During the month of March, the Sikeston-Miner Convention and Tourism Bureau has been on the march.
We started the month with the River Heritage Association meeting in Ste. Genevieve with tourism-related businesses from the 12 counties in the association. The RHA's keynote speakers were from Touring America, a Division of Marketing Resources Inc.
The association agreed to place an ad in the Tour Book which will be published late this spring and will be mailed to 4,000 Tour Group Leaders. Grouping together makes us more of a destination and will allow us to set up day trips within the counties.
The following week was the Missouri Meetings and Events Expo 2004 in St. Louis.
Here the Sikeston and Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau advertised not only for our meeting facilities, but also for weekend getaways. The Bootheel Golf Club provided flyers which advertised an unlimited golf package including hotel accommodations, dinner at Lamberts and Factory Outlet Shopping discount coupons.
After the meeting we did a bulk mailing of 244 follow-up cards to Expo attendees and have since booked a group of 12 for the golf outing package.
On March 15 we packed our bags and headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a Group Leaders of America show. At this GLAMER show, we visited with group leaders who schedule trips for motor coaches and invited them to our area. Typically those interested are bus tours that will need an overnight before going on to their destination. We offered information on our festivals and events along with accommodations and restaurants.
From Cincinnati it was on to Florence, Ind., and the GLAMER show at the Belterra Casino Resort. This was a great show with around 150 leaders, who depleted our informational packet supply.
The CVB's spring intern packed more informational packets up and met me in St. Louis where we were attended the last of our Group Leaders of America Shows.
After the St. Louis show, we made a presentation at their luncheon. The tables were decorated with placemats featuring the Sikeston and Miner attractions, events and amenities. As part of the presentation, we showed the new DVD which received several great comments.
During the week of March 22 the 2004 spring insert was placed in 18 major newspapers such as the ST. Louis Dispatch, Kansas City Star, Des Moines Register and Chicago Suburban. We are busy getting out information to these inquirers and already have mailed out over 1,000 bulk pieces during March and April. Missouri is ranked 10th in the nation for leisure travel according to the Travel Industry Association, so it's no wonder we get so many requests.