This summer we put out a call for stakeholders wanting to partner with Central Counties to bring the stories of temperance and temptation to life. Central Counties spent the better part of a year researching the history of our small towns as they relate to the history of alcohol production, consumption and opposition and brought them to life through audio tours for self-guided participants and actors and music for the guided tours.
We then asked our partners to further enhance the experiences by doing something special for participants upon their arrival. Our partners have truly stepped up, offering special treats whenever a participant uses the secret code upon arrival. This is a new approach for Central Counties and we have been thrilled with the response we are getting from both stakeholders and the public. The tours are designed with one main purpose – to drive people to our region and give them a reason to spend time and money within it. I recently took three people on a test run of the Durham Tour and we added up the total spent (not including a fill-up of gas in Whitby). Between the food and the bottles/cans we purchased to bring home, we were just over $400 or $100 per person. And we didn’t even get to see and do everything on the tour because of time constraints.
As an industry, we have to do a better job of demonstrating the economic impact of tourism to our municipal, regional and provincial stakeholders. All partners of the Temperance and Temptation tours have agreed to collect and share visitor data with Central Counties so that we can tell the good news story of the experiences. Temperance and Temptation is not a one and done program. Our goal is to grow it year after year, adding new stories and new partners. In five years, I would love Central Counties to be as synonymous with bootlegging and temperance as Kentucky is to bourbon!
I highly recommend that each of you take time this summer or fall to enjoy at least one of the self-guided tours to see how partners are stepping up to enhance the consumer experiences. Through the year, we will be researching our next experiences that we believe will be a hit with the types of visitors that frequent our region and will keep you posted on opportunities to partner as they arise. And remember, if you have an idea for saleable, trackable experiences that you want to bring to market, please reach out. We are always looking to assist those that are looking for new ways to drive visitation.
Have a great summer and check out our partners in the Temperance and Temptation tour!
Best regards, Chuck Thibeault