Show Tourists How Beautiful Your Area is
Images and videos that “show off” your town and region of the world are essential, and sometimes so hard to find.
If you don’t think your area of the world is beautiful and worth a visit, how can you expect tourists to think so?
I’ve searched online for a number of places across Australia that I wanted to visit, only to find very little in the way of images showing me what I could experience.
Also, often there was no information about if the town had any cafes, restaurants, or hotels. And believe me, when I’m on holiday I’m interested in purchasing food and beverages!
Many of these towns are off the beaten track, and their local shire is the only organisation promoting them.
As a result, shire websites are critically important in providing images and information to promote their area to the rest of the world.
Give Tourists a Comfortable Stay
Tourists really appreciate facilities that make their stay as pleasant as possible.
This means clean, quality ablutions at the Caravan Park and clean, serviced public toilets.
If there is a barbecue or a camper’s kitchen, it needs to be clean and suitably equipped.
It also means shade, easy parking for large vehicles and towed caravans, and a quiet environment for a good night’s sleep.
It also means offering as many accommodation options as possible. If you are towing a caravan and have arrived in the town late at night after a long day, you can then choose to pull in at the very back of the 72 hour rest area so that you can sleep in a little without being disturbed, rather than dealing with early risers nearby at the caravan park.
Unlike the rest of us, tourists can’t head back to their comfortable home at night. They are stuck with whatever your town offers them.
Support Businesses That Support Tourists
In a small town I know a couple took a risk and set up a café, gift shop and gallery in an old shop on the town’s main street. They had to put considerable work and time into renovating the shop, and the result was a professional, inviting and interesting space. The business also provides reliably good coffee and food.
Before this couple came along the town had no businesses of this kind.
When the business opened its doors, tourists had another very good reason to come to the town.
And come they did.
The business also increased the time people spent in the town, and supported the caravan park, the local museum and the local pub.
Such businesses not only create local jobs, they also “amplify” the tourism value of your town.
As such, they should be promoted and supported.
Make Sure That Tourist Facilities are Clearly Signed and Easy to Find
We’ve all been that tourist who wanders into a town and ends up getting horribly lost, eventually driving off in a huff because the public toilets don’t seem to exist.
If you provide tourist facilities, make sure people can find such facilities and quickly realise how wonderful you are!
Many towns provide other fantastic facilities like RV dump points and potable water points.
Make sure such facilities are clearly signed and easy to find from the centre of town, and tourists will love you for it.
Create an Attractive Town
Everyone loves to visit a place where a clear effort has been made to make it an attractive place to be.
Places where someone has taken a pride.
Such towns exude positivity and hope, and all human beings are drawn to such locations.
People who are travelling are also looking for well-presented eateries and positive experiences. They need something to do with their day, and if you give them a well presented town that offers worthwhile experiences (i.e. a quality regional art gallery or a hands on underground mine tour), then you will automatically rate very well.
Do Something Different
Doing something that has never been done before can pay huge dividends.
Though as Louis D. Brandeis said, “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”
You might be a sardine farming town. Maybe you could work out a way to have sardines swimming around in a tank in a central location in the town, with one side of the tank made of glass. Tourists can then see the sardines up close and read about the industry before they go and have sardines for lunch at the local café.
I don’t know anything about sardines, and maybe the above has already been done.
But the point is that the first town to install a, “big thing,” like the Big Banana or the Big Pineapple was probably criticised at the time, but doing so paid off for them.
Doing something different makes you interesting to tourists.
Involve Local Businesses and the Whole Community
Businesses that serve tourists already know how valuable they are.
But businesses and community members who don’t have any direct dealings with tourists may have no idea about the dollars tourists bring to the local economy.
As a result, local shires and tourism organisations need to communicate directly with businesses and community groups to outline the economic benefits of tourism for everybody.
Also, businesses that serve tourists need to be given support. By support I mean help to answer the questions tourists ask, like how much the caravan park is per night, where the RV dump point is, which granite rock they should camp at for the night. The best way to do this is to make sure business owners personally know the attractions on offer in the shire, and then give them some brief written notes to help back this up.
© Annemaree Jensen 2020