Colorado doesn’t have many issues in selling the state. Colorado is home to several destinations for outdoor adventure, contains a thriving arts and culture scene, and has the award-winning restaurants and breweries to keep any tourists well fed during a trip to the Centennial State. Tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Colorado and now neighboring Nebraska is trying to get their piece of the pie by using Colorado agencies to sell Nebraska like they’ve sold Colorado to tourists. Nebraska was recently ranked last in a poll where people were asked which states they’d like to visit.
Over the summer Nebraska held an open competition between twelve different tourism marketing and advertising agencies, seven from other states and five from Nebraska. All three of the agencies that won the competition is based in Colorado or have a regional office in the state.
Those agencies are already planning what they can do for Nebraska and are looking for unique approaches. CEO Meredith Vaughn of one of the chosen agencies Vladimir Jones aims to use emotions to connect potential tourists to Nebraska and tell Nebraska’s story. Nebraska doesn’t have the same unique geography offered by Colorado, but Vaughn believes there is much more to sell. “The slate is clean. You have the opportunity to shape consumer perceptions based on what is real and meaningful, and not have to change anything that is necessarily negative,” she said.
At least a few Nebraska locals have expressed skepticism on using an out-of-state firm to sell their state. Tim Geisert, a Lincoln-based marketer believes the focus should be on Nebraska and Nebraskan talent. “We need talent back. We need our people back,” Geisert said. “Think about if you could take this tourism money and put it toward that. I think you’d see a lot more economic development than filling hotel rooms.”
Why do you think Colorado has been so successful at selling itself to tourists? Is the state already naturally a tourist destination due to all it has to offer or is Colorado’s leading tourism board helping to take the state to new levels? Weigh in on the comments section and tell us why you think our state is so popular with visitors.