Nature workshops help boost HC tourism
By Steve Byrns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a three-part nature tourism workshop series on Wednesday, May 7; Wednesday, June 4; and Wednesday, June 18.
The multi-county effort’s first and third session will be held at the Fickett Center, 303 East Jackson, in Burnet. The second session will be held at the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce, 916 2nd Street. All workshops will run from 1 pm through 4 pm, and are free and open to the public.
“Nature tourism pumps about $730 billion annually into the US economy,” said Wade Hibler, AgriLife Extension agent in Burnet County. “A sizeable bite of that comes from our part of Texas. But is this really the business for you? We’ve crafted these sessions to help folks make that determination and to get them started on the right track if they decide that it is.”
Featured speaker for all the sessions is Miles Phillips, AgriLife Extension state program leader for nature tourism at College Station. The May 7 session will address “Nature Tourism: Opportunities, Case Studies and Helpful Resources.” The second session, June 4 will be on “Nature Tourism: Operation Planning, Activities and Pricing.” The June 18 session will discuss “Nature Tourism: Marketing on a Small Budget.”
In addition, workshop organizers suggest that participants read “Nature Tourism: A Guidebook for Evaluating Enterprise Opportunities (AgriLife Extension Publication B-6147). The book costs $30 and can be ordered by calling 888-900-2577.
“By starting this workbook before the first seminar and then using it through the series, you will improve your revenue-generating ability or be able to decide if a tourism enterprise is right for you,” Hibler said.
He also suggested participants consult a free online revenue and cost projection program to be used as an adjunct to the workbook. To access the program, click on the Business Planning section of http://naturetourism.tamu.edu
For more information and to RSVP for the workshops, call the AgriLife Extension office in Burnet County at 512-756-5463.
The seminar series is sponsored by The Tourism Office of Burnet County, the Hill Country Alliance and the AgriLife Extension offices in Burnet, Llano, Blanco, Mason and Lampasas counties.