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Critically assess the theory and practice of Strategic Planning in Tourism.
Introduction
Tourism is simply defined as the travel for variety of purposes such as: leisure, recreational and business. It is the fastest growing industry worldwide. In other words, tourism refers to all sorts of trips done by residents of a country for non-migratory purposes both within the country and abroad thus, includes all journeys exceeding 24 hours for business, health, recreation, or study purposes. (WTO, 1986). Clearly the tourism definition has not yet stabilized. (Beaver 2005). Similarly, Tourism is a lucrative economic activity where international corporations and hospitality industry in the global travel is dominant. (Jaakson 1998). Franklin (2003) argues that tourism is no longer something that occurs away from everyday life rather tourism is everyday activity that has turned out to be one of the ways in which our life functions.

Tourism helps in bringing both economic and non-economic benefits and costs to the host destination. Tourism is considered as the fabric to most of the industries including transportation, the food industry, clothing and retail, sports, health care, etc. Unlike other industry, tourism plays a significant role in variety of industries with multi-functioning abilities; particularly in media sector- travel section of Newspaper contains various advertisements on tourism. Thus, media is considered to be very effective way of marketing tourism so as to gain benefits and even to other engaged in the process like: airlines, cruise lines, tour companies, travel agencies and accommodation. (Goeldner and Ritchie, 2009).

Sustainable tourism is also looked upon whenever the topic tourism is discussed, as it is the advanced and complex version of the term tourism. Enhancing economic benefits of tourism is the major aspects of achieving sustainable tourism, which is deeply concerned with raising the overall benefits of tourism and minimizing any related issues or problems that are likely to happen. (World Tourism Organization 2002). For sustainable tourism to take place, it must be closely associated with all other activities occurring in the host destination. (Hawkins and Middleton, 2012). According to Hawkins and Middleton (2012:5), “ Sustainable Tourism means achieving a particular combination of numbers and types of visitors, the cumulative effect of whose activities at a given destination, together with the actions of the servicing businesses, can continue into the foreseeable future without damaging the quality of the environment on which the activities are based”.

In order to gain the sustainability and benefits of the tourism certain effective strategic planning is required to be implemented. Tourism industry is resource-based industry and uses resources like: water, electricity, land, fuel, etc. in huge amount for the purpose of demand and supply of tourist prior to the quality of service they provide to the customer. Excessive use of these resources could have negative impacts in the environment and several other elements related to it. Therefore, in tourism Industry, planning is vital because it compels an organization to think about the nature of potential risk and qualify them to undertake and minimize those risks in an efficient way possible.

Nevertheless, this assignment will assess the theories of strategic planning and will investigate its application in practice to understand Devon’s tourism industry and its status in the global tourism market. Secondly, to check on various strategic approaches and planning made for better functioning of the industry in the place and to know if those planning really have been implemented. Lastly, a closer look to the key factors for successful strategic planning in order to prevent any tourism related problems/issues in future for sustainable development.

The Basis of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning in tourism comprises of the employee’s effort and efforts of all other that forms tourist supply locally, regionally and nationally prior to the tourist demand. (Karadzova and Simonceska, 2010). Planning focuses upon change and it is required to accommodate those changes in the future, which produces a set of decision based on the preparation of future action. Johnson and Scholes (1993:10) stated that, “Strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long term: ideally which matches its resources to its changing environment”.(cited in Cox et al, 1996).

Strategic plans are developed and executed by companies in order to move towards the idealized future of becoming niche holder by various ways like: increasing market share, developing customer loyalty and penetrating new market. (Germano and stretch Stephenson, 2012). Marketing appears to be the key strategic plans within most enterprises and destination because of competitive nature of the business and the environmental changes that have occurred in past and continue to occur at an increasing rate. The process of development of strategic planning begins with a strength, weakness, opportunities and threats analysis (SWOT) analysis. It helps in finding the current position of the destination in tourist market. (Burkardt 2007). The main aim of SWOT analysis is not merely more business but is to create a strong, healthy and sustainable tourism sector that has a potential to provide the social, economical and environmental benefits as desired. (Gunn and Var, 2002). Preservation and enhancement of built environments is the other aim of the Strategic planning.

Advantages and Limitations of Strategic Planning
Strategic planning motivates leaders and managers of the tourism industry for instance to think, learn and act strategically. (Bryson 2011). It is mission/vision based that serves as a backbone for the tourism industry with many benefits such as establishment of mission- driven organization, provides strategic vision for the future of the industry and fosters an understanding of the potential forces that exist in the dynamic external environment like: opportunities and threats. (Tesone 2012).

On contrary, there are certain limitations associated with the strategic Planning process. The foremost drawback of planning is that strategic planning is a linear process, which occurs sequentially but as we know that human behavior is not always logical and sequential. This will obviously affect whilst the implementation of strategic plans for tourism by an organization. (Tesone 2012).

Theories on Strategic Planning
Traditionally, planning for tourism has been associated with land-use zoning or development planning program at the local or regional governmental level. However, tourism planning in recent years at all levels of government has had to adapt its planning program to include concerns over the social and environmental impacts of tourism for enhancing more sustainable form of tourism. (Hall 2008). According to Hall (2008:50), five broad approaches have been identified in accordance to the public tourism planning: Boosterism; an economic, industry-oriented approach; a physical/spatial approach; a community-oriented approach and a sustainable tourism approach. This categorization of different approaches has made convenient to examine the variety of ways in which tourism-planning problems are acknowledged. Moreover, it also looks upon the research and planning hypothesis, methods, and models linked with each approach. (Hall 2008). Each Theory has been discussed below:
Boosterism
Boosterism is the simplistic attitude that development of tourism is inherently good and beneficial to the hosts. In other words, it is the act of promoting a town, city or an industry with the goal of enhancing public perception of it. This approach has been dominant towards the development and planning of tourism since mass tourism began. (Hall 2008). This form of tourism was popular through out 60s and 70s whose main focus was on boosting the number of tourism via marketing.

According to Getz (1987:10), this approach is practiced and will continue to be in future mainly by two groups of people- Politicians and others who are benefited from tourism because of their mentality that economic growth should always be encouraged until the evidence mounts that resources are over exploited in the name of economic development which can now no longer be encountered as opportunity costs are too high. Promotion, advertising, public relations are some examples of Boosterism.
.

An Economic Planning approach
This Approach is based on promoting growth and development in specific areas. The planning focuses on the economic impacts of tourism and uses tourism to create employment, earn foreign revenue, encourage regional development, overcome regional economic issues and improve terms of trade. The planner here is an expert. The main feature of the economic approach is the use of marketing and promotion activity for attracting the type of tourist who will give the greatest economic benefit to the destination provided the destination’s specific products and services. (Hall 2008). Some relevant examples of this approach are supply- demand analysis, market segmentation, benefit- cost analysis, etc. The main advantage of this planning is that under this approach, the issue on who benefits and who loses through tourism does not usually occur.

A Physical/spatial approach
Physical or spatial Planning is multi- dimensional and multi- objective that refers to geographical component where the general objective is to provide for a spatial structure of activities, which in some aspect is better than the pattern without planning. The approach is ecological based as its development criteria are related to certain spatial patterns that would minimize the negative impacts of tourism on the physical environment that comprises mainly of issues related to physical and social carrying capacity, environmental threshold, etc. Economical studies, regional planning and perceptual studies are some of the examples of methods related to the physical approach. (Hall 2008).

A Community Oriented Approach
This kind of approach focuses upon the social and political context within which tourism takes place and recommends local control over the process of development. (Sharma 2004). The theory looks at balanced and alternatives to mass tourism development. In addition to that, under this approach residents are considered as major aspect of the tourism planning exercise and the community is often used as the basic planning unit. Some of its examples are community development, awareness and education and social impact assessment. The main quality of this approach is that it helps to examine and understand community attitudes toward the existing tourism and several other tourism impacts on a community. Political Nature of the planning process is one of the major difficulties in the implementation of community approach to tourism planning. However, this approach implies high degree of public participation, which will also have a direct effect in the degree of control over the planning and decision- making process. (Getz, 1987).

A Sustainable tourism Approach
Sustainable Tourism Approach for tourism strategy planning seeks to provide lasting and secure livelihoods with relatively minimal depletion of resources, environmental destruction, cultural conflicts and social instability. This approach tends to combine features of economic, spatial and community oriented tradition. One of the effective ways to develop more sustainable form of tourism is by convincing government and tourism industry and making them aware about the significance of incorporating sustainable development principles into planning and operations. (Hall 2008). This can be achieved through various mechanisms such as: raising consumer awareness, raising producer awareness, development of industry coordination mechanisms, etc. (Dutton and Hall, 1989). Because of the effectiveness and reliability of the approach, many geographers have become concerned with the sustainable approaches development towards tourism.

Tourism in North Devon
Importance of Tourism in North Devon
Devon is a major tourist destination bringing in millions of pounds and employment to the rural Economy. (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on Economic Affairs 2008). Since, the late 19th century tourism in North Devon has been a key factor in its economic Development practices. This process has continued to grow worldwide unlike many other traditional industries. It plays a vital role in both the economic prosperity and area’s quality of life. Precisely, it can provide several benefits like: Boosting the Local Economy, Employment Generation, creating a positive Image, Better Environment and sustaining the local facilities, which has been all shortly discussed below:

Boosting The Local Economy
This normally refers to the money spent by tourist on goods and services provided by the locals and as a result the money originally spent circulates among other local businesses raising the economy of local people. It is a very positive economic impacts brought by the tourism. (Hayward 2000). The Cambridge Model estimates that total business turnover of 518 million pounds is generated in providing direct benefits to the local businesses and that to local residents indirectly. (Devon County Council, 2004).

Generating Employment
Tourism is considered as the major contributor to the global employment with multiplier effect in generating extra jobs not only in tourism sector but also to other sectors of the economy indirectly. (Holden 2005). It is also estimated that over 1,400 businesses directly operating in the industry in various forms such as: tourist attraction/activity providers, accommodation, etc. even proves to be a reliable source for other sectors like: retail, catering, etc. Tourism expenditure in North Devon has supported and created the job opportunities for the locals.

Sustaining Local Facilities
Visitors in the destination can help in supporting the services and facilities that locals use thus, resulting in a higher quality of provision. Good examples for this could be theatres, cinemas, museum, shops, beaches, public transport, golf courses, etc. In case of rural areas, it can be helpful for farms, pubs and post offices. Tourism affects both people and things and in turn is affected by them. (Hall and Lew, 2009). In the same way, sustaining local amenities has been a major priority in and around North Devon.

Creating a Positive Image
Tourism helps in raising awareness of the destination places, change perceptions, create a center of attention and encourage investments from several tourism industry and civic pride. The image of the place is made in such a way that every visitors view the place as suitable to live and work.

Better Environment
Good environments of the destination attract tourists. Historic buildings, scenic beauty and tourism developments are the strong factors attracting tourists from different place in huge number. Providing knowledge to the locals regarding the importance of environment and what it does in enhancing the visitors’ number in the place could actually motivate every people in supporting the environment.

Bibliography
Beaver, Allan. A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism Terminology. 2. MA: CABI , 2005.
Bryson, John M. Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. 4. MN: John Wiley & Sons,, 2011.
Burkardt, Nicole. Critical Assessment of the Theory and Practice of Strategic Planning for Tourism and Leisure - Analysed on the Basis of Disneyland Paris. London: GRIN Verlag, 2007.
Charles R. Goeldner, J. R. Brent Ritchie. Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies. 11. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
Clare A. Gunn, Turgut Var. Tourism Planning: Basics, Concepts, Cases. 4. Edited by Turgut Var. London: Routledge, 2002.
Devon County Council. "Creating a World Class Industry in a World Class Environment”." NORTH DEVON TOURISM STRATEGY 2005 - 2015 . 05 01, 2004. http://mediafiles.thedms.co.uk/Publication/CW-NDevT/cms/pdf/Tourism_Strategy.pdf (accessed 02 12, 2013).
Franklin, Adrian. Tourism: An Introduction. London : SAGE, 2003.
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on Economic Affairs. The Economics of Renewable Energy: Recent Developments, 4th Report of Session 2007-08, Vol. 2: Evidence. Vol. 2. London: The Stationery Office, 2008.
Hall, Colin Michael. Tourism Planning: Policies, Processes & Relationships. 2. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education, 2008.
Hayward, Peter. Leisure and Tourism: Heinemann GNVQ Intermediate. Oxford: Heinemann, 2000.
Jaakson, Reiner. Tourism development in peripheral regions of post-Soviet states: A case study of strategic planning on Hiiumaa, Estonia. Vol. 3. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 1998.
Rebecca Hawkins, Victor T.C. T. C. Middleton. Sustainable Tourism. Oxford: Routledge , 2012.
Robin John, Grazia Letto Gilles, Howard Cox. Global Business Strategy. Edited by Robin John. London: Cengage Learning EMEA, 1996.
Sharma, K K. World Tourism Today. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2004.
Tesone, Dana V V. Principles of Management for the Hospitality Industry. MA: Routledge,, 2012.
World Tourism Organization . Enhancing the Economic Benefits of Tourism for Local Communities and Poverty Alleviation. MA: World Tourism Organization , 2002. KARADZOVA, V. and SIMONCESKA, L., 2010. Strategic Planning of the Hotel Product - Necessity in Uncertainly and Risk Conditions. Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija.Biennial International Congress.Tourism & Hospitality Industry, , pp. 1485-1496.
GERMANO, M.A. and STRETCH-STEPHENSON, S., 2012. Strategic value planning for libraries. The Bottom Line, 25(2), pp. 71-88.…...

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...BTEC Business Unit 1: Business Purposes Learner Name: | Centre Number: 23168 | BTEC Business | | Learner No: | | UNIT NUMBER AND TITLE: | Unit 1: Business Purposes | ISSUE DATE: | | HAND IN DATE: | | RESUBMISSION DATE: | | ASSESSOR: | | Aims The aim of this unit is to enable you to understand the nature of business organisations and the business environment in which they operate. You will do this by looking at the range of organisations that exist locally, regionally and nationally and by considering the business framework in which they operate Work covered You will: * Understand the purpose and ownership of business * Understand the business context in which organisations operate Understand the purpose and ownership of business Purpose: supply of goods and services e.g. at a profit, free, at cost, for sale below cost Ownership: sole trader; partnership; limited companies (private [ltd], public [plc]); charity; voluntary organisations; co-operatives; government Size: small; medium; large Scale: local; regional; national; European and global organisations Classification: primary (e.g. farming, forestry, fishing, extraction/mining); secondary (e.g. manufacturing, engineering, construction); tertiary (e.g. private service industries, local and national public services, voluntary/not-for-profit services) Understand the business context in which organisations operate Role of government: European;......

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