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economic development

  • Leakage: Locally earned money spent elsewhere see more

    Nearly every community has some form of leakage. When you go on vacation (other than a staycation) you are taking money you earned locally, and spending some of it where you are vacationing.

    But for many communities, particularly in the rural areas, locals often go shopping in other towns, or even on Amazon. This is also leakage. But just as you like exploring other areas, you want people to come explore your area. When they do so, they come, spend money, then head home and tell others to do the same. We love that!

    The best, most successful destinations import more cash than they export, when they spend money elsewhere. Isn’t it great that tourism can help subsidize your local economy? No wonder tourism is the purest form of economic development!

    Want some tips and tricks help your community? Visit our Resource Center to access our videos and how-to guides on branding, product development, finding funding & support, marketing, as well as case studies here

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    Here are some additional ways to connect with us! 

    • Travel tips and tricks to make your travel easier, subscribe to Roger's Travel with Roger Brooks travel blog here
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    Not finding what you need? Give Natalie a call, to discuss how we can help your community!


  • How is your community marketing evolving to meet the demands of a new era? see more

    Let’s face it. Everything has changed in the world of community marketing. We have the world at our fingertips in a fraction of a second via the web, yet communities still use the same old words and phrases that could fit anyone, anywhere.

    Here are the seven extinct marketing philosophies that communities just won’t let go of, and have led to 97% of all community-based marketing and advertising being ineffective. This is NOT the fault of the medium, but of community messaging – what you’re putting out there.

    How many of these are you guilty of?

    1. The days of strategic plans are going, going, gone.This is the age of Action Plans. Strategies, goals and objectives should take no more than 10 pages of a plan. The Action Plan format is a to-do list. We have short attention spans. Cut to the chase. A fifty-page well-written Action Plan will be far easier to read and implement than a 300-page plan full of fluff and generalities.

    2. The “something for everyone” marketing approach does not work. You MUST narrow your focus so you stand out from the crowd. Check out our list of “words and phrases to avoid.

    3. The shotgun approach of “bring your business here” is dead. There are nearly 30,000 cities and towns in the U.S. and Canada. Virtually all of them want your business. So why you? What makes you so special? Find your niche and then attract businesses – or visitors – that are looking for that.

    4. “Smokestack chasing” is a dinosaur approach and no longer relevant. See number three above. The industrial revolution is over. We still have industry, and it’s starting to see a comeback, but the revolution is over. We are now in a service economy. And most larger companies are consolidating, not expanding.

    5. The days of being only a Destination Marketing Organization are over. All DMO’s must now champion the cause for product development in ADDITION to marketing. The better your product, the more it sells itself. You must get into the product development game, with both feet, if you want to become an outstanding destination.

    6. Issuing Request For Proposals is a dinosaur methodology. Every consultant you hire will probably have their own methodology. So why should you tell them how you want the project done if you’re looking for their expertise? Issue a Request for Qualifications. You can do this in a page or two. Ask them what their methodology is, a sample scope of work, and have them showcase case histories, examples of their work and references. Pick the top three, interview them and if you don’t like their methodology or price, go to the next on the list.

    7. The days of Visitors Guides are slowly dying, yet every community feels they must have one. The new model: Create an Activities Guide. Just the name change says you have lots to do and that’s the reason we want the guide. Make sure its available online for both download and viewing. QR codes can take the visitor right to the guide. NOTE: You still need printed copies! But the quantities are going, down, down, and down.

    How is your community marketing evolving to meet the demands of a new era?

  • Tourism and economic development should be united in your community. see more

    “Economic development,” in its purest form, is the process of improving the quality of life for citizens by increasing the local tax base and economic well being of the community.

    Of course, this is done by fostering and promoting investment in communities, which leads to additional jobs, which results in an increased population, which leads to the development of supporting retail, professional services, and activities.

    The number one reason for travel is to visit friends and family. So the larger the population, the more tourism you’ll have. The second reason for travel is business. The more businesses you have, the more tourism you’ll have based on their visitors. And with the success of those two drivers, your activities and attractions will bring in leisure visitors, making you a well-rounded destination as a place to live, work, and play.

    Here are the three reasons why tourism is the purest form of economic development:

    1. People come, spend money and go home. If you attract the right visitors, you don’t need more police and social services; they impact your infrastructure very little; yet they support your retail shops, restaurants, hotels, and get to know you as a community. If visitors like what they see and experience, they tell their friends via Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. That’s free marketing and a third-party endorsement.

    2. Tourism is the front door to your non-tourism economic development. Any site selector, investor, or commercial real estate firm will arrive in your community, as what? A visitor. With quality of life leading economic development, tourism provides the marketing and visuals that promote the best you have to offer in terms of nightlife, downtown, your amenities such as trails and parks, and your activities. Tourism showcases your community as a very desirable place to not only visit, but in which to live and work.

    3. Tourism is a downtown’s best friend. The number one activity of visitors, in the world, is shopping, dining and entertainment in a pedestrian-friendly, intimate setting: your downtown. This is typically not the reason they visit, but it is their number one activity once they arrive. While local residents provide the sales so retailers break even, tourism can provide the profit margin. A great downtown, over time, can be an attraction in itself. Tourism and downtowns should be joined at the hip.

    Tourism is the purest form of economic development, but it is often seen as the ugly stepchild. Yet tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, can provide a quick return on your investment, and provides you with the marketing that showcases the best of what you have to offer.

  • See how Squamish, BC is catching the attention of investors see more

    Located midway between the City of North Vancouver and Whistler Resort in Western British Columbia is a town that, not very long ago, was as red-neck as it could be. Once a home to logging and mining companies, this town of 20,000 residents is now the youngest city in Canada and is on the cutting edge of “recreational technologies.”

    Just ten years ago, most of the waterfront was used for logging operations, but now this land is being marketed to investment firms and businesses for the creation of an incredible mixed-use village.

    To market it, the city produced this video, which is one of the best we’ve ever seen. For the first time in North American history, jobs are going where the talent is – or wants to be. Squamish is one of those places and this video shows that, making it obvious that this is a great investment opportunity.