Dr. Richard Benfield's Home
It all started in 1997 when I was sitting outside Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and noticed large numbers of tourists visiting the garden. I went on a hunt for the data on garden visiting and found … nothing.
Today in the United States, more people visit public gardens (est. 78 million) than visit Disneyland and Disneyworld combined and in a survey just released by VisitBritain, garden visiting by overseas visitors is the third most popular activity ahead of visiting a museum, castle, historic house or art gallery; perhaps not surprisingly Shopping and “Going to a Pub” are more popular than any other activities!
Thus it is surprising that there is a paucity of literature on tourism to gardens and on the importance of flower festivals and events as tourism generators. Hence since1997 I have been collecting data on garden tourism that in 2013 culminated in the publication AND SALE! Of the book below. …Nah its not the book only an order form!
Jim Charlier, Past-President of the very successful Buffalo Garden Days considers me the preeminent expert on garden tourism. In turn, I tell Jim, I think I am
the only person doing garden research so I probably am also the WORST! However I get many invitations to speak on the topic of Garden Tourism and many (well, two
people) ask me for a copy of my presentations. When I attempt to email the poor unfortunate person with the power point it is invariably too large (heck whadda yuh
expect in a garden show? – lots of pretty pictures and much memory consumption, that’s what).