Posts Tagged ‘Travel and Tourism’

Eight New Businesses Certified by Greener Nebraska

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Eight New Businesses Certified by Greener Nebraska


LINCOLN, NEB. (Aug. 8, 2011)—Eight Nebraska businesses recently earned certification from Greener Nebraska by meeting green performance standards.


The eight businesses qualifying for certification were:


  • Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center, Wood River
  • Western Nebraska Segway Experience Center, Scottsbluff
  • Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lincoln
  • Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Gibbon
  • Green Acres Motel & RV Park, Red Cloud
  • Best Western Settle Inn, Omaha
  • Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Denton
  • Mom’s Pantry, Ogallala


Greener Nebraska, developed by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Travel and Tourism Division, strives to reduce the tourism industry’s impact on the environment and to attract travelers interested in visiting green destinations. Its certification process previously had been restricted to tourism-related businesses along Nebraska’s nine Scenic Byways; the program expanded this year to help businesses across the state become more environmentally friendly.


Now that the program is open to businesses throughout the state, getting certified through Greener Nebraska is a simple and free way to promote your conservation efforts.


Visit our website,, to learn more about the program and to begin the certification process.

Sporting Nebraska Directory

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Sporting Nebraska is a directory of fee-based outdoor activity providers in the state. It includes opportunities to hunt, fish, bird watch, stargaze, experience ranch life, and canoe and tube, among others. Directory entries are provided on a voluntary basis and are listed by region and county. The guide is published by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Division of Travel and Tourism.


Here is the link:


“Nebraska farmers and ranchers are the primary stewards of the vast majority of land in this state,” Agriculture Director Greg Ibach said. “This directory is a part of our efforts to support and promote agricultural enterprises and showcase the care devoted to sustaining our natural resources and wildlife for future generations.”


Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

 Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest earner of revenue from outside the state after agriculture and
 Travelers spent almost $3.8 billion in Nebraska during 2009 on trips away from home with
overnight stays in paid accommodations and on day trips to places 100 miles or more away. Annual
spending in Nebraska on these trips has increased by over $2.1 billion since 1990.
 Jobs attributable to travel spending in Nebraska totaled 45,300 in 2009.
 Each dollar spent by tourists in Nebraska is respent in the state to produce an additional $1.70 in
business and income, creating an overall economic impact of $2.70.
 Nebraskans and visitors to Nebraska together made 18.7 million trips in the state in 2009 to
destinations 100 miles or more away from home. For trips by visitors, the leading states of origin
were, in order, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Illinois, and Minnesota.
 The average nonresident traveling party visiting Nebraska by highway during the summer consists
of 2.4 persons who stay 2.2 nights in the state and spend $435. Over a third of the nonresident
traveling parties go to attractions or events, and for each attraction or event visited, they average a
half-day longer in Nebraska, spending an additional $100.
 Among the nationally recognized and/or best attended Nebraska attractions in 2009 were: Agate
Fossil Beds National Monument (12,700), Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (120,000), Ashfall
Fossil Beds State Historical Park (22,000), Boys Town (100,000), Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical
Park (47,056), Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area (476,806), Durham Museum (150,000),
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (1,120,200), Fort Robinson State Park (335,046), Golden Spike
Tower (36,000), Harlan County Lake (505,934), Hastings Museum/Lied Super Screen Theatre
(61,759), Homestead National Monument (66,000), Indian Cave State Park (146,515), Henry Doorly
Zoo (1,561,279), Joslyn Art Museum (177,037), Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area (892,815),
Lauritzen Gardens (160,000), Niobrara National Scenic River (68,058), Platte River State Park
(697,894), Ponca State Park (835,500), Scotts Bluff National Monument (67,235), State Capitol
(92,470—tours only), Strategic Air and Space Museum (132,600), Stuhr Museum of the Prairie
Pioneer (67,284), and University of Nebraska State Museum (68,482).
 Over 60 percent of the nonresidents visiting Nebraska during the summer stay at hotels or motels.
The state has over 28,000 hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast rooms, which had an average annual
occupancy rate of 53 percent in 2009 and offered the nation’s 7th lowest average room costs.
 The total budget of the Nebraska Travel and Tourism Division in Fiscal Year 2009-10 was
approximately $5.5 million, compared to an average of $13.5 million among all state travel offices.
A one-percent lodging tax provides much of the revenue for the Division “to generally promote,
encourage, and attract visitors to and within the State of Nebraska and enhance the use of travel
and tourism facilities within the state.”
 At the end of 2009, 74 of Nebraska’s 93 counties had lodging taxes to collect revenues for promoting
local travel and tourism. Including the highest concentrations of hotels, motels, and campgrounds in
Nebraska, these 74 counties have almost 98 percent of the state’s total commercial lodging sales. In
addition, at least 10 Nebraska cities have occupation taxes on lodging sales, with most using the
proceeds for attraction development.

Dr. Peter Tarlow’s “Tourism Tidbits”

Friday, April 1st, 2011
Two Guest Authors

April 2011

Editors note: Tourism Tidbits tries to provide differing viewpoints and ideas. As such this month we offer two articles by guest authors, one on fire safety by Dr. Richard Feenstra and one on tourism and ecology by Max Habestrom.  Please note that the ideas expressed in these articles are purely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Tourism Tidbits or Tourism & More, Inc.


By Dr. Richard Feenstra

Putting on a successful event takes a lot of work and coordination. One area often over looked is the need to work closely with the local fire department. For example, in many US locales when an event exceeds 300 people a permit for temporary assembly is required. Cooking, fireworks, even the simple use of candles may require an event planner to apply for a permit.

One only has to look at the most recent US Football Super Bowl to see event planning gone awry. Over 400 fans traveled great distances, excited to see the Super Bowl, just to find out the event planners had failed to coordinate with the Arlington Fire Department and therefore did not have seats. Issues with fire departments shutting down events are more common than expected. In 2010, the Los Angeles (California)  Fire Department shut down L.A. Production Studios hosting fashion week,  The Tampa (Florida) Fire Department shut down a haunted house, and the Santa Barbara (California) Fire Department shut down a number of down town wineries from hosting any events with occupancies over 50 guests.

To avoid potential mishaps with the fire department Tourism Tidbits offers the following to help with any challenges along the way:

– Submit your request for authorization early. How quickly a fire department can process a permit varies, so call and ask. Double the amount of time they give you and triple the amount if you hire a 3rd party to file the permit for you.  Even if the fire department says it will only take a couple of days, four weeks prior to any event is the minimum amount recommended. When revisions are requested, this extra time will help ensure success.

– Conduct your own inspection before the fire inspector arrives. While you may not be aware of exactly when the inspector is going to arrive, it is a good idea to walk through the event and check to make sure fire extinguishers are charged and have inspection tags, exits are not locked or blocked, exit signs are properly lit, there are no trip hazards, or any other obvious safety concerns exist.

– Seek a fire inspector you like. While fire codes are written in “black and white”, the way each city and each inspector interprets the codes will be slightly different. While one inspector focuses on keeping exits clear another may focus on the location of fire extinguishers. When you find an inspector you like, establish a relationship and request they work on your event. Done correctly, an inspector will pick up your call and help even when not assigned to your event.

– Get agreements in writing. If an inspector shows up at your event and requires or allows any changes, work with the inspector to get the changes documented. Regardless if the change is or is not in your favor, the better documented the more useful it will be for planning future events or for dealing with a new inspector.

– Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. If you really do not agree or find the inspector unreasonable, don’t be afraid to make a formal appeal or request to speak with a supervisor. The best approach is to remain calm and explain how the requirement the inspector is trying to enforce will impact your event and then ask the inspector to provide you with the appropriate appeals process so you can work together towards an equitable solution.

– Ask for a reasonable abatement date.
Given the nature of temporary events, sometimes an inspector will ask for a code violation to be abated immediately even though realistically it cannot be accomplished. The same violation noted in a permanent facility will often be given several days or even a few weeks to comply, but because an event is temporary the inspector may try to use the forthcoming assembly permit as leverage to immediately abate the problem.

– Be creative, there is almost always a way to get the fire department to say “Yes”. Within the code there is an option called Alternate Materials & Methods, sometimes known as Alternate Means & Methods. When told no, ask about what alternates are available. Can you use a fire watch, what about placing an engine on standby? Fire Protection Engineers can be used to craft alternatives to the code.

A Convenient Truth for Tourism
“Sustainable/Responsible Tourism and Renewable Energy for Peace”
by: Max Haberstroh

There is a documentary movie stirring up people’s minds (and hearts): The Fourth Revolution – Energy Autonomy (, produced by Carl-A. Fechner. The documentary responds to Al Gore’s blockbuster The Inconvenient Truth with a visionary ‘convenient truth’: Within thirty years from now, solar, wind, or biogas-powered transport will be real.

The basic idea of linking sustainable/responsible tourism with renewable energy is that ‘renewables’ have already been a global issue for a long time, with growing intensiveness ever since many scientists have become sensitized over the man-made impact on climate change. Instead of rehashing the technical advantages of system updates in coded messages, why not state that: “everyone can be an unlimited clean energy producer”?

It is time for the tourism industry to reflect on our own indifference towards the collateral damage caused by a civilization whose negative impact has become disproportionate to the desired conditions of many. Using and boosting renewable energy instead of fossil fuels would not demand ceding one slice from our usual comfort. On the contrary, it would improve it and profitability of businesses as well. However, using renewable energy is less dependent on a generally acknowledged rationale, but rather on an amalgam of consumer, company, and governmental long-heeded habits, combined with the well woven networks of conventional energy supplier and traditional financial players to keep wielding their overwhelming lobbying power with political decision makers.

Energy means power, and tourism means freedom. These are higher values added to mere functions like providing ‘electric power’ and offering ‘transport/accommodation/recreation’. It is up to us to extrapolate ‘renewable energy’ and ‘sustainable/responsible tourism’ to a ‘lifestyle’, keeping in balance the very sense of development of social wellbeing, economic progress and ecological sustainability.

Fossil energy has started to show its limitations, whereas renewable energy is practically unlimited. Biological systems are energy systems, after all, and invisible energetic conditions create and form visible and tangible conditions, as evolutionary research tells us. Hence, like fresh air, sunshine, and spring water, energy is originally a gift – renewable and accessible for everyone. Today, the heart of the matter is no longer technology, it is up to the political will to turn the magic of ‘tapping the sun’ into reality – it’s pioneering decision-makers awareness of butterflys flapping their wings.

An unrenounceable ingredient to wonderful holidays, the sun has become the ‘face of tourism’ on catalogues and advertisements. Providing the basic impulse for any kind of movement and life, the sun is the ‘face of energy’, a symbol of freedom, happiness, wealth, success, beauty, restart or unification. Why not catch the spirit, making The Sun, shown in so many national flags and coats of arms, the new symbol of an emerging Solar Age, the interface of Renewable Energy and clean global Travel and Tourism’?

In developing countries, especially, and other regions that depend largely on Travel and Tourism, the immense damage caused by tourism, due to high water and energy consumption, plays an elementary part. In their capitals, sometimes only a few major hotels account for most of total energy (and water) consumption. Mega hotels are energy eaters – almost like a small town under one roof.

People say that travellers won’t worry about their hotel’s energy source.
To be sure they will once it has become usual that hotel heating, cooling, illumination are constantly available, clean and free of charge.  This is contrary to some current experiences with scores of power cuts per day in so-called ‘holiday paradises’.  Once it is common practice that visitors are no longer exposed to the night-and-day sound of diesel-propelled power engines, spoiling the otherwise highly appreciated natural holiday ambience, whether in the shelter of an alpine cottage in the majestic Tien Shan mountains or in a rainforest lodge on the shores of the mighty Amazon river.

Sharing the spirit of the natural system in times of global complexity, renewable energy and sustainable/responsible tourism are nothing less than natural allies. We will decide what should prevail – the Authentic, the Beautiful, the Valuable – or mere mediocrity, hypocrisy, fallacy. The fossil-energy consumer or the renewable-energy user, the indifferent tourist or the responsible traveller, paradise lost, or Planet Earth regained? The options are more quantity, or better quality.

» rss