Three Wallowa County tourism representatives will try to capture some of the German market at the International Travel and Tourism trade show in Berlin this spring.

Heather Tyreman, Bernice Bernotat and Claresse O'Conner will depart in early March for the five-day show where they will pitch Wallowa County's tourist attractions to German media and niche tour operators. German travelers are Wallowa County's best bet in the international travel market as they not only seek out off-the-beaten path locations, they are also enamored of Native American history, cowboys, outdoor recreation and the arts.

The goal of participating in the show is to get German media and travel writers to visit Wallowa County and then feature area attractions in German magazines, newspapers and TV. Described as educated, adventurous and independent, German travelers like to interact with "real" people and form personal relationships. Some travelers return again and again to the same locale. Not only do return visitors often stay longer and invest more, they provide highly valuable word-of-mouth advertising in their home country.

Participation in the show is being organized by the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD).

It's not too late for local tourism businesses to make a financial contribution and send their brochures to the show. Funds to cover trade show expenses are being raised through contributions from private businesses and local organizations and are leveraged dollar for dollar by a grant of Oregon Lottery dollars from the Northeast Oregon Alliance.

The trade show delegation will promote all of Wallowa County's tourism activities, but only private businesses making a financial contribution will be allowed to send copies of their individual brochures. To request a participation form, tourism businesses should contact economic developer Sara Miller at 426-3598.

Trade show organizers are also developing a list of businesses who would like to provide

complimentary product to German travel writers when they come to Wallowa County. This is a chance to get firsthand information on local tourism product into

the German marketplace. The group is looking for complimentary lodging, tours, and other recreational activities. Businesses interested in signing up To provide complimentary products should contact Wallowa County Chamber director Vicki Rosgen at 426-4622.

For more information, contact NEOEDD's Enterprise office at 426-3598.

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