Published on March 16, 2016
1. Nature-based Tourism… the Delta’s Diamond in the Rough Abigail Taylor 7053583398
2. What? Alternative land use Natural resource-based enterprises Agri-tourism Agritainment Nature-based tourism
3. The role of nature-based tourism in rural economic development: Definition of economic development Amenities available Local buy-in
4. New strategies for rural communities: Research suggests: Enhance human capital resources Create entrepreneurial spirit Expand civic engagement Promote natural resources and local amenities Build digital capacity
5. U.S. Wildlife-Related Recreation 82 million people $108 billion 50% - equipment purchases 24%- trip costs (food, lodging, transportation) 12%- leases/ownership of land *U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2001 survey
6. Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Louisiana 1.6 million people $1.6 billion $933 million- equipment purchases $575 million- trip related expenditures $100 million- land ownership/leases, licenses * U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2001 survey
7. Current situation: declining profitability from traditional agriculture expanding urban development growing demands for recreational opportunities fading rural economies
8. Discover Northeast Louisiana Outdoors Serves as an economic development initiative Targets 12 parishes in northeastern Louisiana Promotes economic diversification through recreation and conservation
9. Purpose of this initiative: economic diversification environmental-resource sustainability economic revitalization
10. LSU AgCenter’s Role: Alternative land use Employment of farm labor year round Economic diversification Regional initiative Civic engagement Cooperative effort
11. Nature-based tourism… So what? Is the community ready? Is the business community ready? Is “high service” a good fit?
12. Before starting a nature-based business, consider: Do you like meeting and working with all kinds of people? Do you like to serve and entertain strangers? Are you willing to work long hours and in difficult environments/circumstances? Do you have in-depth outdoor skills? Do you have the stamina and vigor to serve the nature traveler?
13. Amenities Is the community ready to share? their amenities? culture? lifestyle? infrastructure? Is the workforce ready to change? to hone service skills? to become ambassadors for the region and its amenities? Are the merchants ready to adjust? inventory? hours? to become customer centric?
14. Customer Relations Skills An Avenue for Economic Growth
15. Customer Relations: Definition – the art and practice of attracting and retaining customers through successful human relations Purpose: to increase shopping at home and retain local businesses Impact: potential to increase tax base, improve community communications, and promote tourism and income from outside sources
16. A tourist… is the most important person in our business. does not depend on us- we depend on the tourist. does not interrupt our work, but is the purpose of it. is a person with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. is not someone with whom to argue or match wits. will bring us specific wants; it is our job to fulfill them. is deserving of the most courteous and attentive service we can provide. is the life blood of our business.
17. Current Trends in Retail Trade: Customers desire the authenticity of experiences and service found in small businesses. With trends towards e-commerce, customer service skills become even more crucial for brick and mortar businesses. Over 65% of people who leave a business do so because they encounter poor service or perceive an attitude of indifference.
18. Economic Impact and Business Retention Research shows that service is more important than price to 66% of consumers. 40% of consumers say service is poor, which reflects a need for improved customer relations. Businesses spend 6 times as much time and money on potential customers as they do on repeat sales, even though established business makes long-term profits possible.
19. Employee Influence on Tourism: Makes the first impression Seizes the opportunity to inform the visitor Shares the community amenities Promotes other businesses Develops community leaderships Attracts visitors to return for business or pleasure
20. Goals of this Curriculum: Entrepreneurs and their front-line employees will acquire knowledge and improve skills in customer retention and community pride. Empowerment of small business owners to increase customer satisfaction which leads to increased profits.
21. Customer Relations Workshop: Understanding tourism Communication skills LAST method of customer service Working with difficult people Business etiquette Ethics in the workplace Team synergy Community asset mapping FAM tour
22. Businesses and communities may need: Customer relations skills Marketing savvy Entrepreneurial know-how Knowledge of regional history
23. Coming or Going?
24. According to the tourism industry: 71% of employers desire employees fluent in a second language 81% of companies realize the value of good communications skills 83% of business owners support a part-time degree program in tourism management
25. Community College Tourism Education… Link to rural economic development 59 million jobs and $84 billion in salaries from tourism 75% of U.S. jobs are in the service sector
26. Aspects to consider: Need consistent requirements Requires understanding of tourism Works well in geography curriculum Credit or non-credit courses Intensive weekend courses Language skills important Appropriate for high school and post-secondary
27. Educational research emerges. . . Population of 205 college programs in tourism education 50% placed programs in business department; recreation/hospitality department, geography department
28. Vision for tourism education: Develop curriculum guide Establish committee of tourism industry representatives and educators Conduct brainstorming session List skills needed to work at entry level: Career exploration Management of self and business Sanitation, safety and hygiene Customer service Geography
29. Progress A - Z Five areas aligned with National Standards for Family & Consumer Sciences Education State social studies framework Contents of curriculum guide: List of resources List of activities Target 10th – 11th grades
30. The $$$ and $ense of tourism education… Money…state tourism board dollars Money…tech prep grants Money…work-study opportunities for students
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