Texas Tourism Gets the Word Out

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AUSTIN, Texas -- The Lone Star State's diverse geography, culture and visitor-oriented attractions are the focus of a new $9 million national cable and print tourism marketing campaign. Launched earlier this month, the Texas Department of Economic Development Tourism Division's campaign carries the slogan, "Texas. It's Like a Whole Other Country," and aims to change the perception of Texas as "being hot, dry and dusty," Tracye McDaniel, director of tourism for the department, said.

"The strong, sophisticated images portrayed in the ads draw you into exotic vacation locales you may not expect to find in the Lone Star State," McDaniel said. The television spots were shot in Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, the Gulf Coast's South Padre Island and Fort Worth.

Ron Hinkle, director of marketing and sales for the department, said the television commercials will target cities that are responsible for the bulk of Texas' visitors, including Little Rock, Ark.; New Orleans; Albuquerque, N.M., and Oklahoma City. The 30-second television spots began running Oct. 6 on national cable networks like CNN, the Family Channel, TNN/CMT, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel.

The print ads are running in 45 consumer publications, including Life, National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living and Travel & Leisure magazines. In conjunction with the campaign, the tourism department is planning its first-ever international cooperative print advertising campaign in the U.K, Germany, South America and Canada, Hinkle said.

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