Strategies for Tourism Destination Management

tourism destination management planning framework and world tourism organization destination management and a practical guide to tourism destination management
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A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM Chapter 1 AnIntr oduction toDestination Management 1.1 Defining aT ourism Destination 1.1.1 Introduction A local tourism destination is a physical space in which a tourist spends at least one overnight. It includes tourism products such as support services and attractions and tourist resources within one day’s return travel time. It has physical and administrative boundaries defining its management, and images and perceptions defining its market competitiveness. Local destinations incorporate various stakeholders often including a host community, and can nest and network to form larger destinations. Destinations could be on any scale, from a whole country (e.g. Australia), a region (such as the Spanish ‘Costas’) or island (e.g. Bali), to a village, town or city, or a self-contained centre (e.g. Center Parc or Disneyland). This document is intended to be useful to destination managers within this range of scales: that said the optimum level for destination management in most countries is below the national level. 1.1.2 The BasicElements ofthe TouristDestination Destinations contain a number of basic elements which attract the visitor to the destination and which satisfy their needs on arrival. These basic elements can be broken down into attractions (the ‘must sees’ 1 or ‘must dos’) and the other remaining elements . These are summarised in Figure 1. The provision and quality of these elements will be influential in the visitor’s decisions to make their trip. Figure 1 Destination experiences Destination appeal and experiences offered are shaped by: Public and Attractions Accessibility Price Human Image and Private Resources Character Amenities Attractions. These are often the focus of visitor attention and may provide the initial motivation for the tourist to visit the destination. These can be categorised as natural (e.g. beaches, mountains, parks, weather), built (e.g. iconic buildings such as the Eiffel tower, heritage monuments, religious buildings, conference and sports facilities), or cultural (e.g. museums, theatres, art galleries, cultural events). They could be in the public realm such as a nature park, cultural or historical sites or could be community attractions and services such as culture, heritage or lifestyle. Other, less tangible factors, such as uniqueness and emotional or experiential triggers are also attracting tourists to destinations. Amenities. These are the wide range of services and facilities which support the visitors’ stay and include basic infrastructure such as utilities, public transport, and roads as well as direct services for the visitor 1 Cho,B. H. (2000),‘Destination’, in J. Jafari(Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Tourism, Routledge,London and New York. © 2007 World Tourism Organization – ISBN 978-92-844-1243-3 Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 2 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management such as accommodation, visitor information, recreations facilities, guides, operators and catering and shopping facilities. Accessibility. The destination should be accessible to a large population base via road, air passenger services, rail or cruise ships. Visitors should also be able to travel with relative ease within the destination. Visa requirements, ports of entry, and specific entry conditions should be considered as part of the accessibility of the destination. Image. A unique character or image is crucial in attracting visitors to the destination. It is not sufficient to have a good range of attractions and amenities if potential visitors are not aware of this. Various means can be used to promote the destinations image (e.g. marketing and branding, travel media, e- marketing). The image of the destination includes uniqueness, sights, scenes, environmental quality, safety, service levels, and the friendliness of people. Price. Pricing is an important aspect of the destination’s competition with other destinations. Price factors relate to the cost of transport to and from the destination as well as the cost on the ground of accommodation, attractions, food and tour services. A tourist’s decision may also be based on other economic features such as currency exchange. Human Resources. Tourism is labour intensive and interaction with local communities is an important aspect of the tourism experience. A well-trained tourism workforce and citizens who are equipped and aware of the benefits and responsibilities associated with tourism growth are indispensable elements of tourism destination delivery and need to be managed in accordance with the destination strategy. 1.2 DefiningDestination Management 1.2.1 TheDestination Management Organisation (DMO) Destination management calls for a coalition of many organisations and interests working towards a common goal. The Destination Management Organisation’s role should be to lead and coordinate activities under a coherent strategy. They do not control the activities of their partners but bring together resources and expertise and a degree of independence and objectivity to lead the way forward. It follows that DMOs must develop a high level of skill in developing and managing partnerships. Though DMOs have typically undertaken marketing activities, their remit is becoming far broader, to become a strategic leader in destination development. Tourism Victoria, Australia: Goals of a destination management organisation Tourism Victoria is the State Government authority responsible for developing and marketing Victoria as a premium tourist destination for Australian and international travellers. Tourism Victoria is a statutory authority within the Department of Innovation, Industry, and Regional Development. Tourism Victoria’s mission, in partnership with the industry, is to “Maximise employment and the long-term economic benefits of tourism to Victoria by developing and marketing the State as a competitive tourist destination”. To achieve this mission, the Board of Tourism Victoria has set the organisation four broad goals: Marketing Goal. To increase visitor numbers, length of stay and visitor expenditure by positioning Victoria as a distinct and competitive tourist destination. Leadership Goal. To take a leadership role in the tourism industry, encourage professional standards and the development of cooperative arrangements which maximise industry effectiveness. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 3 Infrastructure Goal. To improve the tourism assets of Victoria by identifying infrastructure opportunities and facilitating development projects. Management Goal. To maximise the effective use of resources by conducting the business of Tourism Victoria in accordance with professional commercial management principles. See: Destination Management Organisations generally fall into one of the following categories: • National Tourism Authorities (NTAs) or Organisations (NTOs), responsible for management and marketing of tourism at a national level. • Regional, provincial or state DMOs (RTOs), responsible for the management and/or marketing of tourism in a geographic region defined for that purpose, sometimes but not always an administrative or local government region such as a county, state or province. • Local DMOs, responsible for the management and/or marketing of tourism based on a smaller geographic area or city/town. Taking New Zealand as an example, these categories would be represented by New Zealand Tourism at a national level; Destination Fiordland at a regional level nz; and Positively Wellington at a local or city level Destination Management is complex. The DMO’s most critical assets are its credibility as a strategic leader in tourism destination marketing and development and its ability to facilitate industry partnerships and collaboration towards a collective destination vision. Northwest England: Implementing the tourism strategy The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest. Tourism is a significant sector within the regional economy. NWDA has been given the leading, strategic role in the development of tourism in the region and will deliver the Regional Tourism Strategy through a new support structure which comprises: • The Visitor Economy Forum who will oversee the development of strategy and the broader regional visitor economy ensuring synergy between regional and sub-regional strategies. A Regional Tourism Management team, chaired by NWDA, consisting of Visit Britain and the five tourist boards is responsible for driving and co-ordinating the operational delivery of the strategy. • The regional tourism executive group within the NWDA which is responsible for the strategic direction of tourism in the region, providing funding and project management, managing relationships with DMOs and, through its specialist teams, leading developments in ICT, skills, research, regional marketing and business support. • The five sub-regional Tourist Boards are the DMOs responsible for the tourism management of these areas, including destination marketing, relations with the industry, research, project delivery and leading the delivery of their strategy through the Destination Management Plans that bring together all those involved in tourism and the visitor economy in their sub- region. See: and Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 4 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management 1.2.2 Whatis Destination Management? Destination management is the co-ordinated management of all the elements that make up a destination (attractions, amenities, access, marketing and pricing). Destination management takes a strategic approach to link-up these sometimes very separate entities for the better management of the destination. Joined up management can help to avoid duplication of effort with regards to promotion, visitor services, training, business support and identify any management gaps that are not being addressed. There are various options for destination management governance as follows: • Department of single public authority; • Partnership of public authorities, serviced by partners; • Partnership of public authorities, serviced by a joint management unit; • Public authority(ies) outsourcing delivery to private companies; • Public-private partnership for certain functions – often in the form of a non-profit making company; • Association or company funded purely by a private sector partnership and/or trading – again for certain functions. Destination management can be summarised as follows: Figure 2 Destination management Elements of the destination Attractions Amenities Accessibility Human resources Image Price The DMO Leading and co-ordinating Marketing Delivery on the ground Getting people to visit Exceeding expectations Creating a suitable environment: Policy, legislation, regulations, taxation The elements of the destination are supported by marketing to get people to visit in the first place and delivery of services on the ground to ensure that expectations are met at the destination. Underlying these activities is the need to ensure a suitable environment, (physical, social and economic) in which to develop tourism. The Destination Management Organisation should lead and co-ordinate these different aspects of the destination. Creating a suitable environment. This is the foundation of destination management on which the marketing of the destination and the delivery of the experience are dependent. Before the visitor is Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 5 attracted by marketing or arrives at the destination the right social, economic and physical environment in which to develop tourism must exist. A strong and authoritative DMO will be necessary to provide the leadership and to drive and co-ordinate this process. Creating the right environment includes: • Planning and infrastructure; • Human resources development; • Product development; • Technology and systems development; • Related industries and procurement. Marketing. Destination marketing should face outwards to attract visitors to the area. It should promote what is most attractive to potential visitors and most likely to persuade them to come. The key functions are: • Destination promotion, including branding and image; • Campaigns to drive business, particularly to SMMEs (Small medium and micro enterprises); • Unbiased information services; • Operation/facilitation of bookings; • CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Promotion need not necessarily follow public sector boundaries and indeed may often cut right across them to represent many regions or destinations, although individual regions may also be responsible for their own marketing as seen in Figure 3. Figure 3 Destination marketing Focus of marketing is outward looking to attract tourists to the area Destination Destination Region Destination Destination Destination Destination Destination Delivery on the ground. Ensures the quality of every aspect of the visitor’s experience once they arrive at the destination as shown in Figure 4. This includes: • Destination coordination and management for visitor ‘quality of experience’, especially the public realm; • Product “start-ups”; • Events development and management; • Attractions development and management; Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 6 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management • Training and education; • Business advice; • Strategy, research and development. Destination management tends to be most easily organised on public sector boundaries at the sub- regional, provincial or state level because the public sector is the deliverer of much of this infrastructure. However, destinations may also need to be managed across political or administrative boundaries. Destination could also be organised around a distinct attraction, such as a river valley or a stretch of coastline or a unique natural or cultural attraction. Destinations are individually responsible for managing the delivery of the tourist’s experience once they arrive. Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Rhode Island, USA The Blackstone Valley is a river valley, historically significant as the birthplace of the American Industrial revolution. This distinct geographic and heritage area is a designated National Heritage Corridor which comprises of nine different communities. The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council is a non-profit organisation which is responsible for bringing together these communities to develop and co-ordinate sustainable tourism. Blackstone Valley Tourism Council has recently received UNWTO’s best Certification for Excellence in Tourism Governance. See: Figure 4 Managing delivery on the ground Focus of management looks inward, towards destination, to ensure the quality of the visitors stay Destination Destination Region Destination Destination Destination Destination Destination 1.2.3 HowDoes DestinationManagement W ork? The stakeholders. There are many public and private sector stakeholders who are engaged in fulfilling the functions of destination management: • National and regional/provincial government; • Economic development agencies; • Local authorities/government; • Town centre management organisations; • National Park authorities; • Transport providers; Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 7 • Attractions, events and cultural organisations; • Accommodation providers; • Restaurant, leisure and retail operators; • Intermediaries (for example tour operators and conference organisers); • Destination representation agencies; • Media; • Local tourism consortia and partnerships; • Business support agencies; • Skills development organisations. Mechanisms for co-ordination and co-operation. The following mechanisms may be used for co- ordination and co-operation between stakeholders: • A tourism development and management partnership/liaison group (perhaps called a Tourism Action Group), overseeing: – Joint strategy development. – Joint destination management planning. – Implementation on a coordinated basis. And/or • Integrated product development and promotion projects. • Bringing together partners for focused project planning (including investment planning) and implementation over specific timescale. The process. The Destination Management Plan (DMP) is a key instrument for building partnership and commitment. As a document it should set out clearly the plan of action and the rationale for the programme. As a process it should be a prime opportunity to: • Integrate the actions of separate organisations; • Confirm and strengthen the link between strategy and action; • Apply the DMO’s knowledge and expertise to the project planning of other organisations; • Foster an evidence-based and learning approach to destination promotion and management. Hainan, China: A Tourism Development Master Plan for Hainan Province (2000) Hainain is the largest ocean island and the smallest land province in China, its natural assets have made it the focus for tourism development. The Tourism Development Master Plan provides a systematic and scientific framework for the orderly and integrated development of tourism as an important sector of the economy of Hainan Province. The Plan specifies tourism policy, provides guidance for physical development at the regional and urban levels, and sets forth recommendations on diversifying cultural attractions, developing ecotourism, enhancing economic benefits, preventing environmental problems, establishing suitable socio-cultural approaches to tourism, developing water sports, providing the human resource development required, attracting investment in tourism, and improving tourism legislation and regulations where needed. Techniques for implementing the plan include a five-year tourism development action programme, tourism promotion programme and public tourism awareness programme. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 8 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management  1.2.4 Public/Private Partnerships The role of governance in tourism is undergoing a shift from a traditional public sector model, delivering government policy, to one of a more corporate nature emphasising efficiency, return on investments, the role of the market and partnership between public and private sectors. Regarding the last of these, there has been a greater emphasis on partnership working in recent years. Such partnerships may cover a range of different levels of involvement from informal through to more contractual obligations including: • Good working relationships (including regular liaison) between two or more partners. • Intermittent coordination or mutual adjustment of policies and procedures of partners to achieve common objectives. • Ad hoc or temporary arrangements to accomplish a specific task or project. • Permanent or regular coordination through a formal arrangement to undertake a specific programme of activity. • A jointly funded organisation, which is a legal entity (e.g. a company), established to deliver an ongoing programme of work, with clear defined purpose and objectives. Partnerships may be formed for economic, social or environmental purposes. They may occur on many different levels, for example between different government agencies (e.g. national parks authorities, transport agencies), between different levels of government (local, regional, national, provisional), between members of the private sector (such as market clusters), or as a collaboration across sectors (including government, private sector, educational groups, the community and so on). Increasingly the role of the DMO is to assist in the development and maintenance of these partnerships, particularly to facilitate the planning and delivery of destination management to ensure a quality of experience for visitors. Tourism Vancouver: Working with partner organisations Tourism Vancouver is a business whose purpose is to effectively market Greater Vancouver as a destination for leisure, meeting and event travellers. Tourism Vancouver is committed to developing mutually beneficial partnerships, sponsorships and related programs that support their strategic priorities. They offer a Signature Partners Program which is a multi-year strategic marketing alliance that brings sponsors and Tourism Vancouver together to leverage marketing budgets, augment marketing reach, generate demand for products and services and build business. Tourism Vancouver’s signature partners, marketing partners and community partners include Visa; Tourist Information TV; Uniglobe Advance Travel; The Vancouver Sun and The Province; EasyPark and Metropolitan Fine Printers. See: 2 Sources for this section: Hall, C. M. (1999), ‘Rethinking Collaboration and Partnership: A Public Policy Perspective’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 7(3,4), pp. 274-288. Mandell, M.P. (1999), ‘The Impact of Collaborative Efforts: Changing the Face of Public Policy Through Networks and Network Structures’, Policy Studies Review 16(1), 4-17. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 9 1.3 WhyManage theDestination? 1.3.1 WhyDoes the Destination Have to be “Managed”? Tourism is an extremely competitive industry and to compete effectively destinations have to deliver excellent value to visitors. This depends on many aspects working together in unity. From the time that the visitor arrives at the destination, until he/she leaves, visitor value is affected by many services and experiences including a range of public services, private products and community interactions and hospitality. It is vital that the various components of the visitor’s stay are managed and coordinated to maximise customer value throughout the visit. Effective destination management allows destinations to maximise tourism value for visitors while ensuring local benefits and sustainability. 1.3.2 Advantages ofManaging a Destination Some advantages of effective destination management are outlined below: Establishing a competitive edge. Two requirements are critical for destinations to achieve a competitive advantage over their rivals, namely: • Establishing a strong and unique positioning, i.e. offering a different kind of experience compared to other destinations, by developing the destination’s attractions and resources in a way that highlights its unique characteristics. • Delivering excellent quality experiences and superior value for money, by ensuring that all aspects of the visitor experience are of the highest standard are co-ordinated. Both these success factors require a coordinated management approach based on a collective vision and strong partnerships. Ensuring tourism sustainability. Sustainable tourism development with proper management and planning ensures that the destination maintains its environmental integrity and the resources and character that made it attractive in the first place are protected. Good management can also help to avoid social and cultural conflicts and prevent tourism from affecting local lifestyles, traditions and values adversely. Spreading the benefits of tourism. Tourism expenditure and consequent benefits could be spread e.g. by supporting the development of community based products and experiences, advancing rural and experiential tourism, promoting small business development, exploring the potential of arts and crafts industries, etc. Improving tourism yield. Through focused spatial development and targeted marketing, destinations could lengthen the average visitor length of stay, increase per capita visitor expenditure and reduce unwanted seasonality in visitor arrivals; all contributing to an improved return on investment and yield per visitor. Building a strong and vibrant brand identity. DMOs are increasingly realising the value and power of strong destination brands. By consistently delivering excellent value, brand loyalty increases and visitors return to the destination on a regular basis. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 10 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management Cancun, Mexico: Benefiting from destination management Destination management, provided by Cancun’s Trust for Tourism Promotion, allowed Cancun to successfully overcome the damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 by rebuilding most of their facilities and restoring natural settings. The Trust also has good relations with all the stakeholders involved in the tourism governance of Cancun, as well as providing competent supervision of the financial resources and infrastructure. In addition, there has been a large investment in human capital, with specialised training courses together with universities and other renowned institutions. Cancun was recently awarded UNWTO’s best Certification of Excellence in Tourism Governance. See: 1.4 Tourism Destination Management: Similar But Different to Other  Industries Tourism is similar to other commercial industries. As with other industries its success is measured according to commercial indicators such as the number of businesses, the number of people employed and the output achieved. Compare tourism to shoe manufacturing in a particular region or city, for example: Table 1 Common success indicators: Tourism and manufacturing industries Shoe Manufacturing Tourism Number of shoe manufacturers Number of tourism businesses Number of people employed in shoe manufacturing Number of people employed in tourism Pairs of shoes produced per annum, per type of shoe Number of visitors attracted, per visitor segment Value of shoes produced Tourist spend As with other industries a successful tourism industry depends on two key aspects coming together: a suitable experience (product) and a customer (market) that is willing to purchase and pay for it. As with other industries tourism is business driven and its success is measured in quantitative business terms. Tourism can only succeed if tourism businesses are viable, i.e. if the product is suitable and if there is adequate demand for it. However, In many respects the tourism industry differs substantially from other traditional industries. 1.4.1 Unique Features ofthe T ourism Industry As can be seen from Table 2 below, the tourism industry has many unique features when compared with a manufacturing industry: 3 See also:Advance T ourism(2002), Comparing Tourism with Other Industries, Advance Tourism, Victoria, AU. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 11 Table 2 Differences: Tourism and manufacturing industries Process Shoe manufacturing Tourism Design Professional fashion/footwear designer Visitor has major input in itinerary – often designs shoe designed by visitor himself or by travel operator/agent Clearly defined, finite product Tourism experience is flexible – nature and extent depends entirely on the visitor Logistics Materials for shoe production transported to No movement of materials or products – visitor factory where manufactured and finished travels to the destination to experience the product transported to market product Production Final shoe produced in controlled factory Tourism experience produced “on the fly” i.e. as setting – uppers, soles, laces etc. assembled visitor travels in destination, various in factory by company employees components produced and supplied by variety of stakeholders, with no central controls Promotion Product-focused promotion: Individual shoe Destination-focused promotion: Visitor first makes and models marketed and bought by decides on the destination and then buys and the customer at location books individual products Sales A finished, complete pair of shoes is sold A destination package is sold, consisting of different products and experiences, often produced at various locations and times Profits Profits clearly calculated and distributed Profits accrue to a large number of stakeholders among a limited number of shareholders and citizens all over the destination and benefits filter through the entire economy (e.g. accommodation, transport, food and beverage, entertainment and so on) 1.4.2 TheImplications ofBeing Unique The implications of tourism being a unique industry are substantial, including: Positives • Tourism is a “silent” export industry that allows small and medium sized businesses access to external (often foreign) markets. Tourists purchase a variety of goods and services at the destination level, allowing large and small businesses the opportunity to gain from external expenditure. • It reduces barriers to entry for SMMEs: smaller enterprises can access tourist markets without having to produce at a large scale and invest in an export distribution channel. • Where tourism goods and services can be supplied locally, tourist expenditure can be retained in the destination. • It is employment intensive across skills levels, i.e. from semi-skilled to managerial level, with the majority of employment opportunities at a technical skills level. • Developing tourism offers benefits to the wider community. The community can benefit from facilities and services developed for or supported by tourism such as entertainment, events, visitor attractions or well maintained beaches. Challenges • Making partnership work. Public, private and community sector need to join forces and work together closely: tourism success is reliant upon strong and committed partnerships and a collective vision. The tourism experience is delivered by a range of partners, including private Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 12 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management sector businesses, public sector and the community at large (hospitality, visitor care, environmental custodianship, etc.). For tourism to succeed, these stakeholders have to work together in accordance with a collective vision. • Ensuring strong leadership. Closely related to the previous point, strong and effective leadership from the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is essential for retaining focus, ensuring all stakeholders work to the same end and guiding the competitive strategy. • Minimising economic leakages. Not all the income generated by tourism stays within the destination. For example, in many all-inclusive package tours, a large percentage of visitor expenditures go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies who often have their headquarters in the visitor’s home countries. Food and drink may also be sourced from the visitor’s home country, increasing the economic leakage. • Planning to achieve competitive advantage. Tourism should be managed according to a clear game plan: given tourism’s many economic and other advantages competition among destinations is fierce and ever increasing. Successful tourism destinations require a clear competitive strategy to achieve a competitive advantage, follow a targeted tourism approach, build a brand of distinction and deliver excellent customer value. • Delivering quality. Because the tourism industry is fragmented, quality control is difficult and value can be substantially reduced by the actions of weak or unscrupulous service providers in the tourism value chain. An agreed framework and standards of quality control should be ensured. In essence The Destination Management organisation (DMO) is in charge of the tourism destination “factory” and is responsible for achieving an excellent return on investment, market growth, quality products, a brand of distinction and benefits to all “shareholders”. Yet, the DMO does not own the factory, neither does it employ the people working in it, nor does it have control over its processes. 1.5 SustainableT ourismDevelopment 1.5.1 AFramework forSustainable T ourism Development Without proper planning or management tourism can damage the destination’s environment; cause social and cultural conflict and alienate the communities that host tourism. Sustainable tourism development manages the impacts of tourism on the destination’s environment, economy and community and maintains and enhances the destination’s resources for the present and future needs of both tourists and the communities that host them. Stakeholder involvement: Sustainable tourism in San Martín de los Andes, Argentina The Secretariat of Tourism of the municipality of San Martín de los Andes is the first institution in Argentina to receive the UNWTO Sbest Certification of Excellence in Tourism Governance. One of the main contributions to the achievement of this certificate is the implementation of a strategic plan that emphasises focus on policies for sustainable tourism. In order to achieve sustainable tourism, the Tourism Secretariat of the municipality has always promoted the active involvement of all stakeholders in tourism. It also encourages their open participation, and provides them with constant updated information. See:www Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 13 Striking the appropriate balance to protect and enhance resources while still meeting the needs of all stakeholders (present and future) is a complex task. The VICE model accommodates these requirements and gives a framework which destinations planners and managers can use to ensure their actions are sustainable. 4 The VICE model illustrated in Figure 5 presents destination management as the interactions between the visitors, the industry that serves them, the community that hosts them and the environment where this interaction takes place. The last of these, the environment, can be understood in its broadest sense to include built and natural resources on which many tourism products are based. Figure 5 The VICE model Visitor Environment and culture Industry Community According to this model, it is the role of destination managers to work through partnerships and a joint destination management plan in order to: • Welcome, involve and satisfy Visitors; • Achieve a profitable and prosperous Industry; • Engage and benefit host Communities; • Protect and enhance the local Environment and culture. The model can be used as a quick check of the sustainability of a proposed plan or action. Four questions should be asked: • How will this decision affect the visitors? • What are the implications for industry? • How does this affect the community? • What will be the impact on the destination’s environment and/or culture? If positive answers cannot be given for all four questions, then the right balance has not been found and the proposition is unlikely to be sustainable. The principles of sustainable tourism development should be borne in mind and destinations managers should adopt the VICE model, considering all stakeholders, throughout the various processes of destination management. 4 Fr omEnglish Tourist Boardand T ourismManagement Institute (2003), Destination Management Handbook. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 14 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management 1.5.2 Responsible Tourism Practices:Keys to DestinationSustainability The principles of responsible tourism encourage tourism operators to grow their businesses whilst providing social and economic benefits to local communities and respecting the environment. The following guidelines could assist in maximising the positive impacts of tourism: • Economic guidelines. – Assess economic impacts before developing tourism; – Maximise local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing leakages; – Ensure communities are involved in and benefit from tourism; – Assist with local marketing and product development; – Promote equitable business and pay fair prices. • Social guidelines. – Involve local communities in planning and decision making; – Assess social impacts of tourism activities; – Respect social and cultural diversity; – Be sensitive to the host culture. • Environmental guidelines. – Reduce environmental impacts when developing tourism; – Use natural resources sustainably; – Maintain biodiversity. • The following process could be followed to develop a responsible tourism plan. – Select a portfolio of appropriate responsible tourism practices; – Choose realistic objectives and targets; – Use clear benchmarks to measure and report on your progress; – Work with trade associations, local people and government to achieve your objectives; – Use responsible tourism as part of your marketing strategy; – Show your progress to staff and clients. The Cape Town Declaration: A call for responsible tourism The Cape Town Conference was organised by the Responsible Tourism Partnership and Western Cape Tourism Board as a side event preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The conference grew out of the South African work on responsible tourism guidelines and involved delegates field-testing the South African Guidelines on sites in and around Cape Town. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 15 Representatives from all sectors of the industry including inbound and outbound tour operators, national parks and conservation authorities, government, tourism authorities, NGOs and hotel groups, from Africa, North and South America, Europe and Asia considered the issue of responsible tourism in destinations and agreed the declaration. The declaration acknowledges the importance of sustainable tourism and the participants committed to work with others to take responsibility for achieving the economic, social and environmental components of responsible and sustainable tourism. The declaration also called on other countries, multilateral agencies, destinations and enterprises to develop similar practical guidelines and to encourage planning authorities, tourism businesses, tourists and local communities to take responsibility for achieving sustainable tourism. See: 1.5.3 Tools forManaging Resour ces Concessions and leases. Concessions allow commercial enterprises to build and operate tourism facilities and services within a designated conservation area or national park. Those who are entitled to run the concessions (concessionaires) are required to pay fees for the benefit of obtaining commercial or other benefits from public land. These fees may be charged as a percentage of the gross revenue; per mile/kilometre of land, per head or per trip charge; a fixed fee; or a combination of these depending on the activity and the market rates. The right to operate could also be paid for by an annual fee based on the percentage of turnover agreed during the tender process. Concessions may run for a limited period, after which operators must re-bid for the concession. As well as payment for the concessions, concessionaires must fulfil specified obligations regarding the stewardship of the resource they are using. If this is not observed the concessions may be terminated. Public-private-partnerships. Conservation areas and areas which may require specific management of cultural or environmental resources, do not always fit within legislative boundaries. Take, for example, the European Alps. The Alps are perceived as a tourist destination in their own right, yet they straddle the boundaries of six countries. Partnerships will be particularly instrumental in the management of such resources. Those who lead the partnerships (governments, tourist boards or trade associations) can take a 5 number of steps to ensure their success as outlined in Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry . Local Agenda 21 tourism groups. Local Agenda 21 (LA21) is an international planning process. A local community defines, through consultation, a sustainable development strategy and an action programme to be implemented. This is usually initiated by the provincial government, which provides leadership for the process. LA21 initiatives can also be developed for the context of tourism. The DMO is well placed to work with local government to represent the views of its members for the ongoing development, marketing and management of tourism in destinations. At the same time, they are appropriately positioned to ensure their commercial members understand the sustainable, environmental and community concerns of tourism development. Certification. Tourism certification programmes cover a wide range of initiatives and provide a logo to those organisations that exceed a baseline standard which should be assessed and reviewed at regular intervals. There is a proliferation of such certification programmes. For example: • The Blue Flag programme, a programme which assesses environmental standards of beaches. • Green Globe 21 a programme aimed at businesses to improve their environmental performance. 5 World Tourism Organization, World Travel and Tourism Council and Earth Council, Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry (1996) (Online), available: (11-04- 07). Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 16 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management • AAA Tourism Green STAR assessment is a green endorsement for properties which indicates that certain criteria of environmental ‘good practice’ standards have been met. See: www.aaatourism. com/pdf/Green%20Stars%20Guidelines.pdf. • Green Tourism Business Scheme, the largest and most successful environmental accreditation body of tourism related businesses in Europe. Certification may encourage businesses to raise their standards of environmental performance. It also allows certified businesses or destinations to demonstrate their environmental credentials to consumers. Sustainable Tourism Indicators. In the context of sustainable tourism development, indicators are information sets which are formally selected for regular use to measure changes in assets and issues that are important for the tourism development and management of a given destination. UNWTO has been promoting the use of sustainable tourism indicators since the early 1990s, as essential instruments for policy-making, planning and management processes at destinations. The Guidebook on Indicators 6 of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations , published in 2004, is the most comprehensive resource on this topic, the result of an extensive study on indicator initiatives worldwide. The publication describes over 40 major sustainability issues, ranging from the management of natural resources (waste, water, energy, etc.), to development control, satisfaction of tourists and host communities, preservation of cultural heritage, seasonality, economic leakages, or climate change. For each issue, indicators and measurement techniques are suggested with practical information sources and examples. The publication also contains a procedure to develop destination-specific indicators, their use in tourism policy and planning processes, as well as applications in different destination types (e.g. coastal, urban, ecotourism, small communities). 1.6 Destination Life Cycle: Various Stages of Development and Why it is Important to be Aware of Them Tourism destinations are constantly changing, they rise and fall in popularity and their success can often be influenced by changes in fashion or to external influences outside the control of the destination. This process can be understood in terms of a life cycle as explained by the Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) model in Figure 6.  Figure 6 Tourism Area Life Cycle Stagnation, Discovery Local control Institutionalism rejuventation or decline Rejuvenation Stagnation Consolidation Development Involvement Decline Exploration Time 6 World Tourism Organization (2004), Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations A Guidebook, UNWTO, Madrid. 7 Butler, R. W. (1980), ‘The Concept of a Tourist Area Cycle of Evolution’ Implications for Management of Resources’, Canadian Geographer, 14, pp. 5-12. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM Number of visitorsAn Introduction to Destination Management 17 This model postulates that tourism destinations tend to experience five distinct stages of growth: exploration, involvement, development, consolidation and stagnation outlined below: Exploration. During this stage small numbers of visitors are attracted by natural or cultural attractions; visitor numbers are limited and few tourist facilities exist; visitors may come from nearby towns. Involvement. During this stage there is limited involvement by local residents who provide some facilities for visitors; recognisable tourist seasons and market areas begin to emerge; visitors may travel from within the state or region. Development. During this stage large numbers of tourists arrive and external organisations such as hotel chains and tour operators take more of a key role; tourists may travel from all parts of the nation or internationally. Consolidation. During this stage tourism becomes a major part of the local economy and of increasing political importance, with politics perhaps taking more of a central role. Rates of visitor growth may have levelled off and some facilities may be in need of upgrading. Stagnation. During this stage the number of visitors has peaked; the destination may no longer be considered fashionable and there may be a high turnover of business properties. Depending on the response of destination managers to the onset of stagnation, various scenarios are then possible, including decline, stabilisation, or rejuvenation and re-invention. It is at the stage of consolidation and stagnation that managers need to intervene and take action to avoid decline. British Seaside Resorts: Demonstrating the destination life cycle The life cycle of the British coastal resorts began as early as the 1730s, when health theorists suggested the curative powers of drinking and bathing in seawater. Small fishing villages around Britain began to receive visitors ‘taking the cure’. The popularity of seaside destinations such as Brighton, Bournemouth, Blackpool and Scarborough grew steadily throughout the 1800s, in step with the UK’s developing rail network. By the mid-1900s, the seaside holiday was firmly established in the minds of the British public as the traditional annual holiday and Blackpool, Scarborough, Southend and Brighton consolidated their position as leading resorts. In the 1960s and 1970s Britain saw the introduction of affordable package tours to developing destinations in the Mediterranean. UK coastal resorts, with their unpredictable weather, cold seas and aging facilities became unfashionable and could not compete with the new markets in the Med. They gradually fell into decline. These resorts are now taking steps to rejuvenate their products by developing facilities for business tourism, conferences and conventions, organising programmes of events or festivals, etc. Blackpool, for example, though still receiving some 11 million visitors per year, has a resort regeneration programme which has secured £ 62 million (approx US 125.5 million) for the reshaping of the sea wall between north and south piers; £ 14 million (approx US 28 million) for the Central Gateway project which includes recreational spaces and a new hotel; and has established a Tourism Support Bureau to support small businesses, and to improve the accommodation offer. 1.7 Typesof T ourism Tourism destinations may be affected by many external influences outside their control such as changes in fashion, or political or environmental circumstances. Depending on the resources available to the destination, it is wise to diversify and to offer more than one type of tourism. The following is a brief explanation of the key types of tourism. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM 18 A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management Leisure. Leisure tourism is the term used to describe tourism for the main purposes of recreation and leisure. It is typically thought of in terms of the residential vacation, but it may include day trips also. There are many different types of tourism within this sector such as adventure tourism, ecotourism, heritage tourism, wine tourism, packaged beach vacations and so on. Health. Health tourism can broadly be defined as people travelling from their place of residence for health reasons. This includes visits to spas and health and fitness centres, as well as travelling to receive treatments which require more specific medical intervention such as cosmetic or medical surgery. The latter have been driven by high costs and long waiting lists in the generating countries and by new technology and skills in destination countries alongside reduced transport costs and Internet marketing. Educational/study. Educational or study tourism includes both travelling to attend an academic institution in order to gain qualifications or participation in a tour for the purposes of learning. Business tourism. Is travel to attend an activity or event associated with business interests. A key component of business tourism is the MICE sector: meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. Business travellers come at different times of the year, at different days of the week and may return to a destination as leisure travellers. Business travellers, particularly conference delegates, may travel with their partners and can be persuaded to spend extra time in the destination for leisure purposes. Business tourism is high quality and high yield and can be positioned as a key part of an economic development strategy. The sector is resilient to the types of events and economic downturns that affect leisure tourism adversely. Visiting friends or relatives (VFR). This term refers to travel to visit friends or relatives and could be the primary purpose of a trip, or could be a combination of visiting friends and relatives with a vacation. The extent to which VFR visitors use services such as accommodation and attractions will vary, some may stay exclusively with their friends/family while for others this may be a combination. Globalisation is facilitating more of those who live and work in different countries from those in which they were born and this will inevitably increase VFR travel. Religion. Religious tourism is tourism motivated strongly for religious reasons. This may include pilgrimages to significant religious places such as the Holy Lands – significant to Jews, Muslims and Christians or India – significant to Hindu and Buddhists. Religious tourism can also be for a specific religious conference or event such as the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). Sport. Sport tourism is travel to participate in a sports activity for recreation or competition; or to observe a sporting event (e.g. the Olympics, which attract a number of participants and spectators); or to visit a sports attraction. Attractions may be natural or man made and provide opportunities to participate in sport. Resorts often specialise in providing sport activities such as golf or tennis and specialised tours such as package ski tours or tours for spectators and participants have been developed. 1.8 TheCustomer Journey The customer journey is a helpful framework for understanding the experience of the customer: from first thinking about a vacation or business trip through to planning, booking, experiencing and recalling the experience. This can be represented diagrammatically as in Figure 7 below. 1. Dreaming. The customer is considering a vacation. They may have an idea of when they will travel, for how long and how much they might spend, but they have not decided where they will go or what they will do. They will be looking for inspiration, ideas and recommendations. Decision making will probably begin at the national level, as different countries are considered. 2. Planning. The customer may have a clearer idea of where and what they want. They will be looking for further, specific information about their choice such as transport and accommodation options, things to do, ‘must sees’, events, the weather, and bad weather options. The decision making may be narrowed down to regions and/or destination in the country of choice. Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM An Introduction to Destination Management 19 3. Booking. The customer may make comparisons of best values – price may be the main priority followed by convenience and security. The booking may be made through an intermediary – a tour operator, travel agent, booking agent or DMO or directly with individual providers (e.g. transport and accommodation providers). 4. Experiencing. This is the stage at which the visit is experienced and will include transport to and arrival at the destination as well as every aspect of the visitors stay once they have arrived. This stage covers everything from the overall welcome that they receive, the standard of the facilities, the quality of the attractions, accommodation and other amenities and the information that visitors receive. Figure 7 The customer journey Do not return or recommend Return or recommend GOOD BAD 5. Remember 1. Dream 4. Experience 2. Plan 3. Book 5. Remembering. The customer will recall their journey and will assess whether it was good or bad. The experience at every step of the journey will inform this decision. If the experience was good, then the customer may recommend to others, or return themselves. If the overall experience was bad then the customer will not return, will not recommend to others, and may well speak badly of the destination. The DMO can keep the memory of the good experience fresh in the mind of the visitor through the good practice of Customer Relationship Management. This “satisfaction dividend” is reaped through the destination’s marketing. Databases of past customers and follow- up database/e-database marketing should be maintained on an ongoing basis. BonjourQué Following the customer journey The BonjourQué website clearly identifies the different customer journey stages with the ultimate aim to encourage visitors to book their trip to Québec. These first three stages of the journey, and the services offered by BonjourQué website are outlined below. The tabs on the website appear as follows and clearly relate to these three initial stages. 1. Explore (Dream) 2. Plan 3. Book – Québec – Accommodations – Rooms – Travel experiences – Transportation – Best deals – Tourist Regions – Restaurants – Packages – To do and see – Useful tips – Shows and entertainment – Tailor–made holidays – Brochures – Gifts certificates See: Delivered by Georgios Drakopoulos (307-99-294) Friday, March 04, 2011 7:14:35 AM

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