BIG SKY – The Montana Department of Commerce Office of Tourism is bringing its tourism and brand workshop, entitled “Coming Together to Expand Montana’s Tourism Story,” to Big Sky on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

This free workshop is an outreach effort to assist businesses in Yellowstone Country in bolstering their ability to attract and retain visitors to their area, and to learn about social media sites and best practices.

With tourism being one of Montana’s leading industries and a key economic driver for the state, the MTOT views the workshop as an opportunity to help businesses attract some of the 11 million visitors that travel to Montana each year. Non-resident visitors bring new money into Montana’s economy, spending $3 billion annually during their stay.

“In Yellowstone Country alone, out-of-state visitors spent over $772 million in 2011 and stayed an average of four nights in the region*,” said Jeri Duran, Administrator for MTOT. “Having Yellowstone National Park in your backyard is a tremendous asset. This workshop will provide fresh ideas on how to capture more spending and additional overnights from visitors traveling through the area.”

The workshop will include an overview of MTOT’s efforts in supporting and promoting tourism both statewide and in south-central Montana, as well as brainstorming sessions to discuss how the area can draw more visitors annually.

MTOT will share recommendations on how to increase tourism to south-central Montana garnered in part from input provided during the brainstorming sessions. In addition, a recap of the MTOT road trip of the area undertaken prior to the workshop will be shared; a social media team, comprised of individuals from MTOT and Yellowstone Country, will have spent three days traveling in the region, gathering information about attractions, activities and restaurants to highlight on Montana’s social media pages (facebook.com/visitmontana and twitter.com/visitmontana).

Details:

Wednesday, January 23

9 a.m. – noon: Workshop Session #1

noon – 1 p.m.: Catered Lunch hosted by Montana Office of Tourism

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Social Media Tips and Navigating Visitmt.com/Getlostmt.com

3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Workshop Session #2

MTOT will also be holding random drawings at the workshop. For every 20 attendees, MTOT will sponsor one complimentary registration to the 2013 Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation (includes lodging). Also, one business in attendance will be randomly chosen to receive an iPad Mini to assist with new marketing efforts. Participants must be present to win.