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Jan 08, 2014   Leave a Comment News and rumors, Projects

Actor Josh Duhamel, a Minot native, is the new voice behind North Dakota’s 2014 tourism campaign.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman announced the campaign Tuesday at Sixteen03 Main Events, a former bakery on Bismarck’s Main Avenue that has been converted into a banquet and meeting center.

Duhamel has a financial interest in the business.

Otte Coleman said the actor agreed to provide the narration for six television ads for $6,600 per spot and did a video promo for the ads from his home in Los Angles that was released Tuesday.

Otte Coleman said this year’s campaign will continue to build on the “Legendary” theme the state has been using for more than a decade.

That successful campaign strategy, which has played on the state’s history and culture, has a new meaning with the recent national attention for a strong economy and energy boom.

But with the “new wealth,” as the governor called it, tourism still remains the state’s third largest industry behind agriculture and energy.

“We still have to remind people of the amount of economic activity that comes from tourism,” he said.

Dalrymple said more than 33,000 jobs are directly related to North Dakota’s tourism industry.

Otte Coleman said from 2010-12, the state has seen a 13 percent increase in visitor spending. The latest market research shows the 2012 campaign generated more than 1.4 million visits to North Dakota, $231.6 million in visitor spending and $17.8 million in tax revenue, she said.

Otte Coleman said the last Legislature added $500,000 to the tourism budget for the 2014 campaign which will continue to have a regional focus.

Targeted areas will include states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, she said.

Some of the TV ads feature such locations as the Bully Pulpit Golf Course in Medora, Fort Buford near Williston, the Air Museum in Fargo and Fort Abraham Lincoln.

Otte Coleman said the strategy aims to link unique North Dakota experiences with “stunning imagery” from the state’s landscape.

She said the most recent visitor study showed that outdoor adventure remains the top attraction for tourists.

That prompted one TV ad to feature Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Otte Coleman said. [Source]

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