Bringing More Tourism to Nebraska

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Nebraska wants more visitors because it means more money. A program hopes to draw in the tourists and their dollars.

To many, Nebraska is known only for corn and football. But, officials say it's much more than that and they're determined to change the perception.

Nebraska Tourism Director Kathy McKillip says, "We need to do better as Nebraskans in believing in ourselves and what out amenities are and getting out and supporting those."

They're touting the state's Passport program, self guided tours with a little something for everyone. Such as sampling Nebraska wines and feeding goats, not to mention the restaurants and golf courses along the way.

Lincoln Children's Zoo CEO John Chapo says, "We've got great destinations, we've got great family fun. We've got it all. It's affordable. It's fantastic."

James Ballard with James Arthur Vineyards says, "I think it's a great opportunity to highlight tourism. There's a lot of hidden gems across the state."

There are 80 attractions across the state. That's up from 27 when the program first launched three years ago. The Lincoln Children's Zoo is part of the family fun tour.

"All we are trying to do is bring folks and spend money in our great state. We don't need to build big new facilities and big infrastructure because it's already here", says Chapo.

For those looking for a piece of Napa Valley, try the winery tour. James Arthur Vineyards is on it.

"Really we're selling and experience. People want an experience when they go visit these destination points in Nebraska", says Ballard.

The state is also setting up a tourism commission. It will operate much like the Game and Parks commission. It's all to grow a $4 Billion industry and make Nebraska more than a fly over state.