Visitors bureau recognized for global tourism
The Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau will be recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce for its efforts in international tourism in an award ceremony at 9:45 this morning at the Visitor Center, 740 Horizon Drive.
The award, presented by Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and Colorado Director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center Paul Bergman, recognizes trade associations and government agencies that support export development and U.S. businesses through trade.
“We’re thrilled that they’ve taken the time to recognize us for promoting international travel,” said Visitor and Convention Bureau division manager Barbara Bowman.
According to the convention bureau, at least 10 percent of Grand Valley visitors are international, a number that reflects marketing and promotion efforts such as attending international trade shows and working closely with the U.S. Commercial Service in Denver.
Bowman said the Grand Junction community is also a part of their success.
“The community is so welcoming and that goes further than anything,” Bowman said. “The warm hospitality from this community is what we hear about repeatedly from our international visitors, and that’s worth its weight in gold.”
The bureau also works with the Colorado Tourism Office to promote the Grand Valley on an international level. The tourism office has locations in Mexico, Canada, the U.K., France, Germany and Japan.
“As a result of the Colorado Tourism Office we get familiarization tours, where we host international media and tour companies and show them around,” Bowman said. “Hopefully then we get articles published or tour companies interested.”
Bowman said because international tourists usually stay longer and spend more than domestic visitors, they could be a significant contributor to the local economy.
Phyllis Veale, sales manager at the Grand Vista Hotel, 2790 Crossroads Blvd., said she’s seen the bureau’s efforts at trade conventions help the local tourism industry.
“They basically go out and educate the country, the world about Grand Junction,” Veale said.
“When I first started working, we didn’t have any tourism here, and now look at it. There are international (guests) here every day.”