Any community or sector that is taking a proactive approach to tourism needs to have a plan. Depending on the size and sophistication of your community or sector, the tourism plan may be just a few pages or, with supporting material, or a lengthier document.
However, even in the largest and most sophisticated community or sector, the core plan should be clear, concise, and state a few key strategies that the community or sector will undertake.
Before creating your tourism plan, be sure to check out the provincial Five-year Strategy for Tourism in British Columbia: Gaining the Edge as a point of reference, as well as the Destination BC corporate strategy.
What a Tourism Plan Does
A formal planning process provides structure and rigour to decision-making and culminates in the written tourism plan that is typically prepared or updated.
The tourism plan gathers and distils the learning of the community or sector in one document and charts a path to achieve business objectives. Specifically, the tourism plan answers the following questions:
What are the current economic and tourism conditions?
What opportunities and problems are you facing?
What business objectives related to tourism do you expect to achieve?
What tourism products do you have that are of interest to visitors?
What do you need to do to make your tourism products of greater interest to visitors?
Who are your visitors?
Why should they visit your community rather than another community?
How will you communicate your tourism products to potential visitors?
Who will do what, when?
How are you going to measure your progress so you can learn from the experience?
Structure of a Tourism Plan
Prior to preparing the tourism plan, a thorough situation analysis should be completed. The two main stages include:
The Situation Analysis
The Tourism Plan