Small towns watch the endless parade of cars going by on the highway. How can we get them to stop?
That question from a reader got me thinking. I’d love your ideas on this question.
Before you worry about “getting people to stop”, recognize that “family and friends” visits are your primary source of visitors right now. Teach your locals how to be good “family and friends” tour guides and hosts. Give them things to do together. Start with small town things that you already do well:
- ball games
- star gazing
- church suppers
- local eateries
- farm visits
- artist visits
- cool local experiences.
Use your 8 Rural Cultural Elements. This exercise will help you realize the amazing things you already have. Read about how to do it in Developing small town tourism.
Adapt to people’s changing travel motivations. Visitors today want different things than they did in the past. Find out more in Changing travel motivations.
Ask recent residents what surprised and delighted them. Anyone who is new in town will have some idea of what is amazing that you take for granted. Ask them about it.
Tie in with other regional towns. You may not have enough cool things on your own to warrant a stop, but if you partner up with neighboring towns, you just might have it.
Be known for one thing. Pick your one best asset and go with it. The committee will probably argue to include lots more things. Resist. Show them Roger Brooks’ advice in How to market a small town.
What would you add? How can small towns get some of the people from that never-ending parade of passers-by to stop?
- How to convince a building owner to host a pop-up - November 20, 2017
- Downtown After 5 idea: Dinner and a Movie - November 13, 2017
- Like a home office, but with wheels - November 6, 2017
- Want more local retail businesses? Here’s what Elk City does - October 30, 2017
- Free concerts draw big crowds, but no one shops local stores - October 23, 2017
- What small businesses can do with Facebook Live and other streaming video - October 16, 2017
- Build your business with mini-events - October 9, 2017
- Don’t call it a failure just because it stopped - October 3, 2017
- Is this my business, or just a distraction? - September 25, 2017
- What to do after entrepreneurship class - September 18, 2017