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‘VALUES-BASED TOURISM’  Destination Building/Regional Tourism  Regional Tourism Development & Sustainability   Excellence in management practices - the only answer to places being ‘loved to death’? The world's most significant industry: Adopting the view that tourism is only about low paying jobs is not only erroneous, but a serious strategic mistake - particularly in the regional context. Tourism is now the world's largest & most economically significant industry. (The actual buying power of local income levels is also relative - to local pricing and living costs.)   For many non metropolitan regions - particularly those that have suffered major declines in their more traditional local industries - tourism and its many economic multipliers may represent one of the only serious economic options left.* (And sometimes this too can lead to its own problems, as is so starkly illustrated in the Galapagos case study referred to below.)   (*Assuming sufficient visitor draw cards and amenities exist, or can be created ... and that other key influences like proximity & accessibility to markets are reasonably favourable ... and genuine community support for tourism exists. Building sufficient ‘critical mass’ of product, services & experiences is also an important factor.) ‘Our love of water’ - Planning for a managed & sustainable approach: In many region’s coastal areas  - particularly those experiencing significant residential growth from retirement patterns and other forces - sustainable tourism now lies at the heart of their economic futures. Tourism (seasonally or otherwise) strongly affects each coastal community's prospects for creating more jobs and keeping local businesses profitable and ultimately viable. And over time it is within this context that, given visitors' fundamental attraction to ‘the ocean' and water in general (for its relaxation, recreational and other pleasurable properties), significant growth in tourist numbers will more than likely occur. Whether desired locally or not. This particularly holds true for year round, sunny locations with outstanding beach or water access. The only foreseeable threat to this trend being the potential impacts of climate change, rising oceans, frequent and more intense storms and/or quake related natural disasters like tsunamis. Consequently, how well tourism is managed and planned for, is one of the few options open to help determine the kinds of impacts, that potentially ‘being loved to death’ will have, on the locally desired way of life, its beauty and its ecology.  All those elements that together define that special 'sense of place' - that has been attracting people to both reside in, and visit the area. Underlying this critical need for attentive management is the following harrowing example. Galapagos Islands - Tragic case study in the serious consequences of poor tourism management: Scientist Charles Darwin’s most famous ‘natural laboratory’, The Galapagos Islands, now demonstrates that if tourism development is  not conscientiously & fearlessly managed in sustainable ways, extremely serious ecological consequences will certainly follow. In what could possibly be the most disturbing single example of poor tourism management’s propensity for generating irreversible impacts, the whole tragic (June 2012) story is detailed here. Loss of species and more. This shocking report on the world’s most unique ecology (if nothing else) highlights the absolute necessity for tourism destinations to be properly managed, conserved and sustainably & sensitively developed. As well as protected from short term, ill considered and ultimately self defeating economic & commercial pressures. The need is for protection by not only more environmentally aware and responsibly minded governments, but by local communities and tourism industry leaders too. (And closer attention should also be paid to damage that can occur from unchecked processes of attrition & neglect alone.)
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Specialists in: Tourism development & assessment, place branding, integrated tourism & community planning.  TDS works with cities, counties, and rural & coastal communities to optimize their ROI and advance their community economic development through tourism. We generate the fresh & practical strategies that boost your marketing outcomes. COMMUNITY TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
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