'Nebraska Nice' harnesses state's greatest asset

Friday, May 9, 2014

Social media hasn't been kind, and you'd never guess it by some of the current political campaigns, but the Nebraska Tourism Commission did get one thing right: the friendliness of Nebraska's people is the state's greatest asset.

That's the conclusion reached after months and $75,000 worth of research, three online surveys of visitors, potential visitors, residents and community/visitor industry stakeholders.

"Nebraska is about genuine friendliness and relaxation across all audiences, but also a fun place for nonresidents," the report concludes.

Other states have their beaches, mountains and amusement parks, Kathy McKillip, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director told the Lincoln Journal Star, but no other state has focused on its people as its No. 1 asset.

All Nebraskans must step up, believe in and sell the notion that it's so nice here that people are going to want to experience it, she said.

Tourism officials have their work cut out for them, according to a social media sampling this morning.

"Nebraska Nice. um, well, that's safe."

"Nebraska Nice is dumb. Bring back 'The Good Life.'"

"If we're gonna steal from Iowa, let's really steal from Iowa."

"In all fairness, it's better than the runner-up, 'Could Be Worse' with an arrow pointing to Iowa."

"Don't blame me, I voted for 'Nebraska Naughty.'"

"Should we draw straws on who has to tell Nebraska that it's not actually Minnesota or Nice, France...?"

"Nebraska Nice ... Try."

"'Nice' is how you describe your day when you don't want to talk about it."

"'Nebraska: Alright at Times.' More honest slogan."

McCook boosters know the problem. Before our current "The Go-To City of Southwest Nebraska," we suffered through "City Without Limits," "Nebraska's Hot Spot" and "The American Experience." (Did the PBS show sign off on that one?)

Despite all the sniping, most Nebraskans genuinely are nice and love to share "The Good Life" with visitors, when given the chance.

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