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Tourism Planning & Assessment

Tourism Development Workshop Bethel, Alaska April 5, 2001

Prepared by the Alaska Office of Tourism

Cultural resources and activities Authenticity Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge
The Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers dominate the landscape of Yukon Delta. A treeless, wetland plain noted for wildlife variety and abundance. Habitat for over 750,000 swans and geese, 2 million ducks, and 100 million shore and water birds. Moose, caribou, grizzly bear, black bear, and wolves inhabit the northern hills and eastern mountains. 1.1 million acre Nunivak Island portion of the refuge supports muskox and reindeer

Fishing, hunting, and backcountry recreation may be excellent, although aircraft transportation is needed. The Andreafsky is a nationally designated wild river. Visitors may view exhibits and obtain complete information at the refuge headquarters visitor center. 500-800 visitors come to the Refuge annually including school groups. If conference numbers were included, visitors would number over 2,000. The refuge is visited mostly by locals and is accessible only by plane.

To improve and develop tourism Bethel/Delta area might consider:
Campgrounds-there are no campgrounds, but plenty of beautiful rivers to accommodate campers and travelers. Place for travelers to rent kayaks, skis, snow machines.

Assessing the potential of tourism in a community should begin with the assumption that tourism may be good for your community. Sometimes no is the best answer to the question of whether tourism development is the right economic development strategy.
Adapted from Community Tourism Assessment Handbook, Western Rural Development Center, Corvallis Oregon

Benefits of Tourism
Employment Benefits Income Benefits Economic Diversification Tax Revenues Visibility Cultural Benefits

Costs of Tourism
Public Facility & Service Costs Promotional Costs Monitoring Costs Staff Costs Business Owner and Employee Training Tourism can be seasonal Congestion

Benefits of Strategic Planning

Provide clear direction and rationale Establish realistic goals consistent with the communitys vision Communicate goals and development strategies Establish a sense of ownership in the plan Focus limited resources on key priorities Provide a framework for implementation and evaluation

Development Considerations
Focus on the authentic Recognize that tourism has limits Insure that development fits in with the surroundings Interpret your resources Remember aesthetics and ecology Make sure the benefits of tourism are distributed throughout the community

Visitor Motivations
Need for Change Need for Achievement Social Interaction Cultural Experiences Pampering Novelty Seeking

Visitor Needs
(Information, Your Community, Your Business)

(Local hospitality, Welcome Signs)

Attractions/Activities Accommodations
(Lodging, Food Service, Personal Needs)

(Emergency Services)

Tourism Planning Process

Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How will you get there?

How are you doing?

Planning Considerations
Organizational Development Community Involvement

Tourism Product Development Tourism Product Marketing

Phase I: Where Are You Now?

Step 1: Organization Evaluation Step 2: Gather Information

Step 3: Identify Community


I(1) Organization Evaluation

Do you have an effective Tourism Action Committee?
Recognized community leaders and leaders of organizations Broad cross-section of stakeholders Committed volunteers and dedicated team members Desire to contribute to community well-being Respect and appreciate views of others

I(2) Gather Information

What are the communitys existing assets and resources?
How does tourism fit into the current economy of the community? What are the characteristics of the tourists visiting the area?

Inventory Assets & Resources

Attractions & Activities Accommodations Food Service Transportation/Access Traveler Services Public Services and Facilities

Economic &Visitor Profiles

How does tourism fit within your existing economy?
Is there existing data about the characteristics and travel patterns of the visitors already coming to the community?

I(3) Identify Community Values

Are residents kept informed of tourism development initiatives?
Meetings, Newsletters, Radio/TV Announcements, News Articles

How do residents feel about tourism?

Resident Attitude Survey

Phase II: Where Do You Want to Go?

Step 1: Develop a Community Vision
Step 2: Identify Issues and Concerns Step 3: Establish Goals

II(1) Develop a Vision

How do you see your community after tourism development? What do you want to see happen?

What is an acceptable level of change in your community?

How much of what type of tourism development fits with your image of your communitys future?

II(2) Identify Issues & Concerns

SWOT Analysis
S W O T Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

SWOT Analysis Matrix

Strengths SWOT ANALYSIS Opportunities
W-O Analysis How can weaknesses be over come to take advantage of development opportunities? W-T Analysis S-T Analysis How can weaknesses be Threats How can strengths be used to overcome to counteract threats (External) counteract threats that tend to that tend to hinder achievement Factors that can hinder the issue hinder achievement of goals and of objectives and pursuit of or situation pursuit of opportunities? opportunities? (External) S-O Analysis Factors that can benefit, How can strengths be employed enhance or improve the issue or to take advantage of situation development opportunities? (Internal) Positive characteristics and advantages of the issue or situation

(Internal) Negative characteristics and disadvantages of the issue or situation

Benefits of a SWOT Analysis

Stimulates group participation
Provides a framework for assessing capabilities and community values Provides a basis for the development of a set of goals that will take advantage of opportunities, while building up weaknesses and warding off threats

SWOT Analysis Tips


Be analytical and specific Record all thoughts and ideas Choose the right people for the exercise Choose a suitable leader or facilitator
Try to disguise weaknesses Merely list errors and mistakes Lose sight of external influences and trends Allow the SWOT to become a blame laying exercise Ignore outcomes at later stages of the planning process


II(3) Establish Goals

Develop goals that will help the community achieve their vision of the future Goals should be SMARTER

Goals Should Be SMARTER

S M A R T E R Specific Measurable Acceptable Realistic Timely Extending Rewarding

Phase 3: How To Get There

Step 1: Identify projects Step 2: Prioritize projects Step 3: Develop an Action Plan for each project Step 4: Monitor the progress of each project

III(2) Prioritize Projects

What projects will be of value to potential visitors?
What projects will be of value to the community? What projects can help your community's tourism industry have a competitive advantage?

Value to the Tourist

Will it fill a vacation motive or need?
Motives: Change, Achievement, Interaction, Experience, Pampering, Novelty Seeking Needs: Access, Attitude, Attractions, Accommodations, Security

Will it give a reason for tourists to spend more time in your community?
Is access acceptable to the visitor?

Value to the Community

Will it help bring in outside income?
Is it compatible with your communitys lifestyle? Will it maintain the natural beauty of the area?

Competitive Advantage
Is the project unique?

Can the tourism opportunity be provided at a price that is acceptable to both buyer and seller?
Can the tourism opportunity provide a better value than another opportunity elsewhere?

Action Plan Tips

List the steps or tasks needed to accomplish each project Steps should be specific and detailed Realistic timelines should be established for each step Identify resources (human or financial) needed to accomplish each step should be identified Identify who is responsible for each step Obtain the consent and commitment of the responsible party

Phase IV: How Are You Doing?

Review the plan on an annual basis Solicit community involvement in the review Review community opinion and critical indicators of success Revise and update the plan

Update & Modify the Plan

Has there been a substantial change in circumstances or assumptions upon which the current plan was based? Are there new issues of local or regional significance that should be addressed? Have any of the projects that have been implemented through the plan failed to achieve the desired result?
A yes to any of these questions indicates an update is in order.

Assessment & Planning Review

Where are you now? (Research)
Organization evaluation Gather information Identify community values

Where do you want to go? (Planning)

Develop a vision Identify concerns and opportunities - SWOT Establish goals

How will you get there? (Implementation)

Identify & prioritize projects that will implement goals Develop an action plan for each project Monitor each projects progress

How are you doing? (Evaluation)

Review and update the plan on a periodic basis

Coming Soon from the AOT

Tourism Funding Handbook Community Tourism Development Guidelines Handbook
Business Permitting Guidelines

Useful Resources
Alaska Office of Tourism Web Page

Economic Development Resource Guide

Community Profile Database

Establishing a Business In Alaska

Commercial Visitor Services in Alaska

How To Reach Us
Ginny Fay

Tourism Director

Caryl McConkie

Business Development, Planning & Marketing

Aneta Synan

Community Planning & Lands Management

Odin Brudie

Transportation & Trails Planning

Lillian Ruedrich

Workshop Planning & Training

Our Fax: 907-465-3767 Alaska Office of Tourism, PO Box 110809, Juneau, AK 99811