Oklahoma’s Green Country — the 18 counties in the northeast corner of the state — has something for everyone, according to Jackie Stewart, executive director of the Green Country Marketing Association.
"We have a lot to offer," said Stewart, who made a stop at the Miami Tourist Information Center Thursday as part of National Tourism Week.
"There are many things for children to do, the Indian culture is there, the casinos are a gargantuan business these days, our museums are world class and the arts are out of sight," she said.
In honor of tourism week, new redbud trees were presented to the Miami Center to assist with beautification projects already in place. The trees were purchased and donated by the Green Country Marketing Association.
Following the presentation, an appreciation luncheon was hosted by the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
National Tourism Week is a collective effort to promote the power of travel through customized events in communities nationwide.
The goal is to enhance the country’s economy, security and perception, and recognize the cultural and social benefits created by travel and tourism.
Visitors to Oklahoma create more than $5 billion dollars each year in economic impact to the state, with more than $1.5 billion of that coming directly in northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.
"If you just look at a map and see the different towns in Green Country, there is something in almost every town," Stewart said. "One example is Pawnee. It is very out of the way and people don’t think of going there. But they have some very, very good events. They have the Pawnee Bill Museum, but they also have a lot of events that draw in a lot of people."
The official borders of Green Country, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, include all of northeastern Oklahoma, reaching in the northwest to include Osage County, Okfuskee County in the southwest, the Canadian River in the south, and the Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas state lines in the north, northeast, and east.
"We just have the one metropolitan area in Green Country (Tulsa) — our major business really is rural," she said.
In addition to Miami, some of the other cities in Green Country include Grove, Vinita, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bartlesville, Jenks, Bixby, Claremore, Okmulgee Muskogee Tahlequah, Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Stilwell, Nowata and Pawhuska.
Stewart made a stop at each of the tourist information centers in Green Country as part of the tourism week activities.
"It’s amazing the traffic in here today, a Thursday — it’s not even the weekend," Stewart said.