Tourism & Outdoor Recreation

  • NH lake

Managing and Enhancing Your Destination

Tourism provides substantial economic benefits to communities and the state, while generating local pride and appreciation of assets, opportunities for cultural and environmental learning, and activities for visitors and residents. Extension helps communities leverage their natural and cultural resources to create resilient and sustainable economies that highlight the state's unique and diverse assets and quality of life.      

If your community seeks assistance in the areas of tourism and recreation development, please don’t hesitate to connect with us. See below for some examples of how Extension engages with communities.

Programmatic Priorities 

Person biking, people sitting on bench, stroller and dog on a trail by water
  • Destination Development (including scenario planning, feasibility studies, and risk assessments; for established and emerging destinations)

  • Agritourism Development and Education

  • Recreation Economy (in conjunction with Extension’s Nature Economy program)

  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation Workforce and Skills Development

What We Offer in This Area

Destination Development 

Destination development involves stakeholder identification and engagement; asset maps and inventories, brand and marketing planning; organizational development, regional collaboration strategies; long-term vision planning; visitor services and product development plan.

Scenario Planning and Risk Assessment

For established visitor destinations, Scenario Planning and Risk Assessment involves evaluating impacts of demographic changes and visitor trends upon local tourism industry; utilizing assessment strategies such as SWOT and life cycle analyses for strategic visioning and planning.

Downtowns and Trails Program

This program helps communities that are working on increasing vibrancy in their downtowns and on their main streets. The program seeks to help communities connecting their economic centers with natural assets, such as trails and waterways. 

Asset Mapping for Brand Development
Visitor Perceptions (e.g. First Impressions)
Resident Attitudes Assessments

Examples include visitor readiness/resident support for tourism focus groups or surveys, depending upon length of engagement

Visitor Services and Infrastructure Assessments
Scenario Planning and Risk Assessment
Building a Monitoring & Evaluation System for Your Destination
Using Data and Analytics in Community-Based Tourism Planning; Using Value Chains to Identify Opportunities for Micro-Enterprise Development
Visitor Marketing for Agribusinesses


Asset inventorying and mapping
Value chain assessment
Destination-level sustainability and risk assessments
Data generation

Examples of data generation include facilitating focus groups, conducting surveys

See below for recent articles and upcoming events.


The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and Hillsborough County invite qualified individuals to apply for the Hillsborough County Commun... Learn More
A Conversation with Mark Hayes of Highland Mountain Bike Park and the Foothills Foundation
Stepping Up the Granite examines the intersection of tourism, community development, and quality of life through interviews with New Hampshire people ... Learn More
Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our local communities and economies. They start new businesses, create jobs, provide essential ... Learn More



An entrepreneurial community is a community that intentionally acts to cultivate and support entrepreneurs. Focusing on building business and economic... Learn More
Why Conduct a Community Assessment?

A community assessment gathers data from community members to assess the current situation in a cit... Learn More
The pandemic has disrupted the economy, employment, and community vibrancy. Small towns and main streets have been especially hard hit by the impact t... Learn More
During the summer of 2020, we interviewed 20 economic development and conservation volunteers about the impact of the pandemic in Northern NH communit... Learn More

UNH Cooperative Extension partnered with the Town of Derry to lead a community outreach and engagement effort to re-imagine Hood Park. This re... Learn More