The Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center and Gift Shop is embarking upon a major milestone of celebrating the “millionth person” to sign the guestbook. As of January 31, 2013, a total of 976,182 individuals had signed the guestbook, leaving 23,818 signatures to reach the goal of a million.
Beginning February 15, the City of Huntsville Tourism and Cultural Services Department will conduct a campaign to build momentum until the millionth visitor arrives, with the immediate goal of drawing an additional 7,000 visitors by National Tourism Week, May 4-12, 2013.
According to Kimm Thomas, Director of Tourism and Cultural Services, the campaign will include a special Facebook promotion, a grand prize totaling $10,000 in cash and prizes, and weekly and monthly prizes and giveaways.
“We’re very excited about the coming milestone of having one million visitors at the Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center,” she said. “We will be having our official kick-off for the campaign on February 15 at 12 p.m. at the Visitor Center, where we will give away the first of four iPads.
“Over the course of the coming months, we will continue to give away an iPad each time we hit another 7,000 visitor mark, leading up to the millionth person to visit the statue and sign the guestbook. By promoting Huntsville through the millionth person campaign, we will create a greater excitement and awareness of Huntsville as a destination. This will draw tourists into our area, which will increase visitor spending and in return will grow sales tax revenues that can lead to economic development.”
Thomas said the official Web site for the campaign - www.samhoustonstatueonemillionthvisitor.com – will also launch in February, and one of the biggest online components of the campaign will utilize the Web site and the City’s Facebook page to get local merchants involved.
“One really interesting part of this campaign is our Facebook photo competition, which is a chance for visitors and residents to submit original photos of the Sam Houston Statue to be used in ongoing promotional efforts,” Thomas said. “We’ll have three categories for the competition, including best photo, photo with the most ‘likes,’ and the oldest photo.”
As prizes for the Facebook photo competition, Thomas said the department will award three $250 Visa gift cards.
“Merchants who donate to the campaign will be featured on both Web sites leading up to the day their donated items are given away,” she said. “We hope highlighting some of the unique vendors we have here in Huntsville will bring even more visitors to the City.”
For additional information, contact Thomas at (936) 291-5932.