Lincoln, NE (PressExposure) April 17, 2012 -- Gov. Dave Heineman announced today he will host Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado for an upcoming visit to Nebraska on Friday, March 23. The Governors will meet to discuss common efforts and issues related to eco-tourism and economic development.
"I look forward to welcoming my fellow governors to our state to see the crane migration and discuss eco-tourism," said Gov. Heineman. "Eco-tourism is vital in Nebraska where 97 percent of the land is privately owned. Forging partnerships with private land owners is critical in providing access to our many attractions including beautiful landscapes and bountiful hunting opportunities."
Catherine Lang, Director of the Department of Economic Development added, "More and more travelers are interested in ecotourism. Nebraska offers a rich and diverse landscape that appeals to a variety of travelers from hunters to bird watchers. We are always striving to keep Nebraska beautiful and attract tourists to enjoy our state."
According to statistics gathered by the Nebraska Division of Tourism and Travel in the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraskans and visitors to Nebraska together made more than 19 million trips in the state in 2010 to destinations 100 miles or more away from home. Travelers spent nearly $4 billion in Nebraska during 2010 on day trips more than 100 miles away and trips with overnight stays. Annual spending on these trips has increased by $2.3 billion since 1990. Jobs attributable to travel in Nebraska totaled more than 45,000 in 2010. For trips by visitors, the leading states of origin were Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, Missouri and South Dakota.
In addition to discussing tourism efforts, the governors will have the opportunity to view the world-renowned migration of the sandhill cranes, a significant eco-tourism attraction in Nebraska.
From mid-February to mid-April each year, visitors to the Platte River valley in south-central Nebraska can enjoy the migration of 90 percent of the world's sandhill cranes. Approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes gather each year en route to their summer breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska and Siberia.