Utilizing a community stakeholder engagement process designed to develop and strengthen destination partnerships to support economic development, celebrate local culture, sustain natural and cultural assets, and enhance the well-being of residents through sustainable tourism management and marketing.
The BVA is implementing a strategy to strengthen the opportunity for the community and the park to work as partners to develop Inside Anza-Borrego in ways to better benefit from well managed tourism must also clearly reflect the need to evolve the current business promotional practices from a traditional business booster style marketing plan to a Geotourism inspired Destination Management Organization – joining the Anza-Borrego region, an acknowledged World Heritage Center Man and Biosphere Reserve, to a network of world-class UNESCO recognized sustainable destinations.
In addition to creating BorregoExperience.com the Borrego Village Association has facilitated a series of Tourism Visioning Workshops, conducted a comprehensive Visitors Survey, developed a Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan, supported the 2019 Super Bloom with planning and sanitation facilities,
Since 2018 The Borrego Village Association has used National Association for Interpretation (NAI) certified trainers and curriculum to conduct Hospitality Skills Training for local residents to become NAI Certified Interpretive Hosts,
Since 2019 we partnered with Borrego Springs Unified School District to provide NAI Certified Interpretive Hosts and Guide program as a for-credit course elective for high school juniors and Seniors. By the end of the 2022 school year 55 students will have achieved professional lever accreditations as NAI Certified Hosts and Guides.
The program builds the capacity of local people, enhance their ability to support the businesses that employ them, develop skill sets for local residents to be more employable, inspire young people about the opportunities in the travel and tourism trades and develop a cadre of local ambassadors to represent Borrego both in and outside of our destination.
Visitors to the town of Borrego Springs know about Anza-Borrego Desert State Park; in fact, many stay there for the express purpose of spending time in the park. Yet, visitors typically consider their experience in Borrego Springs to be entirely separate from their experience in the park. The Borrego Village Association (BVA) would like out-of-town visitors to view their time in Borrego Springs as an extension of their Anza-Borrego experience, connecting the two localities to create a richer, fuller experience for both. In February 2022 In 2022 the BVA engaged Tustin, California based The Acorn Group to develop a comprehensive Visitor Experience Plan. This is the first phase of developing a comprehensive Interpretive Master Plan. They are especially well qualified to take on this work for our community as in 2014 they developed the Interpretive Master Plan for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Our first step was to organize a local stakeholder focus group representing the Park, key hospitality and tourism service providers, and civil society organizations, to help guide and asses Acorn’s planning goals. In March Acorn, with help from Anza-Borrego Foundation, Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, and students in the Borrego Springs High School Interpretation Program, we initiated a visitor survey. It was conducted as in-person intercept surveys using iPads equipped with QuickTap surveys to visitors at a total of 6 locations, running through April 24th. The survey results will help us to understand the nature of a person’s visit, reveal the information visitors would like to receive before and during a visit, and reveal “pain points” during the visitor experience as opportunities for improvement. Our next step is to use the survey data, along with a community assets assessment, situation analysis and focus group feedback to create, by early this summer a Visitor Experience Plan with a comprehensive interpretive, informational and wayfinding media strategy. After that we will implement the recommendations that result from the plan, which can include a combination of signage and wayfinding along with web based applications and digital media. The Acorn Group offers a range of services in interpretive and educational master planning, exhibit design, curriculum development, and evaluation. The Acorn Group and the catalog division, Acorn Naturalists, are long established firms in the fields of education and interpretation. They are incorporated in the State of California and certified as a Small Business and Women's Business Enterprise. The Visitor Experience Plan is funded by grants from the Under the Sun Foundation, San Diego Board of Supervisors, and private donors.
The BVA has raised over $400,000, from public grant making agencies and private donors to successfully implement a suite of program activities including;
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.