Annually an estimated 1.5 million visitors come to Tama County, Iowa (1). We have all seen the buses crisscrossing US Highway 30 & 63 with out-of-state license plates. And often we assume they are coming to our Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel to experience Iowa’s biggest full service casino. But there is even more to this growing success story of rural tourism…
In 2007 Matchstick Marvels was recognized as Iowa’s top small town attraction welcoming 100+ buses into small town Gladbrook. And even through a recession, the number of bus tours to Dysart has increased. Why? Because the community combined a unique set of resources in an authentic way to craft a creative Iowa small town experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world. And in Traer? Even though the Guinness Book of World Record Salt ‘n Pepper Shaker Gallery has not formally opened, bus tour planners know about it and have been asking if their group could get special treatment and get a sneak peak. And of course true to Tama County, Iowa hospitality, they have been welcomed in. But these are just some of our tourism industry success stories…
Tama County has a spectacularly unique and successful tourism industry as a rural economy. Lending to its further growth potential are growing public-private partnerships and the fact that 50% of all Iowa’s tourism investment happens within one hour of Tama County (2). On Wednesday four representatives from some of Tama County’s top attractions will visit with Bus Tour planners again to share with them some itineraries and ideas on places to visit. Not only to promote their attraction, but also some of our other 300+ Tama County Convention and Visitors Bureau attractions that can accommodate larger groups of around 40 visitors. Click here to view a copy of the most updated Tama County Bus Tour Sample Itineraries.
NEXT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU MEETING
Mon. Oct. 4, 9 a.m.
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel
Free. Public welcome.
(1) Klaasen Hospitality Report, 2004
(2) Iowa Department of Economic Development, 2009