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Idaho, other western states change their branding for international markets

Riders near Swan Valley in Idaho. Photo courtesy of the Idaho Division of Tourism.

A group of five western states that banded together nearly three decades ago to market the region internationally is changing its brand.

Idaho, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana  are dropping the “Real America” brand in favor of “The Great American West.” That’s the name that the five states will now use as they market tourism to tour operators, travel agents, and consumers through advertising and public relations efforts.

“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.”

Officials hope the new brand will strengthen the region’s appeal to international travelers.

The multi-state international promotional cooperative has been marketing collectively in Europe and Australia since the early 1990s. Idaho Tourism had left the consortium, but will rejoin July 1, according to Rocky Mountain International, the marketing company that oversees international promotional efforts for the five states.

The regional cooperative is supported by the state tourism departments and aims to increase visits from travelers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Benelux, and the Nordic countries.

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