Tip Sheet: Top 10 things you can do to up your tourism game

Tourism is about expectations – what visitors hope to see and experience, and how the many parts of the community can benefit from the influx of travellers. Historic places can be key to attracting visitors to get a better sense of a locale’s people, places and events. The challenge is to broaden the types of audiences who are attracted to your site, encourage their connection to what occurred there, and find ways for them to encourage their friends and family to visit and make return trips.

Top ten recommendations for historic places to increase and maintain visitation levels

The following tips will help raise your site’s profile and make your visitors feel welcome.

01. Develop a broad, comprehensive social media presence that is consistent across platforms (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and update content and followers constantly.

02. Develop and promote annual and special events on site that are unique and site specific.

03. Create and maintain an email/social media list of visitors from your physical and website guest books to promote upcoming heritage destination activities and notable happenings.

04. Encourage cross marketing partnerships with local and regional businesses and events, sourcing food, souvenirs, entertainment, and services locally.

05. Reach out to audiences such as Generation X, Millennials and new Canadians and provide direct invitations to participate in events on-site. Ensure these events are relevant to their individual interests.

06. Be clear and ready to receive visitors at consistent opening times and dates. Keep the website and social media updated if there are any changes due to weather, illness, or holidays.

07. Update your venue to be accessible for a range of travellers.

08. Test and improve directional and on-site signage and interpretation, and reinforce staff knowledge with a training guide containing easily accessible site facts and data.

09. Make sure your facility is well maintained. Ensure the washrooms are clean and trash receptacles emptied regularly.

10. Provide free Wi-Fi access at your venue – it’s a quick way to attract younger visitors and ease transmission of site photos and reviews. It is almost an expected service now.