Becoming a Destination Rock Star

The top 15 questions to ask your self to see if you have what it takes.
Many communities, towns, counties, cities all face some serious questions when it comes to planning for the future. I get asked a lot for advice on whether an area has the right genetics to become the next big destination. Here are some simple questions to ask yourself, the residents, the business community, and the elected officials to help you determine if tourism is in your future.
1. What is the defining feature(s) that sets you apart from all of the communities that surround you?
2. Do you have the necessary infrastructure in place to meet visitor demands?
3. As a resident are you willing to share your roadways, grocery stores, parks and natural attractions with visitors?
4. What is the maximum time people will spend in the car to get to you?
5. Does the business community have the products and services in place that visitors want to buy?
6. Are you willing to make the long-term financial commitment to the development and management of the tourism sector?
7. Do you have capacity?
8. Do you have a sustainable resource/attraction that will not be adversely affected by increased tourism volume?
9. Do you have the planning, parks and roads/engineering support to make destination enhancements?
10. Do you have a wayfinding system in place to guide visitors?
11. Is your downtown core a place that people want to spend time in?
12. Do you have a long-term vision of what you want your community to look like?
13. Is their community pride? Are residents proud to live there?
14. Do you have community leaders/champions?
15. Is there political stability and shared vision?
Your answers to these questions will help determine what you need in place to become a serious destination contender. A successful tourism economy is driven by inputs, and you only get out what you put in, especially in today’s global market where the consumer is in the drivers seat.

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