Components of a Tourism Plan

The tourism plan identifies areas the community or sector will focus on to build its tourism business and the steps it needs to take to achieve desired results. The tourism plan answers the key questions:

  • What business objectives related to tourism does your community or sector expect to achieve?
  • What type of growth does your community or sector want to achieve? In the short term? Over the longer term?
  • How will your community or sector achieve these objectives? What type of tourism products will you need? What type of visitor are you hoping to attract? 
The sections in the tourism plan may include the following:
Heading Description
Vision and mission
  • The vision is future focused, something to be pursued, a destination, inspirational, and verifiable.
  • The mission is present focused, reason for being, a roadmap, concrete, and measurable.
  • Quantifiable results the sector or community expects to achieve. Objectives should be realistic, achievable, yet challenging, with a timeframe and should be something you can measure. 
  • Typically, objectives are stated as the number of visitors, or visitor revenue desired by a certain date. If the number of visitors is difficult to obtain, indicators can be used, including the increase in number of visitors to a selected sample of operators, number of enquiries, etc. 
  • Strategies describe the broad direction the community or sector will take to achieve the stated objectives. 
  • Strategies look longer term and may not change from year to year while tactics are short-term actions to achieve the implementation of a strategy.
Organizational structure
  • The organizational structure that your community or sector has decided to adopt.
Sources of funding
  • The sources of funding that your community or sector has decided to pursue.
Target markets
  • The types of visitors that are priorities for your community or sector, stating primary and secondary target markets. 
  • Include geographic target markets, demographic, and activity-based target groups. 
Brand positioning
  • A statement that clearly defines how the community or sector will be positioned and the rationale. 
  • This positioning statement should provide direction for product development and promotional activities, including logo and tagline development.
Length of stay
  • The desired length of stay that your community or sector is trying is seeking from visitors, from day visits or overnight getaways to longer vacations.
Priority product and destination development categories and strategies
  • The strategies your community or sector will implement to address infrastructure and policy issues.
  • The types of products your community or sector will focus on for tourism development.
  • Categories could include human resources, visitor services, accommodation, food and beverage, retail, transportation, attractions, education among businesses, etc.
Priority promotional strategies
  • The types of promotional activities your community or sector has decided to prioritize, including media relations, advertising, joint or levered promotions, consumer shows, etc.
Research and evaluation
  • The research tools you will use to measure the stated objectives.
  • Research initiatives to measure visitation and better understand visitors utilizing the product, including participation in Destination British Columbia research activities.
  • This section could also summarize all of the evaluation tools needed to measure tactics. 
Tactics and implementation plans
  • Tactics are the short-term actions your community or sector will use to achieve the strategies outlined above. There may be several tactics for each strategy. 
Tactics to achieve shorter term development strategies
  • For each tactic, an implementation plan would be prepared that could include a short description, quantifiable objectives, rationale, action steps, potential partnerships/resources/sources of funding, responsibilities, timeframe, budget, and evaluation mechanism.
Tactics to achieve longer term development strategies
  • Even for longer-term strategies, there are tactics that will be implemented in the short term to achieve long term results.
Shorter term promotional strategies
  • Same format for each tactic as above.
Longer term promotional strategies
  • Same format for each tactic as above.
  • Itemized by year and activity.