Need for Tourism Policy and Planning

Posted by Ruby Ross on December 24th, 2020

Tourism is currently a key sector in the world economy, as it refers to the global trade in services. The management of tourism influences the host communities and the conditions of the destinations, as well as the future of ecosystems, nations and regions. Better policies, plans and informed decisions are required in order for the tourism to be a contributor to sustainable growth in maintaining its purpose as a crucial source of both potential stresses and benefits. Since the Rio conference in 1992, the academics and planners in specific destinations and several nations have been attempting to initiate suitable indicators for the management needs that have focused both on the sustainability and the problems that should be put under concern.

Need for Tourism Policy and Planning

Tourism is now one of the worldwide development engines. There is a need to enhance good policies and plans that will ensure a positive force in tourism leading to benefits to the world destinations. Tourism can be an engine for degradation if it is poorly managed and planned so it is in the interest of the tourism sector to sustain and maintain the foundation for its prosperity, which is the destination for tourism. This paper is designed by the experts of to assist tourism managers to acquire and employ the best information possible in support of better policy making and planning regarding the prolonged tourism growth. Over the last 10 years, a recommendable task has taken place on the clarification of major issues in tourism sustainability and the means by which the indicators can enhance better policies and action plans.

The use and the development of indicators is mostly seen as a basic part of the general destination planning and management, and an essential element in the struggle to uphold the prolonged development for the tourism sector at all costs. The motivation for the tourism sector originates from the view that many destinations have been at risk due to inadequate attention to the influences of tourism and to the enduring destinations sustainability. Incidences of damaged ecological and cultural assets, contaminated beaches, antagonistic reaction to tourism development and tourists, and other issues associated with the sector have taken place in many countries. The surveys carried out by the World Tourism Organization and other companies, have agreed with the conclusion that the management, planning, and policy-making in regards to tourism in several destinations have taken place with inadequate information. This is especially about the tourism impacts on destinations, alterations in the natural and social environment on tourism and the long-term preservation of the major assets that make a destination look attractive.

Within the context, the indicators are a warning system for the destination managers of impending risks and possible actions. They assist in offering a tool for measuring the changes in factors that are crucial to the tourism continuity in a destination. Many managers operate in the areas where information is poor. Therefore, the indicators can assist to select, process, analyze, and present data to better connect with sustainability problems. Policy makers are normally flooded with huge quantities of data, which makes it complicated for them to establish the crucial data. Often similar data are useful to enhance the decisions that lead to prolonged tourism development, especially when their significance to sustainability is realized. For instance, the number of tourist arrivals is a primary indicator that is used to determine the success of the tourism sector. It can also be useful for several prolonged problems that are linked to tourist numbers and extent of stress on resources. Environmental problems like water consumption by tourists, waste produced during peak season, or problems related to the host community can be realized when linked to the numbers of tourists.

The significance of nature tourism is not lost on state governments. They are aware that it can lead to huge socioeconomic benefits to a locality or a country, by creating employment to locals and increasing environmental awareness, and at the same time generating income. However, a number of countries are not utilizing this potential, and are not effectively managing the nature-based tourism. This is indicated by the low priority given to tourism coordination and planning. It is also clear from the reality that many secluded areas are deteriorating due to inadequate investment and too much visitation. The stakeholders are the ones to blame for failing to acknowledge the significance of tourism, and failing to create proper policies, planning, and coordination. Despite the fact that the tourism industry is represented at the ministerial stage, its interests are not incorporated within those of other ministries, or are taken as less crucial. The same situation applies to the environment. A minister responsible for the environment has to tackle those responsible ministers with more crucial industry or defense interests. In this case, the environment loses out, and may not even have a representative.

In reality, environmental issues are supposed to be shared by several bodies. In the United States for instance, four agencies with different mandates representing two sections manage secluded areas, which are the Fish and Wildlife, the US Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Until recently, the United States did not have a joint policy, but gave permission to agencies and departments to manage it. However, in order to prolong tourism, the efforts should be put to recover the connection between nature conservation, local growth, and the tourist industry. This can be attained by incorporating policies and ensuring an effective planning approach.

Indicators have become the factors of management and planning process for certain ecosystems, which are also destinations for tourists. They have also acted as crucial factors in the planning exercises, including the TOMM initiatives for Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Another case is the development of carrying capacity approximates for Malta, and the land use planning for an island community and a state park in Haida Gwai, Columbia. In these cases, the indicators have been established within the objectives and goals set for the destinations, and they act both as the pointers of performance measures for progress towards planned objectives, and what is crucial to the destination.

Tourism takes place in a spectrum of destinations, from those already developed to those that have not been included in the planning process. The indicators can be employed for both where there is a plan in place and where it does not exist. The process of instituting and employing the indicators can be a mechanism for the decision process improvement, and forms greater participation in accountability and solutions for the outcomes. Good indicators assist in strengthening an already established plan. In a case where there is no established plan, the indicators development acts as a mechanism to initiate the process, and as a major factor in the planning and policy implementation process. They play a significant role in the project cycle and as a part of the process of a continuous progress. They relate to the targets and goals of tourism development.

In a case where management and plans are established, the indicators can act in response to the major issues identified and to the objectives and goals of the strategy. They can simplify goals hence offering precision. The two key objectives of a state plan are to articulate in quantitative terms the form of the country to which the society desires and to provide consistency to various sectoral plans, for example, education, tourism, and housing. The state tourism plan should classify a general framework, sectoral policy regulations, and the macroeconomic factor within which tourism will grow. The general development plan of a nation should realize that tourism could play a big role in the national growth due to its capacity to create employment and foreign exchange, as well as offering opportunities for education and recreation.

The National Development Plan of the Mexican administration for instance, between 1989 - 1994, considered modernizing tourism in relation to the National Agreement for Economical Recovery. The plan articulates that, in order to create more opportunities for employment and foreign exchange, and to compete with the global market, tourism infrastructure should be promoted while its services modernized. It also emphasizes that tourism sector should contribute to the state economic growth, and that the promotion of a touristic culture should be encouraged in order for the citizens to be made aware of the significance of the tourism activity in their country. In order to achieve these objectives, certain strategies should be executed. For instance, custom and immigration facilities should be been relaxed to encourage more foreign tourism. At the same time, domestic tourism should be encouraged so that the influences of foreign tourism seasonality are reduced. In general, the ties between tourism and other segments of the economy, including the private sector, are being strengthened and public funds generated to enhance tourism investment and development.

Documentation of Tourism and Issues at the Destination

One of the first steps is to acquire information on the existing state of affairs of the destination and its tourism. This is done in a bid to assist in understanding the extent of the initiative, and to identify that much information may already be present, which can assist in familiarizing with the destination, its tourism, and where possible issues may emerge or exist. For instance, according to the tiny island of Mexcaltitan in Mexico, the fact that the destination has no tourism now, but it could expect a massive growth in day tourism. It is crucial at this point to acquire the information concerning development issues affecting the destination, usually actions and plans of other sectors can be significant factors in the approach to sustainability.

Even in the island destinations that look easy to demarcate, it has proven vital to respond to the reality that most visitors use the adjacent sea for much of their retreat activities, and visit the mainland sites and other close islands as a part of the retreat hence utilizing the services from the areas that are outside the island. For example in the case of World Tourism Organization study of Cozumel in Mexico, it was established that most visitors also took some time in Costa Maya or Cancun. While in the case of the Pasman and Ugljan Island in Croatia, most visited Zadar city since it is accessible by ferry. The political organization in these two destinations was such that for many policies, programs, and planning decisions, the islands were joined to the mainland with some possible available data only for the area.

In conclusion, the procedure for development involves steps that create a part of a normal tourist planning process for example, the early assessment of opportunities and risks, and the classification of tourism assets. Wherever there are proper policies in place, and established tourism development planning process and strategy, the reliance on the indicators can assist in improving acquisition of correct information hence leading to fruitful monitoring processes. In a case where there is no formal tourism planning process, the indicator approach emphasizes the significance of beginning with the basic steps in order to be as precise as possible on whatever is meant to sustain. The indicators development can assist in simplifying this, and can generate tourism planning and policy formulation.


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Ruby Ross

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Ruby Ross
Joined: December 24th, 2020
Articles Posted: 1