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May 29, 2006

Travel promo: give ‘em gas

State tourism departments, travel agencies, amusement parks, hotels and other tourist-dependent services around the country are noting a drop-off in spring and summer reservations this year. Cancellations are also up. The reason is ever-rising gas prices, making road-trips and camping vacations too expensive for many would-be travelers.

One Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in Montana is fighting for those all-important tourist dollars by offering gas debit cards. Along with the usual travel-package coupons for discounts on everything from lodging to restaurants and attractions, the debit cards (worth up to $50) are being used as a further enticement for vacationers.

By directly addressing the problem of high gas prices that’s keeping people close to home this summer, debit card issuers are hoping to sustain healthy tourist numbers. The theory? Once vacationers get to their destination, the tourist dollars will be spent.

Those in the travel industry who ignore the very real issue of soaring gas prices (affecting travelers driving to and from the resort area as well as those simply exploring the region) may be hit doubly hard: by the high gas prices and by savvy tourist-based businesses that promote tourism by using gas debit cards.

Posted by farfromboring at May 29, 2006 11:09 AM