I love New York. Virginia is for lovers. Florida's the Sunshine State and Maine is Vacationland. But what about Kansas? If that famous line from "The Wizard of Oz" about not being...
TOPEKA, Kan. — I love New York. Virginia is for lovers. Florida’s the Sunshine State and Maine is Vacationland.
But what about Kansas? If that famous line from “The Wizard of Oz” about not being there comes to mind, you’re getting the wrong message altogether.
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To encourage visitors and corporate relocations, tourism officials have launched a campaign to change the state’s image.
“Think Dorothy and Toto are the most famous Kansans?” the Web site www.thinkkansas.org asks. “Beginning in January, we’ll change the way people think about Kansas.”
Kansas has tried several slogans over the past 30 years. “Linger Longer in Kansas,” “The Land of Ah’s” and “Simply Wonderful” were attached to tourism promotions. But Kansas spends only about $4 million annually on tourism. With few resources for national campaigns, the efforts were relatively low-key.
Legislators approved $700,000 last session to develop a “brand” for the state, part of a package of economic incentives.
House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, said Kansas has had image problems since the Depression.
“I know that when I travel back East and talk to people that their perception is different from our perception of Kansas,” Mays said. “I think a certain investment in our image would be beneficial.”