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Travel workshop geared to create increased business

The Greater Goldendale Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce, invites business owners and residents of western Klicki-tat County to attend a Package Travel 101 workshop on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 7-9 p.m. at the White Salmon Library.

The workshop will review the basics of creating bus tours and offer a Q&A session at the end of the meeting.

The workshop coincides with the Package Travel initiative that has been proposed by the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce and the City of Goldendale. Work began in February to educate the community about the potential of bringing bus tours to Klickitat as a means of increasing tourism and is now moving forward into the contract phase of creating itineraries with Falcon Crest, Inc. a package travel consulting group.

Other similar workshops and presentations have been held in Goldendale and most recently a Package Travel Advisory Group meeting held in Lyle in September. Earlene Sullivan, the executive director of the Goldendale Chamber, has worked with Falcon Crest, Inc., and approached the county commissioners with a plan to develop the Package Travel program for Klickitat County.

Sullivan reports that some people have concerns about how or if the bus tours will work as an economic driver. She refers to this workshop as a “second look” that will give folks an opportunity to ask questions and clarify facts and figures regarding the tours.

The county commissioners have offered $20, 000 towards a $27,250 contract pending the creation of an active Tourism Advisory Council and the collection of the additional funds.

The initiative was brought to the attention of Tamara Kaufman, the new executive director of the Mt. Adams Chamber of commerce when she began work at the end of August.

“I attended the meeting in Lyle on Sept. 10 with three of our board members and we found the idea of package travel had potential. But we wanted to be sure that our members had some interest, so we conducted a survey and found that of those who replied 40 percent said they would be willing to actively participate in the process and 37.5 percent would consider donating money to meet the difference between the county’s contribution and the contract total.”

Based on the survey’s results and member interest, Kaufman contacted Sullivan at the Goldendale Chamber to organize a workshop in White Salmon to give the western Klickitat County business owners and residents a chance to learn what package travel was all about so that they could decide whether to join in on the bus tour itinerary planning.

She said, “We want to be sure that all corners of the county are well-represented.”


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