Last week I saw many "had loads of cancellations because of the rain" "isn't the rain awful" comments from tourism businesses on twitter. They needed a moan but those messages were also seen by visitors. One of my projects is to run the Dales Tourism Business Network, working with around 250 businesses. It bothered me that we weren't really helping ourselves and the negative tweets were probably deterring others from booking their last minute break in the Yorkshire Dales (where I live).
On Friday I thought I'd try something more positive and tweeted four suggestions of things to do despite the rain. I received some great responses & retweets. So I created a special "rain page" on one of the websites I run - the Dales Tourism Business Network website & tweeted about it: "For Dales tourism businesses: Rain won't stop play... there IS something we can do about it - www.dalestourism.com/rain.html".
I emailed businesses in the network and asked others to tweet about the idea of putting together a simple list of all the good things visitors can still enjoy in the Yorkshire Dales in the rain. On Sunday I wrote down my own ideas and collated those I'd received into one long list, put it on www.dalesdiscoveries.com/rain.html, and tweeted about it.
The idea was simple: to show visitors that there's plenty to do in the Yorkshire Dales, despite the rain. Our list is now 6 pages long, with over 70 suggestions on it and it's still growing. It cost nothing to put together, gave tourism businesses something more positive to do and they've really rallied round. I've now lost count of the RTs and number of tourism businesses who have forwarded to guests, printed off the list for use in their holiday cottages, provided links to the list or put it on their own website.
All it needed was the initial suggestion and the positivity which has resulted from this idea has been enormous. Every other email I've received in the last day or so has been a heartfelt "we were really suffering and needed to do something - thank you for this idea" from a tourism business.
Sometimes we think problems are too big to resolve and sometimes we think we need £000s of public sector funding to solve problems. Sometimes we just need to do something, and stop moaning...