Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Heritage Tourism: It's All Good

A very good thing happened yesterday.  Senator José Rodriguez' Heritage Tourism Advisory Committee gave a presentation to District 7 Representative Lily Limón.  Rep. Limón listened attentively and enthusiastically.  At the end of the meeting she summarized what was said and told the group her next steps including asking them to keep her informed.

Having new people on City Council is an opportunity for new thinking.  Too long El Paso's tourism industry and public relations has been dominated by the narrow interests of the Convention and Visitors Bureau under the Philadelphia company, SMG, which manages convention and entertainment venues for cities.  (Their work includes stadiums.)  They make their money by filling seats and hotel rooms not by heritage, history and culture - those enduring qualities that sustain a people.  

The presentation included discussions about Hueco Tanks Historic Site, the Mission Trail, the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Historic Trail, the Oñate Crossing/Hart's Mill/Old Fort Bliss, and the Lincoln Center.

It was pointed out that Mexico is beginning to focus its tourism advertising on the border communities of Chihuahua.  Likewise, New Mexico which has long emphasized the northern half of the State is now shining light on the southern half.  Where will El Paso be with these trends in regional tourism?  Probably with dumb and expensive ad campaigns such as "El Paso: It's All Good".  As someone in yesterday's group pointed out: other places don't need to advertise that they are good.  They already know it.  

Heritage tourism is a potential billion dollar plus industry for the City of El Paso.  One veteran observer stated: "The CVB needs to be turned upside down." 

Here's my take on "It's All Good":

Destruction of wildlife habitat in Upper Valley El Paso

Demolition of Trost Building in Downtown El Paso.

Ubiquitous litter in El Paso.

1 comment:

  1. Exciting to see, but they don't belong in North America:

    TPWD staff will also continue efforts to control aoudad, or Barbary sheep, an exotic from North Africa. Aoudads reproduce and spread quickly, with herds often exceeding 100 individuals. In the Trans-Pecos, they compete with native mule deer and bighorn sheep for space, forage, and water and can be devastating to desert environments. Aoudads may also pose a disease threat to wildlife and livestock.

    TPWD biologists recognize that aoudads are almost impossible to eradicate, but reducing their numbers is critical to prevent continued detrimental impacts to the desert environment and native wildlife. This follows longstanding agency practices to control exotic, invasive species.