Using civic tourism to attract the creative class

Continuing yesterday’s entry, how does a city use civic tourism to stay true to itself, and in so doing, attract the creative class, like perhaps Austin and Manhattan? In order to understand how they deftly invest in their public amenities: historic districts, nature/adventure, culture, heritage, sense of place, entertainment to do so, it’s first imperative to know the four basic civic tourism principles:

Think Outrageously
That is, invest a plan where civic tourism actually helps communities preserve cultures, protect the environment, save historic districts, encourage citizenship, and improve quality of life – the opposite of what conventional tourism strategies achieve.

Rethink Economics
Should a city work to attract the creative class or tourists? Standard thinking is it’s one or the other. How about both?

Invest in the Product
Tourism is typically about marketing what’s there. Civic tourism is product-developing the ‘there’, so that there’s a ‘there’ there that tourists will want to check out.

Connect to the Public
Traditional tourism is administered by visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce. Civic tourism is also administered by its citizens, in order to best communicate the story of how people have lived and do live in the community.

Image: The Weary Traveler in Madison, WI – a favorite hangout for locals and, well, weary travelers.

Tomorrow – action.

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