Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have jointly marketed themselves as The Real America for the past 27 years but have chosen the new name to better reflect their geography, western heritage and icons such as national parks and monuments.
“We had been looking for a brand that directly captures the feeling you get when you visit our states, and we have done that with The Great American West,” said James Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism.
The rebranding is the result of four years’ research among international markets.
“We are The Great American West,” said Diane Shober, Wyoming Office of Tourism executive director.
“As we work to collectively market our five-state destination, it’s imperative that our name clearly defines who we are while inspiring travellers to learn more and experience the adventures that are found in this region.”
Idaho Tourism will rejoin the consortium on July 1, after an absence of four years. The regional cooperative is fully funded by each of the state tourism departments and targets the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Benelux and the Nordics.
The Great American West contracts Rocky Mountain International to oversee marketing efforts and manage overseas representation in each of the international markets.
“There’s so much that can be said in a name, and we wanted the brand to convey the proper recognition and represent the region’s story,” said Mathias Jung, owner of Rocky Mountain International.