Montana Office of Tourism
U.S. & CANADIAN GROUP TRAVEL
Montana's domestic group travel program promotes Montana's many group tour and travel opportunities by marketing directly to group tour operators throughout the United States and Canada. Montana is promoted as a tour destination, as well as a viable stopover on tour itineraries. This program markets all seasons in Montana and encompasses activities from sightseeing to river rafting and skiing. Its goals are to:
- provide tour operators with the tools to build a successful Montana tour itinerary
- generate more awareness of statewide group tour products, including Lewis and Clark Trail attractions and events of interest to the group tour market
- create more interest in Montana as a group tour destination.
Travel Montana conducts familiarization (fam) tours to provide personal, firsthand site inspections for prospective group tour operators. By experiencing Montana, tour operators can better understand the mechanics of designing new itineraries in Montana.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
This specialized direct mail program provides current tour planning material, as well as establishes and maintains a professional rapport with group travel planners throughout the United States and Canada.
Eighty selected group tour operators receive The Montana Calendar. Featuring many aspects of the state, the calendar communicates a positive image of Montana as a scenic tour destination.
TRAVEL TRADE EVENTS
By attending select travel shows and conventions, Travel Montana staff can make contacts with prospective group tour operators, discussing and promoting new and expanded Montana itineraries. Our staff also attends selected tour conventions to enhance and support sales of existing Montana tours packaged by qualified tour operators.
GROUP TRAVEL WORKSHOP
This seminar/workshop typically is presented at the Governor's Conference on Tourism & Recreation for members of the Montana travel industry interested in working with group travel. The seminar focuses on effective techniques for the development of group tours.
IMAGE BROCHURES/TOUR SHELLS
These brochures are available to tour operators in bulk quantities free of charge to use as a consumer-marketing piece. This brochure is also available in the form of shells: these are not folded and include Montana images; areas are left blank so tour operators can print company information and itineraries. Distribution channels include travel agencies, industry conventions and group tour offices.
The Montana Group Tour Planning Guide is designed to be an "all-in-one" tour planning reference. With listings of attractions, events, hotels, and restaurants, the guide encompasses the points of interest for the tour planner designing a Montana itinerary. The guide will also be sent to tour operators as a follow-up to NTA and ABA appointments. The information from the publication is also available on the Internet at http://montanagroups.com.
Information is gathered from a survey given to tour operators who attend a promotional event hosted by Travel Montana and Montana suppliers while at the National Tour Association Convention. Additionally, group travel promotional efforts are evaluated through personal contacts and meetings with key tour operators at national conventions.