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Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 7 Sustainable Tourism Development
This Unit 7 Sustainable Tourism Development Assignment Solution is basically focused on different aspects of tourism. First scenario which has been focused upon is related to sports based tourism. Sports always have been one such factor which not only unites people but also boosts the tourism potential of a destination. That is why events like Olympics; Soccer World Cup etc. have become so important not only in terms of sports, but they also impact the host destination where the event is organized. Economy of the venue gets tremendous boost due to such events, especially tourism economy. However, behind organisation of these events there is major planning involved, by public and private agencies, thus the purpose of the task is to understand that how sports tourism can impact a destination, and what role various governing bodies play in it. Second part of this Sustainable Tourism Development Assignment Solution is focused on the aspect of sustainability in tourism development. For more understanding example of enclave tourism has been taken. Sustainability in tourism development is a major factor today and guides various tourism development programs.
Sports event, especially the mega sports events such as Olympics, Soccer World Cup, Cricket World Cup, has major impact on the tourism of venue as well. It is important to understand that there are several stakeholders which are involved in the planning of tourism development of the venue, when a sports event is planned to be hosted at that location (Weed et al, 2011, pp.345-377). For example considering the example of upcoming Summer Olympics which is scheduled in 2016’Aug. Last Summer Olympics which took place in London’2012 almost pulled out the entire UK out of economic recession. In Olympics of 2012 more than 3 million overseas visitors visited Britain. This means that there was involvement of various stakeholders such as accommodation owners, restaurants owners, travel operators etc. These stakeholders in a way are responsible for hosting the visitor, and in turn they are able to generate significant amount of revenue by offering their services. Similarly, Brazil Olympics which is planned in 2016, is almost 20 months away, however if planned properly then all the stakeholders can derive benefit from planning of tourism development. Some of the major stakeholders are:
Government of Brazil: Its tourism department will be able to generate tremendous amount of revenue especially from tickets to sporting events etc. Also, additional revenue will come from the already existing services taxes etc.
Local travel and tourism companies: Brazil is already famous as a popular destination. With expected increase in the number of visitors coming to Brazil by more than double during the Olympics, it is expected that all the businesses such as local accommodations, travel operators, guides, food and beverages etc. will be benefitted as increase in number of visitor will directly improve the revenue amount, hence benefitting the stakeholders.
In organisation of a mega sports event such as Soccer World Cup’2014 or London Olympics’2012, public-private partnership plays a major role in organisation of these events. It is a well-accepted fact that in order to organize an event as big as Olympics neither public agencies have that amount of fund to conduct it single handedly, neither one single private entity has that much resources. In such cases best option which agencies have identified is public-private partnership. This can be understood form example of London Olympics which was funded from number of sources. This can be understood by the fact that, for London Olympics a private company which had budget of 2 Billion GBP was assigned the duty of planning, funding, preparation, and executing the London Olympics’2012 games. An Olympics Delivery Authority which was a public agency was setup, was in charge of development of building, new stadiums, infrastructure and venues etc. Hence ODA contributed fund in tune of 925 million GBP. Large section of the society in UK debated about such huge spends, however the core idea was to revitalize sections of host city London. Events such as Olympics, not only have short term impact but they also have long term impact as well. In this private public partnership play a major role. For example, Olympics village which was developed by a private contractor which was then taken over by government, after paying money to the contractor as pet the existing market rate, and once the Olympics got over these flats in Olympics Village were sold-off at a hefty premium resulting into decent profit for government (Hinch & Higham, 2013). However, there are disadvantages as well of private and public partnership, for example at times profit motive of private agencies can impact the quality of work they are doing such as construction of stadium etc. Similarly, officials in public agencies become more prone to corruption as they might favour one party over other in return of some other favour like bribe or kickback etc.
Planning can be defined as a process where goals are set, strategies are developed, tasks and schedules are outlined in order to achieve the goal. Similarly, tourism development planning is a multidimensional activity, and is generally integrative in nature. The entire planning process embraces political, social, economic, technological, legal and environmental aspects as well. There are various features of the tourism development planning such as:
There are numerous methods through which impact of tourist can be understood. Some of the popular methods are as follows:
Direct observation: This is probably the simplest way to understand the impact of tourists. Thus, as part of this method one might estimate the travel expenditure which they might be incurring in food, accommodation, travel tickets for air, rail, or water transports or any other purchases made during the trip
Surveys: This methods, is focused on collecting information by recording answers and feedbacks to some pre-set questions. Survey is often conducted by some agency which has experience in conducting a survey. Survey can be conducted at any geographic level. However, more is the reach of a survey, better are the result. Thus, questions like “how much a tourist is willing to spend in shopping on his Olympics trip in London?” can be one such question. On averaging the answer to this question a rough estimate regarding the possible money spent can be made.
Travel Expenditure simulation models: The methods which are discussed above basically rely on observation of the travel spend (Direct observation) or asking the traveller to recount his travelling experience (Sample surveys) however these data, might not be accurate all the time. There are two approaches such as expenditure ratio model and cost factor model, which allows simulation of the expenditure by use of logic and algebra, based on which a relevant estimation can be made, which will be more accurate than the result set provided by methods such as direct observation etc.
Based on above models, it can be said that in order to generate precise information travel expenditure simulation model is the best option. For example, based on information that more than 5 million people visited London during Olympics of 2012, and based on the average expenditure from past, it can be estimated that how much revenue the event might have generated. Such kind of data is not only useful for informational purposes, but it also helps in better tourism planning.
Eco-tourism can be defined as form of tourism which involves tourism activities based upon fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas. Eco-tourism as compared to other types of tourism is relatively less commercialised and more regulated in nature. For example, regions such as Amazon forests, Himalayas, Great Coral reef barrier etc. are some of the popular eco-tourism regions.
Eco-tourism is one of the fastest emerging tourism themes apart from already popular existing themes such cultural and heritage tourism etc. In this regard sustainability is an important concept which needs to be understood. Sustainable development can be defined as a process or a road map which has been established to achieve sustainability in the field of eco-tourism, so that resources which are consumed in the process can be replicated, and the entire process can be maintained properly. Eco-tourism in order to be successful, it is important that sustainable development should be promoted. Thus, for example, in an eco-tourism destination like Amazon forests, it is important that the local inhabitant should also be benefited from the growth in tourism, also in name of eco-tourism the natural environment should not be hampered with (Bramwell, 2011, pp.459-477). This will ensure that all the parties involved whether a traveller, inhabitant or the natural environment of the place is not getting negatively impacted and ensuring a sustainable development.
Concept of sustainability in eco-tourism is also important due to following reasons:
Although the overall concept and intent of sustainable tourism is positive, the industry is not without its critics largely due to companies who abuse the concept of ecotourism to take advantage of the wealth generated by the interest in eco-tourism. It is important to promote sustainable development in eco-tourism field because unplanned and non-sustainable approach towards ecotourism development will simply consume all the available resources in no time leading to imbalance in the nature. Since eco-tourism is all about experiencing the nature and environment, hence in absence of proper tourism resource even the concept of eco-tourism will fade away. That is why sustainable development will ensure that a logical and planned approach is followed in terms of resource consumption.
There are numerous factors which might prevent sustainable tourism development in field of eco-tourism. These factors are as follows:
Greed: Tourism business environment are commercially motivated behind their activity. For them each tourism theme and destination is simply a source of revenue. For example, if customers are visited in exploring Mt.Everest, or Amazon Jungles then they will use all the methods to promote tourism in such eco-tourism destination and will try to commercialize as much as possible. This might lead to imbalance in the resource consumption. For example a place which has a fragile environment, suddenly starts witnessing inflow of tourists in heavy numbers, due to which further commercial activities such as construction of hotels etc. will take place. These activities will only deteriorate the natural environment of any eco-tourism destination (Weaver, 2012, pp.1030-1037).
Oversight: Often, tourism agencies and tourists himself is not aware of possible issues if sustainable tourism development is not promoted. That is why it is important for relevant agencies which promote eco-tourism, to focus on creation of awareness as well. Since it will enable the tourists and operators to ensure that all the sustainable activities are followed.
Poor planning: Often it has been seen that due to poor sustainable tourism development planning lots of issues are faced. Public as well as private tourism agencies at times do not understand the core purpose of the sustainable tourism which leads to poor planning and eventually impacts the overall development program (Weaver, 2011, pp.5-15).
Socio-economic challenges: It has been observed that in regions where eco-tourism has potential, often socio-economic challenges become a major roadblock in the process of promotion of sustainable eco-tourism. For example regions of Amazon forests or Kenyan Safaris, all these regions are dominated by people who are not in a good financial situation. Hence, for them gaining maximum advantage from the tourism development is the main objective, rather than focusing on the sustainability aspect.
Thus, if above mentioned points can be taken care by the authorities, then it can help sustainable tourism development of eco-tourism.
There are different stages in planning for sustainability for eco-tourism. It is important to know that process of planning includes either an organisation or some future event in order to ensure that objectives are set properly. Planning is required in tourism due to the fact that it integrates all forms of planning in terms of economic, social, physical, and cultural. Also, planning can be done at various level such as international level, national level, regional level, destination level, and site level.
Thus, for this task, planning for sustainability for eco-tourism can be done by taking example of case study of Sikkim titled Encouraging sustainable tourism: chanting the eco-tourism mantra in India as present in the assignment folder.
Hence Different stages in the planning for sustainability for eco-tourism are as follows:
The study recognition: This stage involves planning authorities, local community, private sectors who believe that tourism is sustainable and is a desirable concept. In case of Sikkim Indian government through its Natural tourism policy, 2002 focused on the concept of eco-tourism. Similarly, at local level also South Asian meeting on eco-tourism in state capital of Sikkim in 2002 resulted into major focus on the concept of eco-tourism and its acceptability. Due to this reason state government of Sikkim now has a tourism plan which includes Orchid Tourism with more than 454 species of Orchids found in this region, and butterfly parks (more than 50% of the butterflies in the Indian sub-continent are found in Sikkim).
Setting objectives: This stage is about identifying the potential of the tourism, and setting objectives based on it. These objectives can be employment, revenue, infrastructure development etc. For example, in case of Sikkim its public tourism agencies realised the potential when more than 80, 00,000 INR was spent by 10 groups of rhododendron societies as part of their eco-tourism based expedition. This helped the agencies to setup various objectives such as conservation of environment for which a group of local youths was formed named as KCC (Kanchenjunga Conservation Committee). This not only helped local people in terms of employment but also created significant awareness about the tourism.
Survey of existing data: This stage is focused about understanding the existing data through various means such as survey etc. For example Sikkim government’s tourism department maintains number of tourists coming every year to Sikkim. It clearly shows that every year more than 1, 50,000 people come specifically for the purpose of eco-tourism. Private sector can conduct its own research and can accordingly implement their business environment in such tourism intensive regions.
Implementation of new survey: as mentioned above that more than 1, 50,000 people visit Sikkim for eco-tourism purpose. There is tremendous potential in the region for further increasing these numbers. Gangtok which is the capital of the region is the main city where majority of the accommodation services are available. Despite of having tourism potential, Sikkim gets only 0.38% of the share of tourists of the world. That is why government need to focus on development of tourism facilities and improving the connectivity with other part of country. In this regard public-private model can be implemented where government of Sikkim collaborates with private companies to develop tourism based infrastructure.
Analysis of secondary and primary data: analysis can be sub-categorized in analysis of asset, market, development planning, and impact analysis. For example in 2013 more than 5, 76,000 domestic tourists visited the region, with annual growth of 3.26% over 2012. Sikkim’s growth pattern of tourist arrival has been inconsistent in nature. Thus, government can focus further on improving these numbers. Market development is also important for tourism development. For example Sikkim’s eco-tourism can be portrayed through proper channels and marketing campaigns in order to attract more visitors.
Initial policy and plan formulation: this stage is focused on development of a specific tourism plan based on inputs provided by above stages. It can be clearly seen that Sikkim is still being managed through an old tourism plan of 2002 by government of India. Thus, Sikkim government should draft its own policy related specifically to promotion and development of eco-tourism in the state.
Recommendation: Based on the analysis of the Sikkim States eco-tourism potential, it can be surely recommended that firstly government of state should fix private-public partnerships for development of basic tourism infrastructure such accommodation services in remote area with high potential of tourism, air and road connectivity etc. This will make inaccessible tourism destination more accessible allowing more and more visitors to explore these places.
Implementation: Once the plan is drafted and approved, it implementation at ground level is more important. For implementation of plan related to growth and development of eco-tourism, government should setup task forces with each task force allocated with a specific tourism destination. These task forces will work independently in order to implement all the plan of actions to achieve growth of eco-tourism in Sikkim state.
Monitoring: Task force setup in above stage of planning should be monitored centrally, so that a consolidated view of the development can be extracted and future roadmap can be decided accordingly.
Overall it can be said, that eco-tourism in Sikkim has tremendous potential. However due to lack of planning for sustainable development of tourism has been hindering the development of this type of tourism. Also, sustainable development will ensure that the growth is balanced in nature, and there is no exploitation of natural resources, just for promotion of tourism or any commercial interests associated with the development of eco-tourism.
Anderson, W. (2011). Enclave tourism and its socio-economic impact in emerging destinations. Anatolia, 22(3), 361-377.
Bramwell, B. (2011). Governance, the state and sustainable tourism: A political economy approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(4-5), 459-477.
Buckley, R. (2012). Sustainable tourism: Research and reality. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(2), 528-546.
Hall, C. M., & Page, S. (2012). Tourism in south and southeast Asia. Routledge.
Hinch, T., & Higham, J. (2013). Sport tourism development (Vol. 13). Channel view publications.
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