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Getting The Word On Tuolumne County

The Visitors Bureau’s primary job is marketing and promoting Tuolumne County to the world and we have a lot going on in that area right now.

Nanci Sikes, our Executive Director is presently on a whirlwind visit to 4 cities in Australia with the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) to sell California to Australia. She’s representing the High Sierra Visitors Council of which our bureau is a member.

They’re doing trade shows and meeting with tour operators who bring visitors to the US in hopes of generating more business for California and of course to our region in particular. Australia is a growing market for the Foothills and the present weakness of the US dollar is making travel for them more affordable than it’s been in a long time.

Sandy Gordon, Marketing Manager for the Bureau spent the weekend of Oct. 16-17 in Half Moon Bay at the Pumpkin Festival as part of the CTTC Airstream Exhibit. This is a very unique program that allows us to reach thousands of people at very little cost. A team of tourism professionals purchased a customized Airstream Trailer that focuses on rural tourism in California. They bring the Airstream to major festivals and events around the state.

To help them staff the “booth” (the Airstream), they depend on volunteer labor provided by tourist boards such as ours. Because they only do major events, it provides us with an opportunity to talk with hundreds of people a day an distribute thousands of Visitors Guides throughout the state at a much lower cost than mailing them out.

While I suspect some of you reading this may be thinking, “we don’t need any more visitors…everything is too crowded as it is now,” consider the following:

  • Tourism is the #1 private employer in all of the Foothills Counties. Many of our residents depend directly on tourism for their income.
  • Tourism provides the necessary support to keep many of our wonderful attractions, restaurants and other facilities open. Without tourism we wouldn’t have Railtown, Columbia, a lively theater and arts scene and the many delightful restaurants that dot our region. There aren’t enough people living here to support all of this.
  • Businesses directly supported by tourism buy goods and services from other businesses which provides much of the tax revenue for Tuolumne County

Working closely with our members we’ve been able to fare better than many parts of the country in this recession and much of that is due to continuing interest in visiting our area.