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Can Your Business Benefit From Tourists?

Some business models are based on tourism, but other businesses may be overlooking the possibilities of added sales to tourists.

Tourists Could Increase Sales for Any Business

When thinking about businesses related to tourism, souvenir shops may come to mind. These are businesses dedicated to meeting the needs of visitors. Other businesses may enjoy a temporary increase in sales as tourists visit their area, and they plan for this seasonal surge. These businesses may include restaurants that serve the same menu but serve more customers when tourists visit.

Some businesses ignore tourists, perhaps because they think their products or services would not be appealing to out-of-town visitors. This could be a mistake. Tourists are consumers and usually need the same products or services that a local resident does. It might be possible to see a small increase in sales from tourists for any business that offers service to consumers.

Advertising Could Be Important

Attracting business from visitors to your local area could be done with little, if any, additional advertising. Tourists are consumers with the same needs that any other consumer has. Dry cleaning services, for example, might be needed while on vacation as any other service will be.

Making visitors to your community aware of your services could be all that is required to obtain additional business. There are often magazines or brochures available to tourists that explain the attractions of a local area. While targeted to visitors, many local residents will browse these publications, and advertisements could reach both groups for the same cost.

The Small Business Administration explains a number of ways that small businesses can benefit from tourists. Their ideas could help you increase sales and profits without requiring any changes in your business model. Ensuring that tourists are aware of your business will also increase the awareness of local consumers, providing additional benefits even if sales to visitors increase only slightly.


Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.