28 December 2006

Advertising Dollars Come From the State for Some Whitewater Outfitters

Yep, you read the title right. Some state tourism offices seem to have their thinking caps on- and white water rafting outfitters are taking advantage of the program. West Virginia seems to have their Office of Tourism in line with those who are also interested in bringing business to the state: recreation and vacation providers.

West Virginia just handed out some $5 million in funds to various organizations throughout the state. Rafting companies were among those who got a handy portion. Among the rafting recipients were: ACE Adventure Center, Class VI, North America River Runners, Songer Whitewater, Riverman Whitewater, Rock n Roll Rafting and more. Together they received over $300,000 in marketing fund to use for 2007.

This is of the helpful MAPP program the state has. Approved "partners"- which is virtually anyone that has a vested interest in tourism- can get 50% or more of their direct marketing dollars reimbursed or matched through the state! I think the fundamental concept is that the state tourism office should work together with those who are also pushing for the same objectives. It has been running for some time now, and everyone seems to be doing just dandy.

Why don't more state do this? I don't know. Utah Office of Tourism just handed out what it thinks is a healthy portion to organizations in various area of the state. But they just allocate fund to local tourism offices. And the allocations are not based on any logical reasoning in trying to promote tourism, but rather which participants put together the best and most entertaining proposal on paper. Utah also tries to say they will contribute to organizations who want to promote tourism to the state... but with one hitch- you have to be non-profit. So you automatically eliminate all those businesses who are the most interested in getting visitors to come to Utah. Instead you get a bunch of local theater houses and art exhibitors with money, and locals don't even go to them.

Rafting companies should take note from West Virginia and petition for more unity between the state and the companies.

22 December 2006

Men's Journal Puts Rafting As a Best Trip '07

The January Issue of Men' Journal has a year starting "Best News Trips" articled featured the top adventure vacations to take in 2007. Making the list of these adventure vacations was ROW Adventures' Idaho and Montana white water rafting trips. ROW also was featured for the Galapagos Island kayaking and camping trip.

Some of the other trips highlighted include kayaking on the Baja Coast, camel trek in Morocco, Hawaii trip (of course) and swimming with the whales and sharks in Australia.

Its not a surprise that whitewater rafting made it to the list of top things to do for 2007. The industry and popularity of rafting is beginning to pick up speed again. Since 9/11 many outdoor recreations and adventure tours have struggled to regain ground and tourists. But the last couple of years have been productive overall, and more people are enjoying the outdoors and the natural adventures mother nature has to offer.

14 December 2006

"Mancations" Comin Atcha'

Its not a misspelled word- its a new word. "Mancation" is a hot new topic in the adventure travel industry and white water rafting. It means just what it says- a vacation for men. I guess they have finally put terminology on the "boys weekend out" that gives it a little more formality.

Mancations.com is the website created to list packages and activities that fit the mold for manly trips to do with your friends. NBC10 in Philadelphia and surrounding regions reported on mancations not too long ago, and it is catching wind. The Today Show just aired a segment dedicated specifically for Mancations. Topped on the Mancation list are golf vacations (of course), white water rafting, backpacking and more. This is in the wake of marketing research showing a rising trend in vacations by groups of men.

The marketing study shows the true feeling men have about vacationing:

   * Over 60% of respondents who go on guys or girls trips are married.

* 41% of men -- compared with 22% of women -- said that they witnessed
something on their guy's trip that they preferred their spouse not know

* Despite the expected bravado image, 80% of men indicated they miss their
families when they go on these trips.

* More then half of all respondents said they would rather take a trip
with a bunch of friends versus attend a family reunion.

Lets be honest- who would really opt for a family reunion instead of a Mancation? That's what I thought. If you want to start planning a Mancation, visit the website or try whitewater rafting trips for a start. They are sure to get your adrenaline pumping!

07 December 2006

Wisconsim Wants a Whitewater Rafting Park

Wisconsin has now apparently jumped on the "I want a whitewater toy" now as well. The recent addittions and news about teh upcoming whitewater rafting parks has sruck interest in many different parts of the nation.

Matt Johnson of Appleton, WI is part of the Fox Cities Whitewater Park Committee, which has retained the engineering firm of Recreation Engineering and Planning Inc. of Boulder, Colo., to perform a feasibility study on constructing a whitewater park somewhere in the Fox Cities.

We will see how these whitewater parks continue to grow in popularity. Can they make enough money to keep running is the question.