A destination’s products, attractions and experiences drive a visitor’s destination choice. Developing appropriate and innovative tourism product is essential for the long term sustainability of a tourism destination.
A destination’s products, attractions and experiences drive a visitor’s destination choice. Developing appropriate and innovative tourism product is essential for the long term sustainability of a tourism destination. Tourism product development should be based on:
Visitor Needs and Demands
Simply developing a tourism product does not necessarily mean that visitors will come. Successful products and experiences meet and exceed visitor expectations and fit with the destination’s brand. The Visitor Attractions Satisfaction Benchmarking Project by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre developed the Importance-Performance Analysis Grid for assessing visitor satisfaction through analysing the importance of selected product attributes with overall performance or satisfaction.
Destination Management Tip
State and National Tourism Organisations provide information and assistance for destinations looking to attract tourism investment for their region.
Creating a Competitive Advantage
A new product should also be based on whether it will create a competitive advantage or add value to the existing tourism assets of a destination. A 4-Way Test (as below) can be used to help assess the value and sustainability of a tourism project or proposal. The test assesses the tourism development opportunity based on factors such as competitive advantage, responsibility and stakeholders, resource commitment necessary and action required. An analysis of existing competition within a destination and with other destinations is also important in assessing the long-term viability of a project.
(I) Competitive Advantage
· Is the product / experience unique?
· Does it meet the needs of target markets?
· Is the need for the product demand driven?
(II) Who is Responsible?
· Is there evidence of market failure?
· Is this a public or private project or is it a public/private partnership?
(III) Resource Commitment
· Do we have the capacity / skills / resources to undertake the project?
· Do we have the funds to undertake the project or what resources are available?
· Is this project consistent with existing strategies and planning schemes?
· Is there the required support product and infrastructure?
(IV) Taking Action
· What skills sets are required to take this project forward?
· Who is responsible for approval of the project?
· What are the risks?
· Who are the potential partners?
Source: Local Government Pathways to Sustainable Tourism, Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, 2009
Local, State and National planning schemes define what is ‘allowable’, along with factors such as the land availability and zoning; infrastructure and resource capacity required and available and impacts on the environment and this will dictate the success of a development application. Once established, businesses should allow for a major refurbishment or reinvestment every 5-7 years to keep a product fresh and ‘top of mind’. Investment into tourism products and experiences will be generated either through the private sector, public sector or through a public/private partnership. Please visit the sections on ‘Public Infrastructure’ and ‘Private Infrastructure and Investment’ for more information. Further information on product development by individual businesses can be found in the ‘Business Operations’ section.
Please use the links below to read more about tourism product development opportunities in specific market sectors including accommodation, events and festivals, food and wine, cultural and heritage and other niche markets.