Connecting MONTANA and the WORLD
When the folks at WorldMontana® say “multi-regional”, they really mean it!
Montana Bunkhouses had the pleasure of hosting 17 international leaders from 15 countries on June 15, 2014. The delegates were guests of the US Department of State’s Leadership Program. The focus was to highlight the link between tourism and economic development. The delegates were interested in learning more about trends in tourism and specifically geotourism with its emphasis on history, heritage, and traditions.
Multi-regional participants were from: Bangladesh, Barbados, Comoros, Egypt, Estonia, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Philippines, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
The participants enjoyed lunch and a discussion lead by Karen Searle. Karen talked about emerging trends of tourism and ways the Montana Bunkhouse model could be used in other countries. For example, the geotourist comes to vibrant and charming towns that serve as gateways to natural wonders. They want to share local customs and breathtaking experiences by day, and relaxing hospitality by night. The conversations centered around, “What would it take?” for you to be discovered by the visitors who are defined as geotourists, and “What would it look like?” if you were successful.
The business that offers the most value to the customer is the one that will succeed. The Montana Bunkhouse agri-tourism model appealed to the imagination of the delegates who were encouraged to take these same ideas back home. Extend the invitation, tell your story in an authentic manner, dig a little deeper and allow the guest to be part of the story. Prepare, plan, and then step back and let it happen! Let guests discover your country as never before!
Mike Leffingwell owner of the G Bar M Ranch took the members on a ranch tour and told stories about the challenges and rewards of the families who are living and ranching in “the last best place”. (The G Bar M Ranch is a member of the Montana Bunkhouses Working Ranch Vacations cooperative hosting guests for hands-on ranch vacations.) The delegates were amazed at the natural beauty and authenticity of the cattle ranching world. Rather than simply hearing about our brand of working ranch vacations, they wanted to skip the rest of the Leadership Program, remain at the ranch and learn to be a cowboy!
WorldMontana® is an affiliate of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) based in Washington, D.C. They arrange meetings between international visitors and their professional counterparts to discuss common interests and to share ideas.