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Tourism, Environment & Sustainable Development Cluster


Underlying New Hampshire’s strong tourism economy is a tradition of hosting French-speaking visitors from Canada, specifically Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. This project began last year by taking a fresh look at how to enhance the experience of these visitors in the North Country, thereby increasing visitor days, dollars spent per visitor, repeat visits, referrals and overall customer satisfaction. Underlying these primary benefits, a secondary objective was to relieve some issues caused by over-subscription of traditional tourist destinations such as Franconia Notch State Park and the Franconia Ridge. This year, we chose to narrow our focus to the restaurant industry and the town of Bethlehem. Business and French students met to discuss ideas for being culturally accommodating during in the hospitality industry. They traveled to Bethlehem to interview restaurant and brewery owners specifically about the customer “journey” at their establishments. The collaborated on a final report for the businesses they worked with in order to provide recommendations for improvement in attracting French-speaking customers. Students learned about the fragile economy, town culture, and obstacles that many North Country towns face. They provided valuable input to businesses regarding being culturally accommodating.


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