A downtown is the heart of a city - sometimes, it is the core of the county or the region. It provides a destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment - all important services for your local customers and for visitors. However, a historic downtown can offer more to attract vacationing tourists. Did you know that heritage and cultural travelers tend to spend more and stay longer than most tourists? They’re looking for authenticity, uniqueness, and quality from their destinations.
Use the following checklist to inventory your downtown’s assets and measure its attractiveness to heritage and cultural travelers.
- Ensures that landmark public and private buildings are preserved and well-maintained, and that their stories are told through walking tours and displays;
- Has theatres and museums that are open and active with programming;
- Provides visitors access to small parks, greenspaces, water features, or trails;
- Displays iconic artifacts, monuments to history, and interpretive plaques;
- Makes sure that commercial buildings are in good condition and used productively;
- Plants shade trees along the sidewalks to offer relief from the summer heat and supplies colorful flowers and blooming shrubs to create an environment pleasing to the pedestrian;
- Keeps pedestrians safe by providing well-lighted crosswalks and sidewalks, accessible curb cuts, good way finding signage, and benches;
- Provides a visitor information center, with quality public restrooms; and
- Offers events and festivals that celebrate local culture and history and invites diverse perspectives.