If you wanted to show Wichita off to a group of British travel agents with limited time, where would you send them?
They’ll be in town Saturday evening and Sunday morning as part of six-day tour of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
It’s called a “fam tour” in the industry and is designed to give the agents a taste of an area beyond pretty pictures.
They have time for just a few destinations in Wichita. So, where are they set to go?
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They will head to Sheplers western-wear store Saturday evening, see an arena football game at Intrust Bank Arena, then spend the night in Old Town.
On Sunday morning, they are scheduled to visit Tanganyika Wildlife Park.
Jim Odoire is the Brit who is leading the tour as part of the Brand USA MegaFam, a public/private effort to boost tourism in the U.S.
The travel agents have generally already seen a lot of the U.S, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, etc. on previous trips. They were interested in “getting under the skin of the States” with the Roots and Boots Tour, he said.
So far, they’ve been bowled over by Kansas City, where they saw Arrowhead Stadium, museums, the Kansas Speedway — and a few brave souls rode the Schlitterbahn rollercoaster at Worlds of Fun — before they headed off to Lawrence and the Flint Hills.
“It’s been a real eye-opener,” Odoire said. “Everyone has been waxing lyrical about what a great town Kansas City is.”
After leaving Wichita Sunday, they’ll hit the Marland Mansion in Ponca City and then on to OKC where they’ll see a cattle auction, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Bricktown, among others.
“This is really demonstrating to these agents, and eventually to their clients, that there’s more than the big name cities,” he said.