSD.com and one industry release to FilmSD.com.

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Industry Relations
Highlights from Governor’s Conference on Tourism: presentations of annual Tourism awards by Governor Rounds: Ben Black Elk Award to Leonard and Mildred Cimpl, Tabor; A.H. Pankow Award to Jeff Anderson of KSDR Radio, Watertown; and George S. Mickelson Great Service Awards to Redlin Art Center, Watertown and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort, Deadwood.

Distributed the Annual Report, Economic and Fiscal Impacts Study, Tourism Assistance Directory, and Co-op Marketing programs booklet, all of which can be found online at SDVisit.com. Received 603 full registrations and 104 partials for a total of 707 for the 2008 Conference. For the 2007 Conference, we had 486 full registrations and 106 partials for a total of 592 registrants. Gathered evaluation comments and compiled for staff review to begin planning the 2009 Conference; will continue to process comments.

Worked a travel show in Chicago with the Black Hills Travel Show Council, whose partners include Rapid City, Deadwood, Custer, Sturgis, Spearfish, Hot Springs, Wall, Custer State Park, Mickelson Trail, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the South Dakota Campground Association.

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Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Sent new Travel Professionals E-newsletter to 114 tour operators, travel agents, and meeting and event planners. Produced a new DVD to be used to promote to tour operators, travel agents, and meetings professionals. It will be added to the Travel Professionals section of TravelSD.

Worked with the South Dakota Association of CVBs to create a Meetings Tip Sheet, which will give Meeting and Convention Planners a quick, one-stop look at what services, hotel room numbers, meeting and convention space, etc are available in South Dakota communities that participate in the co-op. Will post online the first week of February on the Travel Professionals page on TravelSD.com. Submitted magazine ad for the Meeting & Convention Co-op for Midwest Meetings Magazine as well as matching editorial content for same issue.

Finalized preparations for NAJ Summit in February. Requested appointments with top 10 companies.

Finalized sign-up forms for the Group Tour Planning Guide, which will be mailed the beginning of February to Tourism’s database. Expected completion of guide is December.

Provided information to Roseville Senior Community for their upcoming South Dakota tours; Group Tour Leader, Tennessee; and George Robinson, group leader from Montana.

Finalized dates and cities for trade blitzes: Minneapolis, March 10 – 14 and Omaha, March 31 - April 4.
Have received commitment from several cities and organizations to be part of each blitz.

Fulfilled requests for information to travel agents and regional directors from MLT World Vacations, AAA Oklahoma, AAA Ohio, AAA California, AAA Minnesota, AAA Minneapolis, AAA New York, Abbott Travel and Carlson Wagonlit.

Finalized International section on TravelSD. Updated the Great Parks, Monuments, & Memorials brochure and ordered reprints in English, Japanese, German, French, and Italian.

Hosted Alidays, Italy, fam in the Black Hills for twelve travel agents, the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) representative from Italy, and a representative from Alidays, a tour company that develops products and places them in a catalog for travel agents to sell. The twelve travel agents on this fam own 900 travel agencies and sell Alidays’ products to businesses clients, individuals, and tour operators.

Mailed trade show leads from World Travel Market and Showcase Italy, plus RMI Roundup registration information to 565 South Dakota suppliers who’ve requested international information.

Completed Japanese Group Tour Fam itinerary for Japanese group tour operators in June.
 

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Outdoors
Participated in Pheasant Fest 2008 in St. Paul with a booth and as a sponsor. Attendance was estimated at 30,000 with most questions on hunting turkey and pronghorn.

Finalized preparations for SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Contacted writers and outdoors industry representatives to set up meetings. Attended POMA press conferences to discuss their annual conference in Sioux Falls next year. At $3.7 billion per year, the U.S. hunting and shooting sports market is huge, with the SHOT Show providing exhibit space for 1,948 companies and attracting buyers and media from 50 states and 75 countries.

Discussed a new program called “South Dakota Style TV,” as an online television series dedicated to the outdoors opportunities in South Dakota. Each episode would be 4-6 minutes in length and take visitors on a variety of adventures available in a short period of time.

Sent January outdoors story idea on ice fishing to writers and editors of outdoors publications. Monthly contact is two-fold: supply story ideas and keep “top-of-mind” awareness with writers and travelers.
 

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Film Office
Announced Reel Scout™ program’s purpose and capabilities at the Tourism Conference. Continued adding contact information. Locations database has 130 files, to date.

Provided National Treasure: Book of Secrets movie poster, premiere invitation, and lanyard to South Dakota State Historical Society for their permanent museum collection. Continued to promote South Dakota National Treasure: Book of Secrets packages to seven markets across the country: Boston, Dallas, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh. Continued to promote international National Treasure Trail game on www.TravelSD.com/thenationaltreasuretrail. Provided movie poster to tourism association for use at travel shows.

Wrote and distributed the following press releases: NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS Boosts Traffic to State Tourism Website, South Dakota Film Office teams up with Reel-Scout™ - All new locations library now available online, and South Dakota Film Office gains full AFCI Membership. Posted those to FilmSD, plus Filmmaking Competition Increases Cash Prizes.

Began gathering information and drafted timeline for the new film production guide.

Placed film office ad in January issue of P3 Production Update and worked on ad for March issue.

Provided Guide to Grants from South Dakota Arts Council to festival producers of the 2008 South Dakota Film Festival.

Fulfilled film production information requests to Claudette Sabor, P.I.G. Productions and Matchpoint Media.

Plan to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in March in Austin, Texas. Worked on securing a booth space and provided film office information to the publication distributed at the festival.

Gained full membership status with the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI), non-profit educational association. The status was made official after core requirements were met in December 2007. The AFCI is the official professional organization for film commissioners, both domestic and international, who assist in film, television, and video production across the world.

Worked with Film the West partner states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho on a new booth concept for AFCI Locations Trade Show in April in Santa Monica, California.
 

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Information Centers
Requested Bureau of Personnel to place the job announcement for the travel counselors positions at the Interstate Information Centers for the 2008 Summer Season. Sent press release on the same. Currently have received 89 applications, 62 returning applicants and 27 new applicants.
Have approved visitor-related brochures for placement in the Information Centers. Asked CVBs and regional tourism associations to place information in their newsletters about gaining prior approval for brochure placement.


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Hospitality
Reviewed Great Service Star applications and notified businesses and regional tourism offices of those approved for use of the Star in promotions. Mailed or handed out the new wooden plaques being used in the Star program. Each year a business is authorized (application process) to use the Star, they will receive a metal plate with the year on it to affix to the plaque.

At the Tourism Conference, awards for the 2007 George S. Mickelson Award were presented to the Redlin Art Center in Watertown and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort in Deadwood.

Finalized contract with Black Hills State University on the hospitality curriculum development. Will notify the visitor industry when the program is available for use.

Drafted letter and developed application form for spring hospitality training programs. Will mail to organizations in February.
 

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Inquiries

Total November Inquiries through


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Native American Tourism
Worked with Tribal Government Affairs on an agenda for the Tribal Tourism Roundtable, held after the Tourism Conference. Discussed information on becoming a historic site, programs managed by the South Dakota Arts Council, reprint of the Great Sioux Nation, and suggestions for ensuing roundtables.
 

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Photo/Video
Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Deadwood and Sioux Falls; Bureau of Personnel, AAA, Capital Enhancement Services, Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre and Lead; US Dept. of Agriculture, Koupal Communications, State Publishing, South Dakota Lottery, Tumbleweed Lodge, Department of Transportation, Pierre; SD School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City; Alliance Communications, Garretson; GF Advertising, Mitchell; South Dakota Magazine, Yankton; Redlin Art Center, Watertown; SD Public Broadcasting, Vermillion; Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes, Rapid City; Madison Chamber of Commerce; Chamberlain-Oacoma Chamber of Commerce; indexinn.com; HyVee, Iowa; thenationalcapitols.com; and Tommy Swanson Travel, Switzerland.


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Travel Market Advertising
The 2008 Giant Step magazine co-op has 40 partners. Media buy includes: Better Homes and Gardens (circ. 1,079,000), February and April issues; Ladies Home Journal (circ. 543,000), February, March, and May issues; Travel 50 and Beyond (circ. 115,000), February, April, and June issues; Family Circle (circ. 589,167), March, April, and June issues; Parents (circ. 314,535), March, April, and May issues; Camping Life (circ. 82,155), March and May issues; Midwest Living (circ. 950,000), March and May issues; Field and Stream (circ. 1,500,000), April issue; Guidepost (circ. 2,345,000), April and June issues; and Budget Travel (circ. 149,000) May issue.

Approved and shipped the following Giant Step magazine (3-page) ads: Buffalo theme – Family Circle, on sale March 6; Sylvan Lake theme – Midwest Living, on sale February 27; Buffalo theme – Parents, on sale March 6; Corn Palace theme – Better Homes & Gardens, on sale March 20; Rushmore theme – Guidepost, on sale March 20. Finalized and shipped Deadwood Winter snow alert email, snow alert text messages, and Deadwood Winter newspaper gaming ad in Casper and Sioux Falls. Sent Travelsmart.

Developed and mailed sign-up forms for the Great Getaways newspaper insertion co-op, which is being opened up for statewide participation. Print piece will be a single, 24-page insert, distributed the week of April 27 for a circulation of almost 700,000 in neigh boring states. It will feature 50 partners.

Completed design of Vacation Guide covers, inside pages 1-23, calendar of events, and map. Sent final files and color proofs to the printer. Expect delivery of 78,000 guides in late February with the other 397,000 guides in March. Tourism and the four regional tourism associations are partners in the guide.
 

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Publications
Finalized layout of golf publication. Contacted South Dakota Golf Association Executive Director to get logo and photo files. Contacted advertisers.

Continued working on layout of the motorcycle guide. Delivery is planned for late April. Major highways and nine scenic drives will be labeled for reference. It is not meant to replace the state highway map.

Drafted timeline for updating the Greenhorn’s Guide.
 

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World Wide Web/E-Commerce
On TravelSD.com: Visitor Services Directory has 5,150 entries; and 35 travel specials are listed for 11 cities. For Hot Deals, 40 businesses are registered and five hot deals are currently running. From January 1-28, 39 e-postcards were sent by consumers. In the Calendar of Events, 485 events listed.
TravelSD enhancements: Only in SD button changed to Our History; improved Experience banner’s rollover appearance to entice more traffic; updated Vacation Guide graphic; Travel Specials were updated to Vacation Packages, based on keyword search and focus group research. New international section provides useful information for foreign visitors, such as PDF’s of the Great Parks and Monuments publication in different languages, currency/banking information, and links to customs resources.

Sent eFYI newsletter to industry list. Stories included the 2008 Tourism Conference, 17% increase in inquires over previous year, snowmobiling fam tour to Italian travel agents, Scandinavian mission, journalists in the state, and the adventure travel expo.

Approved new design of Travelsmart to allow for niche content so readers will receive information based on their specific interest. Identified new interest categories for the opt-in form, which will be consistent with the Digital Strategy partners’ sites.

Discussed development and goals of the Crisis Communication pages, which will be part of the Breaking news section on TravelSD.com. The page will include updates on such things as forest fires, snow alerts, and flooding that may impact travel.

Worked on camping pages for TravelSD.com that will house information about both public/private campgrounds that will allow the visitor to search by amenities.
 

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Research
Findings of the Fiscal and Economic Impacts Associated with the Vacation Travel Industry in South Dakota Study for 2007 (distributed at the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism) showed: Economic Impact of $2.352 billion generated by $941 million in direct spending. The full report, along with other studies and research is available online at SDVisit.com.

Industry Services: Provided website design and marketing strategy consultation to the Department of Game, Fish & Parks; collaborated with Mitchell CVB to provide research assistance; and provided data and reports to representative of Destination Development for the Rapid City re-branding project.

Continued progress in Phase II of the Navigator program, which will include reservations data. Worked through process of updating media codes in Navigator to provide ROI analysis.
 

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Logo Usage
Forwarded logo files to Department of Transportation for new DOT heavy scales truck decals; State seals to State Library; and Mount Rushmore photos to Friendly Excursion, Sunland, California.
 

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GREAT EVENTS 2008:
Czech Days, Tabor – June 19-21: Accepted delivery of 10,000 brochures, which were delivered to the local committee. Worked on updating postcard and get quotes for different quantities in four-color. Expected delivery of postcards is early March.

Oahe Days, Pierre – June 20-22: Worked on copy for Web, magazine and newspaper ads, postcard, and rack card. Expect to finalize creative needs at their February meeting.

Festival of Presidents, Rapid City – June 27-28: Worked on copy for Web, magazine and newspaper ads, postcard, and rack card. Sent logo design and waiting for approval or suggested changes.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Black Hills (Outdoor Event) – September 19-21: Will attend meeting when notified.

Hill City Western Heritage Festival, Hill City – September 20-21: Worked on copy for Web, magazine and newspaper ads, postcard, and rack card. Expect final creative decisions at their February meeting.
 

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Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board
The Board met in Pierre to review three new applications for the Million Dollar Challenge program and to consider additional information requested from two applications reviewed in December. The Board approved projects for the Strawbale Winery’s Project Linus, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s Gift of the Plains, and Watertown’s Bodies Human Exhibit. Assigned Board liaisons to each project. Notified applicants of the decisions.

Elections were held and John Brockelsby from Rapid City was named President and Frank Smith from Gettysburg was named Vice President.

Regional directors and their board officers presented marketing reports from the 2007 campaigns and plans for the 2008 campaigns.

At the December meeting, incentives, based on net increases in regional memberships, were discussed and approved. They were reviewed at the joint meeting between the Tourism Board and regional representatives.


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