$2.5 Million CARES Act Grant Will Help Marketing Tourism For The State

Apr 14, 2021

Credit Wyoming Office of Tourism

2020 was a hard year for tourism. Nationally, the industry contracted by 45 percent. While Wyoming fared much better and shrunk only by 25 percent, it was still a big impact.

Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, said travelling in 2020 relied heavily on road trips.

"That's always been the majority of how our travelers arrive, so we didn't have to reinvent ourselves," she said.

But the state's tourism industry still felt a huge effect as travelers didn't spend much money while traveling. And the Wyoming Legislature has just cut the office's budget by 13 percent. Shober said the CARES money will go to marketing.

"This will be an integrated part of our 'That's WY' brand, and will be built upon recovery, using the visitor economy as a way to still continue to contribute to Wyoming's overall recovery and support jobs and sustained jobs in our state," said Shober.

Part of that will be targeting visitors to actually spend money while they are driving through the state.

"What we want to do is get people back into going to events and participating in activities and spending more while on their trip. And looking at also, back into a national awareness media campaign," she said.

As of last year, the office concentrated more on a regional awareness media campaign.

Shober is optimistic about 2021 as organic searches for Wyoming travel were up 27 percent just in March.