One of the things that the Yuma Visitors Bureau does is find ways to get Yuma into the news in a positive light. However, it’s one thing for us to talk about how great Yuma is – that’s our job.

So we look for opportunities to have other people come experience Yuma and write about its many attributes. There is a great value to Yuma in that. Consumers are fond of using trusted first-hand testimony as a means of making purchasing and travel decisions.

Recently, six social media savvy, creative and adventurous women set off on a nine-day RV tour that came through Yuma while on a journey from Nevada to New Mexico to explore women’s history, Americana and culinary experiences on the Whiskey Sister Herstory Tour.

These fearless travel writers and filmmakers are stopping at destinations and landmarks along the way where women made history or are making history, meeting with and interview fascinating women, dining with female chefs who serve up dishes made with Whiskey Sister whiskey, popping in to whiskey and dive bars, taking photos and videos, and posting to social media.

While in Yuma, these women toured the Territorial Prison, guided by historian and archaeologist Tina Clark. Tina wowed them with stories of the untamed women prisoners. They visited Lutes Casino and had dinner at Tina’s Cocina, where I was able to meet up with them and share my love of Yuma and Tina’s gourmet dinner, deliciously prepared with Whiskey Sister whiskey with some very enthusiastic women.

Whiskey Sister is a new brand of whiskey focused on the women’s market. It debuted in select Kroger stores, including Fry’s in Arizona.

On the tour are Melissa Pierce, award-winning filmmaker; Chelsea Duran, communications specialist for Canopy Management and Wine Sisterhood; Carla King, an adventure travel journalist whose solo journeys around the world are published widely online and in print; Carol Cain, who blogs about travel, food and the journey in making personal dreams come true; Kaysha Riggs, a Yuma resident who has traveled extensively around the U.S., Europe and Spain, and loves to write about her passion for travel; and Aliza Sherman, also a Yuma resident who in the early 1990s Newsweek named “One of the Top People Who Matter Most on the Internet.” Today she travels around the world speaking about the Internet, women’s issues and social mobile media.

Look for stories they have already written about their fantastic Yuma experience.

We also hosted a group of travel writers and bloggers that included mother and daughter team Nancy Reid and Lisa Smith. This team has over 45 years of marketing, design, media, creative and editorial experience. Today they publish 10 online multimedia magazines (each have an audience of 2 million, plus unique visitors per month) and online radio shows (more than 870,000 listeners).

In the spring of 2012, Nancy and Lisa embarked on their Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of all 401 national parks and their gateway communities. We are fortunate to have these women as champions for Yuma.

While in Yuma, they kicked off Yuma Visitors Bureau Yuma 101 Summer School Series by offering a free seminar at the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill titled “Smart Partnering & Marketing for Tourism Success.” The seminar provided valuable solutions for growing your business through marketing and partnering to attract and keep visitors coming back again and again.

YVB will be hosting other seminars over the summer, designed to help small businesses with marketing and technology needs.

These are just a couple of examples of getting media attention that will attract visitors to Yuma. We know that once we get people to Yuma, they are amazed at all we have to offer. It makes sense to host those people who will then write and blog about how great Yuma is.

Remember, you too have the ability to promote Yuma. Please make sure that what you are posting and blogging about will tweak the reader’s interest in visiting Yuma and shows our Yuma pride.

Linda Morgan is the executive director of the Yuma Visitors Bureau. She can be reached at 376-0100 or linda@visityuma.com.

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