Does your community have an interest in attracting visitors or additional visitors from outside your immediate area? To shop, dine, stay, work, or live? Visitors that will generate significant economic development to the community?
What an opportunity! To showcase your community, your town, your scenic route, or region, just when the world wants to hear your story. You don’t have to go far to find people who will listen. Approximately 75% of all visitors in the United States come from within a 4–6-hour radius surrounding a community, no matter what the destination. Just at 85% of the over 2 billion trips, taken in the US each year, are taken by car to places termed “drive” destinations.
Visitors don’t travel to book a hotel room, rent a car, or buy a plane ticket. They travel to have an experience – one that’s grounded in your community’s story – that lets them relax and enjoy themselves for a few days. That puts your organization, or the one you are contemplating starting, in the experience business.
Even if these visitors are only coming from 50 miles away, they’re arriving to have the unique experience your community offers. The importance of these experiences increases daily, as the qualities of a place play a key role in the attraction of not only shoppers, diners, and meeting attendees, but also new residents, physicians and other professionals, and retirees, all of whom contribute to the quality of life in the community.
Because the experiences have become so important to visitors, a destination – which is any community, large or small, or in between, that is seeking to attract visitors to deliver economic development — is now defined as an organization that promotes the experiences available in their community, and as importantly, works to assist in delivering the best experiences possible to people who are attracted.