Well as I came down this
morning I got greeted with "Happy Birthday" and indeed I am another year
Deb offered me all kinds of
good things for my birthday breakfast so I got biscuits and gravy with
eggs, bacon and sausage and a cinnamon roll for afters. Admit to
being slightly full after that lot but it was an excellent way to start
the day on a snowy cold but sunny Saturday in Kentucky.
Yesterday I had a long
conversation with Jim about trying to promote this area as it has a
tremendous amount of things to recommend it even though it is a poor area
of America in financial terms. They actually have two of the top 10
visitor attractions in the USA with Hillbilly Day and the Hatfield McCoy
Trail. I've put a link to both on the journal home page.
One of the real problems as
I see it is finding accommodation. There really aren't enough
hotels, motels, B & B's in this area to really attract a lot of people.
For Hillbilly Days most folk come in RV's and so they don't have a problem
but folk coming in from overseas would likely find problems. I'd like to
explore this with the local folk to see if they couldn't do a better job
at providing information on local accommodation as I think many would love
to come for a two week holiday, attend the HillBilly Days then take in the
Hatfield-McCoy trails and just see some of the great scenery and other
things available in the area. The people are of course a great
attraction as they still have a lot of the old time courtesy to strangers.
Like Jim was saying... "if you break down in this area someone will always
stop to see if you need help".
I find a lot of
similarities all over the world. Just like I've always been very critical
of Scottish tourism for not promoting Scotland properly this area has the
same problems. I've never really understood why our tourism agencies
don't make better use of the web. They all seem to think that if
they put up a tourism page everyone will fall over themselves to come
visit but when you really look at their sites they are really very
uninspiring. I think I blame our marketing people as they do seem to me to
be stuck in the past. They lack real innovation in selling and
presentation of the product. I mean all Marketing people all over
the world but especially in America which used to be the salesman's mecca.
When you look back in time most of the really major companies were known
for their innovation, risk taking, etc. and through all that they made it
big time. But now they are major they seem to actively discourage
innovation and risk taking.
As an aside on this it's
always been my opinion that Television people are probably the worst for
holding us all back. They, more than anyone, direct what we think by
providing the news they think we need to see. Everything has to be
dramatic, staged, or it goes into the bucket. We're conditioned to
watching hours of pathetic adverts, which haven't really changed since
commercial TV was invented. Poor miserable little people just want
to churn out more and more adverts and give us less and less program time.
They can't think of any way to give us better advertising but less of it.
No brains in my opinion. And as the great viewing public don't seem to be
able to do anything about it there is no incentive to change. It's
like when I first arrived here Steve had a trial of a new service that
offered some 300 channels to watch. I mean Electric Scotland has
more daily visitors than many of these TV channels get in the same period.
I could go on and on about what I think is all wrong with that media but I
won't bore you to death with my thoughts :-)
All of that said I just
think we need to market our areas much better to really show what is on
offer and until some enthusiastic people get together and get some
reasonable funding it's just not going to happen. I note that an
amazing number of you enjoyed my photo journal when I was staying in the
Highlands of Scotland and in particular enjoyed the pictures I took while
driving. This gave a real idea on what the roads looked like and
what the scenery was like while driving on them. You just don't get that
on tourism sites and yet the cost of doing it is minor. All you need
to do is send someone to drive a route and take lots of photographs. Again
our Marketing people wouldn't even think of doing that showing once again
how they lack any kind of innovation. The sites that often do the best job
of promoting an area are ones done by enthusiastic local people, usually
in their own time and from their own resources.
Anyway... I do plan to do
more in this area of Kentucky to try and build you a picture of what it is
like. That's of course after my visa is all sorted out :-)
And to finish... thanks to
my old friend Ranald McIntyre who reminded me of my birthday when I opened
up my email...
A VERY HAPPY
Umpty third Birthday
And no, you
don't look a day older!!
Just because your
time in the US
is behind the UK
Does not mean that
you are any younger!!
Chucks... I thought I was
at least 5 hours younger Ranald!!! <grin>
And as a final note... we
finally got TV back in the May household and yes we are getting back to
being couch potatoes! :-) In protest I went out and bought myself a
copy of Civilisation III just so I could play a game on the computer
instead of watching TV :-) I promptly lost the first time and was
rated "pathetic" so after that I can only improve <grin>.