It is hard to believe that we already in the fifth month of 2019. Time really seems to fly when we are having fun. The change of the calendar and the weather also means that the tourists are going to be coming into our beautiful area. Most of us found this area as tourists and while here on a vacation we made the decision to buy a place or rent a home and to become a resident rather than a visitor. That being said I want to remind folks that the tourists bring many needed dollars into the local economy so let’s remember that the benefits of tourism far outweigh the few negative aspects of the visitors.
Yes, it does mean more traffic and we don’t always get to park right in front of our favorite store or eatery. That inconvenient traffic to us is positive foot traffic to the local retailer. That foot traffic translates into sales at the cash register and every “cha-ching” means jobs and more jobs for our neighbors. Your neighbors need that job to support their family and so we need to be more understanding.
We can be goodwill ambassadors for this area. A few days ago I saw some folks in the Bass Lake area driving slowly then turning off and stopping on the side of the road. I pulled up alongside and offered help. They wanted to find a spot for coffee and a bite to eat while being able to see the lake. I suggested that they visit The Forks for breakfast, then Miller’s for Lunch and Ducey’s Grill for dinner. These folks from Sweden were happy for the recommendation and the three restaurants could all share in the sales of products as well as sharing mountain hospitality.
Share with visitors about your favorite restaurant. A couple of months ago a family staying on my street at the lake commented on wanting great seafood but lamented that “If you can’t see the ocean don’t buy the fish.” I shared with them about Sierra Seafood. They loved the lobster as well as some other fresh fish.
Tell the visitors about The Golden Chain, the Logger Train excursions, and the children’s museum. Each great experience for their vacation makes them want to return as well as sharing their stories about how great it is to visit Yosemite as well as the surrounding foothill community.
The lakes and trees are what draw them here but they need things to do and they usually have the dollars to do those extra activities.
Be aware that we are all in the tourism business. My student’s families are directly tied to working in the hospitality industry. Since those adults work here their child attend school here. They shop here and they but bikes, cars, theater tickets, and clothes here. The money flows and flows but we need to do our part to ensure that the visitors feel warmly received and don’t hear negatives about the tourist season.
Be fire safe to keep the trees green and be friendly to keep the green coming into the cash registers.
If your budget is a little lean this year plan a “stay-cation” and spend your vacation with your phone turned off and relax at the lake, visit the museums, and dine out. You can make a great time of staying right here. After; millions of folks save all year just to come here to visit us. Just think how disappointed they would be if we left town when they were here.
Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy. Be welcoming!