Author 
Sheila Johnson

Implementation of a cultural tourism initiative can be achieved on a phased basis over five years with existing municipal funds. A small team representative of the London Heritage Council, Tourism London and any interested anchor heritage or art assets can manage this project. The first step for the team is to develop a destination typology for London and define the sense of place. Very good work has already been completed in this area by the Creative Cities initiative. The team needs to prepare 2 - 4 paragraphs that accurately define the sense of place that is London, Ontario. Once the sense of place is determined, the team needs to take existing inventories of cultural experiences and identify what is unique about the cultural experience of London. Themes will become apparent. Finally, the team needs to organize cultural experiences by cultural cohorts, using the latest TAMs to ensure these experiences meet the needs of the customers. Key here is to match the assets with the interests of the cultural tourist.

It is anticipated that there will be far more cultural experiences than can be used. Many of the existing cultural tourism assets have already been identified by Tourism London. This inventory needs to be expanded with assets identified by both the London Heritage Council and the London Art Council to ensure a good critical mass of experiences to target each cultural...

Author 
Sheila Johnson

Culture is the primary means by which communities determine their sense of place. Place based marketing is promoting the unique cultural character of a place - history, landscape, architecture and culture. The “place is the product” and that place can only be understood though a number of different cultural experiences. Place based marketing is the most effective way to appeal to the cultural tourist and meet their specific needs.

Cultural Tourists will dominate the casual visitation of Fanshawe Pioneer Village for the next decade and this market segment is interested in authentic, learning experiences. To appeal to this growing audience, the Interpretation Master Plan was initiated in 2004. A new interpretation for Fanshawe Pioneer Village was identified in the 2003 Master Development and Business Plan as a key initiative to prepare this museum for future growth. The existing interpretation was uncoordinated, unauthenticated and varied greatly in quality from interpreter to interpreter. In 2004, Dr. Christine Castle was engaged to develop the framework for a new, coordinated interpretation for Fanshawe Pioneer Village. In 2008 - 9, she was brought back to develop the implementation manuals. Now complete, museum staff are poised to launch this new interpretation for the 2010 season.

Why is this important? Dr. Christine Castle has prepared two excellent reports that outline the new “story” of Fanshawe Pioneer Village. This story was developed in partnership with key staff and volunteers...

Author 
Sheila Johnson

In January, I had the opportunity to attend a six day intensive workshop on Cultural Tourism presented by the University of Victoria. Cultural Tourism will dominate the tourism market for the next two decades and will have a profound impact on our visitation at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Given its importance, Cultural Tourism will be the theme of my articles for the 2010 season.

“By the year 2020, the combined Canadian/U.S. population between the ages of 55 and 74 will swell to 83.5 million - a 39 percent increase from 2008. This is the Canadian/U.S. baby boom - the most affluent and educated generation in North American History. Boomers are driving the market for cultural tourism today. Once retired, they will drive it for years to come.

In Canada today, Tourism is a 75 billion dollar industry and 80% of that is generated by Canadians touring Canada. Two developing factors are changing the demand for tourism products. First, as indicated in the opening quote, boomers in North America began to have more leisure time commencing in 1992. With this freedom, boomers with means are travelling more, but the purpose of their travel has changed from escapism to enrichment. A growing majority are travelling to experience and learn from different cultures, generating an increased demand for cultural products. Tourists travelling primarily for cultural reasons are called cultural tourists and they can...

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