“Capturing peoples' imaginations in some way (and to the highest degree possible) should form part of all tourism product development and renewal thinking.Not just the latest versions of cruise ships, but the tourism industry at large should learn from the success of the ‘Disney model’. Based as it is, on such creative and ‘fantasy’-based thinking. With artists & performers of all kinds hired to generate ‘the magic’. Disney genuinely understand kids and the fundamental value they place on their own imaginations. Something these kids in turn help adults rediscover (to their equally great pleasure). Disney always acknowledges that the ‘world is a stage’ ... upon which we play. Just one more reason their cash registers keep ringing & the interest of visitors persists.” - Bruce Dickson, TDS
DESTINATION DEVELOPMENTBASIC STEPS AND CONSIDERATIONS (2)3. Evaluation & Priorities Setting (Cont.)This whole evaluation phase requires strong strategic insight & experience because (more often than not) resources are limited and naturally not only the best possible tourism development actions, but also return on investment are being sought. The strategies finally adopted should therefore align realistically with (a) fulfilling project goals; (b) being market focused; (c) using project resources to best effect and (d) paying attention to where the community energy (along with the funding) is already flowing and can facilitate a worthy development outcome. Some actions may also demand attention simply because of the power of their logic and special capacity to garner support more widely. To help the whole development program more smoothly move forward.For greater effectiveness, project actions should also be assessed for their potential to be beneficially integrated with related development activities occurring locally, regionally and nationally. Do they in some valuable way, feasibly link into other key organization’s strategies & project plans now or in future? Or fit the guidelines of new federal infrastructure funding programs and initiatives? Could some lead to likely partnerships and greater eventualities? For example: Based around joint marketing efforts, product developmentopportunities, business & economic development, cultural or ‘Downtown’ initiatives, special interest/niche market products, conservation & land use activities, place branding, future local community planning efforts, etc? Such action or project-basedstrategy plans address most needs best. Only with very specific strategic priorities and measurable target goals accurately in place, can a destination and its community also hope to generate a true 'cycle of success' from its planning. More often than not, the truth in the saying 'success breeds success’ will invariably help breed greater visitor and industry support ... for now, and in the future.4. Implementation:This is the phase that calls not only for adequate resourcing, but the presence of attentive and effective local leadership. Ensuring suitable project product champions exist always matters with implementation. Also the constant fostering of a committed 'sense of ownership' over the project by key stakeholders. Regular management board monitoring of the progress of work on priority projects is a further necessity. As is fine tuning and reviewing their functioning and effectiveness once they are in operation. DESTINATION DEVELOPMENTTOURISM PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & RENEWALVisitor Experience Development/Concept InnovationsCreativity & innovation remain critical to creating strong visitor experiences, impressions and memories. Even ‘natural’ experiences can benefit if approached properly (i.e. with great sensitivity & excellent management processes). Imaginative products and good collaborative development planning can also ‘value add’ and help build local distinctiveness and identity.TDS can assist emerging and growing destinations with the concept development process (e.g. using creative workshops, consultative interviews and specially devised worksheets) required for any desired new visitor experiences or upgraded regional tourism 'products' - including the theming & reinvention of local festive events.