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Monthly Report

June 2008

MEMORANDUM TO: Richard Benda

DATE: July 8, 2008

FROM: Melissa Bump

SUBJECT: Tourismís June  Monthly Status Report


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


Contents:

2010 Initiative
Cultural Heritage Tourism
Agri-Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales
Outdoors
Film Office
Information Centers
Hospitality
Inquiries
Photo/Video
Travel Market Advertising
Publications
Web
Logo Usage
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Buffalo Roundup
Great Events
Awards
 


2010 Initiative

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

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


 
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Cultural Heritage Tourism

Attended the Fossil Freeway kickoff dinner at Ft. Robinson, Nebraska. Plans are to market archaeological sites in both Nebraska and South Dakota.


 
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Agri-Tourism

Finalized speakers for a panel discussion at the Agritourism Conference on July 15 in Mitchell. Provided research on rural tourism in the state and forwarded to the keynote Jane Eckert. Arranged a meeting between Eckert and owners of the Strawbale Winery to discuss agritourism and marketing ideas.


 
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Media & Public Relations

Compilation of earned media: June estimated ad value is $125,066 (circ. 3,394,942); and Fiscal Year 2008 estimated ad value of $672,307 (circ. 20,053,014).

At one point over the June 26-27 weekend, a story on South Dakota’s Mickelson Trail was the 8th most emailed travel story. It was written by Greg Breining, a contact made during the Minneapolis Media blitz. The story appeared in the Travel/Escapes section of the New York Times. The story was subtitled “An adventurous, history-laden route that runs along a former railroad track.”

Submitted information to the following media outlets: American Journal for Cities by Bicycle, Bikers Dreams, and Best Highways 2008 – highlighted the George S. Mickelson Trail, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and Black Hills scenic byways. Submitted four locations to The Ring Bearer, a Canadian online wedding planning magazine – selected Sioux Falls, Yankton, Deadwood, and Custer State Park. Reader’s Digest to update their book “Off the Beaten Path.” They added new areas to the book called “Offbeat Events” and “Did you know?” Submitted 16 new attraction ideas, 12 ideas for the events section, and sent photos. Midwest Living for a project called “A Call for Good Eats” – worked with regional tourism association directors to submit ideas for each region. Rand McNally to update their map of South Dakota; submitted recommendations for sites to add, remove, and correct; sent requested travel packet and a media press kit.

Fulfilled requests from the Mitchell Daily Republic, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Argus Leader, KDLT-TV, and inquiries from MediaSD. Participated in interviews with South Dakota Public Broadcasting (Part of South Dakota Focus panel), KORN-AM radio in Mitchell (Tips for South Dakota Travelers), Argus Leader (Day trips around Sioux Falls, Agritourism Conference, and Increase in foreign visitation at the Information Centers), Mitchell Daily Republic (Marketing niche tourism businesses), Cumulus Radio (Documentary on Czech Days), KCCR radio and KWAT radio (Agritourism Conference), and KDCR radio in Sioux Center, Iowa (Affordable vacation ideas).

Assisted the River City Racin’ committee with public relations efforts and wrote and distributed a media advisory regarding the weekend’s activities. Arranged interviews at KDLT for Aesli Grandi (Tabor Documentary) and Dennis Povondra (Czech Days).

Pitches to media: Pitched USA Today and Country Living magazine on the Corn Exchange’s chef following an article in the Black Hills Pioneer regarding her trip to bring Black Hills flavor to New York. Sent pitch to National Geographic Traveler regarding “Best Wildlife Viewing” for their July/August issue in conjunction with their editorial calendar.

Breaking News website/Crisis Communication was taken live. The pages will be activated whenever there is an event that may interrupt travel plans in the state.

Press Releases: To in-state media (posted to www.MediaSD.com and the State News Web): Online Customer Service Training Up and Running, Documentary Film on Czech Days Set to Premiere, Oahe Days Builds Pride Through Community Celebration, Festival Celebrates Presidents and Patriotism, Office of Tourism Employee Chosen for Regional Board, Fireworks Light up the Faces of Freedom, Unlimited Light Hydroplane Boat Racing comes to Chamberlain-Oacoma, South Dakota Agritourism Conference, and Office of Tourism Provides Breaking News to Travelers. In Your Own Backyard releases: A Lip Smack’n Good Time, Luce Pioneer Day, Celebrating Community Pride, Oahe Days Arts Festival, “Rock the Bluffs” Fireworks Display, Hot Harley Nights, and Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing.
Posted 16 industry releases to MediaSD.com

Reserved satellite truck and satellite time with Relay House for the Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration fireworks. Worked with contacts to accommodate the “America the Beautiful” crew who is interested in footage of the fireworks display.

Print Media of note: Heartland USA, John Fine’s story on The Great Buffalo Roundup; and New York Times, Greg Breining’s story on the Mickelson Trail.

Spoke with representative from Belleview Entertainment about filming a demo reel in the Black Hills this fall for a motorcycling show.

Sent email to Kevin and Sue McCarthy, radio personalities interested in South Dakota regarding family friendly attractions; however, they want the trip hosted.



 
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Industry Relations

Sent e-FYI monthly newsletter to the visitor industry; topics included Ask South Dakota Tourism dates, Interstate information Center counts, Agritourism Conference, Online customer service training, South Dakota Film Guide, and South Dakota as featured on Today. The list has 1,386 subscribers, and since this newsletter is by subscription, visitor industry members can go online to SDVisit.com to sign up.

Began discussions on the creative for the Tourism Conference print materials; discussed possible speakers and the schedule.

Set up meetings in each of the four tourism regions in an “Ask South Dakota Tourism” forum: July 14, Noon-3 p.m., Freeman, Freeman Public Library; July 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Hot Springs, Woolly Mammoth Family Fun; July 24, 9 a.m.-Noon, Gettysburg, Dakota Sunset Museum; and July 24, 3-6 p.m., Huron, Best Western of Huron.

Met with officials from the Aberdeen Aquatic Center to help draft a marketing plan for their Million Dollar Challenge (MDC) promotion. Met with Aberdeen CVB to work on the Wheels and Wings event, a MDC project. Held a conference call with organizers of the Summer on 7th, a MDC promotion for downtown Rapid City. Assisted Sioux Falls Sports Authority with their MDC project.

Researched travel shows and decided to attend one in Chicago in November. Discussed staffing for the State Fair booth, August 27 through September 1.


 
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Trade Sales Group Tour/International

Created a full-color postcard that will be used to notify group tour companies about South Dakota and the suppliers who will be at the National Tour Association (NTA) convention and the American Bus Association (ABA) marketplace. For NTA, 900 postcards will be mailed and 1,500 postcards for ABA.

Created a cover for the group tour co-op ad. Sent letter and application forms to South Dakota’s NTA/ABA members offering space in the group tour co-op ad, which is limited to 18 partners. Final files will be sent by July 25 to Destinations, Courier, Bank Travel Management, Bus Tours magazine and Group Tour magazine to reserve space throughout the fall and winter (total circulation of 42,355). An extra 4,500 will be printed and mailed to the group tour database in January.

Fulfilled requests for Vacation Guides from AAA Offices in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Worked with Minnesota to host the 2Nations Familiarization Tour “Pioneer Spirit on the Great Frontier” in eastern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota. There were 17 participants from California, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. South Dakota stops included Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Yankton, Mitchell, De Smet, Aberdeen, and the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival.

Assisted Caren Hall, Caren’s Charters with itinerary suggestions. Provided itinerary helps and ideas to Donna Nelson, Happy Traveler. Sent South Dakota information and images sent to Travelco, Florida, a large inbound tour operator, for their 2009 tour catalog. Sent requested information for Marco Polo Guidebook, Germany.

Researched and met with 23 tour operators at the Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) conference.

Contacted Addison Shows about their prairie series travel shows. Will participate in their shows in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Regina in partnership with Rapid City, Crazy Horse Memorial, and North Dakota to coincide with the fall trade blitzes to travel agents, October 14-16.

Researched appointments for TIA Pow Wow and sent information to South Dakota partners – Rapid City CVB, Crazy Horse Memorial, Journey Museum/Hospitality Central, Regency/Ramkota, and Durst Investments. Met with 67 tour operators.

Sent listing of ranches and outfitters for Ranch America to Rocky Mountain International’s United Kingdom office.

Hosted two journalists from Mottotourismo Magazine & Sky TV, Italy. Their plan was to feature one South Dakota motorcycle article and one TV show. As a result of this hosting, we will now receive three South Dakota articles and two TV shows on Sky TV. Publish dates in which we will be featured are October, December, and February. Sent them the KOTA clip on Mottotourismo.



 
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Outdoors

Met with a variety of outdoors writers at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) conference in Bismarck. There were many pre- and post-trips to South Dakota as a result. Received an email from Bill Grahm, OWAA, to let Tourism know that he visited the National Music Museum in Vermillion and he will be posting an article online in July.

Continued working with the Sioux Falls CVB and a representative of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) on their conference details in Sioux Falls, July 30 – August 2.

Continued to develop aspects of the Pheasantennial promotion.

Sent June’s story on high water levels in the state to 1,400 outdoors writers and editors.

Hosted Bill Schneider, NewWest.com; Jim Zumbo, Jim Zumbo Outdoors; and Dave Carlson, Northland Adventures.

Made weekly updates to the Fishing Hotline.

Worked with Steve Nelson to host Jim Zumbo, Vicky Gardner (Alpen Optics), and two veterans wounded in the Iraq War to prairie dog hunting and bass fishing.

Contacted Pat Jones, Missouri, about quail hunting in South Dakota.

Worked with Tyna Bower in the Black Hills, Dakota Angler and Outfitter in Rapid City, and Roy Lake State park to develop an itinerary for Bill Sherck a trip in July.

Contacted Steve Sherard about riding and fishing along the Mickelson Trail.

Worked with ad agency to finalize a script and choose a voice for the new DVD that Orion Multimedia will be producing for us. It will be used to promote hunting and fishing in South Dakota.

Forwarded information on the impact of hunting and fishing in South Dakota to Andrea Frey to incorporate into the educational materials for the Aquatic Nuisance species plan.

Spoke with representative from Man vs. Wild about filming in South Dakota.


 
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Film Office

Emily Currey began as the new Film & Media Relations Representative on June 24.

Fulfilled eight requests for information. Fielded inquiries regarding marketing opportunities from IndieSlate magazine, LA411, and VisionNet.

Sent three press releases regarding the South Dakota Film Festival and posted to FilmSD.com.


 
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Information Centers

 

Compiled car count at the Information Centers for the month of May; the overall count was down from 2007 by 8.6%; car count for Canadian visitors was down 4.4% over the same time period in 2007; and car count for all other international visitors was up by 7.5%. Of the 159 motorcoaches/buses that stopped at the Information Centers, 19 were international and two were Canadian.

For May, use of Travel CD’s at the Information Centers was up over May 2007 by 23.3%.

Four new brochure racks have been delivered to the Vivian Information Center.


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Hospitality

In 2007, awarded 1,031 Governor’s Certificates to recognize outstanding hospitality, 82 foil seals for the second nomination, and 28 lapel pins for a third recognition.

For June, issued 103 Governor’s Certificates for Outstanding Hospitality, 26 foil seals, and eight lapel pins.

Attended spring hospitality training at Fort Sisseton and Keystone and spoke about the new online training. Added the online hospitality training curriculum to SDVisit.com. Drafted a letter that will accompany certificate of completion for businesses that participate in online training program.

Updated Great Service Star online application form on SDVisit.com.


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Inquiries

Total April Inquiries:                                            

Internet (e-mail): 12,553

Mail:                   1,823                                    

Phone:               1,246  

Total:                  15,622

 

For fiscal year 2008, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 7%  percent over FY2007.


 
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Native American Tourism

Set up and attended the Tribal Tourism Roundtable at Red Cloud Indian School near Pine Ridge.

Attended a tribal government relations legislative meeting and briefed legislators about Tourism and Tribal Tourism goals.


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Photo/Video

Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Health, Public Utilities Commission, Legislative Research Council, Governor’s Office, KGFX Radio, BPro, Pierre; Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City; River View Lodge, New Underwood; Black Hills Central Reservations, Black Hills Planners, Deadwood; Hagens Mfg., Mitchell; Buffalo Chip Campground, Sturgis; SturgisBikeWeek.com; JC Designs, Hot Pink Ink, Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes, Rapid City; Rand McNally, Illinois; Travel and Leisure magazine, New York; and Rocky Mountain International, Italy.

Fulfilled video requests: Received copies of a German TV show to be dubbed and shared with partners. Sent video to MPi Productions in Sioux Falls to be used in promotions they are doing. Sent video of South Dakota and hunting to Orion Media for a DVD they are producing for us. Sent video of the Day’s of 76 Rodeo to TDG Communications in Deadwood. Sent wildlife footage to Game, Fish & Parks to be used in their promotions. Sent stock footage to G&G Productions in Brookings for promotions they are coordinating.

Made short video clips of Czech Days, the Mount Rushmore Fireworks, and the Sioux Falls Jazzfest to be used in multimedia press releases. Sent audio of the Great Faces jingle to River City Racin’ committee.


 
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Travel Market Advertising

Coordinated schedules, locations, and talent for a TV film shoot west of the river; sites east of the river will be filmed in July.

Sent Travelsmart E-Newsletter to 231,514 list members. Topics included patriotic sites, fishing, fun and free festivals, Native American experiences, and promotion to Canada.

Finalized and shipped the following for peak: newspaper ads in Worthington and Sioux City; Rapid City Co-op newspaper ads in Denver; Deadwood Co-op newspaper ads in Denver, Casper, Cheyenne, and Sioux Falls; Canada Co-op newspaper ads in the Winnipeg Free Press; Canada Co-op FSI in the Winnipeg Free Press for inserts on June 28 and July 12; Canada Co-op TV spots; and Travelsmart.

Other portion of the peak campaign includes the Glacial Lakes & Prairies co-op promotion “Rediscover.” Sent requests for Glacial Lakes & Prairies Guide to that region. Winner of the package giveaway will be drawn mid-July when the promotion ends.

Included an online link to the Black Hills Discounts booklet site as part of the peak promotion in Canada (TravelSD.com/Canada). Feedback from Focus Groups indicated their appreciation of discounts and coupons. The pages on TravelSD went live on June 13.

Finalized and shipped the following for shoulder: Giant Step (3-page) Rushmore ad for Camping Life, on sale July 15; Giant Step (3-page) Buffalo ad for Family Circle, on sale August 5; Giant Step (1-page) Buffalo ad for Travel 50+, on sale August 21; and 1-page ad and advertorial for O Magazine, on sale September 14.

Mailed letter and form to Tourism’s visitor industry database to offer the opportunity to participate in the Shoulder Great Getaways co-op program.


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Publications

Prepared a mock-up of the new Native American publication for a presentation to the Tribal Tourism Roundtable at Red Cloud. Continued to research information for inclusion in the publication.
World Wide Web/E-Commerce
On TravelSD.com: Visitor Services Directory has 5,211 entries; and 96 vacation packages are listed for 20 cities/locations. Two hot deals are currently running. From May 30 to June 29, 25 e-postcards were sent by consumers.

Updated and expanded the listing of powwows under the Native American section of “Our History.” Continued to monitor and approve new submissions for the Travel Community pages for photos, video and diaries. To date, there are 191 photos, three videos, and nine diary entries. Reviewed goals and expectations for the Huntinsd.com site. Hunting information is accessible on the hunting pages from the “Things to Do” button on TravelSD.com. Continued the optimization/web marketing efforts with new content for Travelsd.com, including a new page for Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Added/updated page titles, meta descriptions, and photo tags/descriptions.

Mailed registration form to current Calendar of Events participants with a form to register new events and update/revise their current listings.


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World Wide Web/E-Commerce

On TravelSD.com: Visitor Services Directory has 5,195 entries; and 100 vacation packages are listed for 20 cities/locations. Seven hot deals are currently running. From April 30 to May 29, 98 e-postcards were sent by consumers.

Added the 2008 Independence Day Celebration schedule at Mount Rushmore National Memorial to TravelSD.com.

Began planning new optimization efforts, which include SEO, Multivariate testing, and added content and third party content.

Worked on elements of the Fourth of July (TravelSD.com/BlackHills) package giveaway and placed registration form, rules, and landing page on the Web. Working with Omaha.com on the promotion.


 
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Research

Attended the 2008 Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Annual Conference with over 300 of the world’s Travel and Tourism researchers, marketers, and planners. TTRA is an international network of over 800 tourism research and marketing professionals. CenStates is the regional chapter of TTRA that focuses on the issues concerning the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.


 
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Logo Usage

Sent logo to National Guards for metal logo pins; Jackie Shields for embroidery for River City Racin’ event in Chamberlain/Oacoma. Sent script to Public Utilities Commission.


 
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Governor's Tourism Advisory Board

The Tourism Board met via conference call to review four Million Dollar Challenge applications that submitted additional information, as requested. The Board approved applications from Aberdeen for the South Dakota 2008 Film Festival, Keystone’s “City of Gold,” and Yankton’s Rockin’ Ribfest. The Board’s next meeting will be July 11 in Chamberlain/Oacoma.


 
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Governor's Buffalo Roundup

Researched list of international journalist for the Buffalo Roundup.


 
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Great Events

Czech Days, Tabor – June 19-21: Attended the event. Sent evaluation forms to the local committee.

Oahe Days, Pierre – June 20-22: Attended the event. Sent evaluation forms to the local committee.

Festival of Presidents, Rapid City – June 27-28: Attended the event.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Black Hills – September 19-21: Plan to send a multi-media release for the event. Will mail postcards to biking enthusiasts on the Vocus media list.

Hill City Western Heritage Festival, Hill City – September 20-21: Will mail postcards promoting the event in August. Newspaper ads will be placed in August.

 

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Awards and Honors

Tim Binder, Marketing Research Analyst with the Office of Tourism, has been chosen to serve as Secretary of the Board for the CenStates Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).


 
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