I discovered a valuable post on rural tourism planning this morning that I want to pass on.
In her post Getting Folks Around the Table, Nicole Vaugeois, tourism expert from Vancouver Island University, stresses that who is involved in rural tourism planning is as important as the effort itself.
Every small town or region working to grow or expand their tourism industry faces opposition. People are protective of their small town lifestyle and afraid of what being “discovered” will do to property values, safety, traffic and more.
Planning for tourism, as Nicole points out in her post, starts with meetings where people can voice their concerns. It needs to grow into a functioning, committed group of business owners, townspeople, and local government representatives willing to address concerns and build a vision together.
There is lots of information and assistance available to these planning groups. Below is a link to the introduction to a series of posts I wrote on creating a Regional Flavor Strategy for your rural region or small town. Follow the links at the bottom of the post for more details.