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Edited by Anna Spenceley

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Anna Spenceley

This comprehensive Handbook brings together practical advice from leading international practitioners in sustainable tourism. This guidance is not designed as a guide for long-term academic projects, but instead applies good research design principles within the parameters of modest timeframes and resources, to provide workable and rational step-by-step approaches to researching real-life challenges. The book’s contributors unpack how to undertake environmental, socio-cultural and economic assessments that establish the feasibility for new tourism ventures, or ascertain what impacts they have had over time. The book covers fundamentals for practitioners, such as how to conduct feasibility studies and business plans, and also addresses hot topics such as visitor management and overcrowding. The processes of transferring knowledge from academic research into practical applications are also addressed. This Handbook is critical for researchers at all levels, and particularly to those working within government institutions responsible for tourism and private tourism businesses. It is also an invaluable resource for practitioners, not-for-profit organizations and consultants that provide technical support in the planning, feasibility, development, operation and evaluation of sustainable tourism.

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Louise Twining-Ward, Hannah R. Messerli, Jose Miguel Villascusa and Amit Sharma

Theory of Change (ToC) is a practical tool and conceptual framework used by development agencies and civil society organizations and others, to map the connections between development challenges, interventions and outcomes. Despite its widespread use in development, ToC is surprisingly absent from tourism literature and handbooks. Building on methods such as Logical Framework Approach (LFA) and Results Chains, ToC involves taking a step back from these methods, to consider why and how change happens and what assumptions are made along the way. This is a critically important tool for tourism development projects because without a clear line of sight on what problem needs to be solved, it is impossible to identify the right tool to use. It starts with a brief explanation of the principles of ToC and then explains a simple five-step process to prepare one. Examples from World Bank projects illustrate how to establish a clear connection between development challenges and desired impacts.

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Mike Fabricius

This chapter addresses the importance of sound governmental tourism policies and strategies as foundations of sustainable tourism development. It explains differences in objectives, formats, ownership and timeframes of tourism policy, strategy, operational planning, master planning and other tourism planning instruments that are used in sustainable tourism management. A framework for tourism policy and strategy development and typical policy topics are provided and contentious issues in policy development are highlighted. Consultative processes for policy and strategy development are also briefly highlighted. In addition, techniques employed in destination competitive strategy development are explained addressing aspects such as competitive positioning, market and product segmentation and destination value chain assessment. Examples of policy and strategy development in South Africa are briefly discussed. The section concludes by highlighting two broad approaches in sustainable policy and strategy development namely sustainability as an underlying theme and good practice in tourism industry management and sustainability as a main thrust and key selling proposition for positioning destinations.

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Roger Goodacre

The wide-reaching and fragmented nature of the tourism sector means that good strategic planning is an essential prerequisite for a destination - generally a country or region - to ensure delivery of key objectives and sustainable long-term growth. Drawing on first-hand experience in emerging markets around the world, this chapter illustrates the value of a comprehensive master plan in drawing together the many strings, and delivering economic growth, job creation, and the sustainable exploitation of natural and cultural assets. The wide range of areas needing to be covered by a master plan is outlined, from policy, regulation and governance to marketing, product development, access, hospitality services, investment, skills training and various niche interests. The paper describes the process of drafting the plan, starting with desk and field research, interviewing stakeholders, organising consultation workshops, and ending with the drafting and revision of the final report, and presentation of the final draft to government officials and stakeholder committees. Furthermore, it touches on some of the pitfalls and impediments that need to be faced in designing the optimal plan and some common hindrances, often political or budgetary, that may impede its successful implementation. The chapter also identifies the keys to ensuring adoption of the master plan by the client - usually a government - notably the crucial importance of consultation and achieving consensus among a wide range of stakeholders. Finally it lists some of the principal sources of funding and expertise for tourism master plans, including international organisations, banks, development agencies and professional associations.

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Paul F. J. Eagles

Parks and protected areas normally offer a suite of tourism services to the visitors. A decision must be made on which management option is preferable for each service. There are two major categories of options; insourcing and outsourcing. Within insourcing, there are two models: 1) Fully public model, and 2) Public utility, parastatal model. Within outsourcing there are five different options: 1) Using for-profit, private companies; 2) Using non-profit organizations; 3) Using local community organizations; 4) Using another government department; and, 5) Using a joint-venture company (i.e. public-private, private-community, public-community or public-private-community). The initial decision often sets a precedent that lasts for decades. The majority of the literature dealing with commercialization of tourist services in parks and protected areas favours the outsourcing of these services. The advantages of insourcing with a parastatal form of governance have been underestimated and poorly documented. This book chapter attempts to balance this discussion.

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P. J. Massyn

The chapter unpacks how to test proposed new lodging facilities for feasibility across various technical, legal, environmental, social and economic dimensions. It provides clear guidelines for practitioners to assess and answer each of these questions in turn and to evaluate project risks using a standardized risk assessment tool. For projects that meet minimum feasibility criteria with acceptable levels of risk, the chapter then provides step-by-step guidance on the preparation of business plans that function as detailed road maps for project implementation. At the heart of the business plan, is the assessment of demand and likely levels of financial return. Predicting returns, involves financial analysis via a project financial model that checks cash flows, returns and financial robustness. The chapter provides instructions on the preparation of models that cover income statements, cash flows and balance sheets as well as key indicators of project bankability. The guidelines are illustrated with examples and case studies.

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Michael Wright

The nature of a funding proposal for a tourism venture may differ depending on its sector category, and whether or not it is purposed for a new start-up venture, or an existing business seeking to undertake a new venture, expand a current venture, or seeking refurbishment and support. The funding avenue pursued needs to relate to the venture’s goals and objectives, and requires understanding the investment mandate and criteria of the funder(s). An enticing funding proposal necessitates several key ingredients: thorough planning, research, good structure, quality content, rapport with the funder(s), presentation and follow-up. The product will need to include a bankable feasibility study. Funding can also comprise several forms, and the correct combination of these will be vital to achieving profitability in the shortest possible timeframe. Furthermore, obtaining funding for sustainable tourism requires not only a feasible business proposition, but a strong commitment to society, communities and the environment as well. Ensuring all of these elements are delivered upon will bring about the greatest probability of funding success.

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Amran Hamzah

Local involvement in tourism is recognised as an indispensable condition for sustainable tourism. Optimal local involvement and the attendant benefits are achieved through consistent and deliberate actions to engage local people in every stage of tourism development, from opportunity identification to concept to operation. It is founded upon acknowledging and engaging locals as active partners and co-creators of tourism, as opposed to passive beneficiaries. Meaningful local involvement requires that local partners participate in co-reading of the tourism landscape, co-design and co-management of participatory planning, joint decision-making on implementation, and co-management of operations. Shared value creation should underpin planning for local involvement and partnerships, and the delivery thereof should be the yardstick of success. This chapter provides guidance on conceptualising, planning and delivering optional local involvement in tourism and partnership development. It contains a series of tools and examples of good practice; highlights the challenges to local involvement and provides links to more detailed resources.

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Nicholas Coetzer

While offering a step-by-step approach this chapter notes that design is not a linear and procedural undertaking but deals with contradictions that must be worked through values. Buildings, particularly in nature-based or ecotourism spaces, often lack the ethos of their conservation settings. Vernacular architecture in the area offers clues as to how to mitigate weather and climactic challenges, how to build and make settlement with local resources, and how to engage local communities. Where vernacular architecture does not exist in the area the ethos of ‘touching the earth lightly’ should be pursued. As a counter to this, a strategy of ‘touching the earth heavily’ raises the challenge to developers, practitioners and architects to approach the design as an emergent response to local ecologies - as an evolutionary process. The key move is to have experts map and assist the architect in defining the brief and site before the design work proceeds.