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Nebraska Aims To Lure Travelers Seeking An Escape From Noisy Cities


If you happen to run Nebraska's tourism commission, you would face three realities in attracting visitors. Here's the first.

JOHN RICKS: Nebraska is in fact the least likely state for people to visit in the country.

KELLY: John Ricks, who does in fact run Nebraska's Tourism Commission. Second challenge?

RICKS: You know, there's real strong preconceived notions that there's nothing to do here.

KELLY: And third?

RICKS: People don't love us. People don't hate us. It's just kind of meh.

KELLY: John Ricks' solution - a new Nebraska tourism campaign featuring this slogan - quote, "honestly, it's not for everyone."

RICKS: What that means is Nebraska's a place where honest perspectives and life's simple pleasures help you realize what matters most.

KELLY: Native Nebraskan Brett Baker works for the 1011 News in the state capital, Lincoln. At first, he did not realize the new slogan actually was a slogan.

BRETT BAKER: I saw a push alert on my phone. Said something like Nebraska Tourism launches new ad campaign. Honestly, it's not for everyone. And I thought that was, like, their opinion on it.

KELLY: When Baker finally understood that was the actual slogan, he came up with some alternatives and tweeted a few of them out.

BAKER: Nebraska - typhoid-free since '87. Nebraska - your exes probably don't live here. Nebraska - minimal storm surge. And last but not least, Nebraska - we have very few serial killers.

KELLY: A clear winner there. Meanwhile, a closing thought from Nebraska Tourism's John Ricks. He says to make people listen, you have to hook them somehow. We here at NPR of course would never fall for such an obvious publicity ploy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.