Rural and small town tourism is all about experiences. That is why you should steal this idea for your local tourism: Meet the locals in Jamaica.
[There are] about 300 ambassadors who volunteer with the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Meet the People program. Launched nearly 41 years ago, it arranges meetings between visitors and residents, basing the matches on shared occupations and interests.
- Hold a picnic “mixer” with locals and visitors.
- Connect visitors with local rodeo-ers for a riding or roping lesson.
- Recruit local boaters to take visitors out sailing.
- Introduce visiting business people to your local entrepreneurs.
- Turn a museum visit into a chance to talk with local history buffs.
- Connect visiting photographers with local hobbyists for a photo walk.
- Pair visiting teachers with local teachers.
- Recruit local traditional artists to give lessons to visitors.
- Invite visitors into local events. Let them participate and role play.
- Bring visitors out to the harvest fields.
Help your visitors remember their connection. Take lots of photos and videos for them to share.
Brainstorm ways to involve visitors in your community. How can you help them connect?
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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.