Rocky Mountain International
Rocky Mountain International (RMI) was formed in 1990 and coordinates international tourism activities for the state tourism departments of Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota. We are the longest standing and most successful marketing consortium in the nation.
Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming are partnered in a regional cooperative effort, focusing primarily on the European markets of the UK, Benelux, France, Italy and Germany, but also working in the Nordic, Australian and New Zealand markets. The region, dubbed The Real America, has made long-term commitments to the regional tourism concept and the four states have been marketing together for nearly 20 years.
As a stand-alone account, RMI coordinates the international marketing efforts for the state of North Dakota, who promotes in Germany, but centers its efforts in the Nordic, Australian and New Zealand markets.
Strategic marketing partnerships and regional cooperation are key to the effectiveness of reaching our common goal of promoting the Real America region as an outstanding travel destination. In addition to the states we represent, we are partnered with the specifically targeted international cities of Chicago, IL, Denver, CO and Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN that serve as entry points to the region making it easily accessible for international visitors.
Moreover, our marketing partnerships extend to various attractions and destinations within the region who want maximum exposure in the European travel community. Included in this group are Yellowstone National Park Lodges, Rapid City CVB, Buffalo Bill's Cody/Yellowstone Country, Visit Cheyenne, Southwest Idaho Travel Association, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Mall of America and the Hampton Inn Jackson Hole.
As experts on the region, inbound Receptive Tour Operators Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours and America 4 You round out our regional effort and are one of the region's best selling tools to the travel trade we promote to.
RMI headquarters are in Cheyenne, Wyoming with overseas offices located in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Milan.
- Why this Works?
- RMI Strategic Goals
- RMI Partners
- Why Europe?
- Why the Nordic Region?
- Why Australia?
Why this Works?
Every year it's important to remember why this public-private partnership works so well.
- The commitment of the states: Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota have made long-term commitments to the regional tourism promotion concept that is RMI. There is no other regional organization with as much success as RMI
- Regional cooperative: The involvement of gateway cities, marketing partners, receptive tour operators and private sector suppliers enhances the effectiveness of reaching our common goal to promote the region as an outstanding travel destination
- The ability to adapt to market changes while maintaining focus: The RMI states have maintained their focus in our traditional European target markets, while gaining market share in Australia and the Nordic markets
- No membership fees: Every destination, firm or attraction within the region that wants to participate in the international marketing effort can do so. There are no "membership" fees because the state contracts cover that. Participants can choose their level of commitment from a menu of services including the RMI Roundup, international trade shows, translations and web and print advertising.
- Overseas offices: It was recognized early on that in order to be effective in our target markets, we needed high quality professionals on the ground. We think our overseas representatives are quite simply the best around
- Cost effectiveness: It would cost each state more than NINE TIMES what they pay to replicate the RMI program on a state-by-state basis. Because of the track record of the effort, RMI has been able to leverage state dollars by 60% in increasing the overall value of the program and grow the tourism economies of all four states in the region
RMI Strategic Goals
- Market and promote the northern Rocky Mountain states and region as a legitimate international destination
- Provide a cost-effective way for states without large tourism budgets to become major players in the international travel marketplace through pooling of limited funds and private sector partnerships
- Provide a structure that still allows individual states and entities to promote their unique products and features
- Provide overseas on-site offices and contract personnel in target markets to represent the region and implement a well-defined and accountable marketing program
- Implement programs that create opportunities for private sector suppliers to do business and grow tourism economy within their state or region
Official Receptive Tour Operators
- The UK, Germany, France and Italy ranked in the top ten for 2010 overseas visitation numbers to the U.S.
- European tourists spend an average of $1,982 per trip to the U.S. and stay for 14 days
- Europeans have, on average, 5-6 weeks of vacation time, plus up to 16 annual paid public holidays
- Despite occasional political differences, they love America and what it stands for
- They are more likely to visit during "shoulder" or off-peak seasons than domestic travelers
- They are willing to visit "off-the-beaten-path" rural attractions and destinations
- Overseas visitation is a hedge against volatile domestic and Canadian market swings
- Our challenges (lack of population, rural access) are often viewed as benefits to a world seeking out green and open destinations
- International guests enhance the experience for domestic visitors and create additional perceived value
- The value of the Euro against the U.S. dollar currently makes the U.S. very affordable for many visitors
Why the Nordic Region?
- Travel numbers from the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland) to U.S. are projected to surpass 1 million in 2011
- The U.S. is ranked in the top three travel destinations for Scandinavians. In 2011 the U.S. was ranked #1 in Denmark for all long-haul travel
- Scandinavian tourists spend an average of $3,222 per person, per trip to the U.S. where as the average among all overseas visitors to the U.S. is $2,435
- Scandinavians have, on average, 6-8 weeks of vacation time and average one major long-haul vacation every 18 months
- Scandinavians immigrated to our part of the U.S. in record numbers and love tracing their ancestors to the Real America
- Scandinavia is ranked as having the “highest quality of life in the world” per capita. They have the largest disposable income in Europe
- The Scandinavian economy is the strongest in Europe. Three of the four countries in the Nordic region did not opt into the Euro Zone (Denmark, Sweden and Norway each kept their traditional currency: the kronor) which has meant that they are somewhat buffered from the economic unrest plaguing the EEU. Finland chose to join the Euro Zone and although they are experiencing some of the economic unrest being driven by Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, their economy continues to show healthy growth
- Scandinavians are more likely to visit during "shoulder" or off-peak seasons than domestic travelers
- They are attracted to "off-the-beaten-path" rural attractions and destinations and particularly Native American history
- Scandinavians are looking for sunshine and active vacations. They are attracted to “wide open spaces” and enjoy driving (an opportunity not available to the average urban based Scandinavian)
- International guests enhance the experience for domestic visitors and create additional perceived value. In North Dakota and South Dakota, over half the population can trace their roots to Scandinavia. Scandinavians love the opportunity to meet with “Nordic Americans”….particularly cowboys with Nordic surnames
- The value of each of the Scandinavian kronors (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland each have their own currency although all are traded as kronor) against the U.S. dollar is very advantageous which makes the U.S. very affordable for many visitors
- SAS, KLM, Icelandair, and Norwegian Air all offer flights to our region. MSP is a major gateway to our region from Scandinavia (and the Scandinavians LOVE Mall of America). Icelandair will begin offering non-stop service to the RMI gateway of Denver in May of 2012. This adds to Nordic traffic already accessing Denver and opens another major portal from Scandinavia to our region
- Travel numbers to U.S. are projected to surpass 1 million in 2011. This ranks Australia as #3 for overseas visitation to the U.S.
- Travel to the U.S. is considered a dream vacation for most Australians. With the Australian dollar trading high against the U.S. dollar for the first time in history, many Australians are traveling to the U.S.
- In 2009, Virgin Australia, United Australia, New Zealand Air, Delta and Qantas added over 130,000 seats to the gateways cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco from the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. We are currently seeing those Australians who have been to the West Coast on prior visits traveling to our region for the first time.
- Australians are known for their very active lifestyle and they are looking for “active” vacations.
- RMI began marketing in Australia in 2009 just prior to the Australian dollar reaching parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time in history (the Australian dollar is now trading at 110% of the value of the dollar). We were the first “new” destination in the U.S. to promote in Australia in over a decade and as of fall of 2011, the Real America has been named the “Flavor of the Month” by the Discover America Committee in Australia.
- Several Australian Tour Operators specialize in “off the beaten trail” and active vacations and have embraced our region as something new and exciting for their clients.
- Australians are familiar with our National Park system and are attracted to the hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures that our parks have to offer.
- Australians are historically horsemen. The image of their “cowboys” offer the same allure to the general public as those in the American West. Australians are attracted to the Western experience as offered by the Real America.
- Australians are known to be “laid back” (the expression “no worries” is not just a cute colloquialism but rather a way of life). They enjoy having the opportunity to “play with the locals” and are attracted to those Americans who are considered genuine, rather than those who are part of the service industry in major themed “vacation destinations”.