Sunflower Summer 2024

Venue Applications Open January 22 – March 15

They say the best things in life are free, and they’re right. Sunflower Summer offers a chance for Kansas families to explore the Sunflower State — for free. Don’t miss your chance to participate in the 2024 Sunflower Summer Program! Venue Applications will be open January 22 - March 15.

Please stay tuned to Travel Talk newsletters to be the first to know program news and updates.

  • Applications Open January 22 – March 15

  • The Sunflower Summer Program is a benefit for Kansas families with school-aged children to encourage them to explore, and fall in love, with Kansas. The program is designed to give affordable access to tourism attractions across the state and support the Kansas tourism economy. Eligible Kansas families download the Sunflower Summer App to claim tickets to participating venues that meet the criteria stated below. Tickets are redeemed at participating venues upon their arrival. Each user can only use tickets once per venue during the 2024 season.

    2024 Sunflower Summer Season

    The 2024 Sunflower Summer user season will run from Saturday, May 25 – Sunday, August 11, 2024.

    Venue Eligibility

    Venues must meet eligibility requirements below to participate in the 2024 Sunflower Summer Program:

    • The attraction must be a tourism-driven attraction located in the state of Kansas. Attractions must fit into one of the following categories: museums, discovery centers, historic sites, arboretums, water parks, amusement parks, zoos, guided trolley tours, live theater events, professional sports events.
    • Live theater events and professional sport events are eligible for program participation for one event date or show run during the 2024 Sunflower Summer Season. Live theater events must be rated ‘G’ and/or appropriate for children of all ages.
    • A formal application must be submitted no later than March 15, 2024 and approved by Kansas Tourism to participate in the program.
    • All venues are required to have an up-to-date TravelKS.com listing that meets the requirements listed at TravelKS.com/SunflowerSummer.
    • All frontline and admissions staff are required to participate in a virtual Sunflower Summer program training to maintain eligibility for the 2024 season. This training will be made available closer to program launch.
    • If you are a tourism related business that is not eligible under the above criteria, there are other opportunities for promotion through Kansas Tourism. We encourage your locations to add a coupon or deal on TravelKS.com (instructions to do so here), a page that will be promoted to Sunflower Summer users. For more information, contact Jordan, jordan.roemerman@ks.gov.

    Admission Based Venue Pricing Structures

    Venues will be required to provide pricing information on the submitted application for their 2024 summer. Sunflower Summer reimbursements cannot exceed standard published attraction pricing.

    • The program requires a maximum of two demographic distinctions: 1 student rate (Pre-K – 12th Grade) and 1 adult rate (for accompanying adults).

    • Proposed reimbursement rates should reflect Summer 2024 standard admission pricing, not to exceed $15 per ticket. Any proposed admission price rate greater than $15 will be negotiated.

    Non-Admission-Based Venue Pricing Structure

    Non-admission-based venues may receive a grant of $5 per participant when tickets are activated at your location. Flyers will be provided to you to post at your location if no staff is available, reminding users to activate the ticket. Non-admission-based venues are required to follow all other application and agreement procedures as detailed. Non-admission-based venues must use the granted funds for operations or marketing projects for their venue.

    Reimbursement Requirements

    • Participating venues will be required to enter into a signed agreement with Kansas Tourism, a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, to receive reimbursements or grant funds.
    • State processes require the following to be submitted in order to enter into an agreement with the state. These items are required to be submitted along with your application:
      • W-9
      • Signed State of Kansas Sexual Harassment Form stating that you acknowledge that the State of Kansas has a Sexual Harassment Policy
      • Signed Certification of Company- By signing, the vendor/contractor is agreeing that they will not provide or procure to the State of Kansas any covered telecommunications equipment that is listed (on the certification) during the commission of any service.
      • If your reimbursements are over $100k in a Fiscal Year, you will be required to sign a certification that your organization is not currently engaged in a boycott of goods or services from Israel as required by Kansas State Statute, HB 2482, 2018 Legislative Session. Once your reimbursements approach that requirement, members of the Sunflower Summer team will reach out to coordinate.
    • Venues are required to check the countdown timer on user app for every participant.
    • Failure to check countdown timer or other protocols may result in non-reimbursement for documented tickets. Kansas Tourism reserves the right to terminate a venue’s participation in the program for multiple infractions.
    • Venue employees may assist qualifying individuals (as detailed in Program Participant Criteria below) in signing up for the Sunflower Summer program, but user criteria must be met and followed by participants.

    Paper Voucher Use

    Paper vouchers are an acceptable alternative to digital tickets proving the following requirements are met. Paper vouchers will be provided to venues closer to program launch.

    • Paper vouchers should be used very sparingly and ONLY under extenuating circumstances. Paper vouchers will only be accepted if either:
      • The user doesn’t have access to smartphone technology.
      • Technology issues (ie internet outage) prevent users and venues from using the app.
    • Paper vouchers must be filled out to completion or they will not be accepted and the venue will not be reimbursed for the attendees listed on an incomplete paper voucher.
    • Paper voucher users will be required to show proof of Kansas residence before admittance to the attraction.
    • If a paper voucher is not accepted by Kansas Tourism, the venue will be provided feedback and an explanation.
    • If our staff notices increased usage of paper vouchers we will be in contact with your organization for additional clarification.

    Secret Shoppers

    Kansas Tourism will utilize secret shoppers to monitor user experience and program compliance to maintain the best possible experience for users and venues. These visits will be well documented and will result in written feedback.

    Program Participant Criteria

    Program participants must meet the following criteria to participate in the 2024 Sunflower Summer program. Program participants will only be allowed to redeem a ticket once per attraction, per season through the app or via paper voucher.

    • Both students and guardians must be residents of the state of Kansas.
    • There must be at least one qualifying school age student present when claiming ticket admission. Adults claiming tickets with no student present are not eligible and will not be reimbursed.
    • Student criteria:
      • Students from Pre-K-Grade 12, or approximately ages 4-18.
      • Students enrolled in 18-21 Transition Programs are also eligible.
      • Students attending public schools, private and faith-based schools, or who are home-schooled may participate.
      • Must have correct grade, age, school district, and county of each student listed in the app.
      • Students must be accompanied by an adult to gain admission to the attraction.
    • Guardian criteria:
      • Up to two guardians per visit are eligible for admission under the program.
      • Guardians for the program may include: parents, legal guardians, grandparents, other adult family members, daycare providers.
      • An adult creates an account first in the app. Once the adult account is created, the children and other eligible adults are added. This becomes the family account.
      • There will be an option in the Sunflower Summer app for users to transfer a child’s ticket voucher to another adult who also has downloaded the app. Each child will have one ticket for each participating attraction; when it has been used their passport is stamped and will no longer be accessible for future use for that attraction.

    Sunflower Summer Promotion and Marketing

    Kansas Tourism will be using both paid and unpaid strategies to promote state-wide use of the 2024 Sunflower Summer Program. Stakeholders, such as participating venues and local destination marketing organizations, may market the program when the following guidelines are met:

    • Unpaid promotions – Any unpaid promotions (flyers, social media) that utilize provided materials can do so without Kansas Tourism approvals. Toolkits providing materials will be provided by Kansas Tourism by May 1.
    • Unpaid promotions – Any unpaid promotions with customized materials (custom flyers, social posts, etc.) must be approved by Kansas Tourism in advance.
    • Paid promotions - If stakeholders wish to run a paid marketing campaign for the program, all materials and campaign plans are required to have written approval from Kansas Tourism. All paid promotions must be submitted to Kansas Tourism for approval no later than May 15, 2024.

    For more information on the Sunflower Summer Program, please contact Jordan Roemerman, jordan.roemerman@ks.gov.

  • We are requiring the following upgrades to your listing on TravelKS.com in order to be a participant in the Sunflower Summer program. Find a complete guide to our extranet system here. If you don’t have access to the TravelKS.com extranet or have additional questions on the listing requirements below, please email hunter.feyerherm@ks.gov. Our team will be reviewing all applicant listings as applications come in and will be working with your team to coordinate the following:

     

    1. Correct all duplicate listing titles

    • You may have two listings on our site, an issue that causes issues on search engines like Google. To easily find this information, search for your attraction on our search feature (the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of the site) and make note if you see your attraction appear multiple times in the results.
    • If you have an event or meeting space, we ask that you also create another listing for that and title it “Example Attraction – Event & Meeting Space”. Travelers and meeting planners are looking for different content, so we like to have separate listings that cater to each audience.
    • If you do not have an event space and the listings are simply just duplicated by accident, copy the URLs and send an email to hunter.feyerherm@ks.gov so we can correct the issue.

    2. Update all listing descriptions

    • Review those listing descriptions so that everything is accurate and up to date.
    • Feel free to spend extra time on your listing descriptions. Make use of bold and italic text when needed. Including web links to pages on your site is a great way to convert our traffic to your internal site.
      • For our events “click here”
      • For our full menu “click here”
      • To buy tickets “click here”
    • Remember, this description needs to paint a picture of why guests should come to your attraction. Guests are more likely to visit if your attraction has a great description (and excellent photos) that inspire their curiosity.
    • Learn more about editing descriptions in the extranet here.

    3. Must have a minimum of 3 high-quality photos. At least one of these photos must be horizontally (landscape) oriented with a size of at least 800 x 600 pixels.

    • We are requiring at least 3, preferably more, high-quality images.
    • Our listings have a photo feature that best displays a horizontal image for the lead photo. Vertical photos will be cropped to fit in the photo display frame and we cannot control where that crop happens. To keep your listings looking great, we require at least one horizontal image.
    • Learn more about adding and editing photos here.

    4. Please have all location amenities updated.

    • Updating amenities not only improves the listing’s performance across the site, but it also helps website users find the best fitting attraction for them.
    • Please take the time to add your accessibility amenities (ADA, Wheelchairs, etc..) for users. Having information listed about accessibility is a requirement for this program. The CDC reports that 26% of the U.S. population live with a disability, and we want users with disabilities to be familiar and comfortable with the services and amenities your organization provides before they go.
    • Learn more about editing amenities here.

    5. Update all social media links

    • Please make sure all social media links are up to date (Facebook, Instagram, X, TripAdvisor, Yelp)

    6. Submit any pending, tourist-friendly events to our TravelKS.com calendar

    • Don’t forget to include any upcoming events you have on your calendar for the summer. Those are linked to your listing at the bottom of the listing’s page and will be displayed on our calendar of events.
    • Please make sure all events have photos (same rules as the listing photos above.)
    • Only submit events that encourage travel to your attraction. Avoid local events like community coffees, potato bars fundraisers, etc.
    • Learn more about submitting events here.
  • Have an attraction in your community that you think would be a great fit for the Sunflower Summer Program? Download and share the document below.

    Sunflower Summer Info Sheet

    Make sure that your local attractions know about the Sunflower Summer Program! Download and send this document to give them all of the information they need to get started.

  • Contact

    Jordan Roemerman

    Jordan Roemerman Marketing Manager