Nevada Commission on Tourism’s annual rural marketing conference runs from April 30 to May 2 in Ely.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s largest gathering of rural tourism professionals returns to Ely in April, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced today.

Issues, trends and insights affecting rural tourism will fill the two-day Rural Roundup conference, kicking off with keynote speaker Mark Hoffman, two-time chairman of the National Tourism Association.

“Rural Roundup is one of the most important ways we share new ideas and strategies to market rural Nevada to today’s travelers,” Krolicki, NCOT chairman, said. “This is particularly important in our state,  where 30 percent of all jobs — about 452,000 Nevadans — are connected to the travel industry.”

The conference, April 30 through May 2, is sponsored by the Nevada Commission on Tourism, part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. Now in its 24th year, Rural Roundup changes location annually to highlight a different rural community. This year, the conference will showcase Great Basin National Park, home of the tallest mountain in the Great Basin — 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak — and the stunning Lehman Caves.

Sessions on new media, revamping a marketing plan and the international traveler also are scheduled, as well as workshops on how to effectively pitch stories to media and how to attract sponsors for special events. Agritourism and tribal tourism also will be addressed, and research expert David Bratton of Destination Analysts will discuss how to maximize the potential of tourism websites.

“Some of Nevada’s most fascinating and compelling destinations are found in the rural areas,” Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said. “We need to get that message out through websites, new media and marketing plans that really target our diverse visitor base. Rural Roundup gives our tourism leaders the tools to reach those markets.”

For conference attendees to see successful rural tourism experiences firsthand, pre-conference optional tours are available to the Renaissance Village, the historic murals in Ely, and the Nevada Northern Railway. A tour of Great Basin National Park and the McGill Drugstore Museum, a small-town drugstore that takes visitors back to the mid 20th-century, will be offered post-conference.

For Rural Roundup registration, news and updates please visit www.ruralroundup.com. Registration is $65 through April 13, and $80 after. Attendees may travel to/from the conference via motor coach — one from the Carson City area and one from the Las Vegas area.  The coaches will depart for Ely on April 30, returning May 2.  The roundtrip fare is $30. For more information, visit www.ruralroundup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We welcome media representatives to attend the conference. Please let us know if you would like to attend by contacting Angela Froelich at afroelich@travelnevada.com or 775-687-0639.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT promotes and markets Nevada as a tourism destination for domestic and international leisure and business travelers through its marketing and advertising programs and by coordinating partnerships between public and private entities. NCOT also administers grant programs for local entities to market travel and tourism offerings and publishes Nevada Magazine.

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