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Kansas Tourism Triumphs with Four Marketing Awards, Highlighting Excellence in Destination Promotion

Mar 08, 2024

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TOPEKA – North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) recently announced that Kansas Tourism received four awards in the 32nd Annual NATJA Awards Competition. The competition honors the best of the best in travel journalism, photography and destination marketing organizations. This recognition underscores Kansas Tourism’s dedication to innovative destination marketing and its commitment to showcasing the state as a premier travel destination. 

“Kansas Tourism’s award-winning efforts in inspiring travelers to explore our state are pivotal to our image and growth,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Every visitor represents a potential resident or business connection, and elevating Kansas as an attractive destination ensures lasting benefits for all communities.” 

The four awards presented to Kansas Tourism include:

  • Destination of the Year Award: This special recognition honors Kansas Tourism for its unwavering dedication to innovative tourism marketing strategies and captivating the attention of travelers worldwide. Kansas Tourism was chosen for their overall 2023 marketing campaigns, which all used the brand messaging of To The Stars, and included the Kansas Day release of the “Home on the Range” project and the “To The Stories” video series.
  • Creative Marketing Campaign, Gold Award: “Home on the Range.” This campaign celebrates the uniqueness of Kansas through a series of videos set to the state’s iconic song and featured images of the state’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture. Featuring five well-known Kansas artists, this campaign, which was launched on Kansas Day 2023, showcases how the lyrics written more than 150 years ago still ring true today. You can see the full campaign here.
  • Destination Video, Bronze Award: “Capturing Kansas: The Gordon Parks Legacy.” This video is part of Kansas Tourism’s “To The Stories” series, which explores the faces and places that make Kansas an incredible place to visit and live. It explores Gordon Parks, who dedicated his life to combating racism and poverty through art, and how the lessons he learned on his family farm in Fort Scott helped him to become the first Black photojournalist on staff at LIFE magazine and the first African American to direct a major motion picture. Academy Award winning screenwriter and fellow Kansas native Kevin Willmott narrates the remarkably true story of how Parks opened doors for Black filmmakers everywhere. You can watch the video here.
  • Travel Guide, Honorable Mention Award: “Kansas Official Travel Guide 2023.” The annual Kansas Travel Guide invites readers to explore the Sunflower State’s diverse things to do, including attractions, museums, dining, accommodations, historic sites and outdoor adventures. Filled with captivating imagery and insightful narratives, this guide beckons travelers to discover the treasures within Kansas’ vibrant cities, historic towns, rolling plains and expansive prairies. The 2023 guide’s front cover featured a wakeboarder at Lake Perry ripping the waves, depicting one of the many unexpected activities you can find in Kansas. You can order the latest travel guide here.

“We are honored to be recognized for the work we do to inspire travel to Kansas,” Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe said. “Winning these prestigious tourism marketing awards reaffirms our commitment to creativity, innovation, and excellence in promoting unforgettable experiences in the state.”

“Submissions for this year’s awards competition included a diverse group of journalists, publications and destination marketing organizations from North America,” NATJA CEO Helen Hernandez said. “Selection of the winners by our independent panel of judges was particularly difficult this year because of the outstanding quality and broad range of articles, images and marketing campaigns submitted for consideration.” Judges for the competition included award-winning newspaper and magazine editors as well as educators from across journalism disciplines. To qualify for an award or honor, work had to be published from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023.