Sustain IT - Sustainable Tourism Innovative Training

Destination Policy & Planning: Strategic planning for sustainable rural tourism development


COU_3_EN  

 Title
Destination Policy & Planning: Strategic planning for sustainable rural tourism development

 Keywords
Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, destination policy, rural areas, rural tourism

 Author
PAFOS

 Languages
English

 Objectives/goals
In this course, we will introduce:
● Identification of Rural Areas as a Unique Destination for Strategy Development in the Tourism Industry
● Proposal of alternative Forms of Rural Tourism for Sustainability Development
● Public and Private Partnership (PPP) for Sustainable Rural Tourism Development
● Cooperation of Rural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the authority of the Professional Bodies (Chambers)
● Strategy Planning for reaching new Markets for the Rural Tourist Areas



 Contents in bullet points
Module name: Entrepreneurship for sustainable tourism
1. Unit name: Identification of Rural Areas as a unique Destination for Strategy Development in the Tourism Industry;
2. Unit name. Alternative Forms of Rural Tourism for Sustainability Development;
3. Unit name. Public and Private Partnership (PPP) for Sustainable Rural Tourism Development;
4. Unit name. Cooperation of Rural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the authority of the Professional Bodies (Chambers);
5. Unit name. Strategy Planning for reaching new Markets for the Rural Tourist Areas. industrial heritage



 Contents


 STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Introduction


  Massive impact on the Global Economy

Tourism constitutes a powerful tool for contemporary economies and substantially contributes to the National and Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Baum, 1994; Lemma, 2014); therefore, this principle leads to the development of critical thinking of how both governments and private institutions utilise Tourism in order to ensure sustainable development.



  Opportunity for Job Creation

The development of Tourism creates the opportunity for Job Creation, therefore, leading to massive positive impact on both the Global and Local economies. This creates the need for creative thinking on behalf of both the Public and Private Sectors.



  Increase of Employment

The Job Creation in the Tourism Sector can help towards the Increase of Employment which constitutes a fundamental priority for all economies, and especially for the European Union which pays massive attention towards this specific direction. This can help both the Businesses and the Individuals.



  Social Inclusion and Exclusion

The Tourism Development, the Job Creation, and  the Increase of Employment can have further positive impact such as the Increase of Social Inclusion and the Decrease of Social Exclusion.

They both constitute serious issues for contemporary society; therefore, Tourism development can have further positive impacts.



  Development of Information Technology

The Tourism Development, the Job Creation, and  the Increase of Employment can have further positive impact such as the Increase of Social Inclusion and the Decrease of Social Exclusion. They both constitute serious issues for contemporary society; therefore, Tourism development can have further positive impacts.



Unit 1


  Identification of Rural Areas as a Unique Destination for Strategy Development in the Tourism Industry

The identification of Rural Areas as a unique Destination is of crucial importance and leads to the development of Market(ing) Research, Critical Thinking, and Innovation. Several critical factors such as Social participation, Tradition and Culture, and protection of Heritage apply as they enable the Rural areas to become more diversified, confront competition at both local and global levels, and ensure that investments shall prevail as part of an overall business Organisational Culture (Laing & Lewis, 2017).

In terms of the Rural Area, the Strategy development must take into account specific unique characteristics such as Agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and fisheries; Economic and cultural activities of country-dwellers; Non-urban recreation and leisure areas or nature reserves; Seasonality, either Summer or Winter; Accessibility (motorways, airports, trains, buses); Fragmentation; Co-operation between internal and external market experts; Co-operation between government and private institutions; Role of Women and Young persons; Adequacy in IT provision; Overall infrastructure.

The Innovation process must ensure that alternative forms of Tourism in Rural areas shall prevail as this constitutes a pioneer step in confronting and overcoming competition at both local and global levels (Dunphy, Benveniste, Griffiths, Sutton, 2000). Several countries within the European Union have largely benefited from such a Strategic approach as it has enabled them to exploit not only their productive resources, but most importantly, to focus on specific unique characteristics that could not be found elsewhere and have wisely been characterized as Europe’s ‘hidden treasures’ that are looking for people to discover them (Mohnacki, 2017).



Unit 2


  Alternative Forms of Rural Tourism for Sustainability Development

Rural Tourism is indeed facing serious challenges. This is an issue that has been identified through the years (Timothy & Wall, 1997; Wiggins & Proctor, 2001; Ogola, 2005) and despite that in recent years it has experienced some significant growth, the need for Innovation and Diversification remains in place in order to ensure that this growth shall prevail in the long-term, providing rural areas with substantial benefits. A key component towards this direction is the development of Alternative Forms of Rural Tourism that will provide the specific areas with the ability to exploit their unique characteristics and take advantage of the opportunities provided within the specific emerging market.

Proceeding to extensive Market Research and Market Segmentation constitutes a priority for the effective development of such actions; therefore, this must be conducted by a team of professionals that acquire the appropriate skills and expertise in the specific area of Research. Such action will enable the Rural areas to define the best possible opportunities, position themselves to the right target-market; hence, becoming more efficient in their overall Strategic development (Bryman & Bell, 2015).

Despite that there is no "One Size Fits All" policy, the following proposed Alternative Forms of Tourism are considered to have to a large scale, universal applicability.

Especially, within the European Union which shares a large number of common characteristics, these Alternative Forms can in general be applied across the Union.

Each country and each Rural Area must focus on its own unique characteristics which will enable it to become more Innovative and competitive. All the above issues constitute fundamental principles as each place is indeed unique; consequently, diversification must be considered as an essential part of the specific procedure which has to be developed within a framework, both European and National. This will enable them to ensure possible Funding from both National and European funding; hence, enabling them to invest in infrastructure in order to become more competitive.

i.  Medical Conferences Tourism: This refers to the attraction of professionals in the Medical sector and can potentially provide Rural Areas with a great degree of diversification as it can attract scientists from different countries and contribute to the local rural economies. The development of Medical Conference Tourism has been enjoying a healthy development during the last two decades as an increasing number of scientists are involved in Research & Development.  They also acquire further training and knowledge regarding the developments in their field.

ii.  Religious Tourism: This refers to the attraction of a specific group of people that believe in a specific religion. Provided that religions such as Christianism, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhism, attract the majority of the world’s populations; coupled with the extensive culture that goes along with these religions, their development can have a significant impact on Rural areas. The need for reaching this market is self-evident and can provide Rural areas with a serious competitive advantage in order to effectively attract a number of new visitors in their areas.

iii.  Environmental Tourism: This form of Tourism refers to the attraction of a niche market that are focused on developing activities that will clearly focus on protecting the environment. This can potentially include the implementation of volunteer work. An increasing number of people across the globe are aware of the need to protect the environment and they feel socially responsible towards the specific issue. The attraction of people from this segment requires the development of very specific policies that will be based on scientific issues and will be able to attract these people, which are usually well-educated people.

iv.  Cultural Tourism: The Culture can become a powerful tool for each country and the universality of this form of Tourism constitutes a commonly accepted issue. Differences between regions, countries, even areas within the same country, is something that constitutes a reality. Provided that this identification prevails to a great extent, the need for each country to focus on the development of the appropriate Strategies is essential in order to ensure that they can take advantage of the opportunities provided. However, at the same time, Rural areas must be aware of the fact that they have to compete with a large number of countries, as well as other regions in their home country.

v.  Sports Tourism: Sports Tourism has also experienced a massive development during the past two decades as the focus of an increasing percentage of people in leading a healthy life-style has provided the opportunity to several countries to develop a series of events towards this direction. Rural areas possess specific advantages such as the nature which enables the development of sports such as Marathons and Cycling. However, developing the appropriate facilities that will attract the athletes constitutes a prerequisite towards this direction. The cooperation with Athletic Clubs is another essential element for focusing on such form of Tourism (Parker, 2019).



Unit 3


  Public and Private Partnership (PPP) for Sustainable Rural Tourism Development

The smooth Cooperation and Partnership between both the Public and Private Sector (PPP) is evaluated as a vital element for the successful development of a Sustainable Strategy in the Tourism sector. The very nature of Tourism requires this cooperation due to inability of both parties involved to allocate the appropriate infrastructure and resources that will ensure Innovation and Sustainability, an issue that has historical value and managed to contribute in several countries (Soteriou & Roberts, 1998; Naum, 2003; Xu et al. 2015).

In general, three Major Drivers apply for the effective development of PPP (Thellbro, Bjärstig & Eckerberg, 2018). These Drivers refer to:

i.  Leadership: Ensures that PPP will be run under the authority of an effective Leader that will provide all participants with the appropriate motives and incentives in order to implement Innovation that is vital for Rural Tourism. In addition, Leadership, can provide the needed Clarity of Objectives, Drive and Impetus, Business Focus, and the much-needed Accountability.

ii.  Consequential Incentives: The Incentives can be identified in many levels for both the Public and Private sectors, and possible lack of such Incentives can lead to negative impact that will drive the Strategy off track. The need for PPP and the Leader(ship) is to ensure that the acquisition of the appropriate financial resources shall not play a negative role and will become an effective tool towards the successful implementation. fFor rural areas this is essential.

iii.  Interdependence and Uncertainty: Despite that there are obvious benefits from the cooperation between the Private and Public sectors, that does not under any circumstances mean that this cooperation comes without any problems. Therefore, these problems must be clearly identified and evaluated in order to ensure that they will be effectively confronted before becoming a threat for the overall PPP.

•The Role of Chambers of Commerce is fundamental and as such the Rural areas must be able to develop the appropriate alliances that will enable them to obtain the appropriate expertise, know-how, and formal structure. The Chambers possess extensive experience and links to the market place, both internally and externally that will enable the Rural Tourism areas to reach more people in more countries, by developing Innovative Products and Services. Across the globe, several Rural areas have managed to take advantage of the experience of the Chambers and other Professional Bodies and have substantially increased their Revenue, Productivity, Job Creation, and engagement of disadvantaged groups of people in innovative initiatives (Ciolac, Csosz, Bogdan, 2012; Slade, 2018).

SME's have a lot to gain from their effective partnership with the Chambers, with the experience and saving valuable productive resources such as Human, Financial, Technology, and Land. Therefore, such an approach by Rural SME's does not constitute a choice; it is rather a primary necessity which it has to be placed at the frontline of their Strategic Development. As a return, the Rural SME in the Tourism sector could expect to benefit in the long-term rather than the short-term and create the appropriate environment for increased competitiveness that will enable them to develop a powerful Brand Name, Image, and Equity, leading to improved Social benefits.

The European Union has strategically focused on the specific issue and has provided some general Guidelines and Benefits that must be examined. Despite that the Guidelines and Benefits are general, their examination leads to the example that these have a perfect application to SMEs in Rural areas; therefore, the appropriate attention must be paid in order to ensure that the EU member-states, and consequently, the SME's in the Rural areas will develop a commonly accepted Strategy:

Public Support: The cooperation with the Chambers can provide the SME to obtain Public Support which can be identified in several levels such as Know-how, Financial, Technological, access to European Funding, decline of Bureaucracy.

Awareness and use of public support programmes among SME's: SME's can become more effective, do not solely rely on the Chambers and the Public Sector.

Internalisation: The SME can benefit from the cooperation with the Chambers in order to develop their operations at an international level. This concerns both Physical and On-line presence.



Unit 4


  Cooperation of Rural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the authority of the Professional Bodies (Chambers)

•Any Strategy Development requires the effective involvement and cooperation of all potential individuals and organized groups. The engagement of the formally structured and registered Professional Bodies is of a crucial importance and must be strategically evaluated by the Rural areas that focus on developing a sustainable competitive advantage. SME that to a great extent prevail within the Rural Tourism must be able to ensure that they develop the appropriate channels in order to become more effective by using all possible productive resources that can assist them towards success (Arroyo, Barbieri, & Rich, 2013).

The Role of Chambers of Commerce is fundamental and as such the Rural areas must be able to develop the appropriate alliances that will enable them to obtain the appropriate expertise, know-how, and formal structure. The Chambers possess extensive experience and links to the market place, both internally and externally that will enable the Rural Tourism areas to reach more people in more countries, by developing Innovative Products and Services. Across the globe, several Rural areas have managed to take advantage of the experience of the Chambers and other Professional Bodies and have substantially increased their Revenue, Productivity, Job Creation, and engagement of disadvantaged groups of people in innovative initiatives (Ciolac, Csosz, Bogdan, 2012; Slade, 2018).

The European Union has strategically focused on the specific issue and has provided some general Guidelines and Benefits that must be examined. Despite that the Guidelines and Benefits are general, their examination leads to the example that these have a perfect application to the SME in the Rural areas; therefore, the appropriate attention must be paid in order to ensure that the EU member-states, and consequently, the SME in the Rural areas will develop a commonly accepted Strategy:

  Public Support: The cooperation with the Chambers can provide the SME to obtain Public Support which can be identified in several levels such as Know-how, Financial, Technological, access to European Funding, decline of Bureaucracy.

Awareness and use of public support programmes among SME: SME can become more effective, do not solely rely on the Chambers and the Public Sector. Figure 3 provides the ‘Percentage of internationally active SMEs that use financial or non-financial support’.

Internalisation: The SME can benefit from the cooperation with the Chambers in order to develop their operations at an international level. This concerns both Physical and On-line presence. Expansion on the international marketplace creates several benefits such as increased knowledge and experience, improved revenue and profitability, improved organisational culture, and innovation and creativity



Unit 5


  Strategy Planning for reaching new Markets for the Rural Tourist Areas

•The Strategy Development constitutes the ultimate action for any given industry or single organisation. Strategy Development requires deep critical thinking skills and its development must ensure that the industry or the organisation will enjoy long-term benefits and create the appropriate environment for developing an internal Organisational Culture that will involve all people involved in the organisation (Kaplan & Norton, 2005; Zeps & Ribickis, 2015).

•In terms of the SME in Rural Tourist Areas, it needs to develop a series of actions before they can become complete in an increasingly competitive environment which requires the smooth cooperation of a series of Stakeholders. These Stakeholders refer to the following that are considered as of a primary importance and their role can have a great deal of impact on the Rural Tourist businesses; especially SMEs, as these lack the appropriate Resources such as Financial, Human, Land, and IT:

1.  Government Agencies: These can help the sector with their structure providing them with the appropriate skills, know-how, financial support, statistics, legal consultation, and access to funding especially when this refers to EU funds and specific programs developed by the Union. Therefore, such cooperation constitutes the first and most important step prior the Strategy Development at all levels;

Chambers of Commerce: These can provide the opportunity to Rural areas to gain access to the international market through their extensive knowledge and their ability to connect the business across to many countries. In addition, the Chambers can bring Rural Tourism businesses together in order to assist them towards developing a commonly accepted Strategy and develop a sustainable network that will effectively serve the scopes of all participants.

Further to all the above-mentioned issues, Rural Tourism businesses; and most importantly the organisation that will develop the Strategy, must take the following major steps that will consider both the internal and external environments:
1. Marketing Research
2. Internal Analysis
3. Segmentation
4. Market Positioning
5. Innovation & Creativity



 Results

At the end of this module, you will be able to: ‚óŹ Identificate of the Rural Areas as a unique Destination ‚óŹ Understand the Alternative Forms of Rural Tourism for Sustainability Development ‚óŹ Develop of a comprehensive Strategy smooth Cooperation and Partnership between both the Public and Private Sector ‚óŹ Understand the Environmental, Planning and Control, and Econmic Concerns

 Bibliography

UNESCO (2016). Sustainable Tourism Development in UNESCO Designated Sites in South-Eastern Europe UNESCO Office in Venice UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (BRESCE)

http://portal.unesco.org/en/files/45338/12417872579Introduction_Sustainable_Tourism.pdf/Introduction_Sustainable_Tourism.pdf (Ret: 19/09/2019)

Tourism Notes (2019). Rural Tourism https://tourismnotes.com/rural-tourism/ (Ret: 16/09/2019)

Duro, J.A. (2018). Seasonality of tourism: A new decomposition Tourism Economics Vol 24(5), https://doi.org/10.1177/1354816618768319 (Ret: 16/09/2019)

Dunphy, D., Benveniste, J., Griffiths, A.& Sutton, P. (2000). Sustainability

The corporate challenge of the 21st century. (eds.). Crows Nest AU: Allen and Unwin Book Publishers


 Training Fiche PPT:
COU_2_En_prbttrainingmodule.pptx




This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site and its contents reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.