Nebraska may not have mountains or seashores, but the state does have tourists. Which is why the Nebraska Tourism Commission is hoping to introduce a new state slogan and branding campaign next year.
The current “Possibilities ... Endless” slogan strikes some as being a bit on the amorphous side, not exactly “I Love NY” or “What happens in Vegas ...” And one that still resonates with lots of Nebraskans, “The Good Life,” dates to the 1970s.
So the commission is working with research and marketing firms to define Nebraska’s modern brand and lure visitors and their money. The effort includes a survey of Nebraskans and, smartly, non-Nebraskans. Nonresidents are being asked, for example, what qualities they look for in a destination — from varied cuisines to nightlife to value. They are being asked whether they’ve ever visited, and if not, why not.
Tourism Commission research finds that travelers bring money. And that produces jobs. Direct travel spending in Nebraska last year hit $3.1 billion, directly generated 36,100 jobs and indirectly contributed to 16,470 more, all while putting tax dollars into state and local coffers. Tourism is one of Nebraska’s top three industries.
To the cynical or jaded, this latest marketing project might seem like a time-waster. But there’s a powerful economic reason for it. Nebraska has a product to sell, and branding matters.