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Tourism and Community Development

Resources and Applied Research Clearinghouse


Tourism Planning Resources

The following inventory of tourism development resources is organized with the community development practitioner in the Lake States in mind. The websites listed in Comprehensive Resources provide such a wealth of links and tourism resources that they should be listed first. We have duplicated many of their links, but have chosen a different annotation and organization scheme. Tools are resources - usually manuals, guidebooks, tool kits, or web-based system - that provide practical advice, guidance, or analysis. Information Resources provide links to publications and web content that allow the user to develop a better understanding of different components of the tourism industry.

Comprehensive Resources

Michigan State Travel, Tourism and Recreation Resources Centre Links to numerous web-sites relating to tourism in Michigan State, the Lake States region and across the country.
National Tourism Database

Searchable database containing a comprehensive inventory of extension resource materials related to tourism education. It includes over 250 titles and 150 full text publications.

Promoting Tourism in Rural America Comprehensive publication outlining the tourism development process and includes links to nine different internet-based tourism planning resources. It also includes an annotated bibliography of 115 publications of different tourism topics, many of them internet-based.
USDA, Rural Information Center

Comprehensive links page of tourism resources.


Tools are provided on the following topics: Agritourism, Bed and Breakfasts, Business Planning and Feasibility Studies, Community Asset Assessment, Community Tourism Development, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Economic Impacts, Facilities Management, Financial Planning, Marketing, Monitoring, Nature-Based and Eco Tourism and Parks and Trails.


Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism: Farming for Profit and Sustainability Tool Kit.

The Tool Kit explores the opportunities and challenges of agritourism and the steps necessary for developing a new enterprise.

California Small Farm Center Fact Sheets Series of fact sheets covering a wide range of topics designed to assist the California farmer with development of their agritourism operation.
Entertaining Farming and Agri-Tourism: A Business Management Guide Business management guide details a number of agritourism opportunities and provides business management advice.
Farm and Ranch Recreation Handbook Comprehensive guidebook covers farm and ranch recreation and provides information for owners entering the business.
Farm and Ranch Recreation Resource Directory This resource directory provides reference information designed for farm & ranch families who are interested in starting a guide service, bed and breakfast, working ranch or similar business.

Bed and Breakfasts

Beginning a Bed and Breakfast in South Carolina

Guidebook presents guidelines for the development of bed and breakfast enterprises. You can find this article about 1/4 of the way down the page.

Business Planning and Feasibility Studies

Agriculture Innovation Center: Starting a value-added business.

Web-based checklist designed for Missouri farmers starting a new value-added agriculture business.

Agricultural Business Planning Templates and Resources This publication provides links to programs and web-based resources that can assist with business planning.
Nature Tourism: A Guidebook to Evaluate Enterprise Opportunities Handbook leads the reader through a five-week assessment process to decide if nature tourism is the right business choice and results in an initial feasibility analysis.
Small Business Plan Workbook Workbook provides an outline of a typical business plan and describes the steps involved.
Starting and Growing a Business Canadian publication focuses the agriculture business entrepreneur on the critical steps of developing a successful business.
Tourism Business Development Toolbox Toolbox includes market analysis, industry trends and financial analysis information for different types of tourism businesses in Wisconsin.

Community Asset Assessment

Assessing and Developing Tourism Resources

Free resource guides the user through a six step process of inventorying, evaluating and developing community tourism assets.

Retention and Assessment Program for Travel and Tourism Businesses This seven-part survey is designed as a self assessment tool for retaining travel and tourism businesses in a community.
Tourism Assessment Handbook

Nine-step guide designed to facilitate the process of determining whether Tourism Development is right for a community. 

Tourism Capacity Index Online assessment tool that provides a framework for communities to benchmark or evaluate the impact of tourism development initiatives.

Community Tourism Development

Alaska Community Tourism Handbook How-to handbook for developing community tourism in Alaska.
Community Tourism Development Manual

Contains ordering information for the handbook and a few web-based teasers.

Developing Tourism in Your Community Publication from Texas designed for a wide range of parties interested in tourism at the community level and leads them through the issues that are relevant to considering new development.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Local Tourism Development Publication shows how to develop a rough-and-ready cost-benefit analysis for local tourism development assessment.

Economic Impacts

Impact of Visitor Expenditures on Local Revenues Publication outlines the various methodologies available for developing am understanding of the impact of visitor expenditures on local revenues.
Estimating Community Visitor Days Publication provides guidance for developing rough estimates of expected visitors to the community and the community's attractions.
Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors. Publication details methods available for estimating the economic impact of these developments on a local community's economy and how to communicate the results effectively to decision makers.
Economic Impacts of Tourism and Recreation Background information on economic impact analysis and input-output analysis. Includes the downloadable Michigan Tourism Economic Impact Model (MTEIM) and the National Parks Service Money Generation Model (MGM2).

Facilities Management

Facility Inventory Manager

Free tool facilitates the inventory of an agency's park and recreation resources and a comparison with other jurisdictions across the country.

Financial Planning

Country Vacation Profit Fact sheet uses information provided by current operators on how to make a two-room vacation enterprise profitable.
Hospitality Valuation Software Non-proprietary computer software designed specifically to assist in the preparation of market studies, forecasts of income and expense, and valuations for lodging property.
Nature Tourism Financial Plan 1.0 Excel-based tool allows the ranch-/landowner to create a five-year financial projection with graphs and charts.
Tourism Business Development Toolbox Included in the toolbox are links to download financial planning software for a range of different tourism businesses in Wisconsin.


Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook

Handbook is a how-to guide on marketing agritourism and also provides market analysis and business planning resources

National Scenic Byways Marketing Tourism A series of publications on marketing byways and cultural heritage tourism.


Strategies for Monitoring Tourism in Your Community's Economy

Guidebook explores and details the various options available for monitoring visitor counts and expenditures.

Nature-Based and Ecotourism

Developing Naturally: An Exploratory Process for Nature-Based Community Tourism

Manual designed to assist communities in planning for nature-based tourism.

Ecotourism Planning Kit Two publications from the University of Hawaii on establishing eco-tourism business operation and community policy.

Parks and Trails

Rails with Trails

A report designed for the trail planner, advocate or manager that synthesizes the national rails with trails experience.

Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse Clearinghouse provides technical assistance, information resources, communication forums, and referrals to trail and greenway advocates and developers.

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Information Resources

Information Resources are provided on the following topics: Agritourism, Bed and Breakfasts, Community Tourism Development, Cultural and Heritage Tourism, Journals, Market Trends and Statistics, Nature-based and Ecotourism, Parks and Recreation, Research and Tourism Industry Organizations


Alberta Ag Tourism Business Resources Page Contains links to some very practical resources for business operators.
Agriculture Innovation Center Tourism Resources

Links to a number of valuable resources for Missouri farmers considering going into the agritourism.

Agri-Tourism Resource guide for farmers wanting to learn more the issues to consider when entering into agritourism.
California Small Farm Centre Links to agritourism resources and tools provided by this University of California project.
Farm and Ranch Recreation Publications and links to resources on agritourism and farm and ranch recreation.
Missouri Alternatives Centre Comprehensive page of agritourism links.
The Business of Agritourism/Recreation in Montana A report which builds a profile of farmers and ranchers and their agritourism business operations.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and Breakfast Inns Online

Information for current and prospective bed & breakfast or inn operators, including education seminars and how-to manuals.

Community Tourism Development

Community Tourism Development Resources

University of Minnesota page contains links to publications and other web-based resources on community tourism development.

Community Swap An innovative program from the University of Illinois Extension which pairs communities together. Community members participate in incognito and unannounced visits to partner community and later provide constructive feedback on their tourism ventures.
Diversifying the Rural Economy: Tourism Development in the Rural South Short publication explores the current status of rural tourism in the southern U.S. and looks at the opportunities and challenges for new development.
National Tourism Education Clearinghouse Compilation of resources for tourism educators.
Opportunities of Rural Tourism: Stories from Across America Publication details seven case studies of successful community tourism development from across rural America.
Q & A About Rural Tourism In-depth resource from the University of Minnesota Extension which includes answers to many frequently asked questions relating to community tourism development.

Cultural and Heritage Tourism

Cultural Tourism from the National Assembly of State Art Agencies

Information and links on policy, practice and trends in cultural tourism across the US.

Utah Heritage Tourism Toolkit Links to web-based resources on a diverse range of topics associated with heritage tourism.
National Scenic Byways Program Organization dedicated to serving the needs of the byway community.
Rural Heritage Program Cultural Heritage Tourism Information on cultural heritage tourism and purchase info on how-to publications.
Sources of Funding for Historic Preservation Projects A web-based list of funding sources for historic preservation projects.


Tourism Journals List

Comprehensive listing of refereed tourism, hospitality, and leisure journals.

Market Trends and Statistics

Bureau of Economic Analysis U.S. Tourism Satellite Accounts statistics.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics Publications available for free on North American and international trade and travel trends.
Forest Service Recreation Facts Recreation visitor use facts for Forest Service-managed lands.
Illinois Tourism Facts Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Illinois.
Indiana Tourism Research Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Indiana.
Lodging Research from Price Waterhouse Coopers Lodging statistics and trends research. Some publications for free and others for purchase.
Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Ohio.
Travel Industry Association of America Travel Statistics and Trends

Statistics and research on the economic impact of the domestic and international tourism industries. Many of the services are member based.

Michigan State University Tourism Economic Impacts Research Includes research reports on the economic impact of the Michigan tourism industry.
Michigan Tourism Industry Research Hosted by the e-newsletter this page includes statistics and trends on Michigan tourism.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Minnesota.
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Research Statistics and trends on travel and tourism in Wisconsin.
World Tourism Organization Facts & Figures Up-to-date and historical international travel trends and statistics.
World Travel & Tourism Council Satellite Accounting Tourism Satellite Accounting for national tourism industries.

Nature-Based and Ecotourism

Developing Naturally: Enhancing Communities

Contains links to publications, slide shows, and information on nature-based tourism and travel ecology from around the world.

Nature-Based Tourism Enterprises: Guidelines for Success Publication develops guidelines for the successful establishment of a nature-based tourism enterprise.
Texas Nature Tourism Information Center Links and publications designed for the entrepreneur interested developing a nature tourism business.
The International Tourism Society Organization dedicated to promoting responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. Includes a searchable library of ecotourism literature.

Parks & Recreation

National Park Service Recreation Trails Information on the National Park Services recreation trail system.
National Park Service National Park Service website.
National Recreation and Parks Association

Organization dedicated to promoting parks and active living. They publish a number of journals, magazines and newsletters on the topic.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Organization dedicated to promoting the development of trails on old rail lines and advocating for policy that makes it possible.
Forest Service Recreation Activities The USDA Forest Service recreation activities website.


Canadian Tourism Research Institute Membership organization dedicated to researching travel and tourism trends in Canada. Includes research on outbound travel trends.
Center for Hospitality Research

Research center at the University of Cornell dedicated to producing timely hospitality industry research. Includes numerous publications on increasing the effectiveness and profitability of hospitality businesses.

Purdue Tourism & Hospitality Research Center Provider of research and consulting services to rural communities and non-profit and private sector organizations in Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Tourism Research Links Comprehensive series of links to tourism research organizations, agencies, and journals.

Tourism Industry Organizations

American Hotel & Lodging Association Organization representing hotel and lodging establishments with a primary focus on advocacy in Washington, D.C.
American Resort Development Association Organization dedicated to serving and promoting the resort and timeshare industry in the U.S. Includes publications for sale.
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Member-based organization with resources and services to serve the hospitality industry worldwide.
International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus Organization serving the destination management professional. Includes links to other industry organizations and publications for sale.
Travel and Tourism Research Association

Organization serving travel research and marketing professionals. Includes a bi-monthly e-journal on travel research.

Travel Business Roundtable Organization which considers itself the leading voice on government tourism policy in Washington. Includes publications on national tourism policy and economic impacts.
Travel Industry Association of America Organization dedicated to promoting and research the entire travel industry. Also based in Washington, D.C.
World Tourism Organization Specialized agency of the UN dedicated to promoting tourism worldwide and a leader in measuring and researching international tourism statistics.
World Travel & Research Council Organization representing private tourism business interests worldwide.

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File last updated: March 23rd, 2005
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