From Pulaski County Tourism
June 7, 2023, Pulaski County is proud to share their new economic tool that showcases unique post-pandemic adaptations in the ever-changing industry of tourism.
The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for the digital age, which meant that engagement with tourists would drastically shift from largely face-to-face interaction, to online engagement. Because of this major change, Visitor Centers across the country were forced to shut down as they weren’t being utilized for information, instead the centers were being used exclusively as bathroom stops rather than for accessing the information these centers were intended to provide.
Soon after this change became visible, Pulaski County decided to put together a team to solve this dilemma. Pulaski County Tourism Director, Peggy White, stated, “We had to figure out a way to properly adapt to the digital space, but at the same time focus on attracting people to the area and engaging them with physical attractions.”
It was this vision that allowed Pulaski County’s creative team to see the idea of a ‘Visitor Center’ from a new perspective. The team decided that the best way to provide information to tourists in the digital era would be to create ‘Guideries’ at different locations across the county. These Guideries would provide tourists with access to ‘The Yellow Book,’ which is a booklet of QR codes that link to attractions and business websites across not only Pulaski, but the entire New River Valley.
These Guideries combine both the future of digital tourism and an appreciation for Pulaski’s rich history as they aren’t just places to access a booklet; they are also phone booths. These Guideries were constructed as a nod to the phone booths manufactured by Pulaski Furniture in 1977. Pulaski County High School students interpreted the team’s vision and constructed these Guideries under instructor Christian Miller and are a perfect place for tourists to gather information and to interact with Pulaski’s heritage.
After partnering with 5Points Creative for branding consistency and Von Nester at Sign Systems for branding application, the style of Pulaski County makes itself known to all who see these Guideries.
Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Chair, Laura Walters, stated, “These Guideries are awesome, they are so easy to use. They provide easy-access information for the entire New River Valley through QR codes. This is cutting-edge technology for tourism and I’m excited to have it here in Pulaski County.”
These outstanding Phone Booth Guideries transcend expectations and will provide a picturesque and unique experience for tourists. Pulaski County is proud to showcase this new look as the future of ‘Visitor Centers’ and act as a leader for communities across Virginia. These booths will be placed at several different key locations within the coming weeks.