Tourism can and will evolve with or without planning, however the sustainability of a destination depends on whether the type and scale of tourism is best suited to the destination. Effective destination management relies on an iterative and continual planning process that integrates tourism into a community’s social, economic and environmental aspirations.
Tourism can and will evolve with or without planning, however the sustainability of a destination depends on whether the type and scale of tourism is best suited to the destination. Effective destination management relies on an iterative and continual planning process that integrates tourism into a community’s social, economic and environmental aspirations. Tourism destination planning is an area which has attracted significant research and analysis, summarised in the following sub-sections of Destination Planning:
- Situation Analysis
- Planning Process
- Ongoing Engagement
Effective destination management looks at the strategic direction for future development, marketing and management of tourism where decision making is based on an assessment of the best available knowledge. In short, effective destination planning should:
- Be collaborative process that ensures the engagement, participation and commitment of all relevant stakeholders;
- Be a coordinated approach that is managed based on clearly defined processes and frameworks;
- Be based on an understanding of existing internal and external operating environments of the destination;
- Be based on a sound understanding of tourism supply and demand forecasts for the destination;
- Consider all relevant information including market research, stakeholder values, the planning environment and available resources and assets;
- Develop a clear and agreed strategic direction for the destination including a tourism vision, goals, strategies and actions, brand and positioning, roles and responsibilities, ongoing management processes and performance measures;
- Result in the development of key planning and strategic documents including plans for destination management, ongoing research, strategic marketing, risk identification and management;
- Be used to inform all phases of destination management including ‘Implementation’ and ‘Destination Performance’;
- Be an ongoing or cyclical process, where plans and strategies are regularly reviewed to ensure relevance within the changing environment.
Elements of effective destination planning can be achieved through three steps - the situation analysis phase, the planning process and ongoing engagement. Further information on these steps is provided in the links below along with specific information, tools and resources to assist destination managers.