CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) has updated its strategic plan for attracting visitors, combining cost-effective new initiatives and time-tested programs with proven track records, Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki said today.
Krolicki, NCOT chair, said the agency will target U.S. consumer markets that have large populations with convenient driving distance or easy air access to Nevada and international markets whose travelers have a strong likelihood of visiting Nevada, such as Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Germany.
“In the current national economic climate, many people are still traveling, but spending less and staying closer to home,” Krolicki said. “Visitor numbers are down, but Nevada is well-positioned as a centrally located, easily accessed western destination where travelers experience unique entertainment and attractions and where dollars still go a long way.”
The plan, which extends through fiscal year 2011, was presented to the commission at its regular meeting March 26, during NCOT’s Rural Roundup tourism conference in Winnemucca.The plan is online at http://travelnevada.biz/documents/public/2010/Strategic_Plan_R_3.30.10.pdf. It calls for additional inexpensive initiatives that build upon existing programs, including:
“Many of our tourism initiatives will emphasize the rural Nevada experience, such as branding the state as a “free-spirited” destination that offers new attractions and Old West cultural heritage and satisfies visitors’ yearnings for an educational, yet relaxing vacation that delivers great value,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said.
“NCOT is using marketing techniques designed to quickly draw more visitors at less expense,” Lewis said. For example:
NCOT also e-mails information to niche-market consumers about arts and culture, ski, golf and motorcycle touringNCOT participated in a Google test program that exposed its ski commercial through in-stream video to 7.7 million consumers and found that 45 percent watched the entire 30-second ad. The test program provided NCOT with several thousand dollars of free advertising, and research findings will be used in future Internet marketing initiatives. In addition, Google will showcase NCOT’s marketing research in a case study presented at seminars and displayed on its Web site and in literature educating consumers on how to effectively utilize this technology.
Lewis said NCOT will retain other programs that have demonstrated a measurable positive return on investment, such as:
NCOT, which promotes tourism for the entire state, is funded by three-eighths of 1 percent of the hotel-motel room tax that visitors pay, not by General Fund dollars. The agency’s operating budget was cut 41.1 percent from nearly $18 million in fiscal year 2008 to $10.5 million this year and its staff reduced 23.3 percent from 30 to 23 people.