Havre Daily News
In celebration of National Tourism Week, the tourism committee of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Tourism and Cultural Summit on Wednesday at noon. The meeting will be in the Bear Paw meeting room at the TownHouse Inns.
Havre Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Debbie Vandeberg said the summit is a chance for locals to learn about the various attractions and events going on in the Havre community.
“Shopping is probably the number one activity that these people do while on vacation,” Vandeberg said. “Hill County sees about $1.5 million each year in sales. Whether we all can get our arms around tourism is really critical.”
A survey done by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana reported that 42 percent of about 4,500 non-Montana residents who visited Hill County said shopping was their primary activity. That was closely followed by day hiking with 40 percent of those polled in the 2002 survey.
“This is an opportunity for local businesses to keep abreast of what is around and point people in the right direction,” Vandeberg said.
The meeting will feature nine six-minute presentations from community art and historical entities: the H. Earl Clack Museum, Montana Actors' Theatre, Havre Beneath the Streets, the Havre Art Association, Fort Assiniboine, the Hi-Line Concert Association, the Wahkpa Chu'gn buffalo jump, Northern Showcase and the Bear Paw Battlefield.
The purpose of the summit is to provide a clearer picture of what the local attractions do, cover their economic impact on our community, and discuss the benefits of a stronger partnership between businesses and the art and history attractions.
“It is happening and we want it to happen even bigger and get everyone together,” she said.
Tourism brings in about $12 million in revenue each year, with restaurants, lodging and retail shopping as some of the highest expenditures, according to the survey's results.
“We need to make sure that they shop and eat and that we are all Havre ambassadors,” Vandeberg said.
The majority of visitors to the county are on their way to or from Glacier, and according to the survey, 32 percent of those tourists have an annual household income of more than $100,000.
“These people have disposable income. We've got a tremendous opportunity,” she said.
One of the featured attractions, Fort Assiniboine, will hold an open house on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Walking tours will showcase the renovation of the post trader's building. Free-will offerings will be accepted and refreshments will be served.
For more information or to RSVP call the chamber at 265-4383.