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How Does Tourism Support Small Businesses?

Tourism is big business.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, experts project the travel and tourism industry to inject over two and a half billion dollars into the U.S. economy over the next ten years. Tourism is a significant economic force and knowing how it supports small businesses is essential to local communities. So what is the value of tourism in Cumberland Valley?

Small business is the backbone of our local economy and tourism remains a pivotal contributor to small business success, as proven by almost 5 million visitors in 2021. In this article, we’ll explore how tourism benefits small businesses and what you can do to help Cumberland Valley remain a great place to live.

Promote Local Culture

Small businesses in tourism-dependent areas benefit greatly from increased tourist spending. In addition to generating revenue, it also promotes the local culture and heritage. When tourists spend money in a town or city, they’re more likely to learn about the area’s history, feel welcome and return for future visits. Moreover, patronizing locally owned businesses allows visitors to support the community itself.

Increase Local Employment

Tourism supports small businesses to significantly boost the local economy. Tourists spending money at local businesses help to create additional jobs, generate business income and support local suppliers and service providers. Additionally, when tourists spend money in nearby stores and restaurants, it increases the flow of money throughout the local economy.

Open Opportunity for New Business Creation

Tourism provides opportunities for businesses of all sizes, from those with just a few employees to companies with hundreds. Yet, with limited budgets, small businesses receive the most assistance when tourism is prevalent. Here are four ways tourism opens the door for the creation of new small businesses:

Tourism boosts the local economy. When tourists spend money within the local economy, it creates jobs and stimulates economic growth. This support is vital for small businesses, which often have more challenging times generating significant profits. With a robust local economy, the survival rate of fledgling businesses skyrockets.

Travel and tourism generate tax revenue. Tourism is a powerful economic driver that can provide funding to support local infrastructure, decrease property taxes and increase property value for both business owners and homeowners.

It provides new customers. Tourists who visit a small business are more likely to recommend it to friends and family members than tourists who visit larger enterprises. This boost in patronage can lead to increased sales and greater profitability for the small company.

The tourism and travel industry enhances brand awareness. A successful small business can benefit from increased brand awareness due to tourist visits — this means that potential new customers may be more likely to recognize a company’s name and consider doing business with them.

Tourism increases the value of property and equipment. When tourists visit a small business, they’re more likely to purchase unique items such as souvenirs or food products made by local suppliers. Positive visits may also spark further interest in exploring the locality, resulting in increased spending by locals and even new businesses.

Many small businesses consider tourism a lifeline. When small businesses take advantage of tourism opportunities, they can thrive and create further possibilities in their areas.

Support Small Business, Support Tourism with CAEDC

The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) works closely with local businesses to promote local attractions, restaurants, shops, lodgings and more. As an economic development organization and the Official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Cumberland County, our mission is to ensure all local businesses succeed so they can thrive long-term, create jobs and contribute to the community’s economic growth and vitality.

As a member of the CAEDC, you can help support small businesses and tourism in our region! Contact us to participate or visit our tourism site for more information.

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