Tourism group targets locals for a week
South Lake Tahoe-area people have either said it or heard it time and time again: “That’s only for the tourists.”
Well, no more – unless you are one.
For National Tourism Week in May, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is dishing up a weeklong list of events aimed at making locals tourists and throwing out the welcome mat via discounts and activities. The theme is “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown.”
“We tend to take for granted what we have,” said LTVA Executive Director Patrick Kaler, who also heads the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority.
Anyone who has ventured out on Tahoe’s hiking trails, had the pleasure of standing on a wide-open beach or adored a blazing sunset over the lake from a room with a view knows the feeling.
The LTVA suggests sometimes we need a reminder to partake in the reasons why people come here from all over the world. OK, sometimes work gets in the way.
But those who work in the tourism field may have the joy in knowing they support an industry driving at least 80 percent of this economy. Kaler wants to get them jazzed about what they do.
“This whole week is about the locals. We’d like them excited about the industry that feeds the community,” he said.
Details are sketchy, but the following provides an appetizer: May 7 kicks off the week with “Tourist Appreciation Day.” Two days later, romance is the highlight – with activities to be planned from businesses that thrive in decadence, including weddings, honeymoons and spas. Monday also invites employees who work in the tourism industry to “step into the blue” and wear the color.
The green of outdoor recreation is slated as the feature on Tuesday, while on Wednesday “Gaming Day” may be rolled out. Restaurants and retail establishments have Thursday blocked off, with discounts being the word of the day here. The arts may round out Friday, and the rest is to be determined.
The Tahoe Daily Tribune plans to sponsor a photo contest aimed at capturing the most enticing aspects of South Shore life. It’s open to adult amateur photographers and area youth.
Also for the young, the South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Douglas chambers of commerce are organizing a poster contest with a “Welcome to Tahoe” theme intended to bring area schools into the mix. The deadline for the contest is April 26.
“It’s good to get kids involved and educate them on the importance of tourism in their community,” Kaler said.
Longtime resident Katrin DeBacker agreed with Kaler that the South Shore’s resources are often untapped. In particular, she sees this event – which DeBacker plans on supporting through Forest Suites discounts and packages – as a catalyst to embrace the local community.
“It’s time to showcase what we have. I think we forget about how great our back yard is,” she said.
The LTVA is seeking businesses and agencies that fall into any of these categories and want to be involved. Interested parties may contact the tourism marketing agency at (530) 544-5050 or via e-mail at info@LTVA.org.
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