When Deb Brown and I visited Forest County, Pennsylvania, our host was Julia McCray, who runs a B&B in Tionesta, PA and is not related to me as far as we know.
Julia took us to lunch along with the owner of a local lodge. The two of them talked shop a little bit: new work crews staying in the area, different types of seasonal tourists, and even some people staying while they searched for a home. As Deb Brown and I listened to them, we realized how valuable this information could be. It was an Idea Friendly lesson in Building Connections.
Owners of hotels, motels, guest houses, B&Bs, lodges, camps and other housing for guests know a lot about their guests. But each of them only knows about their own guests. Their information will be more powerful when it’s part of a network, a shared resource.
Why not get your lodging owners together informally? Just a casual get-together over lunch or at a time that works for them.
Bring up topics like these:
- Who is coming to visit lately?
- Why are they here?
- How long are they staying?
- What do they love about this town?
- What do they say they want but can’t find?
- What questions are they asking you?
- What don’t they love about us?
Imagine how valuable this conversation will be to each lodging owner, as they learn what others are seeing, as well as for the tourism group or chamber of commerce.
Imagine doing one or two of these get-togethers each year.
This is how you Build Connections, part of the Idea Friendly Method. You’re connecting the lodging owners with each other and turning that crowd into a powerful network for improving the town through tourism.
Keep shaping the future of your town,
PS – Did you see this simple idea for local retailers to sell more in the evenings? It was an idea from one of our readers.