Gov. Pete Ricketts says the new state tourism slogan sure has generated a lot of buzz, whether it proves effective is yet to be seen.
Many Nebraskans don’t think much of the tourism tag: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”
But, Gov. Ricketts says it has gotten the attention of some, telling reporters a story from the recent Republican Governors Association convention he attended in Arizona.
“And a woman came up to me and said, ‘Great new slogan that you’ve got for Nebraska. My girlfriends and I in New York are coming to Nebraska to go tanking next summer,’” Ricketts says with a chuckle.”
A reporter asks, “These are people you know?”
“No, I had no idea,” Ricketts replies. I had never met the woman before.”
Ricketts says if you are trying to break through the clutter of all 50 states touting their destinations and attempting to grab their piece of the tourism dollar, Nebraska, traditionally toward the bottom of that tourism list, had to do something.
The Nebraska Tourism Commission estimates that the new campaign has already generated more than $5 million of free publicity as national radio and television networks, shows such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and the “TODAY” show have all given it extensive coverage, though some have mocked the slogan, others have praised its audacity.
The proof of whether it is effective, whether it lures people to the state, will come in a few months.
Ricketts says he will be watching closely as the lodging tax revenues begin to come in next summer.
“And see if that lodging tax is going up year over year and, if it is, then I think that we can safely say that the tourism slogan is breaking through and that we are drawing people’s attention to come here,” according to Ricketts.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]