Joanne is Planning a Trip. Why Tourism Businesses Need Quality Web Sites Part 2

by Joanne Steele on August 17, 2009

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WHEN?

Next Sunday my husband, Ed, and I are taking off on a road trip. We’ll be doing some camping and hiking. But mostly, we’ll be exploring the many little towns and communities along our chosen route.

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

I’m be spending the rest of the week planning a trip through eastern Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Idaho, eastern Oregon and and back to Dunsmuir.

HOW HAVE WE CHOSEN OUR STOPS AND STAYS?

Ed designed the route and printed out Google maps, and I’m researching all the little towns along the way. To a great extent, what I discover on the Internet will determine where we spend our time.

winthropSome places like Winthrop WA and Revelstoke, B.C. have showcased some intriguing opportunities on effective web sites – Winthrop’s is quite simple,  but good enough that we’re taking a side trip off Hwy 97 to check it out.

Other places, like Banff and Jasper are clearly not targeting people like us – too expensive looking, lots of packaged tour type offerings. We’ll drive through, but for hot springs, we’re going to LoLo Hot Springs, Montana.

Based on pictures (or none), ease of use of the website, and links to additional information about the area, we have chosen locally owned motels and campgrounds. In a few instances, we will be driving through a town and not planning on stopping, because the chamber of commerce website doesn’t seem to show any interest in visitors.

HOW THIS COULD HELP YOU, A SMALL TOWN TOURISM BUSINESS?

As we stop in small communities all along our route, I’ll be talking to business owners and visitors’ bureau staff, gathering information about their marketing successes and challenges. I will also be looking closely at how well the websites I found actually represent what I discover during our visit.

I’ll blog about my discoveries all along the way, and collect business profiles and great marketing tips that I’ll share throughout the fall.

If you have a question you’d like me to research while I’m “in the field”, post it and I’ll add it to my research notebook.

Also, if you know of a “not to be missed” small town or business along Hwy 97 through Oregon, Washington and BC on the way to Lake Louise, let me know.

We’ll be returning through Glacier National Park, Missoula, MT, and then cutting across Idaho and eastern Oregon looking for hot springs and interesting small towns. Any ideas?

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