Helpful Tips to Increase Cultural Tourism

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The Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) program provides support to non-profit organizations through contracts for services, established by State law in 1989 to help promote Kansas City’s distinct and diverse neighborhoods through cultural, social, ethnic, historic, educational and recreational activities in conjunction with promoting the city as a premier convention, visitor and tourist center.

For non-profit organizations, cultural tourism can provide an opportunity for greater earned income. Cultural tourism programs are the catalyst for new audiences and dollars, helping organizations to grow stronger in these days of declining federal grants and increased competition for dollars at foundation and corporate levels. For tourism, arts, culture, history and recreation are the expressions of a community’s heart and soul. Together they form an image that sets the city apart and creates anticipation and excitement for the traveler. (Paraphrased from Americans for the Arts, Monographs; January 2007)

Cultural tourism is a concerted focus for the Office of Culture and Creative Services in an effort to grow and expand the visibility of Kansas City’s unique and talented community. The city recognizes and relies on organization’s marketing and programmatic successes already being achieved by NTDF contractors.

In an effort to maximize the benefits of a collective marketing approach as a way to extend the visibility of your organization, here are a few ideas to consider during the planning and implementation of your programs or projects:

  • Post NTDF events and projects to VisitKC
  • Note nearby lodging facilities through promotional materials and website related to your event
  • Partner with an area hotel for a block of rooms for visiting artists/talent or for out of town audience members and promote the negotiated lodging rate in marketing materials
  • Invite front-line staff of the hospitality industry to attend an event as a guest and to encourage them to become a spokesperson for your event
  • Coordinate collective marketing with similar or comparable organizations or projects by advertising in a statewide, national or international publication
  • Become a member of Travel Industry Association of America (TIA)
  • Provide a tweet for concierge services regarding public hours and performances

In addition to its direct economic impact, tourism can improve quality of life and build community. When the arts and tourism communities work together to highlight the unique character of a place, they can harness market forces to educate and entertain visitors, preserve cultural assets, and engender community pride in its heritage and way of life. (Americans for the Arts)