“The local community is the number one ambassador for the place they call home.”
~ Debbie Stamper, Clinton County Ohio
Photo of the historic Murphy Theater in Wilmington, Ohio provided and used with permission from the Clinton County CVB.
If you’re planning to really get to know your hometown, a visit to your local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau can introduce you to area history, events and attractions that are sometimes overlooked by local residents.
Getting to know your hometown teaches appreciation for the people and events that have shaped your community into what it is today. Often, it can lead to a sense of pride and ownership, creating residents who are willing and eager to preserve the rich heritage with others. At the very least, exploring your own hometown will lead to an afternoon, or several afternoons, of fun as you explore sites that you may have overlooked for years.
I recently had the opportunity to present Debbie from the Clinton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau with a few questions about how a CVB can aid you in exploring the community you call home.
1. Most travelers understand the benefit of a Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (referred to as CVB for the remainder of this post) to help them plan a trip to a location they’ve not previously visited, but today I’d like to focus on how CVB’s can assist local residents. Can you explain some ways that CVB’s aid the local community?
CVB’s market the local community which drives new business to the area. The local economy is enhanced through the efforts of the CVB. CVB’s also work with the local business community to assist them in discovering what will attract people through their doors and provides marketing that they otherwise might be able to afford themselves.
2. What type of attractions/locations do you believe locals often miss when it comes to exploring their hometown?
Most, unfortunately. I believe the ones that are most often missed are those attractions which are historical in nature and those attractions which bring the arts to the locals, such as performance theaters and art galleries. I almost hate to ask locals when they last attended a performance at our historic theater. “Never” is commonly heard.
3. As a member of the tourism industry in Ohio, why do you feel it’s important for people to explore their hometown?
The local community is the number one ambassador for the place they call home. If locals don’t believe in the attributes of their hometown, it’s doubtful that someone from out-of-town will want to visit. Research tells us that the number one reason someone travels to a destination is to visit family and friends. When family and friends do come to town, the circle of influence of our locals is huge.
I wish all in the local community would educate themselves on the attributes of “home.” Not only will they be able to influence the local tourism industry, they will enjoy themselves. Our tendency is to think that we always have to travel far away to have a good time. Think again. Home can be fun!
Clinton County offers lots of Ohio vacation ideas for residents and visitors. You can get to know Clinton County by following them on Twitter at @VisitClintonCounty or on Facebook at Clinton County in Southwest Ohio.
When was the last time you visited your CVB and took a look around your hometown?
What makes your hometown special?
Do you tell others about it and encourage them to visit?
© 2013, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.