For the fourth straight year, more than a dozen travel writers for national publications have convened in the Valley to share some of the amazing places and sites here in Western Nebraska.
This week the Gering Convention & Visitors Bureau and Scottsbluff Area Visitors Bureau is collaborating with the Nebraska Tourism Commission to bring national journalists to the area.
GCVB Executive Director Karla Niedan-Streeks says these writers literally come from all over country writing for travel publications and newspapers. They come on these media familiarization trips which provide them the opportunity to visit new areas and experience what there is to see and do.
After the trip, they go home and write articles about what they did, encouraging their readers to go and travel to the area.
Two of the journalists were golf writers, who are teeing up at Kimball’s Four Winds Golf Course and Sidney’s Hillside Golf Courses today. On Thursday, they hit up Riverview in Scottsbluff and at Gering’s Monument Shadows.
“They were just in awe. They said they had not seen a more beautiful and scenic course ever- and they’ve golfed all over the world,” explains Niedan-Streeks. “They were incredibly impressed with the quality of the course, the scenic backdrop and the affordability.”
She says they were blogging and tweeting about Monument Shadows while they were still on the course.
Niedan-Streeks says the opportunity to host these writers at our local courses is great for local tourism because these writers will share with their national audience what the Valley has to offer in courses.
As for the 19 general interest writers who tackle everything about travel and tourism, they started their week out on Tuesday night with dinner at Tangled Tumbleweed in Scottsbluff. On Wednesday headed out with regional tourism leaders in North Platte, Ogallala, and the northern Panhandle.
They’ll be returning to Gering on Friday afternoon, where they’ll tour Scotts Bluff National Monument, the Legacy of Plains Museum, and all of the other major attractions here int he Valley. On Sunday morning, it’s back to Denver to head home and start writing their articles.
Niedan-Streeks says they’ve hosted travel writers for the last four years, and during that time frame more than 600 articles have been written in national publications. She says that has an ad equivalency worth $12.7 million.
She says it is a lot of work coordinating all of their activities, but the bottom line is that getting these writers to share all of the hidden gems here in our backyard is invaluable.