A small town situated in North Hampshire, United States of America, by the name of Hooksett is soon to become a major tourist destination. This town boasts of sublime scenic beauty as it lies in the fore of the Merrimack River. It comprises of a division of villages, called the CDP, which are inhabited by the majority of its population. This picturesque location is home to around 11,750 people who earn their living in this quiet town by indulging in primary industrial activity of manufacturing. Electrical, textile, sandstone and soil products are the major areas of generating revenue. Owing to its natural beauty, Hooksett is on the verge of maintaining a full-fledged tourism industry which will not only benefit the town but also delight the visitors with the pristine charm that the place still retains.
Tourism in Hooksett
Even though this town is not renowned in the globetrotter’s list, it is still catching up as a coveted tourist location. The beauty of place remains untarnished by the nuances of the modern world and this is precisely the reason why many people visit Hooksett to bask in the solace of solitude. It is a perfect family destination and boasts of many beautiful natural, cultural and historical attractions. The main attractions of Hooksett include Lake Winnipesaukee, the White Mountain, the National Forest and The Strawberry Bank. Other than these, there is a store named Robie’s Country Store which has received it fair share of fame owing to the numerous visits made by renowned personalities including presidential candidates.
The beauty of the place is however not enough to boost its diminutive tourism industry. Owing to the fact that a larger city like Manchester lies in close proximity, the charm of this quintessential town is subdued to an extent. Nevertheless, this town is progressing on the path of sustainable development and green technology which might as well serve as the factors of its crowning glory.
SWOT analysis of Hooksett
In order to analyze the tourism opportunities in this town, we will now take the help of the SWOT analysis wherein we will discuss the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities of Hooksett.
The major attractions of a town serve the purpose of a tourist destination to a great extent. The Merrimack River which snakes through the town not only enhances the scenic beauty but is also a coveted spot for adventurous visitors who indulge in activities like boating and water sports. Also, the Bear Brook State Park attracts people with the wide range of activities like camping, horse rides and ATV rides. These two places are considered to be the primary strengths of Hooksett in propagating a well maintained tourism industry.
However, the weaknesses of Hooksett outnumber the strengths in more than one ways. First, a small town is rarely a coveted holiday destination for people unless it is bestowed with unparalleled treasures of the world. Second, the lack of a proper and well maintained tourism industry makes Hooksett quite an unconventional holiday spot.
Nevertheless, the opportunities that surround Hooksett are not to be overlooked. The government is doing a remarkable job in developing the town by building more residential and commercial buildings and introducing green practices which will not only benefit the natives but also the visitors. But in doing so, we must also ascertain the threats that need to be tackled in order to achieve the predetermined goals. Being near to a big city is not too favorable for a small town unless it can keep pace with the developmental and modernistic pursuits of the city. This is easier said than done considering the fact the Hooksett is only a small town comprising of a few thousand people.
The fact that it is a small town does not obliterate the possibility of expansive promotion. This is quite evident from the website which is attributed to Hooksett and is a great source of information pertaining to the town. One can find general information about the town and all its noteworthy members on the website. It also provides information on transportation, property taxes, schools, agendas and many other segments which are important to know the town in the best possible manner [Town of Hooksett, 2013].
In order to acknowledge and highlight the shortcomings of Hooksett as a popular tourist destination, the members of the panel, which comprises of dignitaries of the town, assembled in unison to express their opinions. There are many issues which demand immediate attention in Hooksett. For instance, the lack of employment opportunity mars the prospect of sustainable growth. Therefore, projects like building of the Bass Pro Shops were much appreciated as they promised a better and increased number of employment opportunities. Furthermore, the prospect of an upcoming tourist centre, which will be constructed on a massive expanse, is something that both the residents and the visitors would look forward to. The centre would be an iconic landmark of Hooksett which will include world class amenities like a bar and a restaurant, a food court, parking lots and many more. This upcoming project is expected to change the look and feel of the town with its modern presence and thereby attract more people to choose their spot of accommodation in Hooksett instead of lodging in Manchester.
The propagation of green technology is however in the process of achieving its full potential. So far, it has only been introduced and implemented in a few town offices. Owing to sensibility of the locals, it has also been seen that a few households have adapted to a greener technology by adhering to the recommendations proposed by the town council. This is an indication that Hooksett is definitely on the path of sustainable growth as it has just begun to encourage the most important segment of the society, the residents, to welcome and propagate a green and clean environment.
For any place to become a coveted destination, it is very important for it to have a full-fledged tourism department who can take the responsibility and accountability of all the activities pertaining to tourism. This is precisely the reason why Hooksett is in need of a sensible and practical policy which would not only increase its opportunity as a tourist destination but will also enhance the lifestyle of the local folks. It needs to be noted that the proposed policy is in sync with the norms of the WTTC in order to ensure its implementation and consequentially, its success.
In order to be eligible to be passed as a policy, a particular idea needs to adhere to certain objectives which are designed for growth and development. In Hooksett, the three major concerns are that of unemployment, lack of sustainable development and preservation of major attractions.
First, a policy which takes care of the increasing number of unemployed individuals must be formulated as the growth of a place is only possible if the youth are given an opportunity to participate in the process of revenue generation. Second, the propagation of sustainable development must be given utter importance, as it would lead to the conservation and optimum utilization of natural resources, thereby making Hooksett a cleaner and greener place. Third, since the town is too small to become a grand tourist attraction, the existing heritages, both natural and artificial, must be preserved, maintained and retained. This would not only attract more tourists but will also increase the worth of the town as the beholder of many wonders.
In accordance with the three primary issues discussed above, it should also be noted that the town must have a set of guiding principles to abide by in the process of implementing its policies. First, the town must encourage the education of the children and the youth. Their knowledge will make them eligible enough to participate in the functioning of the government that runs the town. Also, their employment would mean a higher standard of living for the residents and the increased possibility of further developmental projects. Second, the local authorities need to make it a mandatory practice to inculcate clean and green technology in every household. Each and every household is a significant part of the town and their mutual support can help the town grow and prosper. Third, the guiding principle pertaining to the conservation of natural and artificial attractions must be applied with immediate effect. For a small town like Hooksett, which is yet unknown in the global world of infrastructural brilliance, it would only make sense to optimally utilize its major attractions for the benefit of tourists.
In order to reap the rewards of a practical and rational policy, the best strategy would be to encourage maximum participation from the natives. The panel of dignitaries would function better if there is a cumulative effort from the young and the elderly to make the town a better place for tourism. Inviting opinions and implementing the ones that make sense is a simple way of trading on the path of success.
Policy Declaration and Implementation
Pertaining to the issues which directly affect Hooksett as a tourist destination, we would include three policies that will definitely act in favor of the place and boost its developmental aspects.
- Employment Scheme for all eligible individuals.
- Green technology for all residential and commercial properties.
- Conservation programs for natural and artificial tourist attractions.
It is quite evident from the motive of formulating these policies that their implementation solely depends upon maximum participation. The natives of Hooksett must unite in the process of making their hometown a coveted tourist destination and they must act in accordance with the policies in order to achieve a higher standard of living furnished with sustainable growth and development.
- Gstcouncil.org (2013). Destination Stewardship. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.gstcouncil.org/gstc-objectives/gstc-destinations.html
- Town Of Hooksett, N. (2013). Welcome to Hooksett. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.hooksett.org/pages/index