Every tourism project, big or small, starts – or should start – with sound strategic planning.
Strategic tourism planning “considers all of the tourism resources, organizations, markets, and programs within a region. Comprehensive planning also considers economic, environmental, social, and institutional aspects of tourism development” (Stynes & O’Halloran, 1987). Strategic tourism planning has four main goals (Gunn & Var, 2002):
- improved economy and business success – increased rewards to ownership and development in a sustainable manner;
- community and area integration – integration of all tourism development into the social and economic life of a community;
- sustainable resource use; and
- enhanced visitor satisfaction.
Strategic tourism planning comprises a minimum of seven steps, namely: 1) Needs assessment/research and analysis, 2) Definition of goals and objectives, 3) Identification of the tourism system (e.g., via SWOT and PEST analyses), 4) Generation of alternatives, 5) Evaluation and selection of alternatives, 6) Plan implementation, 7) Evaluation and adjustment. The concrete outcome of the strategic tourism planning process is the tourism master plan.
A tourism master plan is a blueprint for the future – it consists of an organized framework for tourism development in a given destination, region, or country, attached to a specific timeframe. Ordinarily tourism master plans have timelines of 5, 10, or 20 years, albeit short-term tourism plans, or tactical tourism plans (comprising tourism development within 2-5 years), are becoming more common.
You can learn more about the tourism planning process here. Insights Consulting Solutions can help you with any step(s) and/or goal(s) of the strategic tourism planning process. Contact us for more details.