Destination Cleveland workshops aim to help residents create authentic visitor experiences

January 24, 2019

Destination Cleveland workshops aim to help residents create authentic visitor experiences

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Have an idea for an authentic visitor experience in Cleveland, but don’t know how to get started?

Destination Cleveland wants to help. The agency, which promotes tourism to the region, has scheduled a series of six free workshops designed to help locals implement homegrown ideas for unique visitor experiences. The first is scheduled for next month at the Mather Mansion, 2605 Euclid Ave.

Destination Cleveland spokesman Kristen Jantonio said the initiative is a result of research that shows visitors want authentic experiences when they visit a destination.

“Anecdotally, we hear feedback from residents that ‘we should do this or someone should do that’ – well, here’s the opportunity for residents to contribute by utilizing their resources and knowledge to put something together for visitors to enjoy,” she said.

Participants do not need to be employed in the hospitality industry to participate. “We want to draw out locals who have unique stories, experiences, skills or access that speak to the essence of Cleveland and could be of interest to visitors, as well as residents,” she said.

As an example, she cited a boat captain last summer who started offering Cuyahoga River and lakefront tours. “He has worked on the river for many years and has a unique knowledge of the history, animals, birds, plants and fish, which would be a different way to experience Cleveland’s waterfront,” she said.

Among the topics covered at the workshops: the evolution of experiential tourism, defining an authentic Cleveland experience, a step-by-step approach to creating an experience, and access to resources through Destination Cleveland and community partners.

Sessions will run 3-5 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Feb. 7 at the Mather MansionApril 4 at Cleveland Metroparks ZooJune 6 at Market Garden Brewery Production FacilityAug. 1 at Playhouse SquareOct. 2 at 78th Street StudiosNov. 7 at Cleveland Grays Armory Museum.

To sign up or for more information: CLEexperiencesworkshops.com

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