When Gov. Sam Brownback spoke to those gathered for a tourism conference recently at the Wetlands Education Center, he said Kansans are bad a promoting themselves and what the Sunflower State has to offer.
He was right, but his comments could be taken a step farther. Kansans also do a poor job of even knowing what we have to offer.
This past weekend, the center held its Great Migration Rally, an event that helped mark International Migratory Bird Day which celebrates and brings attention to bird migration. The rally gave participants the chance to follow the birds to food and prizes while “migrating” the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway, which ties Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.
Along the way, they saw various natural and historic sites.
A family from out of town wanted to spend the weekend in the area, take in the rally and explore the region. However, the staff at their hotel could not give them directions to the center.
We can have the most breath-taking natural resources and spend tons of money for signs. We can print brochures, and publish booklets and web sites. But it takes more.
In the classic Broadway musical “The Music Man,” Professor Harold Hill is chided by his fellow salesmen. “You’ve got to know the territory,” they say.
They are correct. And, believe it or not, we are all salespeople. Our product is our area and its treasures. We have got to know what we have available and how to find these attractions.
Whether we’re business owners, waitresses or clerks in convenience stores, it is our job to promote ourselves.
If there needs to be a complete guide published for use by these folks, then so be it.
It is up to us to market what we often take for granted. You never know when someone will come up and ask you what there is to see and do around here.