Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Purposeful Tourism

(This is a repeat,as yesterday's post was lost due to a glitch)

Many small towns, seeking to reinvigorate local economic conditions, will create initiatives to increase tourism. They'll promote sites and amenities. I recommend taking that a step further.

A few months ago, I ranked people in the community according to their commitment to the community.

  - Passer-through (person who stops and maybe buys fuel)
  - Tourist (spends a week or a few months)
  - Citizen (born and lives in the area)
  - Citizen who has traveled widely (understands the hometown better than the homebody) 

A tourist is an outsider. But why not engage with the tourists, rather than merely accepting their money? Participative Tourism can add to your region's store of learning and energy.

Just a few ideas to get you started in thinking of an idea of your own:

 - living history exhibit programs
 - folk art training (much more engaging than mere folk
    art viewing)
          - how about classes on blacksmithing, rope making,
             wool spinning, etc.? These are suddenly very hip.

 - Outdoor recreation that focuses on groups

Building something significant--even reaching critical mass--takes a long, long, long time. So starting soon is a good idea.

1 comment:

Erin Chavez said...

I support "purposeful tourism" wherever it can be found! We all need to not only support the "little guy"; but we need to become the little guy as well!

Hats off to those of us creating the life we want!