Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
tourism departments launch The Great American
West brand to market the region internationally
“We had been looking for a brand that directly captures the feeling you get when you visit our states, and we have done that with The Great American West,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. “From the Western and Native American cultures to the awe-inspiring landscapes that stretch across our region, we can’t wait to show the world why these five states are worth the visit.”
Since forming the multi-state cooperative in the early 1990s, the regional destination has appealed to the international traveller for over 27 years under the former brand, The Real America, capitalizing on their vast unspoiled landscapes, abounding wildlife, western heritage and inspiring national icons. The new name, brand and logo reflect the regional cooperative’s broader commitment to marketing internationally as a top U.S. travel destination.
“The Great American West brand will better identify our region geographically and further our efforts to showcase the rich history and authentic experiences that set our states apart,” said Sara Otte Coleman, Director of North Dakota Tourism.
The Great American West states are home to numerous national parks, monuments and memorials that preserve the nation’s natural resources and rich heritage. Over the last four years, the regional cooperative has been working to conduct in-depth research within the international marketplace to identify a brand that better connects the region to these natural wonders.
"We are The Great American West," said Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism. "As we work to collectively market our five-state destination, it's imperative that our name clearly defines who we are while inspiring travellers to learn more and experience the adventures that are found in this region."
The Great American West brand shows a stronger association to these products, strengthening the region’s overall ability to further capture the attention of travellers who are in search of authentic adventure; who are bold and daring; and who are willing to unplug and immerse themselves into the true heart of the West.
“This is a true partnership between our five-state region,” said Sean Becker, Administrator for the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development. “To compete in the international marketplace, it’s important that this regional cooperative is easily identifiable and awe-inspiring. We’re proud to be part of this new creative direction, as we work hard to bring more international travellers to The Great American West.”
It was announced last week that Idaho Tourism will officially be rejoining the consortium beginning July 1 of this year, previously a part of the program for 25 years.
The regional cooperative is fully funded by the state tourism departments with the mission to drive visitation and spend from international travellers–within the international markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Benelux, and Nordics–by harnessing the collaborative potential of the region through creative alignment and co-operative marketing programs that leverage economies of scale. This regional consortium, now known as The Great American West, contracts with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) to oversee the state’s marketing efforts and manages overseas representation in each of the international markets.
“There’s so much that can be said in a name, and we wanted the brand to convey the proper recognition and represent the region’s story,” Mathias Jung, CEO and Owner of Rocky Mountain International said. “The Great American West exemplifies the long-term commitment these five states have to this cooperative and collectively we look forward to representing the West across the globe.”
The rebranding announcement comes as the five states are in Denver, Colorado at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW event, the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S. The official introduction of The Great American West will be proudly unveiled and celebrated to international tour operators, regional suppliers and partners at an IPW reception on Tuesday.
The Great American West brand and new look can be seen across their newly launched websites, social media channels, tradeshow booths, and more to reflect the new brand. To learn more about the products and destinations being offered, visit GreatAmericanWest.co