Connecting history and tourism

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2017

Preserving the Past by Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village, 1031 Bridge Ave.

Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson

I had the opportunity to attend the Explore Minnesota conference with Susie Petersen, executive director of the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau. During the conference, we learned about the tourism industry, specifically in Minnesota. We also received information on successful ways to collaborate on community events.

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You may ask how history is related to tourism. It is almost unbelievable how many visitors the museum has from other states and countries. There are also opportunities to attract bus groups to the area through events, tours and conventions. These groups have the potential to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, buy gas and shop. The museum adds to their experience by being an attraction that can be added to an itinerary of most tour groups, individual visitors and conventions. When our community has more to offer our visitors, the longer they will stay and the more money they will spend. This is exactly how tourism dollars are generated.

This is such a great way to show off our amazing new addition, along with the many displays and our village and library. They can even hold meetings, receptions and events at the museum. We continue to work on interactive displays and quarterly displays, which will also attract additional visitors.

The museum continues to work hard to bring innovative additions to the museum for its members and the community. Please consider becoming a member or even just come for a visit. We know you will enjoy it like so many other visitors. Visit us on our Facebook page or go to our website for information on upcoming events.