Strategic Marketing in Tourism and Leisure

Initially, most forms of tourism planning were localized and site-specific, reflecting the rather limited horizons that originally characterized most patterns of tourism. But as the spatial range of tourists has become more extensive as mobility levels have increased, planning systems that are capable of co-ordinating development over regional and even national spaces have become more necessary. Second, in view of the natural patterns of fragmentation within tourism, any systems that permit co-ordination of activity are likely to become essential to the development of the industry’s potential. This fragmentation is mirrored in the many different elements that are required to come together within a tourism plan, including accommodation, attractions, transportation, marketing and a range of human resources, and, given the diverse patterns of ownership and control of these factors in most destinations, a planning system that provides both integration and structure to these disparate elements is clearly of value. (Alan, 2005: 48-56) Planning systems (when applied in a marketing context) will also enable the promotion and management of tourism places and their products, once they are formed.Third, as noted in the introduction to this paper, there are clear links between planning and principles of sustainability. Implicit in the concept of sustainable tourism is a range of interventions aimed not only at conserving resources upon which the industry depends but also at maximizing the benefits to local populations that may accrue through proper management of those resources. The commonest form of intervention is via a tourism development or management plan.Fourth, planning can be a mechanism for the distribution and redistribution of tourism-related investment and economic benefits. This is a particularly important role for planning given that tourism is becoming an industry of global significance but one where activity does not fall evenly across different regions and where the spatial patterns of tourist preference are also prone to variation through time. (Ensor, 2001: 126-131)