Is your small town ready for the explorers?
Travel expert Wendy Perrin presented these changing travel motivations from the Condé Nast Traveler Research Center at an event in Australia. I had to share them with you.
- THEN: Planned “cultural experiences”
- NOW: Local immersion
In small towns, visitors can dive into local events and experiences. Help them with calendars and explanations of local experiences. Find out who has immersive and interesting hands-on activities. Promote them.
- THEN: Checking sights off a list
- NOW: Finding new sights off the beaten path
Hey, we small town specialize in off the beaten path! Play up your discoveries, your little-known assets, and the things you’d take a friend to.
- THEN: Visit museums and monuments
- NOW: Visit local artists and artisans
Oh, we have local artists! In small towns, our local artists are more accessible and friendly. Add more artist visit options to your tourism.
- THEN: Eat typical tourist fare
- NOW: Find residents’ favorite hidden gems
All our eateries are hidden gems! Talk about your local eateries and give the local view of what tastes good. Forget about your chains.
- THEN: Going by guidebooks
- NOW: Listening to friends and fellow travelers
That’s good advice: start thinking of your tourism info as talking to friends and fellow travelers.
- THEN: 80% of travelers cited culture as top motivator in 2009. (It dropped to 69% in 2013.)
- NOW: 85% are driven by the “need to know, explore and experiment.”
Now we’re talking! Small towns are the perfect place to learn, explore and experiment! Add lots more exploration and discovery to your tourism.
What do you think? How else can small towns adjust their tourism to tap into the changing motivations of travelers?
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
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.