Are We All Incapable of Doing Anything For Ourselves Any More?

Apparently for some reason having to do with screw-ups and protests in contracting, the State of Arizona is not going to publish a Visitor's Guide.

I run a decent-sized business in Arizona, and have never paid much attention to these guides.  Every state and city and town and county and school district seems to put out some kind of visitors guide, and I could go bankrupt paying for ads in all the ones who hit me with marketing calls.  Customers have a jillion ways to find out about our business, either from Internet searches or private guidebooks and directories.  Heck, when I travel, I usually hit places like TripAdvisor and then run down to Borders to pick up whatever Fodor's guide covers my destination.  I have never even thought about calling the government and asking them to send me a visitors guide, but perhaps some of y'all have.

Anyway, what do I know?  I am just a little small business trying to run a few campgrounds.  Just because I can handle my own marketing needs doesn't mean that billion dollar multinational hotel chains are capable of doing so without the government:

Greg Hanss, director of sales and marketing for the new InterContinental Montelucia Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley, couldn't believe it. "For me, the fact that we don't have a state visitors guide in what is the most challenging economic time of our tourism lives is really disappointing."

Pathetic.  It is interesting to see that, for every 20-something anxiously awaiting the government's takeover of healthcare because they are really bummed about all the work it takes to find the right health care plan, there is a corporation waiting for the US govenrment to do its work for them.


  1. Dr. T:

    I agree that InterContinental Montelucia Resort and Spa's response is pathetic. I can think of half a dozen ways to develop a custom tourist guide, some of which would generate publicity by themselves. Here's one idea: the resort could provide a printed or online form for guests to describe the local places they visited and why they liked them. The best descriptions would be chosen for the tourist guide, and the guests who wrote those descriptions would win a prize such as a free overnight stay or a free spa treatment. They could provide bigger awards if the guest also had high quality photos for the tourist guide.

  2. Dan:

    Funny you should mention it, Warren. I just requested printed tourism brochures from four states in anticipation of a trip next summer. I find the internet next-to-useless for big-picture travel information. Google is largely incapable of sorting the wheat from the chaff among travel sites (machine-built sites abound), and Fodors is targeted at the kind of people who don't blink at $180 hotel rooms.

    Anyway, I'd say the problem here is not the lack of a printed guide per se, but the impression it gives that the state tourism office can't manage its most basic functions.

  3. NASCAR Wife:

    I guess no one in AZ government has heard of the magazine ARIZONA HIGHWAYS? The website has a Trip Planner, hiking guide, books for purchase. Seems to me the state could save a lot of money by asking AZ HIGHWAYS to put a visitor's guide together. For those of you from out of State ARIZONA HIGHWAYS is a travel magazine about the state sponsored by the AZ Dpeatrment of Transportation.

    My take - Janet (Please dear God send her to Washington) is a carpet bagger and doesn't even know that AZ HIGHWAYS is a state sponsored publication.

  4. T J Sawyer:

    And here I thought that the "state travel guide" was the backbone of the travel industry. When we are preparing well in advance for a trip I always check out to request the state travel guides. This is my modern-day approach to what my father did in early 1957, writing a letter addressed to to "Chamber of Commerce, Austin, Texas" etc. for each of the twenty or so states we were going to pass through on a cross-country trip that summer in our 1948 Frazer loaded well beyond the brim with a newly homemade car-top carrier.

    His letter specifically requested information on campgrounds available in the state. You would have loved us!