City taking to "forced tourism" to drive local economy
Desperate times call for desperate measures and the City of Laredo is in dire need of people wanting to come rediscover our flavor.
One Councilman says he's found the solution to attracting more people here, and he's calling it “forced tourism.”
That Council member says it's all about bringing events that lots of people will take part in forcing them to come to Laredo, have a good time, stay, and hopefully come back.
"I like to call it forced tourism, where you create an event that will attract a certain amount of people."
The idea is to transform Laredo into an event hosting hub, offering people the best of both worlds, experiencing the Mexican flare in the Good Ol’ USA.
City representatives say they were just looking for that niche--something that would bring groups of people here who wouldn't normally even think about coming here.
They started the forced tourism concept in October when our city hosted the Rio Fest event, targeting kayakers from all over to come and compete. And just last week, our city played host to Laredo’s first ever bicycle event--the circuit race.
Incentives to get all these people here?
"Then they think, hey this isn't so bad. Why don’t we come back on a weekend when we have some free time or just a day trip kind of thing? So that’s what it does for Laredo; it really introduces new people that then could be repeat customers."
Next on the list, Border Billiards on the river:
"We’re working on that for hopefully February or March. We’re looking to bring several hundred different organizations."
And because the biking event was so successful, a similar event is in the works.
"We’re working on an off road type of biking that they used to have here maybe 10 to 12 years ago."
By playing host to all of these events that interest so many people, it’s bound to only drive our local economy.