TIA to campaign for visits to parks

WASHINGTON -- The Travel Industry Association teamed with the National Park Service and the National Parks Foundation to launch a marketing campaign designed to raise awareness of and encourage visits to the 388 national parks.

The See America's National Parks campaign will kick in April, the TIA said. The "centerpiece" of the campaign will be Web site featuring information on national parks and tours. That Web site will be accessed through the TIA's www.seeamerica.org.

Ads promoting the site and the parks will appear starting in the spring in USA Today and the Sunday Times of London in the U.K.

"We really want to explain the breadth and diversity of the park system" to travelers, said Betsy O'Rourke, TIA's senior vice president of marketing and communications. "Many of those are within an easy drive of a gateway city [or] an easy drive from your home. People don't realize, for example, that the Washington Mall is a national park or the Golden Gate Bridge is a national park or the Statue of Liberty is a national park."

The TIA said it is seeking information on tours and other offerings related to the national parks from destinations, tour operators, hotels and other suppliers.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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