Tourism (n): The commercial organisation and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest.
— Oxford Dictionaries

WRONG! It's not often that I'll argue with a dictionary, but in this case, I'm going to.

Tourism is NOT just the commercial organisation and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest.

In our opinion, tourism is defined as "the act of leisure, learning and a heightened quality of life through recreational activities."

And ok, those activities might be commercially organised but I'll place my bets that most of the tourism we take part in day-to-day is actually unorganised and spontaneous fun. And to throw another curve ball out there, it's not just about tours and days out either.

 - Grasmere Gingerbread

- Grasmere Gingerbread

At Rural Roots, our definition of tourism includes local produce that is flying the flag for the place it is made. For example, who goes to Grasmere and doesn't buy gingerbread? Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread is world famous and is, therefore, a tourist attraction in its own right.

Tourism is the breweries that are churning out souvenir bottles of real ale, farms that are producing rare breed meats and the restaurants that are serving both on their menus to give tourists a wonderful visitor experience and a real taste of the area they're visiting.

Or not visiting as it might happen. Tourism takes place at a local level too. So if you're planning a leisurely walk at the weekend along a national trail that also happens to be on your doorstep, that's tourism. If you're heading out to the local pub, that's tourism. A night at the theatre? Tourism. The local farm park? You get the idea...

Local tourism is enjoying the attractions and the quality of life that living in your area brings.

And that's why rural tourism is such an important player. Because while the cities are attracting huge numbers to their hotels, restaurants and places of interest, it's the rural tourism businesses that are enabling them to flourish and they need to tell their story too.

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So, for example, if you're a farm shop supplying a five-star hotel in York, why not work with the hotel to tell your story and encourage visitors to the hotel to get out of the city and visit your shop? Why not supply a national magazine with a recipe using your produce and a link to where their readers can buy it? Why not ask a local chef to do a cookery demonstration using your products? And film it. Live. On Facebook or Instagram.

In the Rural PR Academy, we're going to be taking you through all the ways you can help to tell your business' story to the right audience. And we have a free trial running until the end of March so that you can get a feel for what we're going to be doing...

Please get in touch if you'd like more information.