Louisiana Birding Trail Update

This statewide program needed a refresh after its initial creation 20 years ago. The Louisiana Office of Tourism hired Hargrove International to establish criteria for inclusion, update/validate current site listings, identify and assess new sites, map sites by regions, produce ornithological lists for each region, secure images of sites and bird species, and write compelling […]

Why is program evaluation important?

Organizations should evaluate the impact of their programs periodically to better ascertain whether they are achieving their desired results. Typically, the evaluation process focuses only on cost of the program. We use the “dual bottom line” approach to assess ROI based on the financial investment as well as the impact on the organization’s mission to […]

Why is marketing important?

 Marketing generates interest, conveys uniqueness, and compels action. Great marketing helps nonprofit organizations distinguish themselves from the competition through dynamic images, targeted messages, and engaging content. Effective marketing begins with solid research to instruct design and distribution. Optimally, the integrated marketing activities cross platforms to present a consistent brand. Communication is a strategy to convey […]

What are the trends in cultural heritage tourism?

Immersive experiences, engagement with locals, authenticity, and activities/products that aren’t available at home are four trends resonating with visitors today. Another trend that destinations are grappling with is overtourism, where capacity management is necessary to ensure quality experiences and resource stewardship.

How does Cultural Heritage Tourism differ from other types of tourism?

Cultural and heritage tourism focuses on authentic local assets, both tangible and intangible, to attract visitors to a destination. These assets are what define the “personality of place” and, when considered with the natural assets, are unique to the location. Unlike manufactured tourism, which can be located anywhere, cultural heritage tourism is founded on the […]

How are thematic trails different from other kinds of trails?

Thematic trails often use intangible or tangible culture and heritage to define their emphasis and are not always linear. Unlike recreational trails that are often built to establish a hiking or biking path, thematic trails focus on existing assets that can be linked together based on criteria. The most notable thematic trails focus on food, […]

What are the benefits of creating thematic trails?

Thematic trails couple similar sites/activities/experiences together like a string of pearls, offering visitors a greater opportunity to explore a common interest. When clustered together, each designated site of a thematic trail provides a distinct piece of a richer, more in-depth thematic story that is often stronger and more impactful than the individual site experience. The […]

Why are criteria important to trail development?

Criteria help define the core elements for participation. For a thematic trail, the most essential criterium for evaluation is how the site/experience/attraction contributes to the designated theme. Other criteria may focus on visitor readiness or interpretation. Establishing and adhering to criteria is foundational for trail integrity and consistent experience delivery.