HDC has a wealth of experience in developing heritage tourism strategies, tourism policies and tourism plans for a wide variety of tourist destination and business structures around the world.
HDC approach to tourism strategy development
The strategic debate is forever changing and the leading experts in the field of tourism strategy are constantly evolving the concepts for dealing with planning processes and the development of tourism strategy.
In the past it was a common practice for businesses and organisations to develop a 5, 10 or even 15-year tourism strategy which was followed and adhered to verbatim. This often proved detrimental if not destructive. Tourism strategies are not documents that are published once and then spend the rest of their existence gathering dust on a shelf!
Tourism strategies should be a living document that takes an organisation on a journey of development.
The strategic journey
Like many journeys, traveling from A to B is not always a straight line! Business climate, resources, unexpected events and opportunities and so on force the organisation to travel a constantly meandering and readjusting path which means that to successfully reach the destination the organisation will need to adopt a flexible adaptable "emergent" approach.
Heritage Destination Consulting’s approach to developing Tourism strategies is to keep things simple!
In our experience it is the long-term vision that is important, not necessarily the specific strategic route that takes you there.
Tourism strategies should be “emergent”, flexible and focus on clear objectives. A useful basis for developing tourism strategies is to break down the tourism strategy into 3 parts:
1) Where are we now?
2) Where do we want to be?
3) How do we get there?
The tourism strategic process is much like a car journey between A and B. The journey itself represents the overall tourism strategic horizon.
Point “A” is where we are now or more specifically the analysis of where we are now.
Point “B” is the destination or the objectives and “vision” of where we want to be after an agreed period of time.
The "how do we get there?" is the vehicle or the process which will take the organization from A to B. In the car on the dashboard are instruments, that assist the organization to monitor the speed in which it is going, the pace at which it is traveling at and the resources the organization has available to it at any one time. The road on which the car is traveling represents the competencies, remit, scope, aims, values and ethos of the organization. Along the road are regularly spaced signposts or “milestones” at which assist the organization by monitoring and measuring the journey.
The key thing to remember when developing tourism strategies is keep it simple. Big fat strategic documents usually live on shelves, are forgotten and gather dust!