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.