New ideas are changing rural tourism. Now it is possible to reach more people, more places than you could ever have afforded to before. But it’s also more complex, with more complicated choices, and a faster pace of change.
Recognizing that tourism is a huge segment of rural small business, we want to put a special focus on these issues. We’re starting Tourism Tuesdays to help you deal with the change in your small town tourism business and your tourism associations.
Some of the new realities we’re dealing with:
- Everyone researches online before they travel, using a huge array of sites and tools.
- Friends trust friends, especially on social networks, but no one trusts ads, especially on social networks.
- Travelers pull up your website on their smart phone while they drive through your town. Soon they’ll be using QR codes and augmented reality to interact with the physical world in your town through their phones.
- Everyone is a reviewer, able to share their customer experience instantly, world wide.
Daunting, isn’t it?
I’ll be writing about specific examples I’ve seen, both good and bad, from around the world. I’ll share ways that web 2.0 tools, social networks, and listening can help you bring new people to your town and your small business. You can share things you’ve seen, your experiences, and your questions.
To give you some more in depth solutions, I’m cooperating with travel and social media writer Sheila Scarborough to launch a related project in September.
Until then, stop in every Tuesday for another tourism business discussion. And bring your comments.
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.