Society of American Travel Writers Conference in Indianapolis, Sept. 9-14
By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Travel writers from across the world will be touring many of Indianapolis’ top attractions and eating at many of the city’s great restaurants while they are in Indianapolis for their annual convention.
The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is hosting the Society of American Travel Writers conference, Sept. 9-14, 2012, at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Like the hosting of the Super Bowl, the hosting of top travel writers is expected to be great exposure for Indianapolis and the rest of the state.
On the weekends before and after the conference, the writers will be visiting six sites throughout the state.
The destinations chosen to host pre- and post-convention tours are Indiana Dunes Country and Amish Country in northern Indiana; French Lick and Spring Mill State Park, and New Harmony in southern Indiana (New Harmony was originally designed to be a utopian community); Brown County State Park in Nashville; and the 2012 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel.
About 250 of the SATW’s 1,200 members are attending this year’s convention in Indianapolis. The writers got to choose which pre- and post-convention trips they find most appealing.
Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is hosting travel writers during the weekend of Sept. 7-9 and the weekend of Sept. 14-16. In addition, Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotions Director Ken Kosky will attend the conference and share with AroundIndy.com some of the great things he experiences in Indianapolis.
In Indiana Dunes Country, the travel writers will experience a boat ride — provided by CMS Marine of Portage Public Marina — along the Lake Michigan coast, and they will visit Indiana Dunes State Park, Mount Baldy and Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.
South of the dunes, the writers will also visit Taltree Arboretum, the 49er Drive-In, Hoosier Bat Company and Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art. They will sample the cuisine of Wagner’s Ribs, Industrial Revolution, Lucrezia, Popolano’s, The Rolling Stonebaker, Valpo Velvet ice cream, the Valparaiso Downtown Dining restaurants, Suzie’s Cafe and Tate’s Place.
In addition, the writers will receive gift baskets featuring locally-made products, including an Air One Aerial Photography photo of the dunes (see photo above), a Hoosier Bat Company mini baseball bat, treats from Kim’s Chocolates, Simply Amazing Market popcorn, Anderson’s Vineyard & Winery wine and Figure Eight Brewing craft beer.
Previous SATW conventions were in Wellington, New Zealand (2011); Saxony, Germany (2010); Guadalajara, Mexico (2009); Houston (2008); and Manchester, England (2007). The SATW includes journalists from such organizations as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Good Morning America and Conde Nast Traveler.
“The exposure we anticipate we will receive would be phenomenal and could significantly increase tourism,” said Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer.