(2024) How To Attract Tourists To A Small Town

Attracting new tourists to your town really doesn’t need to break the bank. Identify exactly what makes your municipality attractive to others and focus on promoting the best features of your town with the resources you have available.

Every small town wants to be a hit with visitors, tourists and holidaymakers. With Americans in the US spending a whopping $933 billion on domestic tourism (2% up on last year and growing), appealing to tourists can mean a complete transformation of your local economy.

So how do you take advantage of this ever growing market for domestic tourists? 

At Town Web, we’ve created a detailed guide on how to attract tourists to a small town.

Turning Your Small Town Into A Red Hot Tourist Destination

When it comes to bringing visitors and tourists to your small town it can be hard to know which of the many routes to take.

At Town Web, we’ve helped 100s of small towns consistently grow their tourist dollars and we know a thing or two about how to attract tourists to a small town.

Leveraging Nearby Attractions

Every town has something that makes it unique and interesting. Rather than transforming your community in aid of tourists, think about what makes your town special.

This could be a local event, festival, fun park, or outdoor activity that defines your town and its residents. 

Encourage return visits

Getting people to visit your town is just half the battle, now you need them to come back!

However, you bring people to your town, one of your key focuses should be capturing their details for remarketing. 

This can take the form of their email address or simply asking them to sign up to your social accounts. Scaling this process gives you access to an engaged audience just waiting to book their trip away.

The Not-So-Typical Tourist

When it comes to tourism there really isn’t a one size fits all solution. People's passions and hobbies are constantly evolving and your town's tourist offering and accessibility needs to be varied and exciting.

To really kick start a flow of tourists make sure you use several of the methods we’re about to cover. The classic saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is key here, you want a variety of activities and events that draw a diverse range of tourists who’ll keep coming back every year.

Host a sporting event

Sport is integral to the American way of life and people are willing to travel hundreds of miles to watch the sports they know and love. 

National sports leagues are always on the lookout for potential new locations to host upcoming competitions and showcases.

While you may not be hosting the Superbowl anytime soon there’s a range of sporting events that are perfect for small towns just like yours. Some popular sporting events to consider:

Aspen in Colorado is a small town with a population of no more than 7000 yet regularly hosts the Winter X Games which attracts close to 100,000 people and brings an estimated $17.8 million into the community. We can look at this example and implement a similar strategy to how to attract tourists to a small town.

A Great Municipal Website

Your marketing efforts are only as effective as the tools you use and a well-designed website filled with helpful content about your town is going to be key to winning the quest for how to attract tourists to a small town.

At Town Web, we have made it our mission to enable small town’s to thrive and grow with carefully designed ADA-compliant websites. With over 800 municipalities using our services you can be safe in the knowledge your town is in great hands. Not to mention the best website designs in 2024!

Sounds good? Request a simple no-obligation quote and give your small town the tools it needs to grow and thrive.

Culture and the Arts

Did you know that 80% of US tourists indulge in some form of cultural heritage activity on their trips, with the majority citing a cultural event as the main reason for their travel?

With so many Americans on a search for cultural accessibility, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of one of the following events to boost the ways to attract tourists to a small town.

Music Festivals

Music festivals help the local community by putting money back into the area in the form of purchasing food, renting accommodation, using local services and purchasing tickets and goods at the festival. This means, it's not just how to attract tourists to a small town, but also looks at how you can support residents in your community. 

Glastonbury in the UK is a world-renowned festival held in a small rural town. According to a recent study, the festival itself spent over $8 million with local companies.

Film Festivals

A film festival is an event that brings together hundreds of filmmakers, actors, and other industry professionals to showcase the best of what's happening in film.

If you have a local cinema, film festivals can be a very cost-effective event to organize, and help fill the how to attract tourists to a small town calendar! Better yet embrace our past and organize a drive-in film festival for residents and tourists!

Vintage Car Shows

Vintage and specialized car shows bring in visitors from all over the country for either day events or full weekends.

Americana is huge right now and vintage cars have never been as popular as they are today.


Civil war reenactments are a great day out for the whole family and really tick the cultural heritage box.

You’ll likely have a guaranteed audience if you host one of these events as part of the to how to attract tourists to a small town to-do list. With a die-hard fan base that travels the entire country to watch their favorite battles.

Food and Dining

Great food has been, and will always be a major deciding factor in where people choose to visit. Whether it’s the deliciously seasoned pork of Memphis BBQ or the truly delectable cheese produced across Wisconsin, the stores, eateries and restaurants in your town can have a huge impact on tourists.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can turn your local delicacies into hard-earned tourist cash.

Food Festivals

Food festivals are the perfect opportunity to display your local produce in a myriad of forms. You can sell a variety of raw produce alongside local favorites and dishes from all over the world.

Champion your regional delicacies in your how to attract tourists to a small town campaign, promote your farming practices and share the great food your town produces with visitors. Food accessibility is a major factor when people book their domestic holidays and ‘foodies’ are always on the lookout for fresh and exciting new food festivals to visit.

*Pro Tip - Consider holding an eating competition featuring your local fare to really draw in the crowds.

Showcase Your Community

People who live in larger cities regularly fantasize about returning to a small town life away from the hustle and bustle of population hubs. 

By showcasing your small town's community spirit and passion in your marketing, you can attract tourists that want to immerse themselves in everything that makes your town and the people that live in it so special.

On your website

Your website is often the first impression people have of your town so it needs to be perfect. Your local municipality website should tick all of the following boxes:

We pride ourselves on how we’ve helped local governments develop websites for residents and tourists alike. Take the guesswork out of your online presence and start enticing new tourists with a bespoke municipal website designed specifically for your town and its community. We offer the best website designs in 2024!

In your social media

A powerful tool for enticing tourists to your town. Your social strategy doesn’t need to be complex but it does need to be consistent.

If you’ve never spent time promoting your town via social media you can begin with a simple strategy of posting at least two photos a week of your town, its residents and any tourist hotspots. 

With SEO

With Google making up 92% of searches online, making sure your town shows up top is key. 

If you have any worries about the visibility of your website on Google get in touch with our team today to see how we can increase your website traffic and start bringing tourists to your municipality.

Attracting New Tourists Shouldn’t Be About Breaking the Bank

Attracting new tourists to your town really doesn’t need to break the bank. Identify exactly what makes your municipality attractive to others and focus on promoting the best features of your town with the resources you have available.

Now you’re all set to start bringing in tourists by the truckload! Head over to our blog for more inspiration about how to market your small town.

And if you want to get a no-obligation proposal for your new municipal website, click here!

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