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Tourism consultant tells NH communities to capitalize on what’s unique
Destination consultant Roger Brooks speaks to participants at the 38th annual New Hampshire Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Meredith on Tuesday. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)
“Tourism went up by 25 percent in the first year,” Brooks told participants at the 38th annual New Hampshire Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Meredith on Tuesday.
Audience members, many of them business owners and state tourism promoters, listened intently as Brooks used slides to demonstrate the need for businesses and their communities to find what’s unique about their offerings and “differentiate” themselves from other areas.
He cited several examples of towns and businesses across the continent that have found success once they identified a marketable niche. In Kellogg, Idaho, the process was long and hard. The town used to refer to itself as “The Pit Stop Along Interstate 90,” and then tried to promote its alpine village, but that didn’t work.
Once found, the theme for a tourist destination must pass the “four times” test, which means that the destination must provide enough of an experience to justify spending four times the amount of time it takes to travel there.
“That’s what we all think of our towns,” he said. “In this day of differentiation, we have to have destinations that will outplay and outlast others. If everything was just like home, we wouldn’t want to leave home.”
Gregg Pitman, of the New Hampshire Campground Association, said he will take the lessons back to his 140 private campground owners in the state.