Home Page

Visitor Readiness Toolkit

Is your community really ready to welcome and host visitors? How do you know for sure? “Readiness” a concept that incorporates many considerations: logistical and resource-based concerns, matters of image and reputation, safety and security issues, and a community’s personality and demeanor. If visitors come to your community, will they know what there is to see and do, and be able to navigate with ease? A community that feels “ready” is going to be a place that people will want to visit again and again.

In this toolkit, we’ll guide you through developing a better understanding of what visitors need or seek in a destination. You’ll continue to build your tools for assessing your community’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for tourism. We’ll discuss the importance of critically evaluating and managing your destination’s image and reputation, and then home in on ways to prepare your community (and tourism businesses) to be resilient and engaged when facing changes and challenges.

Note regarding using this toolkit: This toolkit consists of eight different components. While we recommend that you go through all of these documents in the listed order, you may also feel free to skip around and visit the materials that are most relevant to your needs. Keep in mind that several of the other toolkits (such as Rural Tourism, Marketing and Social Media, etc.) also contain information pertaining to readiness on specialized topics, so we encourage you to continue thinking about “readiness” as you move through these toolkits.

1. Part 1: Getting Started To prepare you for considering readiness in your community, this introduction looks at a hypothetical community and provides an overview of the basic principles of readiness.

2. Part 2: Destination Identity – You may view your community differently than visitors or even your neighbors, and these perceptions all create a destination’s image and reputation. This section investigates what appeals to visitors about destinations and how you can work to manage your image.

3. Part 3: Reflection and Self-Assessment – Taking the information from Parts 1 and 2, this section provides checklists and essential questions that your community will need to consider to be ready for visitors.

4. Part 4: Additional Considerations – This section provides some final pointers: to be realistic about your capabilities, to be mindful of visitors’ cultural differences, and to pay attention to how your community members do (or do not) support tourism.

5. Case Studies - These documents represent a variety of rural tourism issues from different parts of Colorado. As you read through them, think about how these topics might relate to your own community. Then, use the self-reflection prompts to consider some key issues as they pertain to your own context.

6. Bonus Worksheet: To Be a Visitor – What would it be like to be a visitor in your community? This worksheet adapts a “Mad Libs”-type approach to identify your tourism assets and help set you up on the path toward reaching your full destination potential.

7. Resource Guide - Ready for more information? Visit these links to dive even deeper into becoming a more ready Colorado destination.