Northeast Oklahoma holds tourism luncheon

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NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA — Northeast Oklahoma residents are discussing how to best promote the area.

Today a Tourism Partner luncheon was held at the Coleman Theater Ballroom in Miami.

The event brought out almost a hundred people to hear from Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell.

It gives them a chance to network and celebrate achievements in tourism for the area.

Pinnell said, “Miami is just doing a fantastic job of generating revenue off their tourism industry.”

Pinnell says state leaders plan on promoting Route 66 and the Oklahoma Fishing Trail.

He says fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry which prompted state tourism leaders to partner with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

“There are a number of lakes around Miami that are on that fishing trail. Were generating about $55 for every dollar we’re spending on advertising.”

Native American History is at the forefront for Pinnell.

“That generates a lot of people coming to the state of Oklahoma so want to continue to foster that good relationship with the tribe when it comes to promoting that tribal heritage.”

There are challenges he and other state leaders face when it comes to promoting tourism.

“You know some of it comes down to money you know a marketing budget you know the bigger marketing budget you have the more people were going to get Oklahoma. You have to invite people to a state to get them to come to a state.”

Pinnell adds tourism partners are hoping to attract international visitors to Northeast Oklahoma as well, which could be accomplished with more funding.

“If we have a bigger marketing budget to tell the world about why they need to be coming to Oklahoma that certainly will help but everybody is certainly looking for money. There’s a lot of agencies that have had cuts over the last decade so we want to make sure we are utilizing tax payers dollars in the right way.”

Pinnell adds, as Lieutenant Governor, he makes it his mission to go to all 77 counties in the state to learn issues people are facing.

He says holding events like this, interacting with people, helps better spark change at the capitol.

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