Tour writers to travel Sandhills, Nebraska this week

Nebraska Tourism Commission

Parts of Nebraska’s Sandhills will step into the national spotlight May 15-19, as the Nebraska Tourism Commission plays host to a group of 20 journalists writing for international, national and regional media outlets. These tours are designed to give selected media outlets an opportunity to learn what Nebraska has to offer visitors in various regions of the state.

The trip will show off the state’s Great Platte River and the Sandhills- a vast, rolling mixed-grass prairie covering nearly a third of the state. Stops for the writers include Kinkaider Brewing Company, Prairie Club, Smith Falls State Park, Bessey Forest and Nursery, the Bar None Hat Company, Sandhills Motel and Canoe Rental, Grain Bin Antique Town, Pals Brewing Company and more. In addition to visiting unique Nebraska attractions, the journalists will sample local restaurants and learn about famous Nebraska historical figures, like Buffalo Bill Cody.

Cities and villages featured in the tour include Valentine, North Platte, McCook, Gothenburg, Broken Bow, Mullen, Halsey, Anselmo, Thedford, Maxwell, Brady and Alliance.

The visiting journalists write for a wide variety of publications including Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Travel Channel, True West, Des Moines Register, Woman’s Day,, AAA, and many others.

“We hope to inspire these writers and then let them inspire their readers to plan a vacation to our state. Many of the journalists find that Nebraska is an undiscovered destination full of beauty and adventure," John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director, said.

This will be the seventeenth media tour sponsored by the Nebraska Tourism Commission. 353 journalists have visited Nebraska on the previous media tours, resulting in 842 articles or broadcast segments, which have appeared in media outlets including Wall Street Journal, Midwest Living, Smithsonian, New York Times, Forbes, Better Homes & Gardens, Parade, USA Today, Saveur, US Airways Magazine, American Cowboy, Group Tour, Group Travel Leader, Canadian Geographic, Byways, Smart Meetings, American Airlines Magazine, MotorHome Magazine, Huffington Post, Texas Golfer, AAA Journeys, National Public Radio, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oklahoman, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Toronto Sun, Albuquerque Journal, the Coloradoan and hundreds of other media outlets.

Some 1,083,614,948 potential visitors have been exposed to this coverage. If this editorial coverage had been purchased as paid advertising it would have cost more than $13.5 million.

Another tour is planned for June, showcasing Nebraska’s panhandle and western culture.