The Daviess County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is hoping a grant-funded state program will help it "cache" in on tourism spending.
The organization is among 11 around the state, and two in Southern Indiana, recently awarded grants from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development to help develop themed "trails" to showcase the state's history, culture and arts.
The Daviess County organization and the Southern Indiana Regional Marketing Cooperative each received $9,000.
Statewide, $75,000 was distributed, with varying amounts going to different groups. Each recipient is required to come up with an equal amount of local money.
The Daviess County project is a geocaching trail.
Geocaching is a treasure hunt-type game in which participants use Global Positioning System technology to find containers, or caches, placed by other players. Participants can log their finds online, and sometimes caches contain trinkets, or "swag," as well.
"It's one of those niche markets that we know is very popular, but is kind of hush-hush and under the radar right now," said Samantha Bobbitt, executive director of the Daviess County organization.
Already, Bobbitt said, more than 700 Daviess County caches are already listed on www.geocaching.com, which is proof the activity has local fans.
Bobbitt said her organization has identified 20 sites around Daviess County where it will put caches, with more locations to be added later.
Most of the locations are historical, and each cache will include a phone number people can call to learn more about that particular site. Some of the caches will offer swag, and geocachers who log enough finds will be eligible for prizes.
Bobbitt said the trail will also be featured in special events, including a haunted theme event in October.
The idea, Bobbitt said, is to bring visitors to Daviess County and use geocaching as a way to help them explore the area.
The grant will pay for promotional materials, swag and prizes and special event planning.
The other grant-funded project in the area is a "Fruit and Flowers Trail" built loosely around an agricultural theme.
"It's kind of a nature-based program," said Beverly Minto, president of the Southern Indiana Regional Marketing Cooperative.
The cooperative, which is developing the trail, has 19 Southern Indiana counties stretching from Posey County east to Clark County.
Minto said her organization chose the fruits and flowers theme because it builds upon attractions found in all of the member counties.
The theme also is broad enough to encompass destinations ranging from farmer's markets to state parks, commercial greenhouses, even restaurants featuring fresh foods.
Grant money will pay for advertising aimed at driving people to the cooperative's website, www.southernindiana.org. There, users can learn about the trail and visit member organizations' sites for details on specific attractions.
The target audiences for the effort, Minto said, include gardeners and women ages 35-60 who have an interest in healthy cooking.
The theme could also resonate with regional groups promoting nutrition and health, she said.
"It is a topic that is very talked-about right now."