The Owl of Dijon

A lesson in tourism from Dijon, France. First – decide what you are going to feature. In the case of Dijon, it was their historic sites in the old part of the city.

Second –  find a local symbol, a recognizable emblem of the city to use to identfy your historic sites. In Dijon they used a sculpture of an owl, carved on the stone wall of the church. It is a local symbol of good luck. Tradition has it that if you make a wish and rub the owl with your left hand, it will come true.

Third – placement. In Dijon, they used little brass triangles imbedded in the sidewalk to lead you on a path to the historic highlights in their World Heritage Site, 92 hectare (230 acres) original walled village. The cathedrals, ancient timbered houses, and medieval buildings are then marked by a larger square brass placque in the sidewalk in front of them.

It is a system that is easy to use, kid and family friendly, which brings an awareness to the locals about the importance of preserving their heritage. Maps and pamphlets help identify walks and historical significance to all who are interested.

There you have it, a tourism builder to hang a campaign on. And, it’s fun to use!

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About richardfrisbie

I'm a professional baker, reader, bookseller, publisher, columnist, photographer, cook, hiker, kayaker, freelance writer, and workaholic who likes to garden
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