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Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission
The Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission (NITDC) is a regional partnership of the tourism bureaus of seven northern Indiana counties: Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko and LaGrange. NITDC’s motto is: What can we (the seven counties) do together that we cannot do own our own?
NITDC – which Indiana Dunes Tourism helped get off the ground in 1991 and has continued to partner with ever since – works in cooperation with the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Tourism Division and with 350+ local businesses to increase tourism spending in our region.
Using consumer research and professional marketing expertise, NITDC develops an integrated cooperative marketing and advertising program annually allowing for partnerships with the region’s tourism businesses and attractions.
To increase employment and the economic development of the hospitality industry throughout Northern Indiana by focusing on the needs of the visitor and doing together those things we cannot do as individual CVBs.
Statement of Philosophy:
Northern Indiana can best compete for increased visitation by positioning itself as a single destination. This can only be achieved by combining the resources of the region’s destination marketing organizations, the private sector and the Indiana Tourism Division (ITD) to create integrated marketing programs that allow for the building of a strong regional brand without undermining the brand equity of each member.
Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission is committed to creating incremental business opportunities through an integrated and value-added approach of visitor programming that mutually meets the common goals of partners.
Key Points and Accomplishments:
The seven-county partnership pools its resources to obtain services and promote Northern Indiana and our individual counties to our key feeder markets, like Chicago and Indianapolis.
For example, each county gets the Cadillac of databases, research projects and advertising campaigns on a Yugo budget. The $40,000 we contribute would only buy $40,000 worth of marketing and promotion, which isn’t much in the Chicago, Indianapolis and Midwest markets. But our leveraging resources with the other counties and with public and private partnerships generates $1.8 million to promote the seven county region in such publications as the Chicago Tribune and Midwest Living magazine. Samples of our work are located at http://www.northernindianagetaways.com/things-to-do/northern-indiana-getaways
Also, the seven member counties join together to attract visitors to the overall Northern Indiana area, but get to retain their individual county identities. The diversity of product within a 1.5-hour drive from Chicago and 2.5-hour drive from Indianapolis is amazing. In this short drive, visitors can experience Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes, Amish County, Notre Dame Country and much more. These leveraged assets are great for marketing the area, but the individual counties need to maintain their individual identities because there are other marketing and development opportunities that make sense in Indiana Dunes Country that don’t make sense in Amish Country or Michigan/LaPorte – and vice versa.
NITDC has a regional website that covers the great things each county has to offer.
NITDC has produced the Art & Earth Trail guide, featuring a variety of unique businesses – like art galleries, farm markets and more – in each county. www.northernindianagetaways.com/things-to-do/art-and-earth-trail
NITDC also created the Foodie Trail to direct food aficionados to great establishments in Northern Indiana. www.northernindianagetaways.com/things-to-do/foodie-trail
In 2014, NITDC launched the Burger Wars between the seven counties. To view the great burger places in Northern Indiana go to www.northernindianagetaways.com/burgerwars
NITDC also has the exclusive contract to promote Northern Indiana at the 10 travel plazas along the Toll Road. Up to 1.5 million people stop at each travel plaza annually. NITDC launched the Tourist Assistance Portal (TAP) program on the Toll Road. TAP is an interactive touch-screen that acts as a virtual tour guide. TAP includes interactive, up-to-the minute guides to local businesses, complete with maps, menus and photo galleries. TAP provides the unique ability to send important information to the user’s smart phones and tablets.
Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission
PO Box 588
110 W. Waterford Street
Wakarusa, IN 46573