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The Changing Environment

The tourism industry operates in a constantly changing environment that is influenced by a wide range of global, national, regional and organisational trends.Read more
The tourism industry operates in a constantly changing environment that is influenced by a wide range of global, national, regional and organisational trends. An understanding of the changing environment should guide destination planning and management. An analysis should involve consideration of the:

  • Internal Environment – including an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the destination, access to human resources and funding, understanding of the stakeholder network, the destination life cycle, important issues and challenges, and the development potential and attractiveness of the destination;

    Destination Management Tip

    Social trends such as the use of technology and attitudes towards the environment are a major driver of tourism consumer preferences.

    • External Environment – including an assessment of the macro and micro environment trends (economic, political, social and environmental) at a global, national and regional level that may impact on the destination. This includes identifying future threats and opportunities, analysis of the competitive attributes of the destination and potential competitors.


    Three important research programs have been completed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre to assist in better understanding a destination’s operating environment:



    The Destination Competitiveness and Sustainability model found in Modelling Destination Competitiveness can be used to assess the external macro and micro environment and the internal competitive attributes of a destination. This assessment forms a key part of developing appropriate strategies for destination development, management and marketing.


    Source: Ritchie, J.R.B. and G.I. Crouch (2003). The Competitive Destination: A Sustainable Tourism Perspective, CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.


    The Megatrends Underpinning Tourism to 2020 report identifies key global and national factors and trends that are likely to impact on the competitiveness of tourism destinations. Proactive and innovative approaches are required to negate these potential challenges and remain competitive.


    The STCRC’s Local Government Pathways to Sustainable Tourism workbook provides a framework for undertaking a Tourism Health Check to assessing a region’s readiness to participate in tourism and destination management, taking into consideration the internal and external environment.


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    Discussion results

    • Gold Coast Eco-efficiency Tourism Cluster

      Hi Everyone,

      Thank-you for your attendance at the first cluster meeting on Monday. It was great to meet you all and hear about the wonderful initiatives you have already implemented or are looking to explore.

      As we discussed on Monday, this forum is a space for each of you to share your thoughts and ask questions throughout the course of the program. We encourage each of you to share the knowledge and experience you have with fellow cluster members and ask questions of both our organisation and each other.

      We will also use this forum to post presentations from the meetings, minutes and other information that comes to light throughout the course of the project.

      Also, don't hesitate to contact myself, Mark Olsen or Claire Hendrie directly on 3238 1913 if you have any questions.



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