If you build it… Will they come?

One of my favourite movies of all time is the 1989 Kevin Costner classic, “Field of Dreams”.  If you are unfamiliar with the storyline, Ray Kinsella (Costner) is a struggling corn farmer in Iowa with a wife and daughter to support from their modest family farm.  That is, until he hears a voice one night telling him, “if you build it, he will come”.

Through this experience, Ray is steadfast on plowing over his corn field to convert their only source of income into… of all things, a baseball field!  Not exactly something that is going to put food on his table!  You can imagine what Ray’s friends and family thought of this idea…  They thought he was losing his mind… not only from hearing a voice in the field, but for also being crazy enough to follow through on the action as well.

So how does this relate to tourism development you may ask?  Recently I was thinking about some of our great clients here at BC Hughes, and the recommendations we give them to develop great tourism products.  In many instances, we are the “voice” in the clients head, telling them to do something… “Do this.” “Do “that.” “If you do, they WILL come.”

From the client’s perspective, this requires a significant amount of trust that what we are telling them will work.  This speaks to the importance of hiring a consulting company that your business or organization feels comfortable with at the end of the day.  At BC Hughes, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with recommendations that are both realistic and obtainable, and nothing makes us happier than seeing our recommendations become reality.

Sometimes success is not a sure thing, and this creates uneasiness for all involved.   Often times, this is the greatest challenge in creating a new, unique tourism product.  Unique tourism products are the most successful, and exist because someone was willing to try something different.  It is important “think outside the suitcase” and trust that “voice” and not be afraid of  trying something new… Just like Ray!

On a side note, for all Field of Dreams lovers, the farm where the movie was filmed in Dyersville, Iowa has become a very popular tourist attraction itself.  And if you are interested, the farm house, and the baseball field were recently put up for sale!  Check it out here!

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Filed under Product Marketing, Tourism Development

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