Using Case Study Examples Discuss the Rationale and Benefits of Tourism Planning.

Topics: Tourism, Sustainable tourism, African Development Bank Pages: 6 (1989 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Tourism is one of the biggest and fastest growing global industries. In the 20th Century, the tourism industry experienced universal expansion that has obvious economic, social and political benefits. The benefits of tourism have been enormous especially for developing poor countries that have limited sources of foreign currency; it has an important source of income and employment. On the other hand however, the growth of that sector has been accompanied by negative impacts as well. As tourism market is remarkably dynamic, there is an impact for local economies, environment and society. Examples of Malta and Gambia will help us to understand how tourism planning is developed in those countries through sustainability as well as the approaches of tourism planning for the better future of those countries. Firstly, it is important to understand the definition of sustainability. Brundtland as cited in C. Michael Hall defined sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Trying to meet those needs is a primary political, economic and environmental issue as it puts demand on the new ways of thinking about the nature and purpose of development and growth. For instance, looking at Malta the centre of Mediterranean, that is seen as a sun-and- see travel destination. Tourism development in Malta begun in late 1950’s, attracting especially mass tourists during the summer time. However, after decent beginning and rapid growth the development went into stagnation. It is closely illustrated as the classic model of a tourism development cycle (Butler, 1980). Maltese Islands have a large number and wide variety of tourism attractions that give a strong potential for tourism development. To reach the goal of a successful sustainable tourism development, country needs to careful planning, systematic implementation of the plans and continuous and effective management. Planning itself is not only a decision-making but as much important as policy-making. Friedmann(1973) as cited in C. Michael Hall identify two different types of planning ‘which lay at opposite ends of an autonomy-dependency continuum depending on where the planner or the planning agency lay within the planning system’; developmental and adaptive planning. With no expectations the planning is always related to policy making. Therefore, as stated by Cullingsworth(1997:5) ‘planning is the purposive process in which goals are set and policies elaborated to implement them’. Policy making is notably involved with government actions. Furthermore, governments are machinery of tourism which can help or not regarding to the tourism industry. For instance, Malta’s Tourism Authority (MTA) has a huge impact on the regional tourism development. In 1999 the MTA took over the charge of NTOM, the Hotel and Catering Establishments Board (HCEB) as well as become committed in human resources. The key changes in new tourism administration were stated as: ‘visibility of the Malta brand in source markets; product upgrading; development of core service skills; the establishments of standards and regulation of the industry; the provision of relevant information to enable critical decision-making by the MTA itself, by the government and by the industry ( MTA, 2000a)’. As a result, the new approach that was mainly directed not only to the main stakeholders in Malta but overseas operators and visitors as well. The strategic was directed into three principal areas; ’product development, re-imaging of the Islands and redefined marketing campaign.’ In this perspective of those main areas Malta has started to develop their very fragmented product. Moreover, it was mostly concentrated on a dissimilar perception that was giving a wrong image of Maltese Islands. In addition, different overseas MTA representative offices have shown varied advertising campaigns that gave a mixed image of Malta. Malta is...
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