Travel: The Ultimate Economic Stimulus for Idaho
Much of the talk nationally, as well as locally, has been centered on how to get our economy moving again.  Policy proposals and local budgets are being measured by whether they will create jobs and stimulate spending.
While a contentious debate about the right policy rages in Washington, D.C., how about an answer that is much less controversial, easier to implement, and, best of all, could yield better results right here in north central Idaho?
I’m talking about investing in our travel economy.
Many people don’t realize it, but travel and tourism is one of our most important economic drivers.  In fact, in Idaho, travel and tourism is the third largest contributor to the state’s economy.
Simply put, when people travel, the economy grows, jobs are created, and the tax coffers are filled.
So how can we invest in this precious resource, and leverage it to improve our economy?
Here are a few ideas.
Promote meetings and events.
Meetings are a major driver of local jobs and a boost to local spending. When these meetings dry up, our community’s small businesses and workers suffer. So we need to do what we can to support the meetings industry, and encourage more businesses and associations to bring their meetings here.
How can any of us do that?
Invite meetings be held in Idaho.  What personal and/or professional groups are you associate with?  Suggest they meet right here in our local area, or somewhere else in Idaho.  Make a list with the contact information for the personal and/or professional groups you are associated with that hold meetings and forward that list to a regional travel specialist who will make sure your contacts receive ‘meet in Idaho’ invitations.  For north central Idaho, which includes Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce, Latah & Clearwater Counties contact Frances Conklin of the Idaho Travel Council at or phone 208 962-3647.
Corporations, professional and social associations, hobby groups, reunions, and board meetings are sources for potential meeting business.
Market to out-of-town visitors.
The old saying goes, it takes money to make money. Our regional travel promotion organization, the North Central Idaho Travel Association (NCITA) does a terrific job of showcasing north central Idaho as a premier destination.   Visit the association’s website, & send links to your family & friends as part of your invitation to visit.  Also send them links to the visitor information portion of your community’s chamber of commerce website as well.  Or visit your local chamber/visitor center office for literature to mail to your contacts.
It is critical that we do everything possible to provide our local chambers & regional tourism travel promotion association with the necessary financial resources to get our message out to potential visitors.  If you own or manage a motel, hotel, bed & breakfast, rv park or campground, restaurant, grocery store, gas station, museum, retail store or other business that visitors frequent, consider joining your local chamber and NCITA.
Take advantage of resources provided by the Idaho Tourism Division.  New initiatives were launched this year to encourage Idaho visitation.  Enjoy the travelogue at, enter the contest, and forward the info on so your contacts can find out why Idaho is a great budget & family-friendly state to visit.  Check out and also pass this link on to a ski buddy or two inviting them to come ski with you next season.
Travel in Idaho yourself
Chances are there are many parts of Idaho that each of us has not yet visited.  Consider exploring another corner of the state for your own vacation.  Lots of information, including maps, itineraries, & travel packages can be found on  Indulge your own Adventures in Living in Idaho.  It’s good for our state’s economy and our well-being.
Communicate to our public officials
We need to make sure our lawmakers are recognized when they go to bat for travel. Our economy is beginning to turn around, but we need to continue to invest in the recovery.
This week is National Travel and Tourism Week & it’s a great opportunity to let our elected officials know that we support and appreciate their efforts to improve our economy locally & nationally.
The United States has been observing National Travel and Tourism Week since 1984 when President Reagan established it to promote the tremendous value of travel in America.
Remember, we can all do our part to continue to grow Idaho’s economy one traveler at a time!
Submitted by Frances Conklin
Dog Bark Park

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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