Every now and then, I look out the window here at BC Hughes and see a chubby squirrel indulging in what appears to be an all you can eat bird seed buffet. OK, in all honesty, pretty much every time I look out the window, he is there… filling his face with as much bird seed as possible. In fact, now that I think about it, I have never seen an actual bird using this particular bird feeder.
Based on the size of the squirrel, it became quite apparent to me that it was the same one coming back to the bird feeder time and time again…to feast in the incredibly easy harvest of bird seed. With the bird feeder fully stocked, gone are the days of running around the neighbourhood, jumping from tree to tree, looking for nuts, plants and insects to eat throughout the day… just to fill his belly.
And this got me thinking… here in the world of tourism and economic development, that the squirrel’s eating habits are very similar to the tourism development practices of so many DMO’s today. There is a trendy saying for this, and it’s called: “picking the low hanging fruit.”
Every community has low hanging fruit. These are targets or goals that are obtained very easily and require little effort to achieve them. But do you go beyond picking the low hanging fruit, and work towards developing great tourism products in your community that require that extra bit of attention and effort?
We can never forget about the basic tourism products in any community. But within every community there are other great tourism products that simply need to be uncovered and given a bit more attention to reach there full potential.
What are these products in your community, and what can your organization do to help them fully develop?
So go ahead… snack from the bird feeder every once in a while (low hanging fruit are important too!)… But never forget the importance of going out and uncovering some great new products in your community that could have huge potential!