Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cultural Tourism: Communities Promote Their Uniqueness

Link to October 12 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Cultural tourism grows in local communities".

Excerpt: The focus of cultural tourism varies — art, food, architecture, religion — but the efforts share an attempt to leverage an area's unique history or lifestyle for economic gain. (Think cheesemakers in Monroe, cranberry growers in Warrens and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin near Spring Green.)

With so many communities trying it, standing out has become harder.

"It used to be enough to restore your historic downtown," said Dan Viste, owner of the Old Feed Mill restaurant in Mazomanie. "Now you really have to add value beyond that."

Mazomanie, site of the oldest wooden train depot in the Midwest, has been searching for the right mix of attractions for more than a decade and thinks it has found a solid approach that adds sustainable agriculture and railroad history to its initial emphasis on the arts, Viste said

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