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­­­­Domestic Trade stepping into Wyoming’s Story

Over the past month, the common theme that came into Amy’s mind was how do we at the Wyoming Office of Tourism invite these groups to not just come to Wyoming, but truly step into the stories in Wyoming. The history, the destination, the people and make them part of their own story. To share more than a snapshot, but the “That’s WY” for their groups to be here.

WOT was able to sponsor the dinner for the Collette and Virtuoso annual partner meeting, this year held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and then join the group for a day in Yellowstone sharing stories of the Cody, Buffalo Bill, the North Fork and of course Yellowstone. Most of the group had never been to Wyoming so to experience their wonder and awe at the state and share about other destinations and how to package a complete itinerary around the entire state was a valuable. Most of them had no idea the stories we have to share. Along the way Amy was also able to work with a long time Wyoming tour leader and learn how they share about Wyoming, what they love about the state and even what more WOT could be doing to enhance the group experience. Thanks to the North Fork area as well for bringing out all the animals! It made it easy to share the “That’s WY” for staying in Wyoming for your Yellowstone Vacation.

NTA Contact was held in St. John’s Newfoundland this year, once again bringing buyers and a few select sellers together for a tour operator retreat. Outside of WOT attending and sponsoring, Megan McComas with Discover Carbon County was also in attendance. The main breakout sessions revolved around AI, not just the how to use it, but the “why” to use it as well. It will very much be a part of the future of traveling and learning to embrace it and work with it now, will benefit both tour operators and destinations long term. Stories were also shared of young entrepreneurs, one of which created a business in her small, almost abandoned fishing town. Discussions were also held on what makes a great Mystery Tour, which Wyoming is still a great destination for. WOT hosted the Tuesday night Nightcap, which continues to be one of the highlights of NTA Contact. Throughout the event tours were held out to see lighthouses, visit the eastern most point of Canada, Screech in ceremonies that involved kissing cod fish, and spending some time with thousands of puffins! While Newfoundland definitely showcased their amazing hospitality, tour operators were still talking about itineraries and updates in Wyoming. There really is just nothing like our hospitality.

Finally WOT was able to host the tour operator lunch at TAP a few weeks ago. While Amy was unable to attend in person, she was able to share the story of Wyoming from the Historic Supreme Court Chambers in our state Capitol. Many operators reached out thanking WOT for sponsoring and for the video, one even stating “just when I think I know everything I want my group to experience in Wyoming, you surprise me with one more location.” That is one of the beautiful things about Wyoming, there are so many stories’ groups can step into. One itinerary is never going to be enough. The invitation at all 3 invites was to come to Wyoming and step into our story.

Upcoming Domestic Trade Show events:

July 19-22nd, MiniFAM experience, CFD/Eastern Wyoming

September 6-10th, Northwest USA Spotlight. FAM trip in Northeastern Wyoming, Conference in Casper.

November 16th-21st, NTA Trex, Huntsville, AL

For more information on Packaged Group Travel, contact Amy at amy.larsen@wyo.gov

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