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               July, 2012

      Charles Hansen, Editor
      William L. Smith, Guest Contributor
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  Think 'flexible' when planning
  a heritage tourism experience...

  — William L. Smith

Heritage tourism involves a trip of more than fifty miles from home with historic, cultural and natural elements to the experience. To make this kind of travel most meaningful, it is critical that the planners and the participants remain flexible in their agenda and itinerary. We need to 'not be hurried' and we need to be ready to add, modify, and delete, activities as the trip goes along - for maximum benefit. That is my approach and belief, do you agree?

Of course, life will always get in the way, no matter how hard we plan and try otherwise. Whether this involves kids and family, job requirements, or the aches and pains of those of us growing older, you must plan for the 'unplanned for' in order to have a successful heritage tourism experience.

Tne advantage of planning heritage tourism experiences is that you gain the benefit of the knowledge and learning from the planning itself. If you are not able to complete the physical experience at least you achieved the learning experience.

In May, earlier this year, my wife and I were visiting our daughter and her husband at their home on a mountain in southern Utah. One of the planned activities for the first weekend was a lecture/class on Friday by a local historian, Steve Taylor, on the fifth Fremont Expedition that camped in the nearby valley. As an added bonus, members of the Old Spanish Trail Association were also having a field trip to the site of the Fremont Encampment on Saturday, led by Steve. They were going to be looking for relics of the 1854 visit. We attended the class on Friday and learned a lot, had good conversations, and met some new local people. However, my wife didn't feel well enough to experience the chill of the morning nor the outdoor activities for several hours on Saturday. While we felt bad that we missed that experience, we knew it was the right decision. We'll have our daughter's pictures and stories to add to our experience as a consolation.

We were flexible in our decision-making. Do you agree? What would you have done?



        Dr. Bill writes a monthly article as, The Heritage Tourist, at the new digi-mag, The In-Depth Genealogist, along with a couple of blog entries each month. You can also read more on Heritage Tourism by Dr. Bill at Squidoo.com, such as: http://www.squidoo.com/heritage-tourism-in-my-view

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