Community, Culture, History, and the Scenery
Rural marketers understand their visitor personas. These visitors are older. They love farmscapes and rolling scenery and meandering rural drives. They love the serendipity of discovery in the countryside. As the rural-urban divide deepens, the pull to farm country will draw a wider group: new immigrants, foodies, geo-cachers, families seeking “field to fork” experiences, WOOFers, staycations, bicyclists.
Destination Marketing Organizations can help locals market the subtle elements of country life. Cultural tourism is all about feeling like a local - having a sense of being part of the community - even if it is only for a few hours. It just might be small town friendliness that makes or breaks the visitor experience. Rural people not accustomed to conversing with strangers will need help understanding the link between hospitality and tourism.
A barnscape tour provides a new focus for DMOs promoting rural Canada and the U.S. The Ontario Barn Quilt Trails network itself is a DMO acting as a catalyst for local economic investment and return on investment by creating a compelling narrative of past and present community life.