Other Voices: New tourism group will be a great benefit to western Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: New tourism group will be a great benefit to western Nevada County

I am excited to learn that a new group is forming to address tourism through a Convention and Visitors Bureau format. I have witnessed the strength of a CVB in other communities and believe that it is time a specific group like this be started here.

Tourism management is a complex task that is increasing in importance as we compete with other communities and balance the need of more dollars with less impact to our environment. It isn’t enough to just put out the “Open” shingle any longer.

Communities like ours that have limited infrastructure and a delicate environment need to be efficient with our tourism offerings. The primary goal of a CVB is to attract specific tourist groups to weekday visits, longer stays and shoulder season events. Our region’s economy and environment should not be dependent upon weekend day-trippers. On average, they don’t spend enough money to mitigate the traffic, air pollution and services they cause. The net gain of a midweek, two-night, corporate meeting attendee is exponential to that of a weekend day-tripper. Not only will lodging facilities benefit, but so will restaurants, retailers, recreation providers and the government tax coffers.

I hope as a community we won’t get burdened by the discussion of duplicity and overkill of various associations promoting tourism to western Nevada County. I think this community’s organizations have done a great job in promoting the benefits of this area. But as we continue to grow toward smart-tourism, the goals and objectives are just too broad to not have multiple nonprofit associations working together.

The Napa Valley, as an example, has Chambers for each town, an Economic Development Corporation, a CVB, a Vintners Association, downtown associations and other trade groups all promoting various aspects of that region. We are approximately the same size as Napa was when it approached a collaborative effort toward efficient tourism.

I look forward to the efforts of the Grass Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and hope the community will embrace the promising additions it will bring to our economic basis.

Joe Burns lives in Nevada City.

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