Boutiques and Artisans vs Malls

Boutiques and Artisans vs Malls

One of the biggest draws of revenue for a country/city is tourism. The little stores and historic sites, the nature spots and unique places that make your place the coolest. The fairs and festivals that no one else has. UNESCO looks around the world for such things and publishes them. So do tourist companies.

These days (pandemic), they have a lot of stuff online so people can see what’s out there, without the risk of travel by boat or plane.

Some communities have to worry about weather factors. Change of season for things like sport draws (skiing, boats, camping, hiking…) and even safety issues like avalanches, mudslides, floods, hurricanes….

And some worries are about how the people will treat you, if there is gun violence, fear of being kidnapped, raped and if you can get medical care if you are injured or fall ill suddenly.

That’s the kind of thinking the people and industries have. But is it how govts zone the places within their control? Is it who they bail out when hard times come along? No, not often. Their first loyalty seems to be to big companies and malls. They err on the side of trade, not seeing that tourism is a necessity too.

What can these smaller places do to support each other? In each of the bigger cities, there is a business association &/or chamber of commerce. There are local news outlets. Instead of paying for individual ads, why not gather their resources and buy a bigger market or festival page? Show how what they offer isn’t mass produced and that there is a cultural story behind it. Put together a community website. Play up the people involved in the story. Make what they do about connections. In a way that malls and companies can’t compete with.

What about your community is so special that people come to see it?

My area has things like music and multi-cultural festivals. Blues, jazz, country are the bigger draws. Not far from me is a historic village drama where actors let people watch them go thru a day like they might have lived before Canada was a country. It’s called Doon Village. And Bracebridge has a Santa’s village. There is a working fort like old days. Stuff like that. Our own Ontarian thing.

And if you’re lucky, you might catch our Premier Ford eating a bee. Not that that is recommended, but he doesn’t like people telling him not to eat endangered species. (sighs!) No, I didn’t vote for him. 😛

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