Asset Mapping + Strategy Development (case study)
Updated: Jun 23
The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources contracted with Girl on the Roof to conduct a Heritage, Outdoor Recreation, and Arts Tourism Feasibility and Programming Plan for Jones County, the third least populated county in the State of North Carolina.
The purposes of this project, as determined by the State, were to:
Identify existing assets for arts, outdoor recreation, and heritage tourism opportunities in Jones County;
Identify potential collaborations between tourism assets in Jones County and those in neighboring counties;
Analyze the feasibility of enhanced land and water connections for tourism purposes in Jones County;
Develop recommendations for the following key areas of focus needed for tourism enhancement: local government cooperation, facilities, capital and operational costs, promotion of assets and visitation, and programming opportunities, including collaborations between Jones County entities and Department assets in Lenoir and Craven Counties.
To accomplish the above objectives, Girl on the Roof proposed a multi-phased approach as follows:
Phase 1: DISCOVERY
site visits, brand audit, benchmarking, collaboration exploration, stakeholder interviews, community engagement (input meetings), asset mapping, digital photography
Girl on the Roof’s discovery process included driving the span of Jones County, visiting shops, restaurants, natural resources, and historical sites, capturing photos and video, mapping current and potential tourism assets, and noting themes and gaps. The Girl on the Roof team also interviewed 12 stakeholders, facilitated a public meeting, and led a steering committee meeting. As part of benchmarking efforts, Girl on the Roof conducted a test boat tour from the Neuse River in New Bern up the Trent River to Pollocksville and produced a video of the journey. Throughout the discovery process, attention was given to potential collaboration between county stakeholders and resources to maximize tourism offerings.
Phase 2: STRATEGY & PLAN
audience persona development, asset-based positioning (message development), audience-driven tourism promotion strategy, draft plan development, and community engagement (input meeting)
Girl on the Roof’s research, strategies, and plan focused on the following areas:
Defining tourism (and educating the county’s citizens on the importance of supporting local businesses)
Evaluating assets using a customized Marketable Asset Filter tool developed by Girl on the Roof
Business growth and creation
Building on past efforts
The resulting 64-page report contained more than 100 recommendations for expanding tourism, categorized by:
Maximizing existing assets through increased marketability and/or monetization
Asset expansion and development
Historical and heritage tourism opportunities
Recreational and ecological tourism
Arts and culture tourism (including events, retail, food & beverage, and lodging)
Marketing, communications, and promotion
Additionally, Girl on the Roof went the extra step to research and provide economic development models employed by other states that could help fund some of these efforts.
Shortly after the completion of this project, Hurricane Florence devastated Jones County. The recommendations provided by Girl on the Roof helped the County leverage state and federal resources to rebuild more strategically, implementing a number of the recommendations made by our team.
Example pages from the report: