Tourism planning is an effective method of developing and managing the tourism sector and the community affected. It is hence advisable to practice planning in tourism. Tourism is an activity that usually involves travels into and out of a country and or within a country for the purposes of recreation(Lin & Simmons, 2017). Planning, on the other hand, is a cyclic process that involves goal setting, systematic selection of methods to achieve the goals, and putting into action these selected methods while analyzing each method if the course is successful.
Tourism is one of a country’s economic activities that is essential in boosting the economic level of that given nation. This activity takes place in the environment, which is divided into two parts human and natural. The human environment encompasses socio-economic and cultural factors, while the natural environment comprises the natural ecosystem and plant animals in their natural habitat. Tourism planning is, therefore, a process of analyzing the needs of tourists organizing a trip and using these needs to come up with the best activities and programs for the trip(Timothy, 2017). This planning is not only geared toward satisfying the needs of the tourists, but it also ensures that the needs of the local residents of that area and the various business activities are well considered. To ensure success in the management and development of tourism, a series of planning needs to be done at every stage of trip planning. Through the experience of many tourist sites in the world, it has been observed that over a long period of time, the planned tourism technique as a means of developing tourism has proved a number of benefits in comparison to unplanned tourism without problems. This is a contrast to areas in which tourism has been allowed to advance without needful planning, in which side effects relate from environmental to social problems(Qian, Sasaki, Jourdain, Kim, & Shivakoti, 2017). This may be harmful to the local residents and the involved tourists. This may lead to market problems and a significant decline in the economic status of a country. Spanning has a number of importance, which are discussed below.
Planning enables the establishment of the overall objectives of tourism development and guiding principles and policies. This encompasses all the plans and all the aims that the managers would want to achieve and the end of the operation. By planning, all these principles and objectives are outlined in an orderly manner, and every activity is carried out as per the drawn plan. This would reduce the chances of mismanagement in handling the generated cash and even boost the inter-relationship between the tourists and the service providers. Working with the objectives, a given company or organization dealing with tourism business would find it easier and more efficient to market their projects and attract more visitors from all over the world. Good objectives and conducive guidelines and regulations governing a certain country or organization involved in tourism would translate into more tourists flocking to that area than other tourism attraction areas with similar services but different policies which are less friendly.
Another significant importance of planning in tourism is that it promotes tourism in that the natural environment and cultural resources are well preserved and maintained. In areas or countries where there is proper and efficient planning, there has been a strong stand on the need to keep and preserve natural resources. This has been easy to achieve as a result of strict rules governing nature in these areas. In contrast, in areas known for poor planning, the natural resources have been poorly handled and the cultural resources based. A good cultural resource that may promote tourism includes the cultural practices of a given community. These cultural activities that highly attract tourists are easily neglected, and less attention is given to their preservation if no strict rules are placed in order(Saarinen, Rogerson, & Hall, 2017). This mostly happens in cases where planning is counted as less important. Most tourist attraction sites are largely composed of natural resources and beautiful natural sceneries, which, when carelessly handled, may lose their value and thus lose their taste for tourism activities. It is, therefore, true and important for planning in the tourism sector to be practiced in order that these natural environments may be preserved.
Planning also provides an astute ground for decision-making in the private and public sectors in the development of tourism. In many nations, tourism activity is partly owned by the government or by privately sponsored sectors. In these cases, since the ultimate goal is to provide revenue to a country and generate income for the privately sponsored sector, there needs to be a mutual agreement between the government and the private sector on the issue of tourism(Powell et al., 2017). With clear planning, this agreement can be easily obtained and relevant decisions made. Since this is a business sector, there usually arise conflicts between the involved parties, and to reduce this, the government and the private sectors need to sit down, analyze the progress of tourism in the country, and draw a clear plan for the betterment of the future. On the contrary, in instances where there are no clear plans for the progress of the tourism industry, normally, the government and the private sectors are in conflict, and tourism declines gradually.
Planning tourism provides a baseline or a reference point against which a continuous investigation of the progress and advancement of tourism is measured. Most often, it has been quite difficult to trace the record of a given country or state in terms of tourism development. Sometimes these records on the progress of tourism development are helpful in analyzing the past history of tourism and the present and future advancements which can be used for the betterment of the tourism industry(Adu-Ampong, 2017). In case the past records are missing, it will be difficult for an organization even to plan for the activities and programs to be expected by the tourists. For instance, when an organization, either public or private, does not have a baseline reference on the daily progress of tourism, it will be very difficult even to plan to manage the visitors or tourists. This is true since one will not be able to predict the number of tourists visiting at different times of the year. It is true that tourists visit different sites at different times of the year, and hence without planning, an organization will not be able to predict which time of the year the number of tourists usually flocks. Planning is, therefore a necessary activity in the development of tourism(Qian et al., 2017).
Significantly, planning in tourism also makes it possible for the development of physical structures and improved infrastructure. These physical structures are used in providing massive landmarks that provide a guideway into the tourism area. Due to planning, improvements has been made in the sector of tourism so as to make it efficient for accessibility. Again, certain beneficial physical structures have been developed, which has helped remarkably in environment conservation. Such structures may include forests and water bodies. Many forests have been developed in order to provide direction to tourist areas or sites, and in addition, these forests have acted as a source of rain and conservation of the environment. Infrastructural facilities have sprung up as a result of planned tourism. In order to make tourist sites more efficiently accessible, many road networks have been constructed to and from these sites(Adu-Ampong, 2017). This has not only benefited the tourists and the associated company but also the affiliated community. The community around these areas has enjoyed smooth transportation facilities. The business has also erupted on a large scale in such areas, and this has, in turn, boosted the economy of the nation.
Providing a platform for effective implementation of the various policies governing the development of tourism. In many cases, many policies and principles have been proposed and set in order to guide the tourism sector. These policies have not been fulfilled in many cases as a result of a lack of proper planning. In many organizations where tourism planning is not seriously practiced, various policies have not been implemented. In cases where this planning is practiced, it has been noticed that many of the planned policies have been implemented, and hence this planning is much more important(Adu-Ampong, 2017).
Planning in tourism may help in providing a framework that will enable an effective correlation of operation between the private sector and the government sector in investing in tourism. For the private sector to be effectively convinced to invest in tourism, then there must be well-under-laid principles and planning governing this sector(Saarinen et al., 2017). The government should also be able to analyze and see if enough objectives have been laid so as to invest therein. When there is proper planning, it is easy for private and public sectors to invest in this field.
Planning in tourism is also important in equalizing and analyzing the environmental and socio-economic advantages of tourism and how these advantages are equally distributed into society and, at the same time, reducing the possible problems associated. There are a number of benefits associated with tourism to society which, when properly managed, would lead to these benefits being obtained by the individuals living in these communities.
Planning in tourism makes it easy to coordinate the development of the very many aspects of the tourism sector. This includes the relations between all the activities that contribute to tourist attractions. All these activities include those that encompass the interrelation between the activities and services offered at tourist attraction sites. In planned tourism, these activities are well coordinated and taken care of, and hence the manner in which the tourists are handled by the service providers is improved(Adu-Ampong, 2017). This promotes tourism activities, thus boosting the economy of a country.
It is true that there exists a number of events that have influenced negatively the sector of tourism throughout the ages. These events, however, can be prevented and avoided if necessary measures are taken into consideration and implemented. A good example is given in the case of Cyprus tourism. Cyprus is an island that is officially known as the Republic of Cyprus. It is an island which is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is also the third-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. This island is majorly known for tourism activities all over the world. It has beautiful natural scenery, which is good for tourism activities. Tourism rates, however, have fallen in Cyprus, which can be attributed to a number of reasons which has affected the industry of tourism over the ages. One of the events which have led to this decline is inadequacy in the infrastructural facilities. It is said that the planes flying to this place, especially in summer, are always booked or crowded(Qian et al., 2017). This has made some of tourists opt for other places for their recreational activities. This, however, does not only affect Cyprus but many other tourist destination areas. There has also been an event that has really affected tourism in Cyprus and other places and this is the fluctuation in the prices. For instance, in Cyprus, a notable increase in prices has been noted, which has greatly influenced tourism. It is said that since the Cyprus Republic adopted euros as the official currency, the rates or the prices of the facilities offered have increased significantly.
Other events that have negatively influenced tourism over the years include frequent fire outbreaks, which consume large portions of these tourist sites. There have been recorded fire outbreaks in certain major tourist sites, and these fires reduce to ashes large resources that attract tourists. A good example is the fire outbreak that occurred in Ruma National Park in the Republic of Kenya in the year 2103. This park is one of the major tourist attraction sites in Kenya. Since then, there has been a remarkable decrease in the number of tourists visiting that park since some of the unique animals were shifted to other places.
Another example of an event that has affected the sector of tourism includes natural calamities such as drought and famine. Draught is majorly experienced in the Sahara regions of Africa. Draught affects the natural environment, which forms the habitat for many wild animals. These wild animals are some of the major tourist attractions which are highly affected by these calamities. Such calamities are for example, the draught which has been experienced in Namibia, in regions which are around the Namib Desert(Lin & Simmons, 2017). This has reduced tourism activities in these areas. And not only in these areas but also in areas which experience the same problem all over the world.
The planning approach in developing the tourism sector is, therefore a very significant field to venture into, justified by the various importance as having been seen above(Qian et al., 2017). This may include analyzing and equalizing environmental and socio-economic advantages of tourism to the community, improving infrastructural facilities and boosting the overall objectives and policies governing tourism. Planning is also important in preserving and maintaining of natural and cultural resources.
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