Developing a visitor navigation strategy

Adopt a fair, consistent, and clear approach to tourist road signing in your area. Follow these 24 steps to devise a tourist signage strategy for your council, local government area or road authority:

  1. Assign the task of tourist signing to an appropriate officer within the organisation
  2. Identify the appropriate road authority officer in charge of tourist signing for your area
  3. Ask the local tourism organisation to nominate a staff /committee member to act as industry advisor on tourist signing matters
  4. Determine how often, when and how the three key signing people should communicate
  5. Consider forming a regional tourist signing committee that includes local tourism operators
  6. Audit key tourism navigational routes to determine existing problems, gaps and issues
  7. Audit the marketing literature and websites of local tourism operators to find out if they are providing adequate navigational instructions to their customers
  8. Consider an awareness campaign to the local tourism industry promoting use of navigational instructions in marketing collateral
  9. Ask visitors for feedback about their information needs and navigation patterns
  10. Request feedback from the local tourism industry on signing needs and issues
  11. Collect feedback from any relevant stakeholder groups on signing needs and issues
  12. Develop a communication plan to keep councillors, politicians, business and residents informed about the project, its aims, outcomes and benefits
  13. Identify and remove redundant signs in the area
  14. Identify illegally installed or suspect road signs and issue ‘show cause’ notices to the relevant business owners
  15. Audit local roads for out-of-date or inappropriate information and remove if possible
  16. Review the condition, current visitor use and available marketing support material for local area tourist drives/touring routes and remove drive/route signs where appropriate
  17. Identify locations where signs need to be rationalised and/or reduced
  18. Develop rationalisations for each location
  19. Use audits, consumer research data, industry and stakeholder consultation and rationalisation concepts to prepare a local area signing strategy and signing policy, using the visitor ‘hierarchy of needs’ as a guide
  20. Seek formal adoption of your sign policy/rationalisation plan from your road authority
  21. Determine and obtain road authority financial and in-house resourcing required to undertake rationalisation program
  22. Negotiate with sign owners to rationalise sign clutter at nominated locations
  23. If talks with sign owners in cluttered locations fail, issue ‘sunset’ notification to operators, stating deadlines for removal and/or sign re-application
  24. Request that your local road authority allocate adequate resources to ensure compliance with the signing strategy over the longer term.