It appears that one of the most critical issues to resolve is way to convince the “powers that be” that tourism is serious economic development.
No longer just “the fun stuff,” economic development through tourism can offer a community huge advantages and increased quality of life without costly spending to get it going that touch upon virtually every goal of economic development.
Sustainable Economic Growth
Tourism provides a sustainable source of revenue and economic growth without the need for expensive infrastructure projects or construction.
Small Business Support
Tourism encourages the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs, the heart of any small city, town or rural community, as unique and local experiences are highly sought after by visitors.
Engaging with visitors can also lead to better community experiences, as residents have the chance to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Real Estate Development
A strong tourism industry can increase demand for real estate, both residential and commercial potentially leading to higher property values.
The tourism industry generates a wide range of job opportunities, from hospitality and entertainment to transportation and retail, benefiting local residents by reducing unemployment.
As tourism grows, there is a natural incentive to improve local infrastructure including transportation, roads, public spaces and facilities, benefiting both residents and visitors.
Quality of Life Enhancement
Improved amenities, more entertainment options and overall quality of life are byproducts of a thriving tourism sector.
Tourism events and coordinated product development provide opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange, benefiting local professionals and businesses.
Visitors bring outside money into the community through spending on accommodations, dining, attractions and more, which directly supports local businesses.
The most effective tourism promotes the preservation of local heritage, traditions and cultural sites, enhancing community identity and pride.
Support for Arts and Culture
Visitors can drive demand for arts and cultural experiences, boosting local arts producers and attracting creative individuals to the community.
Enhanced Community Services
Tourism revenues can be reinvested in the improvement of local services and amenities for residents, making the community a more attractive place to live.
Diversification of Income
Relying solely on a single industry can be risky. Tourism diversifies the local economy, reducing the vulnerability to economic downturns in other sectors.
Increased Tax Revenue
Tourism generates additional tax revenue, allowing communities to improve quality of life, education, health care and public safety.
Promotion of Local Products
Tourism can drive demand for local goods, produce, wines, brews, crafters and more, supporting local artisans and producers.