Visitors travelling to rural areas are seeking an authentic experience. Rural life is the real thing. But we need to put out the welcome mat. Start with family and friends, connect socially, and beckon.
How do we turn barn quilts into visitors staying overnight? We engage them in the local culture. Everyone of us is a visitor. Everyone knows 150 others. Build the network, one referral friend at a time.
Be patient. Be persistent, Be pernicious. Be powerful.
Where are the wifi stops? Nothing makes a visitor happier than a welcoming bathroom and a wifi connection. Barn Quilt organizers are agents of change. We are showing our communities how to develop a new industry in our community.
Do locals smile at strangers and engage in conversation? Are our local church services advertised in the local paper? Are the church suppers promoted beyond local borders? Does each church have a website?
Offer peeks into modern farming as well as the more easily accessible farm gates and agri-tourism enterprises. Target families from urban centres whose children have no clue about their source of food. Rural tourism can be themed according to activities undertaken, e.g. cooking or bee-keeping.
Rural tourism is developing rapidly globally. Barn Quilts are but one attraction. Cooperate to compete. Urge the locals to take an interest in strangers.