By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
While time stands still in Ste. Genevieve, time also marches on.
Tanalyn Dollar, new Ste. Genevieve tourism director, is eager to start using 21st-century technology to draw visitors to the charming, 18th-century Ste. Genevieve Historic District, as well as its other amenities.
“Things have changed,” Dollar said. “Technology really promises and can deliver on the promises of very interactive and exciting experiences. So we know that our audience, when people look to travel, they really want to travel with their destination. That first thing they’re going to do is search on their mobile phone. If you think about the three things people do when they’re looking to travel, the first thing is they’re going to find the destination. ‘So where is it we want to go and what do we want to do? And how much do we want to spend?’
“People have different travel expectations than they did years ago.”
This includes three new trends: eco tourism, rural tourism, and creative tourism.
“Ste. Gen. is in a unique position because of these three trends,” Dollar said.
She explained the three types.
Eco tourism is for people “who want to make a small imprint as far as where they stay.” Hiking and biking, enjoying the Mississippi, etc., would all fall under eco tourism.
“In rural tourism, they might be interested in agriculture,” Dollar said. “They might want to see a farm. ‘Is there a place for me to bring my children to see how a cow gets milked? Can I feed the chickens?’”
Creative tourism incorporates the arts, the historical ambiance and hand-crafted products.
“All these niches are well-represented here in Ste. Gen.,” Dollar said. “However, the missing piece is that there needs to be a little more coordination in my opinion. Some of our sister sites across the states do package deals. For example, Hermann, on their wine tour, for $25 you can get a wristband and you can travel to all the wineries.
“For a family that comes down for a couple of days, there are opportunities for each member of the family to do things that interest them.”
Putting all the pieces that appeal to various people together is the key.