Little-Visited North Dakota Stakes Claim As Antidote To Overtourism

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

North Dakota: Lots of room to roam.

“Come To North Dakota: No One Else Does.”

OK, that’s not really the state’s tourism slogan. But the sparsely populated U.S. state has lots of room to move, and a new tourism marketing campaign is promoting the destination as the antidote to overtourism.

Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman said the state’s new slogan is actually, “Don’t follow the crowds — follow your curiosity.”

Among the least-visited states in the nation, North Dakota has unveiled a US$2.9 million campaign touting the state’s wide-open spaces, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

“What that means is, you won’t be bumper-to-bumper at a national park,” Otte Coleman said.

Tourism officials also confirmed last week that the agency has renewed its contract with Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel to promote tourism in his home state.

The star of several ‘Transformers’ movies will be paid US$175,000 to be the face of North Dakota’s tourism campaign for the next two years, taking his total haul for the tourism contract he has held since 2013 to more than US$1 million.

Tourist numbers for last year have not been tallied but Coleman said 22.6 million people visited North Dakota in 2018, up 4% over the prior year. Visitors spent about US$3 billion in 2018, which generated about US$300 million in state and local taxes, she said.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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