TOURISM POLICY AND PLANNING

The term policy may be referred to as a course of action or inaction that is advocated by stakeholders (usually used in reference to government) and provides the broad guides lines that are intended to direct the development of a particular sector in a desired direction (Weaver,2001). Hall and Jenkins (1995) in Weaver (2001) define policy simply as whatever governments choose to do or not to do. It’s a tool that a society, through the institutions of Government, use to regulate the use, management, and ownership of its resources. A policy describes the objectives and aims for a given sector such as tourism, land, education, health care, etc. Furthermore policy describes how the management of a sector will be organized, what roles different stakeholders will play, and the principles that should govern decision-making.

Policy is a reasoned consideration of alternatives (Leonard J etal).this definition implies that all resources for most countries are scarce ie capital, land, manpower etc. -where there is resource scarcity one of policy issues must be how best to allocate the scarce resources -the second implication from the definition is that there are opportunity costs involved in using resources in one way rather than in another. Eg Tourism development might require the use of land, where as land might have alternative uses in terms of agriculture, building, forestry etc NOTE: In most countries there are always alternative uses of the scarce resources which are available for development, so policy is necessary to consider what the alternative may be and what the benefits of one alternative against another could be.

Sometimes the term policy is used interchangeably with Laws. It should be borne in mind that Laws determine the rights possessed by different institutions and individuals. Laws provide the penalties for violating their provisions and provide guidance for courts to enforce them. Policies, by contrast, can only be used by courts in terms of interpreting laws. Thus for different stakeholders to understand their rights and responsibilities they may look at policies for broad principles and guidance, but it is laws which provide the details that determine an actor’s actual rights.

OR A set of regulations. and development/ promotion objectives and strategies that provide a framework within which the collective and individual decisions directly affecting tourism development and the daily activities within a destination are taken(Mills and Morrisson. strategies and objectives for the destination area. rules. It’s a continuous process that involves making decisions or choices about alternative ways of using available resources with aims of achieving particular goals in the future. Tourism affects everyone in a community and all people involved in tourism should participate in tourism planning process. Tourism development has both negative and positive impacts II. I. Tourism is more competitive than ever before and there has been a proliferation in the promotion of tourism destination III. guidelines. IV.Tourism Policy is defined as a set of guidelines. Consensus building among stakeholders in making priorities is crucial. Reasons for Planning Gunn (1994) in Mill and Morrison (2002) outlined reasons for planning Tourism. Tourism is a more complicated phenomenon than it was previously though to be.2001). TOURISM PLANNING Definition of Planning Mill and Morrison (2002) define Planning as a process of selection from among alternative courses of action. priorities and actions that provide the basis for the future development of tourism in destination area. These include. directives established for all those directly or indirectly involved in tourism by specifying the broad goals and objectives. Tourism has damaged many natural and cultural resources V. directives. It entails selecting goals. .

Economic Environmental Socio-cultural Organizational Commercial . export and import leakages etc. SOCIO-CULTURAL Tourism takes place in a society which has its distinctive cultural norms. alteration to religious codes and so on. traditions and culture in its totality. the multiplier concept as well as employment generation. maintenance and preservation of heritage sites. ENVIRONMENTAL The environmental rationale for tourism planning is concerned with conserving the physical nature and integrity of the destinations and facilities whether natural or manmade since most of tourism activities takes place on environment and also tourism causes a number of effects as well on environment. Negative effects like prices rice in destination areas.Ray Youel in the book Tourism: An Introduction consider the following as reasons for planning There are many reasons for engaging in tourism planning which can be summarized under the following:      ECONOMIC Tourism brings about a number of positive and negative impact economically including wealth generation.developing facilities that continue to meet market requirements and making the most effective use of available physical. for example planning appropriate marketing strategies and activities. COMMERCIAL Commercial rationale for planning for tourism involves a number of interrelated themes that work together to help tourists destinations remain competitive and develop viable tourism industries. Also planning can help to alleviate the negative sociocultural impacts like distortion of local customs. being both positive and negative. loss of native language. Tourism planning can help to enhance the positive socio-cultural impacts like cultural exchange. human and financial resources. product development.having all these impacts together tourism planning is important to make sure that it reduces the negative impacts and maximizes benefits.eg by maximizing the industry’s economic returns through manpower planning and targeted development assistance for tourism projects. tourism and the balance of payment. forecasts. presenting a favorable image of the destination .

In Butler’s view the destination has seven distinct stages.planning assists in risk reduction by forcing managers to look ahead and anticipate change so they can plan scenarios to reach to those potential challenges. The carrying capacity limits on resources area reached. . there is little or no infrastructure for tourism 2) Involvement: local investment in tourism and tourism advertising starts. In the above line a destination life cycle coined by (Butler and Waldbrook. 4) Consolidation: Growth in visitors’ numbers begins to fall. identifying public/private sector partnership opportunities. 1992) is used to demonstrate the negative and positives impacts of tourism in a destination. The concept suggests that the evolution of all destination areas follow several predictable stages. 7) Rejuvenation: New attractions are developed or new natural resources are used to reverse the negative trends in visitors’ arrivals. 1991. maximizing grantaid from external sources -Tourism not only gives direction to the top management but to all associates as they focus on goal accomplishment . 3) Development: There is a rapid growth in visitors’ numbers as the destination becomes heavily advertised. 1) Exploration: small numbers of adventurous visitors are attracted by the area’s natural and cultural attractions. Occupancy rates are low and there are frequent changes in tourism business ownership. 6) Decline: The tourism infrastructure run down as visitor numbers decrease. The type of visitors attracted changes to less adventurous.ORGANISATIONAL Tourism planning also contributes to the effectiveness of tourism organizations by for example encouraging cooperation tourism operators. Tourism becomes mass market and advertising is aimed at attracting new markets and correcting seasonality. External investors begin to pull out. External investment replaces local. The model enabled researchers to examine the level of development of destinations. 5) Stagnation: the destination area is no longer fashionable as peak visitor numbers are reached. Fabricated attractions replace natural and cultural ones. Visitors begin to increase and government agencies start to develop the infrastructure. There is a heavily reliance on repeat visitors.planning also helps to coordinate the efforts of associates towards goal accomplishment .The purpose of planning is to determine the best strategies and goals to achieve organizational goals . Getz.

Tourism planning Roles participants Governments  Coordinate the tourism planning process tourism officials  Funds tourism planning  Provide liaison/link among all parties involved Local community  Identify community values residents  Provide opinions and suggestions  Indicate satisfaction levels with tourism and acceptable future changes in tourism  Conservation  Utilization sustainable NGOs  Ensure consideration of programs of related nonprofit org  Financial and technical support  Tourism and Environmental education e.AWF Tourism organization Representative e.NB: The most important lesson from the cycle model is not which destination fits where. The following table summarizes the role of important stakeholders in tourism planning. WHO DOES WHAT IN TOURISM PLANNING? Tourism planning becomes more effective when it is highly participatory and has the input of the widest ranges of groups and citizens in a community. TCT Tourism business operators Tourism consultants      Ensure considerations of tourism org Provide suggestions and opinions Provide opinions and suggestions Conduct research and analysis Write tourism plans .g. It may help the destination avoid undesirable changes to natural environments and the community’s social and cultural values. Tourism planning helps the destination make better choices for future.g. but rather that the future of every tourism destination needs to be carefully charted. WWF.

Numerous findings have demonstrated a lot of tourism damaging impacts on many physical environments and local peoples. Types of impacts Physical Symptoms of lack of tourism planning  Damage or permanent alternation of the physical environment  Damage or permanent alteration of historical or cultural landmarks and resources  Overcrowding or congestion  Traffic problems     Marketing           Other       Less accessibility to services and visitors attraction for local resulting in local resentment of tourism activity Dislike of visitors on the part of local residents Lack of education of tourisms employees in skills and hospitality Lack of common awareness of the benefits of tourism Failure to capitalize on new marketing opportunities Erosion of market shares due to the actions of competitive areas Lack of sufficient awareness in prime market Lack of cooperative advertising among tourism businesses Inadequate capitalization on packing opportunities Fragmented approach to the marketing and development of tourism .often involving competitive splinter groups Lack of cooperation among tourism businesses Inadequate representation of tourism’s interests Lack of support from local government authorities Failure to act upon important issues problems and opportunities of common interest to tourism Inadequate interpretation and guiding services Inadequate programs of directional signs Lack of sufficient attractions and events High seasonality and short length of stay Poor or deteriorating quality of facilities and services Poor or inadequate travel information services Human Organizational .CONSEQUENCES OF UNPLANNED DEVELOPMENT At this juncture would like to known what happen if a destination area does not get involved in tourism planning. The following figure shows some of the negative impacts of lack of tourism planning.

Tourism is often made more difficult because of the policies of these department are not coordinated and indeed are sometimes in direct conflicts with one another. 2) The costs of conducting tourism planning processes can be high: Since effective tourism requires detailed resources analysis and market research. This has been possible because of the following barriers. Private sector businesses often object supplying funds believing that is better spent on more marketing or promotion of the destination. Although the frontline recipients of visitors expenditures such as hotels resorts airlines car rental expenditures campgrounds commercial attractions and restaurants are obvious and municipal/local government being part of tourism. 1) The objection to the principles of tourism planning: People may be against tourism planning when a tourism destination has existed for many years without any formal tourism planning. they are skeptical of its ultimate value to them. Business people in particular may view as an encroachment into their domain of activity.BARRIERS TO TOURISM PLANNING It’s also worth noting here that not all destination areas have tourism plan. Also tourism is an activity that cuts across many other industries. it often becomes a very expensive process. 3) The complexity of tourism and the larger number of government agencies involved. . They point that tourism has already succeed without a formal tourism plan. There is also a tendency for individual operators to categorize themselves as being in particular businesses segment (hospitality or park systems) rather than acknowledging their broader role in tourism. Seasonality of business activity and relatively high ownership turnover. 4) The diversity of tourism businesses: tourism is often characterized by having a few very large and multitude of smaller business.

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