Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES -- Studies show that a bus filled with tourists can add more than $6,500 to a community's economy in one day. New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project and the Ruidoso Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau will sponsor a group tour marketing seminar May 4 at the convention center in Ruidoso.
The seminar is designed to help people in the tourism industry attract more tour groups to their communities, said Karen Watson, REDTT project director with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.
"Tourists spend a lot of money in the city that they're visiting," she said. "The seminar also will help businesses like restaurants and hotels in southern New Mexico provide better services to keep visitors coming back."
More than 200 tour buses are scheduled to roll into Roswell this year, Watson said. The average traveler on a tour bus will spend more than $150 a day in the community he or she visits.
Workshops at the group tour seminar will include marketing on the web, partnering with airlines, organizing local tours and developing a regional computer database. The guest speaker will be Russ Wolfe from the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"We'll be looking at marketing on the World Wide Web because it's become an effective method for promoting tourism," Watson said. "The number of tour operators using the Web increased from 34 percent in 1996 to 74 percent in 1997."
The registration fee for the one-day seminar is $10. For more information, call the Ruidoso Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau at (505) 257-7395 or the REDTT office at (505) 646-5994.
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