One of the most popular communication vehicles that communities and groups use to promote their heritage is a walking tour, or sometimes a driving tour.
One of the reasons that walking/driving tours are so popular is because they appear easy to do – featuring short texts and lots of images. And given a modest outlay of time for writing and design, and usually a modest cost for production, they can indeed be very effective.
The focus of a walking/driving tour is sites – usually historic buildings and some sites that have historical associations. And so given this kind of attention, Heritage Manitoba recommends that communities and groups consider these thoughts as they develop a local walking/driving tour:
- Does your community have a reasonable collection of historic buildings and sites that merit the production of a walking/driving tour?
- Is the collection focused or varied – for example, is it a commercial core with similar buildings aligned in a row; or is it a variety of buildings with various functions and spread over a large area?
- Have you done a "Special Places" project (Link to Our Essential Past: Collect the Facts/Model Projects)? This kind of initiative is designed to ensure that a community's architectural history and claims are clearly defined and enunciated via a range of communication materials
- Do you have locally available people knowledgeable about historic buildings and architecture; about the community's and the province's history?
- Does your community's built past have an over-arching theme or angle that can be used in an introduction to the tour – to help readers see individual buildings as part of a larger theme?
- Do you have locally available writers and editors?
- Do you have locally available photographer or illustrator to provide compelling images?
- Do you have a local graphic designer who can develop the tour in the most effective and attractive way?
- Have you thought about the audience – in terms of the content and the tour design?
- Do you have the funding necessary for production?
- Do you have a distribution strategy in place?
- Have you contacted owners of potential entries on the tour? Do they approve?
The guide Developing an Effective Walking Tour located under Resources and Guides explains how to develop excellent walking/driving tours.