Taking North Idaho/Spokane Recreation and Tourism International

Friday, November 9 2012


By Donna Emert

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – The distant island of Taiwan commenced visa waiver status Nov. 1. That development will likely reverberate on the shores of Coeur d'Alene Lake and in the streets of Spokane: It is expected to double the number of visits from Taiwan to the U.S.

Karen Ballard, administrator of tourism development for the Idaho Department of Commerce, wants recreation and tourism professionals, and those interested in a career in the industry to know, "They will be coming for your cannoli." In North Idaho, maybe your huckleberry pancakes.

To support the growing recreation and tourism industry in North Idaho and Spokane, University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene offers a Recreation and Tourism Speaker Series, featuring experts with insights into business, marketing and leadership development within the industry.

Ballard, who recently returned from a visit to Taiwan, is the featured speaker, Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 4 to 5 p.m., at the U-Idaho Harbor Center, 1031 N. Academic Way, Coeur d’Alene.

She will offer insight and strategies for North Idaho and Spokane area businesses to tap into the international market with a presentation titled, “International Marketing for Idaho Tourism." The event is free of charge.

“As part of the Idaho Department of Commerce, we can facilitate all kinds of new markets for your business,” said Ballard. “We focus our tourism efforts on Europe, Australia and Canada because they have the time to explore our state, but pick a country, any country, and we can give you a viable business reason to go there and grow your business.”

Recreation and tourism and related business professionals, community members, and students interested in careers in recreation and tourism are welcome to attend the presentation.

Ballard joined the Idaho Division of Tourism in 1992 and was appointed administrator of Idaho State Tourism in November 2007. Her role includes expanding international visitation to Idaho in collaboration with Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, an effort coordinated through Rocky Mountain International.

Ballard’s tourism career began in Idaho, at the Elkhorn Resort in Sun Valley, where she progressed from the front office, to sales, to director of sales.

She also has worked for the Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association, the Idaho Retailers Association and other professional organizations. She holds a degree in legal studies from University of California, Berkeley and is a native of Washington State.

“I look forward to sharing how Idaho markets itself overseas through a myriad of collaborative efforts that any business can join,” said Ballard.

Future speakers in the series include:

• Feb. 13: A speaker, TBD, from the Coeur d’Alene Casino and Resort.
• March 13: Thomas Cusick, senior vice president of Finance/CFO of Columbia Sportswear presents, “The Business Side of Rec-Tech.”
• April 10: Rick Steltenpohl, executive director of Spokane Hoopfest, presents, “Using Servant Leadership to Create a World Class Tourist Event.”

For more information visit: www.uidaho.edu/cda or call (208) 667-2588.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.