Today there was an article about rural tourism in Latvia in my Google Alerts. Guess what’s bringing Russians to Latvia rural areas – clean air!
This got me thinking (as usual) about how vital it is to align our marketing with our customers needs and wants.
My Google Alerts box is full everyday with press releases and stories about rural areas all over the world.
Tiny communities are spending big money on recreational development.
Small towns are feeling hobbled by lack of amenities to offer visitors.
Rural areas are applying for grant money for bike trails, street lamps, fishing platforms, high end resort development and on and on and on.
And what are rural area visitors really looking for??? Clean Air!!!
I watch visitors line up to fill their big water bottles at our town’s fountain and I would add clean water too.
So what is the message from Latvia or rural areas everywhere?
1. It’s not necessary to pin ALL your hopes for attracting rural area visitors on getting big development grants. You can start marketing what you already have – that clean air and water.
2. Rural area visitors are different. They’re explorers, as Marci Penner at the Kansas Sampler Foundation as discovered. They like you just the way you are, including your clean water and air.
3. It’s all about marketing. Start telling people about your clean water and air. Track and report your good air quality on your website. Have local and regional competitions and festivals to name and celebrate the best water in your area.
For most rural areas, the numbers of visitors needed to create a very successful tourism industry is small. If your town can increase that number by even a thousand a year just by marketing your clean water and air think what that could do for your business. And it doesn’t take a grant, or matching funds or investors or big development.
You can start right now.