A new article in Virginia Town & City Magazine says that communities looking to attract responsible, sustainable tourism should focus on their character and authenticity, and that the appearance of the gateways leading into those communities is just as important.
Edward T. McMahon, senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute and former president of Scenic America, said: “First impressions matter. Some communities pay attention to their gateways. Other do not. The more a community does to enhance its uniqueness, the more people will want to visit.”
McMahon says to attract and retain tourists, local officials need to become much more aware of the overall character of their community. “Many communities have gotten used to ugliness, accepting it as inevitable to progress,” he said. “But the more a community does to enhance its uniqueness, the more people will want to visit.”