The Main Street Through a Visitor Lens Handbook is designed to provide main street coordinators, committees and planners with visitor economy related concepts and directions that are user-friendly, strategic and tactical. It was developed using a range of research and engagement efforts with the main street community across Canada.
The Main Street Through a Visitor Lens Handbook includes 13 separate chapters, written by a variety of people associated with main street organizations, academics, and consultants. The Handbook can be downloaded in its entirety by filling out the form.
This section provides an overview of the handbook’s objectives and discusses the themes, ideas and defines ‘main street,’ while identifying a range of main street challenges and issues. It is organized around the following subsections:
1. Understanding the visitor economy, by Dr. Tom Griffin
Monday, Oct 25, 2021 webinar
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Dr. Walter Jamieson and Dr. Tom Griffin introduce the Main Street Reminaged Through a Visitor Lens project, and discuss how the visitor economy is useful for the main street community.
1. Understanding the Visitor Economy
An important mandate of many main streets is to attract and welcome visitors from outside their immediate area for the added economic and vibrancy value they bring. In this section, the visitor economy is defined and explored as the potential and actual value add activities for main streets.
Main street residents and their visitors, by Dr. Tom Griffin
Recorded on November 22nd, 2021
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Dr. Tom Griffin discusses Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) travel, and shares ideas on how main streets could benefit from engaging their residents to invite and host visitors from outside of the community.
Residents attract visitors and affect their behaviour
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Tim Kocur, Executive Director of Waterfront BIA, and Judy Morgan, a consultant on main street development, talk about opportunities, challenges, and examples of using data to answer important questions for BIAs. What types of questions and problems can be answered with data? What are some challenges and opportunities for BIAs to collect and understand data?
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Tanishah Nathoo from Environics Analytics discusses how main street organizations can use existing data sets and services to better understand and measure visitor economy activity and improve their strategic decision making.
Recorded on July 11th, 2022
How we help clients
How BIAs can leverage visitor data
4 most common questions from BIAs
Who are my visitors and where are they coming from?
What lifestyle types are my BIA visitors and residents?
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Mary Pattison of ShopLocal2Win, and Carol Jolly Executive Director of The Junction BIA in Toronto, discuss the principles and examples of marketing to a visitor audience for main street organizations.
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Natasha Francis shares findings from her research on the benefits of partnerships between main street organizations and other tourism groups to help develop and promote the visitor economy. David Pensato with The Exchange District BIZ in Winnipeg and Rebecca Scott with Stratford City Centre BIA in Ontario share their initiatives and experiences of working with organizations to develop visitor product and align efforts across the destination. Recorded on December 6th, 2021
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Dr. Frederic Dimanche, Professor with the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Toronto Metropolitan University, shares ideas on the principles of customer experience and service management from a destination viewpoint.
Recorded on February 14th, 2022
Tools to optimize the quality of the visitor experience
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Martin Lacelle, an expert in local tourism development in rural communities, shares his thoughts and examples of destinations developing visitor product and experience, highlighting common obstacles and ideas on how to overcome them.
Recorded on January 31st, 2022
Understanding the relationship between main streets and their community
Why aren't businesses building new visitor experiences on our main street?
Is your main street ready to welcome visitors?
So how can my community be more open to tourism development?
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Jeff Bray, Executive Director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association in British Columbia, shares his experience and thoughts on shaping the development of main street and encouraging and curating a mix of businesses and services.
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: Jaime Izurieta, with storefrontmastery.com (external link) , talks about coaching local businesses and organizations to create great experiences at the sidewalk level to bring in more foot traffic and improve the performance, vitality and social life of main streets and downtowns.