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01/30/18
Nebraska Tourism encourages Americans to plan for vacation

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Tourism encourages Americans to plan for vacation
Research Shows Planners Take More Vacation, Are Happier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (January 30, 2018— As part of National Plan for Vacation on January 30, the Nebraska Tourism Commission is encouraging everyone to plan their 2018 vacations.  
 
Every year more than half of Americans (54%) fail to use all their time off, creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days. In Nebraska, it’s even worse with 66% of employees leaving time unused and 4,971,831 days unused.
 
The most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. Yet just over half (54%) of households set aside time to plan the use of their vacation time each year. National Plan for Vacation Day, launched by Project: Time Off, is a call-to-action for Americans to stop making excuses and start making vacation plans.
 
“Nebraska is celebrating National Plan for Vacation Day because it’s time for Americans to reclaim their vacation days,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “By planning, we can all reap the benefits of taking a break while giving yourself something to look forward to, like maybe a trip to or across our beautiful state.”
 
Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier.

  • 52 percent of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 40 percent of non-planners.
  • 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time. Non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42% to 18%).
  • More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships (83% vs. 70%), health and well-being (57% vs. 48%), company (57% vs. 51%), and job (59% vs. 50%) compared to non-planners.

 
America’s unused vacation represents a missed economic opportunity. Americans 662 million unused vacation days presents a $236 billion economic opportunity—a $382,074,103 boost for the Nebraska economy.
 
“America’s vacation deprivation shortchanges the time we invest in our personal relationships, undermines our performance at work, and threatens our economic well-being,” said Katie Denis, chief of research and strategy for Project: Time Off. “In 2018, Americans need to plan for their bucket list, instead of the to-do list.”
 
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year.  Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for a vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.

       

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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11/28/17
Tourism signs could soon mark Nebraska destinations

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Angela Sears at 402-471-7755, or angela.sears@nebraska.gov

Tourism signs could soon mark Nebraska destinations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (November 28, 2017)- The Nebraska Tourism Commission has established a Tourism Marker Program to mark significant tourism attractions within the state. The program was established through LB 449 in 2015 and was designed to inform travelers throughout the state about what there is to see and do in the area surrounding the marker. The markers will consist of a 48 X 48 anodized aluminum information panel supported by two posts, similar to the signs put up by the Nebraska Historical Society.

"These signs will help communities across the state highlight or draw attention to attractions in their areas," said Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director John Ricks. “I’m eager to see the markers in place enticing more people to stop and enjoy their time here.”

Over the past few years the Tourism Commission has been working closely with the Nebraska Department of Transportation to make this project a reality. The tourism markers will be put up at the expense of the destinations or communities. Only non-profit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply for a tourism marker. The Nebraska Department of Transportation will erect and maintain highway tourism markers and determine the exact location of tourism markers with consideration given for the safety and welfare of the public.

Tourism Marker applications are now being accepted and can be found at VisitNebraska.com/industry under Promote Your Attraction. The Tourism Commission's Tourism Marker Committee will regularly vote on the marker applications that have been submitted.

     

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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11/20/17
Durham Museum will host Grand Finale of NE 150 Photo Exhibit, "Bridges"

From the HILDEGARD CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESS RELEASE | November 20, 2017

Contact Person – Kim Einspahr | Hildegard Center for the Arts
(402) 416.8650 or keinspahr@windstream.net 

The historic Durham Museum in Omaha—801 S. 10th Street—will host the final stop of the Hildegard-sponsored Sesquicentennial Traveling Photo Exhibit  “Bridges: Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future”—November 24, 2017 through January 7, 2018. The entire collection of 93 winning photos will be featured during the popular Christmas at Union Station annual celebration.

Christmas hours at Union Station are as follows:

  •  Monday 10AM to 5PM; Tuesday-10AM to 8PM; Wednesday-Saturday 10AM to 5PM; Sunday- 1 to 5PM
  • Admission: Adults $11, Seniors $8, Children (3-12) $7, Members and children 2 & under are free.  For more information, visit DurhamMuseum.org.

Sunday, December 3rd, will be a free admission day from 1-5PM.  Many of the Bridges committee members and photographers will be present in the gallery from 2-4pm to meet with guests and celebrate the grand finale of this yearlong exhibit. The winning photographers have also been invited to the December 3rd event. 

The Bridges photo exhibit is endorsed by Nebraska 150 Commission as a “Signature Event,” and has traveled to seven regions throughout Nebraska in honor of the state’s 150th Sesquicentennial celebration. The project was a collaborative led by Hildegard Center for the Arts and the Nebraska Tourism Commission and Nebraska State Historical Society.  In 2015, the three organizations issued a statewide photocall to amateur and professional photographers alike, inviting them to capture images of historic sites or hidden treasures located across Nebraska. Over 800 photo submissions were received.
 

Ninety-three photographs, one from each county, were selected and represent a cross-section of Nebraska. The Durham Museum in Omaha marks the final stop of this celebrated exhibit. Quote—“As Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial year comes to a close, what a fitting venue for an exhibit that has linked history, generations and cultures as it has traversed this beautiful state”—Bridges project chair, Cathy Harrington.

 

See complete tour schedule:

  • Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln: January 6 - March 25, 2017
  • Gallery 92 West in Fremont: April 4 – April 29, 2017
  • Seward Civic Center: June 1 - July 28, 2017
  • North Platte Prairie Arts Center: August 1 - September 22, 2017
  • Norfolk Art Center: September 7 - October 26, 2017
  • Carnegie Arts Center in Alliance: September 26 - November 10, 2017
  • Durham Museum in Omaha: November 24, 2017 - January 7, 2018

 

Serving as jurors for the Bridges Photo Call were Joel Sartore (National Geographic Magazine and NEBRASKAland Magazine); UNL Professor Emeritus George Tuck; and Bobbi and Steve Olson (contributors to Nebraska Life Magazine,)

The winning photos are featured in a digital catalog together with a virtual tour of all submitted photographs located at the Hildegard Center’s website www.hildegardcenter.org.

Also developed is a collection of Instructional Resources—ninety-three –to enhance Nebraska’s fourth-grade social studies curriculum. With assistance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a story map was also devised to give teachers/students access the instructional resources of a county via a virtual Nebraska map. The photos, instructional resources, and the story map can be accessed free of charge at the Hildegard Center’s website ‪www.hildegardcenter.org.  

 

The Omaha World-Herald has included all winning photographs and narratives in its published book titled “NEBRASKA: 150 YEARS TOLD THROUGH 93 COUNTIES,” available in stores and/or at the website www.owhstore.com. In 2017, the Nebraska Tourism Commission featured fourteen of the winning photos in its statewide calendar. Additional submitted photos will be highlighted NTC’s upcoming 2018 calendar.

 

The Bridges Sesquicentennial Traveling Photo Exhibit is supported in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment with the support of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission and the following Statewide Sponsors; Johnson Hardware Company; the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation; and University of Nebraska at Omaha. For Regional Exhibit Sponsors and to learn more about the project, visit www.hildegardcenter.org.

 

Bridges Project Committee members: Cathy Harrington—Project Chair, Alexandra Alberda, Angela Carroll, Kim Einspahr, Jenn Gjerde, Rita Kean, Erin Lenz, Bob Puschendorf, Marilyn Stadler, Angela Sears, Donna Williams, Anne Woita

 

Bridges Educational Sub-Committee members: Donna Williams—Project Chair, Rita Kean, Cathy Harrington, Kim Einspahr and Anne Woita (Hildegard Center for the Arts); Bob Puschendorf and Sharon Kennedy (Nebraska State Historical Society); Harris Payne (State Department of Education); Paul Hunt (University of Nebraska at Omaha) and Ann Billesbach. 

 

QUOTES:

 

Norfolk Arts Center/ Denice Hansen, Executive Director

“The Norfolk Arts Center was so honored to host our region's portion of the "Bridges" exhibit. I believe the show was a beautiful marriage of art and history - education and entertainment - and a clear result of the hard work and dedication from the Hildegard Center for the Arts. The public responded with equal enthusiasm and appreciation for the works on display. “

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Carnegie Art Center in Alliance/ Kyren Conley Executive Director

"It was evident from our patrons' reactions that just the existence of an exhibit like this registered deeply in the hearts of fellow Nebraska residents.  People came from all around the panhandle and greater Nebraska, specifically to Alliance just to view the show.  A usual quick tour around the gallery for other exhibits turned into half an hour for guests viewing Bridges.  Walking slowly, our patrons poured over every photograph and the details of its parent county.  When a person would find their county photograph, you could see the excitement and pride swell in them.   This was not just a just an exhibit but a symbol of the love our residents have for their county, their state, and the place they call home." I would guess around 200 in two months. 

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North Platte Prairie Art Center / Holly Carlini, Executive Director

 

“The Bridges Exhibit was a beautiful display of the rich history of Nebraska.  The exhibit allowed viewers to be submerged in the landscape of each county...and it really took some viewers down memory lane as they sat and reminisced over a memory that a picture sparked.  It was a joy to watch the exhibit take on new meaning to each person who visited. “

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The Great Plains Art Museum –Lincoln/ Melynda Seaton, Director & Curator

 

“As part of the sesquicentennial celebration in 2017, the exhibition provided a unique and important opportunity for Nebraskans to share their vision of the state through photography. The Great Plains Art Museum was honored to be a collaborator in the project by hosting the inaugural installation of the photographs. We had an exceptional turnout and received many positive remarks about the exhibition.“

 

ABOUT HILDEGARD CENTER FOR THE ARTS:

Hildegard Center for the Arts (HCFA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization founded in 2009.  Its mission is “to unite people of all beliefs, cultures and traditions to inspire humanity through the Arts.” HCFA partners with organizations and communities to provide opportunities in the visual and performing arts and educational outreach.

The Sesquicentennial Traveling Photo Exhibit “Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future” is part of a three-year “Bridges” initiative at Hildegard Center for the Arts to connect people of all ages and walks of life. To learn more, visit www.hildegardcenter.org.

 

Office headquarters for Hildegard Center for the Arts is located in Old City Hall, 920 “O” St., Suite 1, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508. (402) 416-8650

ABOUT HUMANITIES NEBRASKA

Created in 1973 as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Nebraska is an independent, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of public and academic members. HN funds programs that explore Nebraska’s heritage, build community awareness and strengthen ties to cultural traditions at home and abroad. The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is a public/private partnership that designates funds to HN for distribution. Any nonprofit group is eligible to apply for a grant from HN. The HN staff is available for grant consultation and will read proposal drafts. The Humanities Nebraska office is located at 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68508.

 

ABOUT THE NEBRASKA 150 COMMISSION:

 On March 1, 2017, the State of Nebraska will celebrate its Sesquicentennial or 150th year of statehood. Planning is underway to commemorate this historic occasion with a yearlong celebration that will engage, educate and inspire the state’s citizenry while leaving a legacy for future generations.

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11/15/17
2018 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop to coincide with Center for Great Plains Studies 2018 Symposium

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Angela Sears at 402-471-7755, or angela.sears@nebraska.gov

2018 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop to coincide with
Center for Great Plains Studies 2018 Symposium
Registration Now Open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LINCOLN, Neb. (November 15, 2017) — Learn how tourism in your community and around the globe can save wildlife, create local jobs, and put money in the pockets of landowners and entrepreneurs. Register now for Plains Safaris: A Conference on Tourism and Conservation in the Great Plains on April 18-20, 2018, in Kearney, Neb. The Nebraska Tourism Commission's annual Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop and the Heartland Scenic Byways Annual Conference will join their conferences with this event.

“We’re elated to be partnering with the Center for Great Plains Studies for the 2018 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop,” said Nebraska Tourism executive director, John Ricks. “This event will help us connect with more people seeking the opportunity to capitalize on Nebraska’s great potential as a destination for agritourism and ecotourism.”

This large-scale conference will bring together ranchers, business people, local leaders, community partners and conservationists, to learn how tourism can both be a business opportunity and a way to conserve nature in the Great Plains. Sessions will examine local and global models of conservation and tourism and will include several speakers from southern Africa where tourism has had stunning success in supporting conservation. Premiere speakers include:

•             Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer, frequent Today Show guest, and The Photo Ark author.
•             Nils Odendaal, CEO, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia, Africa
•             Martha Kauffman, managing director, World Wildlife Fund’s Northern Great Plains Program
•             Okwa Sarefo, owner and operator, Nature Leadership, Botswana, Africa
•             Dan Flores, author, American Serengeti and Coyote America
•             Reed Robinson, Manager, Tribal Relations & Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Midwest Regional Office
•             Dean Jacobs, traveler, author, photographer
•             Dipra Jha, Director of Global Engagement, Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management
•             Michael Forsberg, conservation photographer
•             Ben Dumas and Chuck Cooper, Crane Trust
               ... And 20+ more


Along with a slate of impactful speakers, the conference offers hands-on opportunities to see and learn about regional ecotourism attractions during a series of pre-conference, optional field trips, and workshops. Field trips range in activity levels from an agritourism wine and food tour to prairie dog viewing to biking the prairie.

To register, get more information and find a full schedule go to https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium.

       

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
 
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to VisitNebraska.com.

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10/31/17
Gov. Ricketts Hosts Inaugural Council for International Relations Meeting

From the Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Photo Release: Gov. Ricketts Hosts Inaugural Council for International Relations Meeting

12

Media Contact:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967

Governor Ricketts hosts the inaugural meeting of the Nebraska Governor’s

Council for International Relations at the Governor’s Residence.

 

LINCOLN – On Monday, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted the inaugural meeting of the newly-established Nebraska Governor’s Council for International Relations.  The Governor announced the formation of the council in July to bring together Nebraska business, agriculture, and education groups to expand overseas trade opportunities and develop new international partnerships for the state.

 

The Governor has identified three goals for the council.  They include:

 

  1. Develop comprehensive long-term strategies to expand existing trade relationships and promote new ones.
  2. Support growing partnerships and identify new opportunities to collaborate with overseas counterparts.
  3. Leverage our combined resources to grow current investments in Nebraska and explore prospects for future investment.

 

The first annual meeting focused on setting objectives for the next year based on the council’s goals, establishing a framework for further cooperation, and briefing the member organizations on the upcoming 50th Annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference, which will be held in Omaha in September 2018.

 

ABOUT THE NEBRASKA GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL REALTIONS

 

“International trade and engagement is a crucial part of our state’s long-term growth.  Whether it takes the form of beef exports, inbound foreign direct investment, or student and cultural exchanges, Nebraska’s relations overseas bring great benefit to the entire state,” said Governor Ricketts at the launch of the council in July 2017.  “My administration is continuously pursuing new strategies for expanding international markets, attracting new investment, and building the state’s profile overseas, and we are committed to maintaining a competitive edge in a global economy.  The Nebraska Governor’s Council for International Relations will help us take the next step to grow trade for Nebraska by leveraging our combined resources to grow current investments in Nebraska and explore prospects for future partnerships.”

Groups and individuals participating in the council include:

  • BioNebraska
  • Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
  • Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
  • Midwest International Trade Association
  • Nebraska Beef Council
  • Nebraska Business Development Center
  • Nebraska Cattlemen
  • Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Nebraska Corn Board
  • Nebraska Department of Agriculture
  • Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Nebraska Diplomats
  • Nebraska District Export Council
  • Nebraska Dry Bean Commission
  • Nebraska Ethanol Board
  • Nebraska Farm Bureau
  • Nebraska Pork Producers
  • Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale
  • Nebraska Sorghum Board
  • Nebraska Soybean Board
  • Nebraska Tourism Commission
  • Nebraska Wheat Board
  • University of Nebraska
  • U.S. Commercial Service – Omaha

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