Development of Community Tourism
Tourism planning and development is a continuum: as one milestone is achieved, there is another to strive for as the community moves through the destination life cycle which includes the early stages of development; planning (vision and plan), growth (product development), maturity (products from the vision are achieved and the destination is being utilized by the target markets) and decline or rejuvenation (the destination requires redevelopment or it will decline, losing market share and economic impact). Creating a tourism plan is important as well as developing an understanding of the ongoing cycle of planning activity required to implement and maintain a plan.
The tourism industry is comprised of a network of businesses, organizations and government agencies that provide the products, services, transportation and programs to meet the needs of tourists and industry. Collectively these tourism stakeholders contribute to the visitor experience. In most communities, service agencies that form the tourism management function include but are not limited to: destination marketing/management organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and local and regional government. The success of any community that aspires to become a visitor destination will depend on the recognition that it takes a community to deliver a positive visitor experience, as each component is interdependent, and that the community forms part of a regional context as a visitor experience.
Tourism marketing and promotion involve how the destination will position itself in the marketplace and communicate the brand to target markets.
Key elements in the marketing mix include:
- Product / Market Match
- Unique Selling Points (USPs)
- Branding and Positioning
- Communication Tools
- Distribution Channels
- Promotional Mix
Preparing for Promotion
A set of quality and professionally created promotional tools and materials provides a solid foundation for undertaking marketing activities. Ineffective communication tools waste valuable resources. It is essential that the right communication tool is targeted during the appropriate stage in the purchase cycle (Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Purchase, Loyalty). The community brand needs to be incorporated into all designs while artwork and content are customized for the communication objective of the materials being developed.
The system to generate visitor inquiries must include key messaging and appropriate promotional tools to distribute throughout the purchase cycle with adequate means to get the message out.
- promoting awareness of the destination and its attributes;
- generating interest in the destination as a travel choice;
- being convincing as the choice over other destinations;
- indicating convenience to purchase; and
- providing an option to receive more information in the future.