his past year has been a busy one for a variety of Barton County departments and for local tourism efforts as well, as Financial Officer Janet Crane reported recently.
She reported on efforts to publicize the county’s byway.
“Barton County received a 2008 National Scenic Byway marketing grant. The first phase of the grant included the development of the byway’s marketing plan and marketing materials for the ‘sustainable marketing campaign.’
“Contracted with North Star, the company compiled a research-based three-year marketing plan specific to the byway and a media kit targeted to the byway’s seven niche markets — soft adventure seekers, birders, nature photographers, nature travelers, wildlife and parks visitors, scenic byway travelers and bicyclists.
“Work commenced in September, 2009, and was completed in April. The media kit is accessible on the Byway Website — www.kansasbyway.com (Separate Tab – Media Kit),” she noted.
Work also went into the field in 2010, Crane reported.
“The second phase, ‘the local awareness campaign,’ developed cross promotional efforts with all seven corridor communities. The county contracted with the Walden Mills Group to provide each community technical assistance. Product development focused on the byway’s subthemes (Wetlands, Birds & Wildlife, Weather, Geology/Landscape and Movement of Man) to best showcase each town, community customized press kits, itineraries, and story lines based on the North Star market research and the key target markets.”
The Local Awareness Campaign started in April and additional community committee meetings were held in June, July and September. “All planning and fact-finding was finished by September,” she added.
The work continues this year, Crane noted. “In 2011, press kits will be distributed, followed by a Byway Familiarization Trip. This project stimulates business to business marketing and unifies all seven communities with enhanced economic competitiveness through the development of increased regional tourism. It truly exemplifies the ‘triple bottom line’ concept of tourism’s social, environmental, and economic impact.”