Small town tourism groups and chambers of commerce often need information about their local tourism trends, but don’t have reliable sources of data. Statistics from the state are usually divided by county or only cover larger communities. The few stats you can get your hands on are usually well out of date.
Turns out, you have a hidden resource for local, up-to-the-minute tourism trends. It’s your lodging owners.
Owners of hotels, motels, guest houses, B&Bs, lodges, camps and other housing for guests know a lot about their guests. But each of them only knows about their own guests. Their information will be more powerful when it’s a shared resource.
The secret tourism data source: lodging owners
Here’s the secret: get your lodging owners together informally. Just a casual get-together over lunch or at a time that works for them.
Bring up topics like these:
- Who is coming to visit?
- Why are they here?
- How long are they staying?
- What do they love about this town?
- What do they say they want but can’t find?
- What questions are they asking you?
- What don’t they love about us?
Imagine how valuable this conversation will be to each lodging owner, as they learn what others are seeing, as well as for the tourism group or chamber of commerce.
Imagine doing one or two of these get-togethers each year.
This idea was inspired on a visit to Forest County, Pennsylvania. Our host Julia McCray (who runs a B&B in Tionesta, PA) took us to lunch along with the owner of a local lodge. They talked about work crews staying in the area, tourists, and people staying while they searched for a home. As Deb Brown and I listened to them, we realized how valuable this information could be.
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My name is Mark …operating small inn in dix,il …from 10 years single hand operations..on busy interstate …proudly without a single day of break !
I came across lots of travellers from every state in every direction …But the problem is No one like to stop by and feel hospitable…also area development is currupt ..and lazy to do their part…(despite serving 3 sarrounding communities from more than 6 decades …they don’t have a clue or time or record …who build this inn ,when and how ? )
We want to be a part of communities devlopment (offering land for community solar farm)but they are not like a new devlopement ..town is as it is from 50 yrs..quietly dyeing …but never tried to grow …I feel sorry after reading at your articles that how much u guys are trying but No luck …history wise this town standing on really strong ground …need further information pl go to http://www.fb.com/Goshenroad
We do need help …but it’s out of reach …
Thanks for all the wonderful things you are offering !!!
Note — we have some great plan for development too !!!
Becky McCray says
Mark, thanks for coming by and sharing! You’ll find lots of stories here that can help you. I can tell you are a determined person!