Nebraska using foreign-language Web pages to market its off-the-interstate highlights

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nebraska offers foreign-language tourism Web pages

LINCOLN, Neb. — State officials want foreign tourists to know there’s more to Nebraska than fields of corn and soybeans along Interstate 80.

There’s history everywhere, and real cowboys still round up cattle in the rolling hills.

Not wanting the state’s delights to get lost in language barriers, Nebraska officials used a $56,000 federal grant to pay for a redesign of the state’s Nebraska Byways brochure and creation of brochure Web pages for downloading in English, Spanish, French and German.

The brochure includes information on nine trips along U.S. and state highways that course through rural areas of Nebraska.

State officials say they don’t know how many people from other countries drive through Nebraska, but a record number of hits on the state’s tourism website provides a clue: Web visits are most frequent from people in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and France.

Matt Gersib, public relations manager at Snitily Carr Advertising Agency, said the decision to create French and German versions of the website was guided by that information. He said the Spanish version was created for Nebraska residents whose first language is Spanish.

Snitily Carr was hired by the Nebraska Economic Development Department’s Division of Travel and Tourism for the brochure and Web work.

“There are so many travelers who never get off the interstate. Our byways are such a neat resource,” Gersib told the Lincoln Journal Star.

“The literature is an appeal to travelers to go a few miles off I-80 and see what a beautiful place Nebraska is, and we want to be able to say that in their native language,” Gersib said.

Paula Bohaty, who oversees international tourism for the Travel and Tourism Division, said Nebraska already plays host to international visitors.

Many are looking for ecology-based tours and farm- and ranch-based adventures, she said.


Nebraska Economic Development Department’s Division of Travel and Tourism:

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