INTEGRATED COMMUNITY TOURISM PLANNING
THE PLANNING PROCESS: KEY PRINCIPLES (1)
Building shared priorities:
To succeed, an integrated community tourism plan requires a committed local leadership (one or more 'product
champions') - capable of working with all known stakeholders & industry sectors - to generate a shared set of
strategic destination development and marketing priorities.
The practical value of the plan's actions and outcomes to all partners - e.g. by meeting their own individual goals or
joint strategic needs in some meaningful and timely way - must also be established.
More effective & sustainable use of resources:
It must become evident to supporting stakeholders that these priority actions are not only achievable, but will
definitely make the most sensible, productive and impactful use of their jointly available resources. (The mutual
savings & efficiencies made possible will also help encourage a greater commitment to achieving the desired results.)
Depending on local awareness levels, sometimes prior to initiating the planning process, special campaigns to boost
understanding of the true social and economic value of tourism (and even the integration process itself) is found to
be necessary. Success here could become critical to gaining the support and receptive participation of key
stakeholders and prospective partners. Tourism's contribution is still undervalued in many places.
Weighing both the good and the bad:
With all tourism planning & development, the potential positive gains and the potential negative impacts should be
jointly and honestly identified (as clearly as possible) and then evaluated and directly addressed in some accepted or
consensual way. A key strategic goal and management priority should be to maximize the tourism & civic
development benefits & advantages and minimize the disadvantages.
Knowing what matters ... and must not be lost:
Planning processes can sometimes inadvertently focus on 'what can be' at the expense of first clearly identifying
'what is' and ‘what must not be lost’. (Or undervalued, neglected and diminished.) TDS believes that for success,
integrated community/civic tourism plans must identify and enshrine which local and community qualities, assets,
values & characteristics are regarded as vital - preferably never to be lost. (Particularly as a consequence of lack of
policy, planning and protection.)
When relevant, the process should also clarify for its stakeholders where agencies or local activities may be
unnecessarily duplicating or overlapping efforts. Resolving such issues can often free up scarce resources for other
important needs; divide responsibilities more sensibly; refocus strategic priorities and responsibilities; and achieve
more outstanding results for all parties involved. [...]
© Tourism Development Solutions 2012