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Strategic Plan

The development of a strategic tourism plan for a destination is an articulation of the strategic priorities and direction that have been identified by stakeholders for the planning, development, management and marketing of a region. Strategic Plans for destinations have been called Destination Management Plans, Tourism Action Plans or Sustainable Tourism Plans in different regions across the world. A strategic plan for destination management is essential for the long-term success and sustainability of a destination. As highlighted in the case of the Leeds region in the United Kingdom, while having a strategic plan for tourism will not solve all of a destination’s challenges, not having a strategic direction will certainly cause more issues in the future.Read more
The development of a strategic tourism plan for a destination is an articulation of the strategic priorities and direction that have been identified by stakeholders for the planning, development, management and marketing of a region. Strategic Plans for destinations have been called Destination Management Plans, Tourism Action Plans or Sustainable Tourism Plans in different regions across the world. A strategic plan for destination management is essential for the long-term success and sustainability of a destination. As highlighted in the case of the Leeds region in the United Kingdom, while having a strategic plan for tourism will not solve all of a destination’s challenges, not having a strategic direction will certainly cause more issues in the future.

 

Developing a successful strategic plan for tourism requires taking a comprehensive destination management approach. A Destination Management Planning Model developed by Tourism Queensland provides a process for developing a strategic plan for a destination.


Source: Queensland Tourism Strategy, Tourism Queensland 2006

 

A successful strategic plan should:

 

  • Be developed based on an assessment of the situation analysis phase of planning, including consideration of visitor markets, operating environment, resource capacity, existing products and experiences and statutory and planning environment. As a destination with relatively low market share, the Hunter Valley embraced best practice when they realigned their strategic focus following extensive research into potential new visitor growth markets and consumer needs;
  • Be developed as a collaborative process, engaging a wide range of stakeholders who provide input into the developing the strategic direction for a destination;
  • Destination Management Tip

    Strategic destination planning is a cyclical process that requires ongoing monitoring and review and the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions.

  • Ensure alignment with the vision of the destination, the destination’s image and the values of stakeholders;
  • Identify and prioritise key strategies and actions for future destination management, development and marketing; as demonstrated in the strategic approach of the Daylesford region, developing a suite of interrelated tourism plans including a Strategic Plan, Action Plan and Stakeholder Communication Plan;
  • Identify clear stakeholder responsibilities and timelines for the implementation of strategies and actions;
  • Establish clear goals and measures for achieving the vision of the destination;
  • Establish a regular review and monitoring program to assess the implementation of the strategy;
  • Be developed as a ‘living’ document that can be adapted and updated as the operating environment changes; as demonstrated in Byron Shire and its commitment to regular review of their Tourism Strategic Plan against external and internal changes.

 

Additional best practice case studies of regional tourism destinations can be found in the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre’s Sustainable Regional Tourism Destinations report.


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  • National Tourism Research Agenda Framework

    We are seeking your comment and views on how you can participate in the National Tourism Research Agenda. The Agenda was discussed at the CAUTHE conference on 10 February (presentation and draft Agenda attached).

    The Research Advisory Board is one of nine Working Groups established to implement the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy. The Research Advisory Board has developed the draft National Tourism Research Agenda Framework for identifying and informing tourism research priorities from now to 2020 and beyond.

    The draft National Tourism Research Agenda is aimed at guiding research activities to support the needs of government and industry. The development of the Agenda has been informed by analysis of research audit, the issues and gaps identified in the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, the Jackson Report and the work of the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre.

    The framework has identified four key themes or research pillars: Curre

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