Collaborations bring visitors to S.W. Colorado

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 09/06/2012 - ¬ Kris Oiler who will be writing  Destination Durango. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 09/06/2012 - ¬ Kris Oiler who will be writing Destination Durango.

Since becoming chairman of the Durango Area Tourism Office board of directors in January, I have been speaking with folks in the tourism sectors about our mission and structure. As a destination marketing organization, DATO uses a variety of tools and tactics to promote the multitude of tourism activities in Durango and La Plata County.

I invite anyone with a stake in tourism to spread the word about our fantastic area and get involved with helping DATO.

Staying informed is a great way to tap into tourism and find opportunities. DATO has two e-newsletters: one for consumers and another business-to-business newsletter for local tourism businesses.

Sign up for our monthly consumer e-newsletter, which goes to past and potential tourists who have asked for information. You will be able to see the deals, events, attractions and seasonal offerings DATO highlights to entice overnight visits.

DATO’s business-to-business e-newsletter has useful information about incoming media visits, cooperative advertising opportunities, marketing plans and recent media placements for the Durango area.

Sign up for the newsletters at and

Share newsletter information to spread the word through your email database or through your social-media platforms. The more we get the word out to our customers about what a great place Durango is to visit, the better off we all will be.

Speaking of social media, engage Durango’s 28,000 fans on DATO’s Facebook page at, and pin your favorite Durango-area photos for our 1.1 million Pinterest followers at You also can join the conversation on Twitter (@DurangoTourism).

Being a member of the board of directors is another great way to contribute. We will have openings in the sectors of Transportation Industry and Tourism Related Retail. Board members represent their sector’s interests on the DATO Board to help us target sales, public relations and marketing efforts.

We also will be adding new members to both our finance and marketing committees for 2013. These committees provide guidance to our board and staff in an advisory role.

Marketing is a key function of DATO, and there are ongoing opportunities for cooperative advertising, promotions, Durango Welcome Center visibility and public relations. Visit or come into the Welcome Center to receive more information.

Finally, I am pleased to welcome Patti O’Brien as our new group sales and meetings manager. O’Brien most recently has been with Buzztown and brings a strong marketing background to our team. You can contact O’Brien at with leads about groups potentially coming to the Durango area.

Kris Oyler is the chairman of the Durango Area Tourism Office board of directors. Email him at

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