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Is Tombstone Arizona a Tourist Trap?


Hang on…before you throw something at the computer screen or close out of this email.   Our AMAZING Tombstone Arizona has often been referred as a Tourist Trap.   An online Yahoo post by Melinda Crow “50 State Tribute to the Great American Tourist Trap” picked one “Tourist Trap” from each state – and here is our state:  Arizona

There are a few complete towns that made our list for their ability to both promote and attract tourists. The first is Tombstone, which sucks you in with history and keeps you coming for the fun.

The Tombstone Chamber queried the author about using “tourist trap” and Tombstone Arizona in the same sentence.   She said very clearly that this was meant as a compliment to Tombstone.   She said “We Love Tombstone.”

Putting the phrase “Tourist Trap” aside for a minute – Melinda’s statement that “Tombstone, sucks you in with history and keeps you coming for the fun” is a positive and true statement.    We live in a community rich with history, legends and lore – and we must capitalize all of those factors professionally and effectively.    Our goal whether it is here at the Tombstone Chamber office or a business down the street should be to provide every guest the friendliest and most positive experience as possible.  

Ok…back to Tourist Trap – the definition via Wikipedia of a Tourist trap is an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created or re-purposed with the aim of attracting tourists and their money. Tourist traps will typically provide services, entertainment, souvenirs and other products for tourists to purchase.

By THIS definition I think it is safe to say that Tombstone Arizona could be considered a Tourist Trap.

Somewhere along the line the phrase Tourist Trap took on an extremely negative connotation and other sources cite the definition to be: A place, such as a shop or resort area, that offers overpriced goods and services to tourists.

For the community of Tombstone Arizona to entirely shake the label of Tourist Trap would be monumental, but possible. 

Tombstone is Three Blocks of History and a Million Miles of Guest Expectations

Here in the United States, Tombstone Arizona is a well-visited, historical and vital part of American history.  Our community lives up to the tag line of  “The Town Too Tough To Die.”   We have endured through the economic roller coasters, and some of us are adjusting to the trends in “Heritage Tourism” and realizing the power of how social media can help (and hurt) our businesses.

“Imagine an entire city on the National Historic Register.  What you'll see in Tombstone Arizona today is a careful, accurate restoration of a historically significant city.  Much of Tombstone’s architecture is unique to the West.  While the mining boom of 1877 brought the likes of Tombstone’s founder, Ed Schieffelin, it also provided the back drop for the “shots heard around the world” at the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Tombstone Arizona is a living showcase to history.”

The Guests that visit Tombstone have an expectation of an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE!  

A first time visitor to Tombstone is wonderful – the goal should be to ensure that from the first time visitor the Community (this means ALL businesses) do enough positive customer service to create a repeat visitor.   People who come back again and again because they love the ribs from the restaurant down the street, they had such wonderful treatment from the hosts at the Bed & Breakfast, and every person they met was friendly and positive about all that Tombstone had to offer.   Remember – we are all in this together.   

For all business owners/managers here in Tombstone AZ  there are FREE and low cost marketing tools available to promote our AMAZING community and events – a Facebook Business Page that is maintained and current, an up to date mobile friendly website, and and Google My Business listing.     

Have a marketing questions or need help - email