Tourism destination development and management is a key factor to the success of the tourism industry in any given region. Tourism is all about travel trade which is so complex and hence it needs to be managed and developed very carefully.
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All the stake holders must participate in managing places in terms of culture, social aspects of the given place, heritage, among other key factors that affect tourism. As a dynamic sector, tourism has to be handled with great precaution.
There are several destinations that exist in various countries in the world as a whole. This gives potential visitors a wide range of commodities in the tourism market they can choose to consume. This in itself makes the market and therefore the success in the market depends on how well the place is developed and managed.
The tourism market
The tourism market is a set of clients who regularly consume a specific tourist commodity in the market. This is an ever changing market due to the fluctuations that occur on the demand and supply side of the said market. Clients in this market don’t have the same characteristics and hence the market has to be analyzed objectively. As part of touring, many tourists come in with their own intrinsic expectations that cannot be identified easily.
Tourism can be inbound where a tourist goes out of his home country or it can be domestic where the given tourist tours some parts of his own country. Both types of tourism need to be panned for and managed very well by the stakeholders endowed with the responsibility.
The tourism market is not similar to other good and service markets because it is a market that has an experience that cannot be touched, it is impossible to separate both consumption and production in the market, it greatly varies from time to time, it targets travel trade, involves cultural heritage marketing, and the fact that it involves societal marketing.
Tourism policy, planning and management processes
For tourism management to be sustainable, it requires a well understood decision making process. The main actors in tourism decision making are the government and the public at large. The decisions are normally arrived at in different sets of interactions (Homeshow 1995 p. 522).
Planning of tourism policy requires the planner to analyze beyond one sector or issue by looking at all the factors that affect tourism. There must be corporation between the government and the local communities among other stake holders like other institutions in order to come up with the best policy and plan governing tourism.
In tourism policy development and planning process, the place it self must work hand in hand with other institutions that are in charge of regional tourism planning. The regional bodies come in with professionalism that is key to the success of the tourism industry.
Tourism destination marketing
One of the concepts in marketing states that the most important thing in acquiring the objectives of an organization involves determining the requirement of the target market and then meeting with the desired needs in the most effective and efficient manner than the other providers in the market.
There must be a strategically planned connection between the supply and demand sides of the market. Destination basically refers to a place. Tourism destination marketing involves a combination of each visitor’s experience that is combined into one big unit of a given toured area. (Marphy at al, 2000.p. 44).
This means that the earlier notion of this concept referring to the end of the whole experience has been done away with. (Vukonic, 1997. p.98)
Tourism destination marketing is a well planned approach to the improvement of places and not a tool for promotion (kotler et al. 1993. p.16). It is highly recommended that occupants of a given place gain satisfaction from their community and whenever visitors come in, their needs have to be met.
Tourism destination organization
The duty of tourism destination marketing is the responsibility of tourism destination organizations (Ashworth, 1991, p.139). Such institutions may include the public sector, private sector or a combination of both.
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Working together of the various players within this industry is very important given the fact that the DMO’s have a small influence on the tourism market. This is owed to the fact that DMO’s have no influence on the determination of pricing, operation and production (Bieger, p. 182). They therefore have to accept the product as it is provided for in the market.
While executing their duties, one of the challenges that destination management organizations face is that of lack of funds. This is mainly because what is offered to them in budget is not worth what is expected of them in results. (Bonham & Mark, 1996.p.3-10)
Development of a tourism destination
Tourism marketing can only be achieved if the stake holders fully understand the factors that determine the way the tourists behave. They should also be able to recognize the expectations of the tourists and how environmental and socio-cultural changes will influence tourism. Stable industry. (Ritchie & Crouch, 2000, p. 2)
While developing tourist destinations, the involved institutions and other stake holders should focus more on the long-term objectives that are sustainable for the purpose of coming up with a stable industry.
Factors affecting travel motivation
It is very tricky to determine what exactly makes people to tour other countries and nations. (Pearse, 1987. p. 21). Varied tourists who possess different personality attributes tour different parts of the nation with different expectations and needs that are not shared and this makes it very hard to determine factors that drive tourists to travel. However some of the common factors that may influence travel are discussed below.
Looking for pleasure and relaxation are very important factors that affect the movement of tourists. This may include escape from harsh conditions like climatic or when somebody just decides to go and relax away from his normal surrounding. (Leiper 1994.p.249)
Nationality to some extend also affects tourism in that some tourists from some parts of the world tend to travel to specific parts of the world for adventure. This may be affected by demand issues for example some tourists from a given region of the world may be driven by some specific needs e.g. swimming that is well provided for in a given country. (Pizzam & Sussman 1995.p 9o1-917).
As far as age is concerned, young visitors normally tour for sporting activities while older tourist’s visits are normally meant for relaxing and exploring the world. Older tourists prefer activities that are not tiring
One of the most important factors that affect tourism is the extent to which the social-cultural and natural environments which most visitors come to adventure have been built and maintained.
Gender doesn’t seem to have a great influence on tourism as such, but some studies shows that that women tend to have a strong drive to traveling while the young male gender tend to prefer noisy places full of fun.
As noted earlier, there are so many intrinsic factors in tourists that are so varied and hence it makes it so hard to tell the exact needs of tourists.
Tourism marketing failure
Tourism marketing is confused with selling yet selling goals don’t go hand in hand with the conservation need of the tourism market. (Latitude Nelson, 2001. 1-15)
The other thing is that what is really on the ground may not really reflect what has been promised to the tourists. Some of the advertisement may display information that is not true in order just to attract tourists and make money.
As a matter of fact, tourism development and management is an important factor that must be managed very well by any given country or region. This is mainly because this sector is very dynamic and faced with several challenges. It is very hard to determine most of the intrinsic factors that motivate visitors so explaining the demand and supply side of the market becomes very tricky.
It is therefore important for all stake holders to participate in the policy development process and planning of the tourism industry in order to ensure success in the dynamic sector. It calls for involvement of expertise in the strategic planning and policy development process for the industry.
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