How to Create an Effective Destination Planning Process

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Last year the global travel and tourism sector contributed nearly $9 billion to the global economy and grew 3.9%. For years, this number has been outpacing the growth of the world GDP. For this trend to continue, it’s crucial that the industry adapts and evolves to accommodate both the tourists and the communities that welcome them. This requires a strategic destination planning process for securing the economy and long-term sustainability of a destination’s future. 

Key Elements in Destination Planning


A practical approach to destination management is a multi-level strategy that addresses the success of a destination from multiple directions. This involves different levels of tourism planning, like marketing and tourism management of a destination, and having a solid vision for future tourism development. Here are five essential steps in the tourism planning process:


  • Determining the type and scale of tourism, and how it will evolve for the destination
  • Researching to find the most effective sustainable direction for the future development of the destination
  • A broad scope, strategic approach to tourism marketing
  • Developing key planning documentation
  • Collaborating, agreeing, and engaging with key stakeholders


Involving Stakeholders in the Destination Planning Process


Stakeholders are an essential part of the destination planning process. For most stakeholders, they want a tourism management plan built on strong fundamental principles that have been researched thoroughly and are based on solid analytics. 


It’s also important to present stakeholders with a strong sense of leadership. Stakeholders want a well defined planning and management process that is based on reliable information presented to them. In the end, stakeholders want to know the team and know that the tourism management plan has a vision for the destination’s future and the leadership to bring it to life. This is at the very core of the stakeholder engagement process and is essential for building a shared vision and encouraging collaboration. 


Strategic Planning Documents in the Destination Planning Process


Strategic planning documents in the destination planning process should lay the groundwork for tourism growth and management for the destination. For tourism management, this means using a wide lens to plan for the long-term direction of the destination. Strategic planning documents should include:


  • A well-outlined vision for the long-term direction of tourism management that identifies key priorities. 
  • A researched plan that identifies the data and analytics needed to engage stakeholders in making informed decisions.
  • Risk assessments that identify what are the risks and vulnerabilities that may affect the destination’s tourism industry and how it responds to such a crisis. 


Let Us Help You Build a Sustainable Destination Planning Process 


We help organizations like yours develop and implement strategies for success. In the travel and tourism industry, this involves developing a change management strategy with stakeholders. We’re ready to start a conversation about how we can help you develop a more successful tourism management plan. When you’re ready to talk, we’re here. Contact the Coraggio Group in Portland today.