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Partnering with a community’s tourism and business development groups, 4VI provides insights on how a community’s visitor experience is perceived and the opportunities that exist to enhance it.

4VI’s mission is to ensure tourism is a force for good – forever. One of the ways we achieve this outcome is by working with individual communities to help them improve their overall visitor experience. The First Impressions Assessment program identifies opportunities for both tourism and economic development, and in 2022 we included a sustainability lens through which the review is conducted.

The assessment is free-of-charge to the communities. It begins with an online audit of the destination, one that replicates the current visitor pre-arrival experience. Then 4VI’s team visits the community, speaking openly with residents and businesses, while also conducting assessments as to the current state of visitor experiences. There are also in-depth meetings with the local organization(s) that requested the assessment.

4VI has a framework that we have developed to review the communities and uncover and define the opportunities. “We have check lists,” says Kyla Egan, 4VI’s Director of Sustainability, “from initial perceptions to development opportunities.” 

The full report is delivered roughly one month after the on-site visit and meetings. Kyla says the response from participating communities has been overwhelmingly positive. “Some communities simply don’t know where to start. Our report provides them with focus, and this simplifies the process for them,” she says. Some of the communities have already implemented the recommendations in the Assessment, from improved signage and wayfinding to front-of-house training and event development.

The program has been so successful that 4VI is now working on a regional scale. When communities come together to improve their economic viability, tourism experiences and sustainable practices, the benefits are far reaching.

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