Parts of central Nebraska will step into the national spotlight March 19-23, as the state plays host to a group of 20 journalists writing for international, national and regional media outlets. These tours are designed to give selected media outlets an opportunity to learn what Nebraska has to offer visitors in various regions of the state.
The trip will show off the state’s Central Platte River Region, the annual sandhill crane migration and other attractions such as The Archway, Harlan Reservoir, Pioneer Village, the Golden Spike Tower, Calamus River, Wessels Living History Farm and much more. In addition to visiting unique Nebraska attractions, the journalists will sample local restaurants and learn about famous Nebraska historical figures. Cities featured in the tour include McCook, Kearney, Gothenburg, Minden, Grand Island, North Platte, Henderson, York, Aurora, Hastings and Red Cloud.
The visiting journalists write for a wide variety of publications including TIME, Vanity Fair, National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today, Audubon Magazine, AARP, AAA Midwest Traveler, AAA World, AAA Living, Birdwatcher’s Digest, Nature Travel Network, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Washington Post and many others.
“These tours are an example of the unique opportunities we must regularly consider to promote Nebraska as a travel destination. We hope to inspire these writers and then let them inspire their readers to plan a vacation to our state. Many of the journalists find that Nebraska is an undiscovered destination full of adventure,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director.
This will be the sixteenth media tour sponsored by the Nebraska Tourism Commission. 333 journalists have visited Nebraska on the previous media tours, resulting in 833 articles or broadcast segments, which have appeared in media outlets including Wall Street Journal, Midwest Living, Smithsonian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Better Homes & Gardens, Parade, USA Today, Saveur, US Airways Magazine, American Cowboy, Group Tour, Group Travel Leader, Canadian Geographic, Byways, Smart Meetings, American Airlines Magazine, MotorHome Magazine, Huffington Post, Texas Golfer, AAA Journeys, National Public Radio, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oklahoman, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Toronto Sun, Albuquerque Journal, the Coloradoan and hundreds of other media outlets.
Some 1,063,542,609 potential visitors have been exposed to this coverage. If this editorial coverage had been purchased as paid advertising it would have cost more than $13.4 million. National and in-state tourism sponsors have provided more than $618,415 in goods and services including air transportation, lodging, meals and activities to support the Nebraska Tourism Commission’s media tour program.
Two others tours will take place in late spring/early summer to showcase other parts of the state.