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Chamber Travel Programs Unite Business Leaders

Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce

Even a chamber in a small town with a population of just 23,000 people has a travel program, which proves you’re never too small if the benefits are there. Watertown is in northeast South Dakota, 100 miles north of Sioux City.

“We offer travel to people in our community and outlying communities,” said Megan Gruman, the chamber’s president and CEO. “We’ve taken folks to Italy and Ireland. This year we’ll take a group to Germany and Austria. We don’t take domestic trips.”

This is the program’s third year. It uses a local travel agent with 30 years’ experience.

As with many chambers, the travel program is designed to be a nondues revenue source and an opportunity to spread the chamber message into surrounding areas.

Watertown has found that many local businesspeople have an interest in traveling internationally.

“They feel better or safer traveling with folks they know, like neighbors, friends or those they attend church with,” said Gruman.

What has she learned from the trips the group has taken abroad?

“That it’s really all about the service, making the trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience for folks while building a strong reputation for our chamber,” she said.