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AN INTERESTING PROMOTION COMING out of Indianapolis and the Indiana Department of Tourism caught my eye this past week.

The Department of Tourism asks people to go to a website and vote for their top three tourism destinations in the state of Indiana.

When a person goes to www.VisitIndiana.com/greatgetaway, a map of the state will pop up, with the top 12 destinations as determined by the tourism bureau already highlighted on the map.

A person can then vote for their top three by using a ballot on the right hand side of the web page.

Here’s the kicker - Vevay is one of the top 12.

Granted, it’s listed as “Madison and Vevay”, but we’re there. Right along with Indiana Beach and Brown County and all sorts of destinations around the state. It even lists “Antique Alley/Wayne County”, which is where I grew up in the community of Centerville.

By entering the website and voting, you have the chance to win a trip to one of these featured destinations.

The competition online ends on July 13th – and that’s tomorrow (Friday).

As I regain consciousness after fainting at our inclusion in a statewide promotion, I can’t help but congratulate Dave Attaway and his entire staff at the Visitors Center for the outstanding work that they have done to promote this entire county to the rest of the state and the entire region.

The website says “Vevay”, but this is truly a feather in the cap of the entire county. People from all four corners of the county have been coming together and working together with a common vision, and that has made a tremendous difference.

I remember sitting in a meeting with the Department of Tourism more than a decade ago as a part of a Switzerland County delegation that wanted to talk about promotion and tourism.

When someone from our group made the comment that they didn’t see why we couldn’t get the promotional advantages that communities like Madison were benefiting from.

“Well, you have to understand that Madison has the river to help draw visitors,” was the comment from the state tourism official. “They are on the Ohio River.”

Meeting over.

Back then, the state didn’t even know where we were, let alone how to promote us to the rest of the state.

But today that’s different.

Yes, Belterra has brought a lot of exposure to this county, but when you consider that the casino doesn’t use “Switzerland County” or “Vevay” in any of its promotions; I have to believe that the largest amount of credit for this recognition has to go to Dave Attaway and his staff.

Now here’s your assignment, Switzerland County.

Before time runs out tomorrow, get online and vote, vote, vote!

I voted on Wednesday morning, and following the submission of my ballot, here were the current standings:

French Lick and West Baden: 13-percent; Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari and Evansville: 12-percent; Bloomington, Brown County, and Columbus, 10-percent; Indiana Beach and Lafayette, nine percent; and Turkey Run State Park and Covered Bridges, nine percent.

We are currently tied for sixth in the balloting, garnering six percent of the votes cast along with Fort Wayne, Antique Alley/Wayne County; Amish County; Indianapolis Family Fun; Indianapolis Romance; and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The more votes we get entered, the higher up on the list we move, and the more recognition we get.

It’s up to you, Switzerland County. The pieces of the development of a tourism industry have been put in place, and finishing high (or winning!) something like this on a statewide level would really bring a huge boost – especially with the Swiss Wine Festival about a month away.

So get online and vote. There doesn’t appear to be a maximum number of times that you can vote, so stay up all night and skip dinner and keep voting.

Call in sick to work and miss the little league games and leave the lawn for another day. The dog can walk himself and shaving only wastes time that you could be voting.

Yes, it’s all in fun, but why not get some great statewide recognition while we’re having that fun?