Tourism Review

Employees of the La Porte Door and Sash Company are shown in this old picture.

Recently, I was in an office in La Porte and I noticed, hanging on the wall, a picture from around the turn of the century. It was a photo of the La Porte Door and Sash Company with all of their employees sitting outside. That reminded me of the fact that most of these places in La Porte County and across the country are now automated and no longer need as many people to work for them. One of the only exceptions is the service industry because businesses like restaurants, shops, hotels, hospitals, fire and police departments still rely on a large staff to conduct business.

The U.S. economy has evolved into a service industry with services like retail shopping, dining and hotels, health care, education and other services making up a larger part of the overall economy. Tourism is a very large part of the service industry injecting a half billion dollars into the La Porte County economy each year. Total wages paid in the tourism industry was over $110 million and total federal, state, and local taxes paid due to direct visitors spending was $182 million.

Marketing such services is an important skill — and a tough one because without a tangible product to show and tell customers about, service marketers must be adept at pulling together all the pieces of the marketing mix to create value for their intended consumers.

The La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau is celebrating 36 years of marketing and service this year and as we look to our 37th year of operation, the LPCCVB staff and Board of Managers are committed to being even more productive.

Organizations often turn to the La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau as the tourism professionals for help in marketing their attraction, business, promoting an event or distributing their brochures. Most often they are looking for a way to get a visitor and local people to visit, and that's our goal too.

As a Community Partner of the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau you'll have access to a staff of tourism specialists who will provide valuable services to assist your business and the visitor to our county. Your FREE Community Partner benefits are many, but just to name a few: marketing, page on our website with a link, brochure placement and distribution, Calendar of Events, Idea & Information Exchange, R.O.S.E. Program, "Tourism Review" media column, e-newsletter, regional partner promotion.

There are also opportunities to advertise with the Bureau and to reach people when they have arrived at their destination and are fine tuning their visit. Our Visitors Guide is a printed piece that we produce once a year. Our statistics show that 80 percent of our visitors still want that printed piece and locals use it when they are entertaining friends and family. In fact, most of the people traveling to La Porte County are visiting friends and family.

One more thing, the Bureau offers sponsorship opportunities for the Great Lakes Grand Prix and opportunities to advertise in our Calendar of Events and niche brochures.

Tourism is about much, much more than attracting visitors to La Porte County. It's about quality of life. It is about economic development. It's about jobs and the individuals and families who are sustained by those jobs. It is about the attractions and amenities that benefit our residents and much, if not more, than our visitors.

The LPCCVB staff is honored to be working in the visitors service industry and we are proud of our dedicated Board of Managers and a highly supportive group of partners.

We look forward to another year of continued growth and support.

La Porte County CVB Community Relations Manager Jane Daley can be contacted at 872-5055 or jane@michigancitylaporte.com.

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