Strategic Tourism Management Plan Term Paper

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¶ … Strategic Tourism Management Plan

Today, travel and tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and its importance to the survival of some communities has become clearly evident in recent years. According to Harrill and Potts, international tourism remains a consistently productive industry despite periodic downturns in the global economy. During the period between 1950 and 1999, the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide increased from.025 billion to.664 billion and is projected to reach 1.56 billion by 2020; in 1999, gross receipts from international tourism exceeded $1 billion in 59 countries and territories around the world (Harrill & Potts, 2003). With all of this money up for grabs, it is not surprising that strategic tourism management has emerged as an important field of study in recent years. In this regard, while the challenge is great, many communities have been able to achieve spectacular results in improving their tourism levels through careful management and the recognition that their lives are intimately linked with their ability to preserve and promote what resources they have available for this purpose. To determine how effectively the Northern Territory's (Australia) Strategic Plan for Tourism 2003 to 2007 accomplishes this and its other stated goals, this study provides an analysis of the plan according to the insights and trends identified in a critical review of the peer-reviewed and scholarly literature. Relevant organizational online resources will also be consulted, with a summary of the research and salient findings being presented in the conclusion.

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Strategic Tourism Management Plan Assignment

According to the Northern Territory's Tourism Web site, "In December 2002, the Minister for Tourism launched the Northern Territory Tourism Strategic Plan 2003-2007. The Strategic Plan articulated a vision, shared by both Government and industry, for the future growth of tourism in the Northern Territory. It laid out a direction for the tourism industry for five years, outlining a comprehensive set of strategies and setting clear targets" ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan," 2007, p. 1). The strategic plan covers the period between 2003 and 2007, and is in response to the need to promote an increasingly important component of the region's economy. In the "Minister's Foreward," the Hon. Dr. Chris Burns MLA Minister for Tourism reports that, "Tourism is a vital sector of the Northern Territory (NT) economy, directly supporting 8,400 jobs and injecting over $1.026 billion into our economy annually. Tourism plays a crucial part in our day-to-day lives, and will be a fundamental key to our future growth and economic prosperity" ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan," 2007, p. 1). The overall plan is guided by two fundamental goals:

Developing a destination-based approach to future development involving identifying and planning the development of previously under emphasised icons as well as an increased focus on the Territory's tourism 'building blocks' of nature-based and cultural tourism, promoting those areas that provide them with a competitive advantage; and,

Reduce the negative impacts of seasonality to create an environment that will help the ongoing viability of businesses. "The segmentation of the domestic market, identifies target markets for shoulder and low season campaigns. Also detailed in the Plan are those international markets that show the greatest potential" ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan, 2007, p. 1).

These two fundamental goals are critiqued further in the sections below according to the insights provided by relevant authorities and experts in the field.

Strategic Tourism Management Considerations for the Northern Territory..

In the past, policymakers in Australia tended to look upon the Northern Territory as something to use and exploit to their advantage rather than to develop for the good of its inhabitants: "Few students have noted that it is an egregious example of state mismanagement and exploitation of a distant periphery for the benefit of those whose real allegiances lie some 3,200 kilometers distant. Like all faraway frontiers, Australia's north has been seen as a resource to plunder" (emphasis added) (Symanski, 1996 p. 573). Today, strategic tourism management has therefore assumed enormous importance for this region of the country because communities need to be able to support themselves on the basis of whatever resources they have available. In this regard, economic necessity is typically the driving force that fuels the growth of tourism (Hall & Richards, 2000). To the extent that spatially marginal communities fail to attract tourists using their available resources is likely the extent to which they will be it difficult to compete in other spheres with the major metropolitan centres and they may simply cease to exist over time as a result (Hall & Richards, 2000). To this end, the Strategic Plan for the Northern Territory identifies two key building blocks that will provide the basis for tourism growth during the pendency of its program:

Nature-based Tourism; and,

Cultural Tourism a. Indigenous Culture b. History and Heritage ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan, 2007, p. 4).

This approach appears to address the specific predicament in which the indigenous people of the Northern Territory find themselves today. This approach is also congruent with industry experts that recommend using these resources to their maximum advantage, and this is especially relevant for the Northern Territory today. As Myers (2000) emphasizes, "On every conceivable measure of social and economic status, Australian Indigenous are worse off than the general population in Australia. Indigenous infants are 4 to 4.4 times more likely to die before their first birthdays than are non-indigenous babies. Indigenous babies are twice as likely to have low birth weights as are non-indigenous babies. Indigenous death rates from diabetes are 12 times higher than comparable death rates among non-indigenous populations" (p. 361). Moreover, the indigenous people of Australia remain more likely to be unemployed and more likely to remain out of the labor force than their non-indigenous counterparts (Myers, 2000). On the other hand, they have some serious constraints in formulating a strategic tourism management initiative.

For example, one visitor to the Northern Territory reported that he "drove for hours without seeing a bend in the road or another person" (Baker, 1999 p. 3). To this end, the Strategic Plan for the Northern Territory specifically provides that there remains a fundamental need to develop strategies to address access to the region, including:

Developing business cases to attract air carriers to the NT;

Promoting the accessibility and attractiveness of the NT as a cruise destination;

Improving all-weather road access to attractions in the NT (p. 5).

Despite these barriers to transportation, there is much to be gained if a tourist is willing. For example, Baker reports that during subsequent visits to the North Territory, he would come into contact with the Aboriginal people who would fascinate him with their accounts of the Dreaming tracks that zig-zag across the landscape as well as the history of the cattle-station that has affected virtually every part of the area (Baker, 1999). According to Baker "At the time, however, the remarkable Barkly Tableland with its sparse vegetation, vast flatness and ruddy red earth seemed a desolate, lonely, untouched place. At the end of this road was Borroloola, a place of Northern Territory legends, famous for its isolation and history of eccentric European 'hermits'" (1999 p. 3). Furthermore, the Northern Territories have a higher percentage of indigenous people than any other state in Australia today (Myers, 2000).

While a region may be "famous for its isolation," this does not necessarily translate into a marketable feature for many weary travelers that may be daunted by the prospect of driving for "hours without seeing a bend in the road or another person," as noted above. For this purpose, the Strategic Plan has carefully segmented its target markets and the marketers have done their homework. According to the Strategic Plan, the branding of the Northern Territory for the Australian domestic market will concentrate on strengthening the following key attributes:

Australia's Outback

Natural wonders

National parks

Indigenous culture ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan, 2007, p. 6).

Based on their analysis of interstate visitors to the region, the marketers at the Northern Territory Tourism Ministry further divided their market into ten distinct behavioural groups, five of which have been identified as priority target segments; of these, the core segment is Affluent Adventure which tends to include younger and more upwardly mobile visitors generally travelling without children. They are very active, have high interest in wildlife and indigenous experiences, and are the highest spending of all segments. Secondary segments are:

Packaged Culture

Comfort Seekers

Outback Escape

Active Explorers ("NT Tourism Strategic Plan, 2007, p. 6).

An increased focus on the affluent domestic travelers appears to be just what the tourism doctor ordered in the case of the Northern Territory. Nevertheless, in 2001, almost half of the holiday visitors to the Northern Territory were from the international market, but the interstate market continued to account for the largest percentage of nights stayed by visitors and the Strategic Plan concludes that in terms of expenditure, interstate and international holiday visitors are of almost equal value (p. 19). By concentrating on where the money is, though, the Strategic Plan appears to be on… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Strategic Tourism Management Plan.  (2007, May 10).  Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

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"Strategic Tourism Management Plan."  10 May 2007.  Web.  26 October 2021. <>.

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"Strategic Tourism Management Plan."  May 10, 2007.  Accessed October 26, 2021.