Sentinel and visitor bureau join together on annual guide

The Sentinel and the Wrangell Convention and Visitor Bureau are joining together to put out a more comprehensive booklet to help draw visitors to town, guide them when they are here, and help promote the community’s businesses.

The Sentinel has been publishing a free annual visitor guide for decades. The Convention and Visitor Bureau, which has published its own, smaller guide for years, is almost out of copies and needed to print a new version this year. Rather than continue with two separate publications, the borough’s advisory board decided it would be a good time to try out a single booklet.

The Sentinel will produce and publish the full-color guide, at least 40 pages, incorporating recommendations from the Convention and Visitor Bureau to broaden the scope of information.

“We started talking about it a couple of years ago,” Carol Rushmore, the borough’s economic development director, said of the advisory board’s decision. The borough last printed its guide in 2020, using pandemic assistance federal funding, but is running out of copies, she said.

Rather than soliciting advertising, writing, producing and printing two separate guides, the five-member advisory board figured it is a good time to merge the information into one booklet with the Sentinel.

The updated guide will continue with the Convention and Visitor Bureau rebranding of the community’s tourism efforts that started in 2021. The new slogan, “Travel Outside the Lines,” is meant to draw in tourists, Brooke Leslie explained when the campaign was unveiled. The new branding was put together with Spawn Ideas, an advertising agency out of Anchorage, which helped identify the community’s target audience and work out how to portray Wrangell as unique from other travel destinations.

In addition to reaching travelers planning their Alaska visits, looking to draw them to the community, the booklet also serves as a guide for visitors once they arrive in town, providing maps, lists of places to see and things to do, and information on local businesses.

While the Sentinel will distribute 6,000 copies for free at shops and attractions around town throughout the year, the new guide also will be available online at the Sentinel and visitor bureau websites. The bureau plans to distribute a few thousand more copies at trade shows and tourism conventions to help build up business for the community.

The 2023 guide should be available by late April or early May.


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