Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tulip Festivals Bloom

Tulip festivals have spread far and wide, thousands of miles from the Netherlands. One of the largest is the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa, which brings in $50 million in revenue for the city's restaurants, hotels, souvenir stores, and service businesses.

In Washington state, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival attracts 1 million visitors during its one-month duration. Orange City, Iowa brings in 100,000 visitors with its tulip festival in May. Of course, Holland (Michigan) has a tulip festival every year, as you would expect.

Marketing festivals is serious business, with so much riding on the outcome. The tulips are important, but they're only part of the attraction. Festival events range from concerts and parades to contests and lectures. They get newcomers excited about the community, drum up hospitality revenues from visitors, get schools and nonprofits involved, and show off the area to entrepreneurs and business owners seeking a place to locate.

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