eTraveler - June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

Register by Friday for Tourism Insider Meeting

Registration is now open for the second Tourism Insider Meeting, which will be held in Stuart on June 20-21. Registration closes at noon on Friday, June 16.

The meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided. It will focus on social media trends and marketing expertise from Lucy Cade, IEDA/IFA social media manager, along with networking and an open forum for collaboration and discussion.

Attendees will also experience the town of Stuart, learn about how scenic byways (like Stuart's White Pole Road) can create tourism assets, and take a historical walking tour that includes a Bonnie & Clyde bank robbery re-enactment. Finally, end the day with shopping and hearing the story behind the creation of retail shop Doe a Deer. The bulk of the meeting with occur from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., but we encourage you to consider staying the night and joining us for an optional morning activity on Wednesday.

What your peers are saying:
"I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the tourism industry. I also enjoyed the open forum to learn from others about what they are doing, how they are approaching different challenges, and what they find useful."

"The afternoon of exploring the town was nice and gave me an opportunity to talk to a lot of the attendees that I hadn't spoken to during the meeting."

"I liked that we were able to visit some small businesses in the area. This allows for us to put money in the community we are visiting and learn and share their story."


FY24 Co-op Program Opportunities Still Available

So far, over 50 organizations have signed up for the Iowa Tourism Office's FY24 Co-op program. There's still time to get involved! The campaign raises awareness to out-of-state travelers through traditional marketing efforts and exciting new opportunities. 

Learn more about the options by watching the recorded webinar or looking through the opportunities packet. This is a great way to feature your attraction or destination in the story we will tell the traveler through advertising.

Co-op registrations will close on June 21, 2023, at 4 p.m. If the option you like is full, you can join the waitlist for free. For questions, please email Jessica O'Riley at


Register by June 30 for Tourism Day at the Iowa State Fair

Join Iowa Tourism Partners at the Iowa State Fair for the first Tourism Day at the Fair, to be held Thursday, August 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 9 a.m. - Fair buildings open
  • 10:30 a.m. - Iowa Tourism Welcome at CEO Jeremy Parson's home (outside Gate 15)
  • 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Explore the Fair (scavenger hunts and maps will be provided)
  • 2 p.m. - Education Session - Hear from Fair staff about marketing, planning and executing Iowa's largest event, learn about statewide August visitation patterns, participate in an open forum about event management
•    3 p.m. - Explore on your own

Registration will close on June 30. A limited number of tickets are still available. Each registration can receive up to TWO free admission tickets to the Fair. Tickets are first-come, first-served and are non-transferable. Parking is not included. Tickets will be mailed to the address you submit after June 30. 

Thank you to Jeremy Parsons, CEO of the Iowa State Fair, for this special opportunity!


FY24 Regional Sports Authority District Grants Are Open

The Regional Sports Authority District (RSAD) Program is now accepting applications. The program promotes tourism in Iowa by funding projects that relate to the active promotion of nonprofessional sporting events in the state. Convention and Visitors Bureaus are the only eligible applicants. 

The RSAD program was appropriated an additional $200,000 by the legislature for the next fiscal year. Therefore, this year's awards will be $70,000 each and will continue to require a 50 percent cash match.

For questions, please reach out to Mary Kelly at

Midwest Living's Road Rally 2024 Features Iowa

Midwest Living is hitting the road for an epic, four-day adventure visiting eight cities across Iowa this week. The Midwest Living team is known for planning ultimate road trips across various states in the U.S. and capturing their experience as they go. Travel Iowa is excited to partner with them in the next phase of the Soul of Iowa 2.0 promotion to capture what’s truly at the heart of this state. The content captured this week will be featured in the summer 2024 issue of Midwest Living. 

Promotional Opportunity at the Iowa State Fair

The Travel Iowa tradeshow booth will have space in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair! We are looking for volunteers to staff the tradeshow booth – in return you will be able to speak to Fairgoers about your destination during your time slot, have printed materials and video promotion throughout the Fair and receive free admission and parking for the day of your shift.

There are two time shifts available each day of the Fair:
  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Volunteers are responsible for staffing the booth during their shift. We recommend you have at least two people (and up to four) on your shift so there is booth coverage if someone needs to step away momentarily. This opportunity is available for all tourism partners statewide.

To volunteer for a shift, contact Ann Vogelbacher with Central Iowa Tourism at 515.571.3855.

Iowa State Park Passport Refreshed

The Iowa Parks Passport encourages exploration of over 60 parks, each of which includes a description of a hidden gem within the park. Participants who post a selfie at the hidden gem with the hashtag #IowaStateParks will be entered into a drawing to win an outdoor cooking package. For every 300 points earned, passholders will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a paddling package (kayak, paddle, life jacket and dry bag) or a three-night stay at a cabin in Lake Darling State Park. 

We encourage you to promote the Iowa passports alongside your local attractions, restaurants and lodging opportunities to provide even more inspiration to travelers and passport users. 

Localhood Tips: Platform Updates

For those of you who are taking advantage of the FREE Localhood web story platform, there have been many questions about the recent updates. 

Adding a title: The title editor has been moved to the top left corner of the screen when creating/editing a story. If you do not fill it in, it will remain untitled. Please make sure all your stories have titles that include your location and Iowa. 

Tags: The fewer tags the better. Your stories are more likely to be pulled into the Travel Iowa homepage gallery if you use one or two tags that follow the monthly theme found on the content calendar

Overlay Text: Stories that include overlay text on most/all slides perform significantly better than stories without. We highly recommend using the overlay text to share fun facts or insider's tips about the destination or event you are promoting.

Join the platform or find more tips, tricks and resources on our Localhood Industry Partners page. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Amber Rottinghaus at

Partner Highlight: Vacation Okoboji's Public Relations Campaign

Raising awareness for the impact of tourism and educating residents about the value of visitor spending is a never-ending campaign. A great example of an effort from Vacation Okoboji includes a full-page local newspaper ad that shares the number of jobs, revenue and taxes generated by tourism in the Iowa Great Lakes region. The ad also includes tips on how to welcome visitors.
This is a great example of helping locals see the benefits that the tourism industry creates for their community. See the full ad here.

Upcoming Meetings

  • June 14, 2023 - Western Iowa Tourism Region Annual Meeting, Audubon
  • June 20-21, 2023 - Tourism Insider Meeting, Stuart
  • July 20, 2023 - Iowa Tourism Office Update, Virtual
  • August 17, 2023 - Tourism Day at the Iowa State Fair, Des Moines
Check out the calendar of events for more details and upcoming meetings.