The Lettuce Tower

I have been a gardener my whole life and Lisa and I have now established eight large raised-bed gardens behind our home in Fort Collins. My mother and sister were florists, my dad ran a lawn mower business and my grandparents were farmers. Growing things has always given me a source of renewal and connectionContinue reading “The Lettuce Tower”

Making a Difference on Purpose

Dr. Sam Ham is a well-known name in the interpretation profession. He has just completed a new book entitled Interpretation – Making a Difference on Purpose. His classic first text, Environmental Interpretation – A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets was published in 1992 in English and Spanish. It has servedContinue reading “Making a Difference on Purpose”

Product or Experience?

Are you planning tourist or visitor products or experiences? It matters how you think about it. Tourist products, like tours, boat rides, or programs, are often viewed by visitors as commodities. They compare your two-hour tour to other diversions of two hours, like a movie. Price becomes an important factor in the decision to buyContinue reading “Product or Experience?”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival

Knowing we would be on the Big Island of Hawaii by March 21, we looked at the calendar and saw the BIG ISLAND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL put together by the Kona Cacao Association scheduled for March 22-23. Oh my. How do you resist something that has three of your favorite things in its title? What aContinue reading “The Big Island Chocolate Festival”

Kikoti Camp, Tanzania; Glamping in Tarangire

At 3:30 AM one morning I awakened to the sounds of a waterbuck bellowing below our tent cabin in Kikoti Camp near Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Kikoti is a wonderful combination of comfort and close to nature. Glamping, glamor camping, as some call it, is a wonderful experience and the Kikoti experience is firstContinue reading “Kikoti Camp, Tanzania; Glamping in Tarangire”

Rwandan Guides Share Nyungwe’s Beauty with Guests

Nyungwe National Park is nestled in the southwest corner of Rwanda, a nation roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Nyungwe is several hours south of Volcanoes National Park (VNP) of “Gorillas in the Mist” fame. VNP brings people from all over the world to northern Rwanda, but some manage to also find thisContinue reading “Rwandan Guides Share Nyungwe’s Beauty with Guests”

Beware the Memorized Spiel

I once attended a guided tour of a large, expensive visitor center for a major religious group in the United States. Elders of the church met people at the door of the center to offer a free, guided tour. I joined a tour and our group obediently followed the guide as he delivered what wasContinue reading “Beware the Memorized Spiel”

A Motivation by Any Other Name

I have questions about visitors, clients and customers. Who are they? What do they want to do? What do they enjoy? What kinds of experiences appeal to them? Is it enough to know their age group or their family status? Many planners have spent many decades developing visitor experiences with market segmentation approaches that areContinue reading “A Motivation by Any Other Name”

Mto wa Mbu, A Great Cultural Tour in Tanzania

February 5 to 16, 2013, we’ll be in Tanzania to host a photo safari/ecotour with World Discovery Safaris and Safari Legacy. One of my favorite stops on this particular itinerary is Mto wa Mbu, near the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park. Mto wa Mbu (which translates to Mosquito River) is a community in centralContinue reading “Mto wa Mbu, A Great Cultural Tour in Tanzania”