e-Traveler - Watch the Soul 2.0 Launch Webinar + Drone Videos

February 7, 2024


Here are the most important updates this week: 

ICYMI: Watch the Soul of Iowa 2.0 Launch Webinar

Thank you to the more than 100 partners who joined us via webinar yesterday to launch the newest Travel Iowa campaign, Soul of Iowa 2.0! The webinar recording is now available if you weren’t able to join us. The webinar outlines the marketing strategy, audience targeting, message guidelines, timeline for video release and more.

Click here to watch the webinar. 

Click here to watch the drone videos that have been released so far.

Registration Deadline: Tourism Insider Meeting

Join industry partners from all over the state for the year's first Tourism Insider Meeting in Decorah on February 27-28. Discussion topics include agritourism and wayfinding, and tours include the Vesterheim (our meeting venue) and Toppling Goliath. We will also announce our next five Tourism Insider Meeting hosts.

Please note that we are almost at capacity for the meeting and will be starting a waitlist. If your plans have changed and you can no longer attend, please let Stephanie Neppl (stephanie.neppl@iowaeda.com) know ASAP.

A hotel block is available at the Hotel Winneshiek for the nights of February 26-27. The rate is $119/night+tax. Book your room by calling the hotel at 563.382.4164. The reservation deadline is February 9, 2024.

Please reach out to Stephanie Neppl (stephanie.neppl@iowaeda.com) with questions.


Registration Open

The annual Iowa Tourism Conference will be held on March 20-21, 2024, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. This can't-miss conference is dedicated to promoting Iowa's tourism destinations and attractions through marketing initiatives.  

Registration is open now, and the deadline is Friday, March 8, 2024. 

The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel is offering a rate for attendees of $149/night + tax. The Savery is connected to the Iowa Events Center via the Des Moines Skywalk. The deadline for securing a room is February 28, 2024. 

Please note that shuttle access for the Wednesday evening social will only be available to attendees staying at the host hotel.

Wanted: New in '24 or '25, milestone anniversaries

If you have a museum exhibit, attraction, event or hotel opening or celebrating a milestone anniversary (ending in 0 or 5) in 2024 or 2025, please send the information to Jessica O'Riley (jessica.oriley@iowaeda.com). Information will be used for upcoming media pitches and content (both in print and online). It’s never too early to send information!

How to Update Your City Page

Now is a great time to review your city page on traveliowa.com. Our goal is to update all city pages to include information in three categories: Must Do's, Outdoor Adventures and Exciting Eateries, with an optional fourth category of Community Highlights to spotlight annual events, community awards, etc. 

If you are a Localhood partner, we can also add a single embed to your city page (example). We recommend that the story is general and shows off as much of your community as possible. 

If you would like to provide a writeup for your city page, update photos or add a Localhood story or YouTube video, please send the information to Amber Rottinghaus (amber.rottinghaus@iowaeda.com). 

To further fill out your city page, make sure that area restaurants, attractions and hotels have listings, which automatically populate the "Also in the Area" section. 

Helpful Tools to Organize Grant Opportunities

Develop different categories of grants in your grant database, including a subset that you can pass along to existing and new partners to build tourism power in your community. For example, food is extremely important to the traveler. The 2023 Iowa Tourism Office Visitor Profile Survey found 71% of visitors eat out while traveling. Visitors want to experience your culture and traditions, enjoy local food and try recipes made with local ingredients.

Featured Grant: IEDA’s Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Grant Program opened on February 1, 2024, to help increase the capacity of small-scale meat processors. Many Iowa small meat processors provide processing and packaging services to farmers who sell directly to local restaurants, building your local food scene. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded. Make a new partner and build your tourism power by sharing this opportunity.