With one of the lowest budgets for promoting tourism among states – but with a $3 billion tourist industry seen as key to the state’s ailing economy – Idaho is turning to high-tech tools and tricks to help market the state. The state’s Division of Tourism is beta-testing a new technology from a Sandpoint firm that enables prospective visitors to virtually fly over the state, checking out attractions, lodging and scenery along the route as they go. “We feel we have technology that will really help the state attract more visitors and help the tourism businesses attract more visitors,” said Mark Williams, CEO of GeoData Technologies.
Idaho’s also using new 360-degree panoramic photography on its tourism Web site, exploring an iPhone app and planning a campaign for spring around the reality show-style story of a stressed-out Seattle family that won a free Idaho vacation. “People don’t know about Idaho, and we don’t have the funding to get the traditional advertising out there,” said Idaho’s Division of Tourism administrator, Karen Ballard. “If we can use this online visual world, where you get the visuals of who and what we are, we’re all for that.” You can read my full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210
Main switchboard: (509) 459-5000 • (800) 338-8801
Newsroom: (509) 459-5400 • (800) 789-0029
Customer service: (800) 338-8801