Small town tourism groups and chambers of commerce often need information about their local tourism trends, but don’t have reliable sources of data. Statistics from the state are usually divided by county or only cover larger communities. The few stats you can get your hands on are usually well out of date.
Turns out, you have a hidden resource for local, up-to-the-minute tourism trends. It’s your lodging owners.
Owners of hotels, motels, guest houses, B&Bs, lodges, camps and other housing for guests know a lot about their guests. But each of them only knows about their own guests. Their information will be more powerful when it’s a shared resource.
The secret tourism data source: lodging owners
Here’s the secret: get your lodging owners together informally. Just a casual get-together over lunch or at a time that works for them.
Bring up topics like these:
- Who is coming to visit?
- Why are they here?
- How long are they staying?
- What do they love about this town?
- What do they say they want but can’t find?
- What questions are they asking you?
- What don’t they love about us?
Imagine how valuable this conversation will be to each lodging owner, as they learn what others are seeing, as well as for the tourism group or chamber of commerce.
Imagine doing one or two of these get-togethers each year.
This idea was inspired on a visit to Forest County, Pennsylvania. Our host Julia McCray (who runs a B&B in Tionesta, PA) took us to lunch along with the owner of a local lodge. They talked about work crews staying in the area, tourists, and people staying while they searched for a home. As Deb Brown and I listened to them, we realized how valuable this information could be.
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
- Holiday 2022 marketing: Tell your founding story - December 1, 2022
- Holiday 2022 Marketing: Tell your customers’ stories - November 30, 2022
- Holiday 2022 Marketing: Introduce your people - November 29, 2022
- Holiday 2022 Marketing: Share your holiday traditions - November 28, 2022