Rural Tourism is More Than Just Agritourism

by Joanne Steele on May 29, 2012


It’s interesting to me that with the expansion of rural tourism worldwide, communities in the United States are still reticent to use the term, “rural tourism.”

rural tourism niche graphic

What is your rural tourism niche?

Instead, “rural tourism” has been replaced by “agritourism.”

This leaves many rural communities with a huge dilemma. Agritourism won’t work for them – no agriculture close by – so does that mean that they don’t have any way to attract visitors???

I’m speaking next week at the California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity, and will be addressing this exact topic.

There has never been a better time in the history of the world for a rural community to embrace rural tourism, and it’s all made possible by the internet.

In the past, mass forms of marketing and advertising made it virtually impossible for a small community with an attraction that appeals to a fairly limited market to get any attention.

Advertising was expensive. They had to spayed a little advertising in as many places as they could afford and pray that someone would see it. For more about Spray and Pray marketing, check out this past post:  Part 2: Take Control of Your Understanding of Internet Marketing.

Now with the internet, getting that message out about your fantastic old cemetery or equestrian trails, or dog shaped bed and breakfast (I mean it! There is a dog shaped B&B in Cottonwood, Idaho! Check it out.)

So don’t discount your rural tourism possibilities. There are rural tourism niches for any interest – I took a tour of vintage water towers when I was in Kansas, US several years ago – water tower tourism!

Identify your small town’s niche and get busy online letting the world know about what you have. Think about how your businesses could benefit from a few hundred or thousand more visitors a year!

It’s may not be agritourism, but it will be a legitimate rural tourism niche, and small as it might be, you’ll find that there IS a market for it. People are searching online… are you there?


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