Promoting Tourism in Rural America
- Tourism Development
- Economic Impact
- Marketing Strategies
- Tourism Specialties/Niche Markets
- State Travel and Tourism Offices
- Regional Rural Development Centers
The image on the right is Cape Hatteras Lighthouse built in 1870 and
located on Cape Hatteras Point, Outer Banks, NC. (Source: National Park Service (NPS)
Inventory of Historic Light Stations. NPS photo by Candace Clifford, 1994. Online:
This revision of Promoting Tourism in Rural America covers the major
issues in rural tourism including agritourism, cultural/heritage tourism, ecotourism, planning, marketing,
economic impact and more. It provides web links to more than fifty full-text "how to"
information guides, manuals, and handbooks for assisting local officials, communities, and
citizens involved in tourism development and includes a section of resources organizations.
The reader may also access additional tourism resources including success stories/case studies,
funding and assistance programs, and statistical information located on the Rural Information Center's
Tourism Resource page at http://ric.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=5&tax_level=2&tax_subject=211&level3_id=0&level4_id=0&level5_id=0&topic_id=1169&&placement_default=0
This source guide was revised and updated by Patricia LaCaille John November 2004.
Rural Information Center Publication Series Number 60, Revised Edition. Last Modified: March 18, 2010
Advantages and Disadvantages of Tourism Development
The pros and cons of tourism development in rural America are varied. Tourism provides income and
diversification to rural communities. Most of the dollars generated from outside visitors stay within the
In addition to gains from direct sales to visitors, many indirect benefits are realized from tourism.
Visitors contribute to the tax revenues collected and can influence the quality of life by financing community
facilities such as swimming pools, golf courses, restaurants, and shopping facilities. Community events intended
for tourists, also attract local residents. Many potential industries prefer locations that provide high quality
services and recreational resources. If the community is a pleasant place, the visitors may become a permanent
Tourism offers other indirect benefits. For example, the need to provide services to tourists creates new jobs
in the community. Although they may not be high paying employment opportunities, these jobs satisfy the need of
students and dual-earning families for part-time or seasonal employment.
On the other hand, developing and maintaining the tourist industry in a community requires added costs and puts
pressure on public services. The cost of surveys, impact analysis, promotions, insurance, fund raising, and operations
are some points to consider.
Managing Resources Requires Planning
Advanced planning maximizes the advantages and minimizes the disadvantages of developing rural tourism.
Steps in Planning and Developing Tourism
Tips and Technologies
Many communities can develop tourism into a major industry using these techniques:
- Understand the potential for tourism development
- Inform and educate the community to create support
- Secure investments for public and private sources
- Manage natural, human, and financial resources
- Build an image for the community
Where to Start
Leaders must first assess the potential for tourism in the community. What businesses serve travelers and how
much additional revenue will it generate? Are these enough services to satisfy the potential demands? What are
the goals and objectives of the community? Talk about tourism with other members of the community. Tourism
requires support, and one way to gain support is by informing and educating the citizenry. Introduce
the idea to the Chamber of Commerce, at civic clubs, at city council, or at other community organization meetings.
The community and its leaders can broaden support for tourism by securing financial commitments from public and
Managing natural, human and financial resources is an important component of tourism development. Most communities
have existing resources and attractions that can draw visitors, such as:
- natural settings
- parks and recreations
- historical identity
- cultural identity
- ethnic identity
- local industries
- art galleries
Capitalize on Existing Resources
What Does Your Community Have to Offer?
Conduct an inventory of the things that your community has to offer to tourists. Describe each type of
attraction in terms of quality and quantity. Separate them by "core elements" (primary reasons tourist are
attracted) and "secondary elements" (supporting resources; those that contribute positively to the tourists'
travel experience). Look ahead at the resources that might be enhanced or used more fully.
Surveys and Models
Surveys and models are used in the process of tourism planning to determine:
- Community attitudes toward tourism
- Recreational use value and demand
- Tourism patterns
- Travel costs
- Economic impacts
Types of survey methods include telephone interviews, questionnaires, and mall interviews.
Telephone interview are low in cost, and provide a quick turn-around. In order to simplify the responses, the
interviewer offers a minimum number of choices to each question in the survey. The interviewer also sends a
letter before the call is made to state the date and time of the survey and ask the customer's cooperation.
Questionnaires can be used to identify the different types of tourists, or market segments. The surveyor lists
responses that can be checked off by the visitor. This type of response is easy to tabulate. The survey may
include questions that ask:
- Where does the visitor live?
- What attracts the visitor to the community?
- How does the visitor find out about tourist attractions?
- What type of businesses/facilities does the visitor use?
- What kinds of accommodations/services are needed?
The survey tests the questionnaire to determine the typical responses and to modify the questions.
Face-to-face interviews are useful if visual aids are necessary, for instance, in evaluating what promotional
materials are pleasing to the consumer. These interviews are conducted at a central location, such as in a
Developing a Marketing Plan
An important step in tourism planning is determining target market segments. Experts begin by defining the market
areas that will draw the most visitors. They then divide the market into trip length categories. Finally, they
define the clientele that will be attracted to the community. Use the chart below as a guide:
|Geographic Market Areas
- short -- within 50 miles
- long -- up to 200 miles
|Pass Through Visits
- day visits
- overnight stays
|Outdoor Recreation Activities
- Water Recreations
- Camping, Hiking, Bicycling
- Winter Sports
- Horseback Riding
- Hang Gliding, Ballooning
- Nature Study
- Photography, Painting
- Cultural Heritage
- Historic sites
- Fairs, Festivals
|Other Travel Purposes
- Visit Friends & Relatives
Tourism Market Segments 1
When the expert has determined the market segments, leaders of the community are ready to make a written
marketing plan. This plan helps them to see the best combination of marketing strategies, prices, places and
promotions to use. Which characteristics are unique to the community? Using the plan, the leaders are able to
develop a theme that ties the community's businesses and services together.
It is important to involve all facets of the community in the decision making process. Remember that everyone
and everything the visitor has contact with projects and promotes something about the community.
Keep your promotional messages short and targeted to the community theme. Use your theme to promote your
- on brochures, billboards, posters
- on t-shirts, hats, stickers, coupons
- at demonstrations, contests, the library
- for public announcements on television, radio or community calendars
1. Tourism Planning. Daniel J. Stynes and Cynthia O'Halloran. Extension Bulletin E-2004. East
Lansing, MI: Cooperative Extension Service, University of Michigan, October 1987, pp. 12-13. NAL Call No: 275.29.M58B.
Alaska Community Tourism Handbook: How to Develop Tourism in Your Community. Alaska Division of Community
and Economic Development. 34p.
Helps communities decide whether tourism could work in their area and if so, how to introduce tourism in their communities.
Attracting the Migratory Retiree. J. Thomas Chesnutt, V. Wilson Lee, Mark Fagan. Alabama Cooperative
Many communities have identified both tourism and retiree attraction as means of achieving a balanced economic
base and recognize that individuals approaching retirement are likely to embark on travel in an attempt to
find the most desirable retirement location opening new and affluent tourism markets
Community Tourism Assessment Handbook: A Nine-step Guide Designed to Facilitate the Process of Determining
Whether Tourism Development is Right for Your Community.. Jane
L. Brass, ed. Corvallis, OR.: Western Rural
Development Center, Oregon State University,
1996. NAL Call No.: G155 U6C65 1994.
Covers all basics of tourism, and one chapter
focuses on surveying community resident
Diversifying the Rural Economy: Tourism Development. Mike Woods.
Southern Rural Development Center. 2000. 10p.
Addresses opportunities and challenges related to the tourism industry; reviews
pros and cons of local tourism development; and, summarizes options for rural tourism.
Stories Across America: Opportunities for Rural Tourism. National Trust for Historic
Reservation. 2001. 40p.
"Includes the stories of rural regions and small communities that have developed
successful tourism programs and create linkage that tie attractions and
visitor services together into a comprehensive visitor experience.
Tourism Planning. Daniel J. Stynes and Cynthia O'Halloran. Extension Bulletin E-2004.
East Lansing, MI: Cooperative Extension Service, University of Michigan, October 1987, pp12-13.
Provides a simple structure and basic guidelines for comprehensive tourism planning at a community
or regional level.
101 Ideas on Economic Development. Cal
Clark. Omaha, NE: Peoples Natural Gas,
1994. 115 p.
Compilation of newspaper
columns written by the author. Focus on different aspects
of economic development in the Mid-West.
101 More Ideas on Economic Development. Cal
Clark. Omaha, NE: UtiliCorp United, 1997.128p.
Compilation of newspaper columns by the author.
Discovered Country: Tourism and Survival in
the American West. Scott Norris, ed.
Albuquerque, N.Mex.: Stone Ladder Press,
1994. 249 p.
Focuses on tourism in the western United States.
- "Economic Impacts of Guided Whitewater
Rafting: a Study of Five Rivers." Donald B.K.
English and J.M. Bowker. Water Resources
Bulletin 32 (December 1996): 1319-1328.
NAL Call No.: 292.9 Am34.
Examines the statewide
economic impact of guided whitewater rafting
on five rivers in
North Carolina, West Virginia,
Maine, Idaho, Georgia and South
Carolina. Includes a
thorough analysis of the economic benefits and
Enhancing Rural Economies Through Amenity
Resources: A National Policy Symposium.
Joanne F. Zeigler, ed. State College, Pa.:
Pennsylvania State University, 1991. 196 p.
Certain essays are outdated, but many are still
pertinent. Focuses on
developing policies, amenity resources,
partnerships, transportation, and quality of life issues.
Ethnic Variation in Leisure and Recreational
Interests. Edward J. Jepson, Jr., David W.
Marcouiller. CLP Bibliography 311. Chicago,
IL: Council of Planning Librarians, 1994. 24 p.
Includes material to
assist planners in understanding the ethnic
variation in leisure and recreation behavior and
"Leaders' Perspectives on Rural Tourism: Case
Studies in Pennsylvania." Lisa Bourke and A.E.
Luloff. Journal of the Community Development
Society 26 no.2 (1995): 224-39. NAL Call No.:
Includes case-studies of local leader and resident attitudes
toward and perceptions of tourism development
efforts. Analyses economic benefits, social
impacts. local participation, and threats to
rurality associated with tourism. Findings
contradict earlier literature. Emphasis is on local
"Local Dependency, Land Use Attitudes, and
Economic Development: Comparisons Between
Seasonal and Permanent Residents." Gary
P.Green, David Marcouiller, Steven Deller,
Daniel Erkkila, and N.R. Smith. Rural
Sociology 61 no.3 (1996): 427-445. NAL Call
No.: 275.29 K4152.
Examines attitudes toward land use controls and
economic development among seasonal and
permanent residents. Includes a case specific to a northern
Wisconsin county, but useful to any region that
has seasonal residents. Study shows that these
two groups often differ in opinion on these two
Niche Markets and Rural Development:
Workshop Proceedings and Policy
Recommendations. Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development. Paris: OECD,
1995. 142 p. NAL Call No.: HN49.C6N5 1995.
Discusses creating niche markets for rural tourism.
"Organizing Resources for Rural Tourism
Development: The Importance of Leadership,
Planning and Technical Assistance." Patrick T.
Long and Jonelle S. Nuckolls. Tourism
Recreation Research 19 no.2 (1994): 19-34.
Analyzes the role of leadership,
planning, and technical assistance in tourism
development and includes several cases.
"Planned Retirement/Recreation Communities
are Among Development Strategies Open to
Amenity-Rich Rural Areas." Paul B. Siegal,
Frank O. Leuthold, and Judith I. Stallman.
Rural Development Perspectives 10 no. 2
(1995): 8-14. NAL Call No.: aHN90.C5R78.
Details one project to attract new
retirees to a rural community and focuses on
increasing local tax revenue without the
dramatic increased demand for services.
Planning for Balanced Development: A Guide
for Native American and Rural Communities.
Susan Guyette. Santa Fe, N. Mex.: Clear Light
Publishers, 1996. 312 p.
Includes chapters on sustainable development,
cultural revitalization, business development,
and generating funding and
business plan guidelines.
"Railroads, Tourism, and Native Americans in
the Greater Southwest." Shelby J. Tisdale.
Journal of the Southwest 38 no.4 (1996):
Details the history of tourism in the southwestern
U.S., and how railroads effected its
development and the lives and traditions of
Native Americans of the region. Provides useful
background for any examination or venture into
tourism in the region.
"Rural Action Class Perceptions of Tourism
and its Potential for Economic Development:
Case Studies from Four Rural Pennsylvania
Counties." Steven W. Burr. General Technical
Report, No. INT-323 (1995): 82-89.
Conducted in rural Pennsylvania the
applicability of this study goes beyond one
state. Local residents' understanding of and
commitment to tourism as a development tool is
very important. Can be complex and appear
technical. Implications of study are detailed and
Rural Development in the United States:
Connecting Theory, Practice, and Possibilities.
William A. Galston and Karen J. Baehler.
Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1995. 353 p.
NAL Call No.: HN90.C6G35 1995.
Provides a broad overview of rural
development in general and includes a chapter on
tourism that focuses on various development
Rural Tourism: An Annotated Bibliography. Dennis M. Brown. Rural Information
Center. 2002. 51p.
Summarizes studies on rural tourism in the United States, but some international studies are also included.
Includes tourism planning and development, tourism marketing, tourism and rural
development, tourism and sustainable development, economic and other effects of tourism,
heritage tourism, nature-based tourism/ecotourism, and agritourism.
Rural Tourism Handbook: Selected Case
Studies and Development Guide. United States
Travel and Tourism Administration.
Washington, D.C.: USTTA, 1993. 188p.
Compilation of case studies that focus on different aspects of rural tourism and
development. Includes issues related to the benefits and
challenges, leadership, organization,
assessment, goals, and marketing.
Tourism: a New Perspective. Peter Burns and
Andrew Holden. London: Prentice Hall, 1995. 239 p.
Encompasses nearly every aspect of tourism of
interest to community and organization leaders.
"Tourism and Food Service: Two Sides of the
Same Coin." Stephen Elmont. Cornell Hotel
and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 36
no.1 (1995): 57-63.
Ostensibly directed at government officials in
developing countries, this report is useful to any
region or community considering tourism
development. Itemizes reasons to develop food
service industry, and describes the role of
government and private sector leaders in this
process. Applicable as an integrated approach to
Tourism Development. Patricia LaCaille John.
Quick Bibliography Series: QB95-19. Rural Information
Center. 1995. 46p.
Contains 260 bibliographic citations to books and articles
published between 1988 and 1994 identified in the
AGRICOLA Database the National Agricultural Library.
"Tourism Means More Than Money to the Host
Community." Claudia, Jurowski. Parks and
Recreation 31 no.9 (1996): 110-118. NAL Call
Focuses on the non-economic benefits of
tourism. Identifies three significant groups of
citizens within a community: the attached
resident, the resource user, and the environ-mentalist. Identifies some non-economic
benefits and suggests activities to gain support
from these three groups.
"Tourism on American Indian Lands in the
USA." Alana Lew. Tourism Management 17
no.5 (1996): 355-365.
Based on a survey of over 330 Native American
tribal governments, this report provides a cross-section of the tourism management structures in place across
the U.S. Useful to anyone considering tourism on a reservation or analyzing tourism management on Indian
reservations within the United States.
Tourism Planning. David W. Marcouiller. CPL
Bibliography No. 316. Chicago, IL: Council of
Planning Librarians, 1995. 37 p.
This annotated bibliography is for professional
tourism planners and all those interested in
strategic planning for tourism development.
"Toward Integrative Tourism Planning in Rural
America." David W. Marcouiller. Journal of
Planning Literature 11 no.3 (1997): 337-357.
In depth examination of integrative planning
literature past and present. Emphasis on
integrating rural tourism planning efforts within
the broader regional development contexts with
respect to existing political, social, cultural, and
environmental atmosphere. Useful charts for
planning and monitoring the planning process
included. Extensive reference list.
A Training Guide for Rural Tourism
Development. Barbara Koth, Glenn Kreag, and
John Sem. St. Paul, MN: Rural Tourism Center,
Minnesota Extension Service, 1995. 1 vol.
Designed as a practical training tool and
comprehensive 300 page reference guide, this
publication provides how-to information for
rural communities working on tourism
programs. Along with the training guide, two
videos, Success Story Video and Turn it Around
with Tourism, were also developed.
Using County Sales Tax to Identify Tourism
Trends: Selected Wisconsin Counties. Prepared
by David W. Marcouiller, Jeffery A. Alpi.
Extension Report 95.1. Madison, WI: Tourism
Research and Resource Center, University of
Wisconsin-Extension/ Madison, 1995.
This report discusses the trend of the use of
county outlines trends in tourism-sensitive
business sectors at the county level using sales
tax information provided by the State.
Generally, higher net sales tax per capita are
found among counties where tourism is
relatively more important.
World Tourism at the Millennium: An Agenda for
Industry, Government, and Education. D.L.
Edgell Washington D.C.: U.S. Travel and
Tourism Association, U.S. Dept. of Commerce,
1993. 64 p. NAL Call No.: G155.A1E33 1993.
Very broad report intended to show tourism's
impact on the world and the world's impact on
tourism. No specific regional of national focus.
Useful in understanding global economic forces.
Assessing the Economic Impacts of Recreation and Tourism: Conference & Workshop.
Department of Park and Recreation Resources. Michigan State University, East Lansing.
Dennis B. Propst, Compiler. Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 1985. 64p.
A collection of eight papers that explore and assess the best available technology to evaluate
the economic impact on recreation and tourism. Recommends research strategies for meeting methodological
and data needs.
"A Bumpy Economic Road for Rural
Communities: Portraying the Reactions of Local
Leaders to Facility Closures and Economic
Development in Six Mid-western States." Tim
Knapp, F. Larry Leistritz, and Kenneth Root."
Small Town 27 no.2 (September-October 1996):
12-19. NAL Call No.: HT101.S52.
Survey of almost 1,400 non-urban communities
used to assemble data on attitudes after facility
closures. Valuable info. about economic
development efforts used by study communities
included. Results indicate larger towns are
better situated to survive and recover from
Community Economic Analysis: A How to
Manual. Ronald J.Hustedde, Ron Shaffer, and
Glen Pulver. Ames, IA: North Central Region
Center for Rural Development, 1993. 65 p. NAL
Call No.: HN49 C6H87.
Presented in Q & A format, answers are detailed
and supported by charts, graphs, formulas, and
appendices. A case example is included.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Local Tourism
Development. George Goldman, Anthony
Nakazawa, and David Taylor. Corvallis, OR:
Western Rural Development Center, Oregon
State University, 1994. 9 p. No. 147.
Offers a walk through of the steps
required to perform a cost-benefit study for
tourism assessment. Examples are included
along with charts to organize the needed
information. Includes a list of reasons to conduct such a
Domestic Outlook for Travel and Tourism. Travel Industry Association of America. 2004.
Contains a series of economic, demographic, and marketing expert analysis of the challenges facing
Domestic Travel Market Report. Travel Industry Association of America. Annual.
Provides an overview of more than one billion person-trips taken domestically by U.S. residents.
Also includes trip characteristics and traveler demographics.
The Economic Impact of Visitors to Your
Community. George Goldman, Anthony
Nakazawa, and David Taylor. Corvallis, OR:
Western Rural Development Center, Oregon
State University, 1994. 11 p. No. 144.
Examines why an economic impact
study is important and should be conducted
before any community undertakes efforts to
promote tourism. Emphasizes the total environment--social, biological, and business.
Includes steps to create and tailor a plan to
"Economic Impacts of Guided Whitewater Rafting: a
Study of Five Rivers." Donald B.K. English and J.M.
Bowker. Water Resources Bulletin 32 (December
1996): 1319-1328. NAL Call No.: 292.9 Am34.
Examines the statewide economic
impact of guided whitewater rafting on five rivers in North Carolina,
West Virginia, Maine, Idaho, Georgia and
South Carolina. Although technical at times, it provides a thorough
analysis of the economic benefits and potential
Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors: A Resource Book. 4th ed. rev.
National Park Service. 1995.
Produced to help local-level planners, park and recreation administrators, citizen activities, and non-profit
groups understand and communicate the potential economic impacts of their proposed or existing corridor project.
Estimating Community Visitor Days. George
Goldman, Anthony Nakazawa, and David
Taylor. Corvallis, OR: Western Rural
Development Center, Oregon state University
1994. 9 p. No. 146.
Provides a useful framework for
estimating the impact that increased tourism
may have on a community. Includes a formula for
estimating the potential of existing tourist
attractions and a guide for
estimating the potential of new attractions.
Gives attention to assessing existing and
additional community support services in
anticipation of increased tourist visitation.
Impact of Travel on State Economies. Travel Industry Association of America. 2004.
Presents estimates of the travel-generated expenditures in each state for public transportation, auto
transportation, lodging, food service, entertainment and recreation, and incidentals, along with
business receipts, employment and payroll figures.
Impact of Visitor Expenditures on Local
Revenues. George Goldman and Anthony
Nakazawa. Corvallis, OR: Western Rural
Development Center, Oregon State University,
1994. 9 p. No. 145.
How much of the money spent by tourists
actually stays in the community? This guide
will help you to determine precisely the impact
visitors have on local revenues. Nine steps to
creating a custom income multiplier are
included, as well as examples to further clarify
Measuring Tourism Impacts at the Community Level. Edited by Stephen Reiling. 1992.
In 1986, a six-year Northeast regional research project was initiated to address some of
the issues facing local government officials regarding tourism development. One of the
objectives of the project is to develop, test, and refine procedures that would enable
local officials to evaluate the relative benefits and costs of future tourism development
alternatives. This publication presents the result of several of the studies.
Strategies for Monitoring Tourism in Your Community's Economy. Julie Leones,
Douglas Dunn. Arizona Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona. 1999.
Provides ideas for officials in tracking local tourism activity.
"Community Culture and Marketing Strategy as
Sources of Economic Development Competitive
Advantage: A Study among Rural U.S.
Communities." Daryl McKee, Milan Wall, and
Vicki Luther. Journal of Macromarketing 17
no.1 (1997): 68-87.
Study of 15 communities that experienced
successful economic development in "harsh
economic environments." Concept of
community culture is detailed. Economic
development leadership, community spirit, and
pursuit of growth industry are identified as
powerful predictors of development
Developing an Effective Tourism Marketing. Cheryl Dimitroff and others.
New Mexico State University. 1991.
Develops marketing and evaluation
plans for tourism by New Mexico communities and regions.
However, with minor modifications, the process can be used
for any organization or business.
Marketing Crafts And Other Products to Tourists. Sherri Gahring and others.
North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.
A report of a multi-state survey on ways to improve the marketing of a crafts and
other products to tourists. Contains findings and specific suggestions. Describes
four specialized tourist styles and what kinds of crafts and other products they buy
when traveling. For craft producers, craft retailers, community leaders, workers in
tourism and hospitality services.
Marketing the Uniqueness of Small Towns. Douglas Dunn, David H. Hogg.
Western Rural Development Center. 1995.
Small towns can strengthen their local economy by identifying the town’s uniqueness
and then capitalizing on it. There are seven simple techniques that help residents of
a small town identify and market what is unique about their community.
The story of Willcox, Arizona is one example of successful marketing.
"Making History Seem Tempting: Marketing an
Historic Site as a Visitor Attraction." Ray
Wigle. Journal of Travel and Tourism
Marketing 3 no. 2 (1994): 95-101.
Case-specific article that focuses on Old Fort
Niagara historic site in New York state.
General approaches and techniques for
marketing and funding are covered. Old Fort
Niagara is 90% 'self-funded'.
Packaging: A Tourism Marketing Tool. Priscilla Bloomquist, John Sem.
New Mexico State University. 1994.
In the hospitality and tourism industry, packaging is
the process of combining two or more related and
complementary offerings into a single-price offering.
It is a popular technique used for attracting customers
because packages make travel easier and more convenient.
Recent Advances in Tourism Marketing
Research. Daniel R. Fesenmaier, Joseph T.
O'Leary, and Muzaffer Uysal, eds. New York:
Hawthorne Press, 1996. 279 p.
leaders of communities that have both an established or developing tourism structure.
"Regional Tourism Marketing: An Analogical
Approach to Organizational Framework
Development." Peggy O. Shields and Timothy J.
Schibik. Journal of Travel and Tourism
Marketing 4 no.1 (1995): 105-113.
A practical analogical model for organizing
regional tourism planning efforts. Regional
networks are compared to shopping centers.
Problems faced and a guide to enacting this
Landing on a Rural Opportunity. Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 2001.
Aero-tourism, the concept of getting pilots and passengers from a local airport to surrounding areas
of interest, is a relatively new market niche in the tourism industry.
Agri-Tourism. Aaron Blacka, and others. 2001. Virginia
Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech.
"Agricultural tourism allows farm operators to increase income through a variety
of service initiatives such as farm demonstrations, harvest festivals,
farm vacations, school group tours, hay rides, pick-your-own crop harvests,
bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, crop mazes, and a host of other products and services...
The purpose of this handbook is to provide farmers with basic information on how to
use tourism as an additional product offering on the farm. This practical tool can help
farmers decide whether or not to enhance their incomes with tourism activities."
Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook. Russell Tronstad and Julie Leones.
Arizona. Cooperative Extension, University
of Arizona. 1995.
This guide is designated to help farm and ranch operators (and other individuals who grow or
process food products) market their products and services directly to the consumer.
Entertainment Farming & Agri-Tourism. Katherine Adam. ATTRA. 2001.
Discusses agri-entertainment -- a new, highly consumer-focused type of agriculture, which offers
additional options for diversification for farm income.
Farm and Ranch Recreation Resource Directory. Revised. North Dakota State University.
NDSU Extension Service. 2004.
Provides reference information designed for farm and ranch families who are interested in starting a
guide service, bed and breakfast, working ranch or similar business.
Bed & Breakfasts
Beginning a Bed and Breakfast in South Carolina: Guidelines for Development. Thomas D. Potts,
Carole Jones Amos. 38p.
Also in pdf
Provides information needed to decide if operating a B&B is ideal for your situation and assists one to
begin a B&B by providing the guideline for a successful enterprise.
Beginning a Bed and Breakfast in Virginia. Charlotte A. Reed, and others. Virginia Cooperative
Extension, Virginia Tech. 1998.
Serves as a starting point and provides information and guidelines to own and operate B&B operations. It is not
intended to serve as a source of planning and health regulations which vary from region to region within the
So--You Want to be an Innkeeper: The Complete
Guide to Operating a Successful Bed &
Breakfast Inn. Mary E. Davies, Pat Hardy,
JoAnn M. Bell, and Susan Brown. San
Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books, 1996.
Provides information on most every
aspect of finding, starting, and operating a B &
B. Detail is more extensive than many other
Starting a Bed & Breakfast. Edward L. Smith
and Ann K. Smith. Morgantown, WV:
Extension Service, West Virginia University,
(1993?). R.D. No. 767. 20 p. NAL Call No.:
Summary guide to issues surrounding
the establishment of a B&B. Covers background,
marketing, law, organization and planning, and includes
a "forms" checklist.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast in Michigan. Revised. Phil Alexander, Judy Watson-Olson.
Michigan State University. Revised 2002.
Discusses elements and options to consider before establishing your own bed
Ecotourism/Natured Based Tourism
- "Conservation, Community, and Rural
Economic Development." Rebecca Bryant.
National Civic Review 86 no.2 (1997): 181-87.
Focuses on Ecotrust, a non-profit conservation
group based in the pacific northwest. Ecotrust
advocates an approach to rural development that
is not dependent on "urban job generators."
Rather, emphasis is placed upon creating local
wealth, improving the quality of life, and
utilizing local resources.
Developing Naturally: An Exploratory Process for Nature-Based Community Tourism.
Thomas D. Potts, Allan P.C. Marsinko. Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public
Affairs Clemson University. 118p.
Helps localities decide whether or not to pursue tourists and their dollars.
Directed primarily toward small towns and rural areas but also provides useful information
to the citizens of larger cities; Serves as an introductory planning guide.
Economic and Social Significance of
Recreational Access for the Rural Community.
Tommy L. Brown and Daniel J. Decker.
Morgantown, W.Va.: Extension Service, West
Virginia University, 1993. R.D. No. 759.
16 p. NAL Call No.: HN79.W43C67.
Focuses attention on the use of
renewable natural resources in meeting the
growing need for outdoor recreation and tourism
in rural communities. Emphasizes the use of
private land and cooperation between local
and/or state authorities and land owners.
Ecotourism: A Guide for Planners and
Managers. Kreg Lindberg and Donald E.
Hawkins, eds. North Bennington, Vt.:
Ecotourism Society, 1993. 175 p.
Although largely international in scope and intended for
larger scale tourism operations, contains useful general
information with an overview of ecotourism.
Ecotourism: An Annotated Bibliography for
Planners and Managers. Paul F.J. Eagles and
Per Nilsen, eds. North Bennington, VT: The
Ecotourism Society, 1997. 4th ed. 124p.
Covers ecotourism planning, economic issues,
community development, local participation,
and conservation education and development.
Ecotourism and the Florida State Parks : A
Marketing Plan to Promote Responsible
Ecotravel in Florida. Tallahassee, FL: Division
of Recreation and Parks, Bureau of Operational
Services, Ecotourism Marketing, 1997. 11 p.
This marketing plan stresses responsible, or
ethical promotion, conservation and protection
of natural areas open to visitors. In this case, the
emphasis is on Florida state parks.
Environmental Issues of Tourism and
Recreation. Zbigniew Mieczkowski. Lanham,
Md.: University Press of America, 1995. 552 p.
Covers many aspects of
tourism and the environment, including both negative
and positive impacts, issues of sustainability and
management, and ecotourism.
Establishing a Birding-Related Business: A Resource Guide. David Scott, Ashley Callahan.
Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University. 2000. 20p.
Provides information for persons
planning a business that caters to birdwatchers. Although based on research in Texas and across the
country, it includes statistics that can help in reaching target markets, developing the product,
setting prices, and promoting the business.
A Guide for a Feasibility Study of Recreation Enterprises. James E. Neal, John K. Trocke.
Michigan State University Extension.
Outlines for the potential entrepreneur a check list to make a feasibility study.
Linking Tourism, the Environment, and
Sustainability. Stephen F. McCool and Alan E.
Watson, comps. Ogden, UT: Intermountain
Research Station, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, 1995. 95 p. INT-GTR-323. NAL
Call No.: aSD11A48.
A compilation of essays covering concepts of
sustainability, the market for sustainable
tourism, and quality of life issues.
Nature-Based Tourism : A Workbook.
Tallahassee, FL: Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission, 1996? 1 vol.
Although based on Florida's industry
and needs, it serves a model for setting up
an inventory and working document for any state.
Nature-Based Tourism Enterprises: Guidelines for Success. Thomas D.
Potts, Thomas A. Rourke. Strom Thurmond Institute of Government & Public Affairs. Clemson University.
2000. 19 p.
A beginner's guide to starting your own nature-based tourism business. Tips on all aspects of start-up issues included.
Nature Tourism: Managing for the
Environment. Tensie Whelan, ed. Washington,
D.C.: Island Press, 1991.
Discusses the sustainability of ecotourism and also includes ecotourism on family
farms and ranches.
Promoting Ecotourism on Private Lands. Marc McDill, and others.
The Pennsylvania State University. 1999. 40 p.
Covers project focused on determining existing and potential ecotourism activities, and identifying
a set of key personal, environmental, economic and social factors needed for successful
ecotourism operations, including barriers to their success.
"Sustainable Community Tourism Development
Revisited." Marion Joppe. Tourism
Management 17 no.7 (1996): 475-479.
Examines argument that community
development is often touted as beneficial to the
community residents while they actually bare
the "costs", but often not the profits. Suggests
that community tourism developers emphasize
and examine benefits to locals and avoid
treating communities as a commodity to be
bought and sold.
Sustainability, Profitability and Ecotourism Markets: What Are They and How Do They Relate?
Pamela Wight. Estonian Ecotourism Association. 1997.
Discusses tourism, as it relates to sustainable development and how sustainable tourism involves a challenge to
develop quality tourism products without adversely affecting the natural and cultural environment that maintains
and nurtures them.
Cultural Heritage Tourism Resource Manual. Compiled
by the Heritage Tourism Program of the
National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic
Preservation, 1995. 30p.
Reprinted manual lists national
organizations that can provide assistance in
Cultural Tourism in the United States: a
Position Paper for the White House Conference
on Travel and Tourism. Developed by the
National Endowment for the Arts, the National
Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of
Museum and Library Sciences and The
President's Council on the Arts and the
Humanities. Washington, DC: 1995. 8p.
A White House position paper on cultural
tourism within the United States.
Experiences and Benefits: A Heritage Tourism
Development Model. John Sem, Mike Teskey,
and Liz Watchorn. Ogden, UT : USDA, Forest
Service, 1997. 83p.
Provides in depth information on heritage
tourism. From what is heritage tourism to how
to develop heritage tourism programs.
Definitions, models, and case studies. Also
includes a Heritage Tourism Resource List.
"Gambling on the Lure of Historic Preservation:
Community Transformation in Rocky Mountain
Mining Towns." Katherine Jensen and Audie
Blevins. Journal Community Development
Society 26 no. 1 (1995): 71-92 NAL Call No.:
Examines the decision of four
separate towns to engage in legalized gambling,
and the resulting effects. Deadwood, South
Dakota and three Colorado mining towns are the
focus. Economic development, tourism
promotion, and historical preservation results
are compared. Detrimental effects are also
Getting Started: How To Succeed In Heritage
Tourism. National Trust for Historic
Preservation. Washington, DC: National Trust
for Historic Preservation, 1993. 46 p. NAL Call
No.: G155.U6G48 1993.
Provides case studies
from The National Trust's Heritage Tourism
Initiative in 1989 in which sixteen pilot
areas in four states participated in a three-year program.
Provides information about those experiences from the pilot areas and
describes principles and steps that have been
successful in developing heritage tourism
"Heritage Tourism." Cheryl M. Hargrove. CRM, Cultural Resource Management,
25 no. 1 (2002) 10-11.
Discusses the trend of one of the fastest growing niche market segments in the travel industry
today - heritage tourism.
"Heritage, Tourism and Rural Regeneration:
The Heritage Regions Programme in Canada."
Vanessa Brown. Journal Of Sustainable
Tourism 4 no. 3 (1996): 174-182.
Two case-studies of regional efforts in Canada
to utilize the natural, built, and cultural heritage
for rural development. Labrador Straits and
Manitoulin Island are the focus.
Heritage Tourism and the Federal Government: Summit I - Report of Proceedings. American
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 2002. 13p.
Federal agencies met to examine cultural heritage tourism activities
and to begin discussing ways to improve the coordination and consistency of such efforts.
Heritage Tourism: Partnership and
Possibilities. Joint publication of the American
Association for State and Local History and the
National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Nashville, TN: American Association for State
and Local History, 1994. 12p.
This joint publication provides sections on :
Tourism: History's Wake Up Call by Cheryl M.
Hargrove; Heritage Regions and Local History:
Whole Places, New Possibilities by T. Allen
Comp; and Standing Out in the Crowd by
William T. Alderson.
Inventing New England: Regional Tourism in
the Nineteenth Century. Dona Brown.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution
Press, 1995. 253 p.
Book of significant historical and cultural
perspective on tourism in New England.
Conveys the depth to which tourism is
embedded in American culture. Many ideas
which may still be relevant are included.
"Linking the Past with the Future: Historical
Preservation." Kristi Hetland. Rural
Development News 17 no. 3 (1993): 1-3. NAL
Call No.: HN79.A14R87.
Brief article covering the "why" and "how" of
historical preservation and its economic
potential. Examples and contacts cited pertain
to Minnesota, but history can be found
"Literary Tourism and Sustainable Tourism:
Promoting "Anne of Green Gables" in Prince
Edward Island." Shelagh J. Squire, Journal of
Sustainable Tourism 4 no. 3 (1996): 119-134.
Examines literary tourism as a form of
cultural and sustainable tourism. Focus in on
use of local or regional literary contributions to
promote tourism. Applicable to regions other
than PEI and Canada.
- "Mines and Quarries: Industrial Heritage
Tourism." J. Arwell Edwards and Joan Carles
Llures i Coit. Annals of Tourism Research 23
no.2 (1996): 341- 343.
Explores the potential of industrial sites,
specifically mining sites, as heritage tourism
attractions. Case-studies are of foreign sites, but
information is applicable to other industrial
Moving Heritage Tourism Forward in Pennsylvania. 2001. 15p.
Presents the comments and consensus about the state of heritage tourism
in Pennsylvania of the participants at a statewide summit
and four regional workshops on heritage tourism.
Multi-Cultural Tourism Development
Workbook. Denver, CO: Western
Entrepreneurial Network, 1995. 4 vols.
with accompanying videos.
Series of workbooks
aimed at multi-cultural tourism development in
communities. The workbooks and corresponding case study videos cover
specific cultural communities and discuss the
challenges to cultural tourism development, the
planning process, and describes communities
that are actively implementing a cultural
Partners in Tourism: Culture and Commerce.
Donald Garfield, Ed. Washington, DC:
American Association of Museums, 1997. 34p.
Collaborative effort providing
information and resources on tourism and
cultural tourism issues.
Strategies for a State Heritage Tourism Industry to Preserve Colorado's
Great Places. Shauna Palmer, with contributions by the
late John Sem. Colorado Heritage Area Partnership. 1999. 37p.
Strategic plan offers a mechanism for encouraging and
organizing cooperative efforts among communities, organizations, agencies, and
entrepreneurial tourism providers interested in a successful heritage tourism
industry in Colorado.
Touring Historic Places: A Manual for Group
Tour Operators and Managers of Historic and
Cultural Attractions. Priscilla Baker.
Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic
Preservation, 1995. 18 p.
Compiled to meet the needs of tour
operators and managers of historic and cultural
attractions. Covers information on the tourist
trade, sightseeing businesses, and historic sites.
Utah Heritage Tourism Toolkit. Utah State Historic Society, Office of Preservation.
Provides a package of practical
tools that communities or groups can use to develop, manage, and protect their heritage resources.
Views from the Road: a Community Guide for
Assessing Rural Historic Landscapes. David
H.Copps. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1995.
174 p. NAL Call No.: E159.C78 1995.
Identifies roadways as a tool for
discovering, developing, and highlighting the
historic and cultural landscape of a region. Case
studies of Red Hills and Bluegrass regions of
Rails to Trails
Acquiring Rail Corridors: A How to Manual.
Summarizes the knowledge of the country's leading attorneys, nonprofit land acquisition agents,
local park directors and rail-trail builders who have successfully acquired rail corridors for trail use.
"The Economic Impact of Rail-Trails: A Study
of the Users and Property Owners from Three
Trails." Roger L. Moore, Alan R. Graefe,
Richard J. Gitelson, and Elizabeth Porter.
Journal of Park and Recreation Administration
12 no. 2 (1994): 63-72.
Article focuses specifically on the economic
effects of rail trails in three specific cases.
Focus is entirely on economic impact. Method
and analysis of study included.
The Impacts of Rail-Trails: A Study of the Users
and Nearby Property Owners from Three Trails.
Roger L. Moore. Washington, D.C.: Rivers,
Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program,
National Park Service, 1992. 6 p. NAL Call
No.: HD75.6.I46 1992.
This study concentrated on three rail-trails
nationwide and sought to reveal the effects, if
any, the trails had on local economies, adjacent
landowners, and adjacent property values.
Detailed comparative charts are included.
"Move Over, Casey Jones." Kelly Hill. State
Legislatures. 23 (January 1997): 9.
Current one page summary of rails-to trails
status. Highlights successes and cites some
Rail-Trails and Community Sentiment: A Study of Opposition to Rail-Trails & Strategies for Success.
Susan Doherty. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. 1998. 16p.
Examines strategies for success; includes success stories and a case study.
Rail-Trails and Liability: A Primer on Trail-Related Liability Issues & Risk Management Techniques.
Hugh Morris. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. 2000. 25p.
Outlines the general legal issues associated with trails, including the risks and responsibilities of various
constituencies. Provides trail advocates, adjacent landowners, and trail managers with a background on
liability issues to prepare them to pose appropriate questions to their legal counsel when developing
a trail or when an accident occurs.
Rail-Trails and Safe Communities: The Experience on 372 Trails. Tammy Tracy, Hugh Morris.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. 1998. 28p.
Current Research suggests that converting an
abandoned rail corridor to a trail actually tends to reduce
crime by cleaning up the landscape and attracting people
who use the trail for recreation and transportation. This
study documented the levels of crime on urban, suburban and rural rail-trails with
current statistics and comprehensive data, examined trail management strategies that
can mitigate crime and improve trail safety, and put crime on trails in perspective.
Rails to Trails: An Overview of ICC Rules.
Interstate Commerce Commission. Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993.
Brief overview of rules pertaining to the
organization and reclamation of railways.
Concise and elucidating. Appendices include
national park service contacts, Rails-to-trails
Conservancy offices, and state trail use contacts.
Sample condition and trail use requests
Rails-with-Trails: Design, Management and Operating Characteristics of 61 Trails Along
Active Railroads. Hugh Morris, and others. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. November 2000. 34p.
Covers many aspects of rails-with-trails, including the extent and growth of rails-with-trails
nationwide, safety performance, liability, trail design and location issues, attitudes of railway
companies, obtaining easements for trails and funding. Designed to be of assistance primarily to
trails planners, advocates and managers. Contains several case studies.
Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails: An Acquisition and Organizing Manual for Converting Rails
into Rails. Edited by Karen-Lee Ryan and Julie A.
Winterich. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. 91p.
Overcome obstacles that arise during your conversion process. Learn the three fundamental "secrets":
building a solid, broad-based citizen coalition; forming a strong partnership with a government
agency; and developing a written plan of action.
"Steps to Funding Multi-use Trails." Michael
Jones. Parks and Recreation 29 no.3 (1994):
Brief guidelines for seeking primarily federal
funding for multi-use trails through
ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act). Monetary figures presented in
article will vary from current funding levels,
however, information is useful.
Tunnels on Trails: A Study of 78 Tunnels on 36 Trails in the United States.
Amanda Eaken and others. Rail-to-Trails Conservancy. 2001. 36p.
Examines the national experience in reopening abandoned tunnels for pedestrian and bicycle use that
has been successfully executed in many communities.
Annals of Tourism Research
Appalachia Magazine: Journal of the Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission
Internet edition is free.
Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
ISSN : 1936-8623
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
The Professional Journal of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
Sage Publications, Inc.
Journal of Travel Research
National Parks Magazine
National Parks Conservation Association
USDA, Economic Research Service
1-800-363-2068 or 703-605-6060
Internet edition is free.
State travel and tourism offices often provide maps, brochures, travel guides, event calendars and other
valuable information about attractions. Some states also offer special programs to promote tourism development.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
1900 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
American Association of Museums
1575 Eye Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
American Bed and Breakfast Association
American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave., NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
American Recreation Coalition
1225 New York Ave. NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005
American Society of Travel Agents
1101 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Bed and Breakfast Inns Online
P.O. Box 829
Madison, TN 37116
International Association of Tour Managers:
North American Region
9500 Rainier Ave. S #603
Seattle, WA 98118
International Ecotourism Society
733 15th St. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
National Association of Recreation Resource Planners
P.O. Box 2430
Pensacola, FL 32513
National Council for International Visitors
1420 K St., NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-2401
National Forest Recreation Association
P.O. Box 488
Woodlake, CA 93286
National Parks Conservation Association
1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
National Recreation and Park Association
22377 Belmont Ridge Rd.
Ashburn, VA 20148
National Scenic Byways Clearinghouse
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
HEPN-50, Room 3232
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
National Tour Association
546 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40508
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
1100 17th Street, 10th Floor, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Southeast Tourism Society
3400 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 725
Atlanta, GA 30326
Tourism Center, University of Minnesota
120 BioAgEng Building
1390 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-6005
Travel and Tourism Research Association
PO Box 2133
Boise, ID 83701
Travel Industry and Disabled Exchange
5435 Donna Avenue
Tarzana, CA 91356
Travel Industry Association of America
1100 New York Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel & Tourism Industries
United States Tour Operators Association
275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2014
New York, NY 10016
USA.Gov Travel, Transportation, and Recreation
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