Integrated Tourism Planning. Report on Case Studies

Term Paper, 2013

15 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Content

II. List of Figures

1. Community Based Tourism
1.1. Principles and Major Goals
1.2. Major Threats
1.3. Future of Community Based Tourism

2. Seasonality
2.1. Main factors for Seasonality
2.2. Seasonality in Peripheral Regions
2.3. Reducing Seasonality

3. Sustainability
3.1. Does Sustainable Tourism Exist?
3.2. Own Assessment

III. References

II. List of Figures

Figure 1: Baffin Region, Canada (Wikipedia, 2006)

Figure 2: Climate, Baffin Region (Climatemps, 2008)

1. Community Based Tourism

1.1. Principles and Major Goals

Task: Briefly outline the basic principles of community based tourism while also elaborating its major goals.

Attempts to define the concept of community based tourism often find quite different words and formulations, but always coming back to close similarities to sustainable tourism, eco tourism or rural tourism. As a subcategory of sustainable tourism, the term is mostly used in context with third world countries, but also other rather rural regions (Bittner, 2006). Community based tourism aims to replace mass tourism and is supposed to make host communities use the tourism business for self-determination and to involve local residents in the planning process by complementing their traditional lifestyles with opportunities for local employment and business (Addison, 1996). Therefore all tourism measures should focus on the optimization of local economic benefits and protecting the host environment, natural and built (Page, 2006). Implementing community based tourism, both the tourist and the host communities should benefit and cross-cultural education and communication is, in an ideal situation, promoted. Also preserving local traditions and developing a “public participation program that [makes] clear to local residents the benefits and potential hazards of the tourism industry” (Addison, 1996: 304) is necessary. Another significant fact is to promote all-year-around tourism so that the local community does not seasonally depend on the income of tourism. To realize this, a culturally and environmentally appropriate tourism plan has to be developed.

The government’s role should here for example be to increase expenditure on infrastructure, which is then not only used by the tourist but also by the locals, as waste, water and energy plans as well as road constructions enhance life quality of the aboriginal population but also represent an investment in tourism (Addison, 1996).

A very common perimeter of principles to create a community based tourism system has been drafted by Wight (1993: 4):

1. Tourist activities must not degrade the resource.
2. Visitors should be offered educational first-hand experiences.
3. All stakeholders (host community, government, non-governmental organizations, industry, and tourists) must be involved.
4. Tourism must respect the intrinsic value of natural resources.
5. Tourism cannot overtax the resource supplies of the local region.
6. Stakeholders must be encouraged to develop partnerships.
7. Tourist revenue must provide conservation, scientific, or cultural benefits to the resource, local community, and industry as a whole.
8. These benefits must be long-term.

In practice, the locals earn their money working as land managers, entrepreneurs, service providers and employees. At least part of the income which is generated by tourism is then assigned for projects for the community as a whole (Responsible Travel 2013). For community based tourism it is vital to put locals’ needs before tourists’. Therefore, the government and other lending institutions rather need to protect the unique culture of the local area than their spent investments (Addison, 1996).

1.2. Major Threats

Task: What are major threats to a successful community based tourism development?

Generally speaking, tourism brings employment, revenue and investment to a community. However, unlike mass tourism, community based tourism is not aimed at profit maximization but rather attends to reduce the impact of the vacation industry on the host community and its environment. Rural areas such as the Baffin Region in Canada have been without touristic action for most of their existence which has left their native population without any social interference of other cultures. Therefore it is logical that there are a few basic requirements that a community must fulfill to enable community based tourism. Major threats to the implementation of such are related to the resident’s education, attitude, experience, but also to the government’s participation and role. A lack of education or experience in tourism or business in general can lead to insufficient community involvement. While locals are often not aware of and do not understand the opportunities that tourism offers, they do not recognize the branch as a potential career choice either. Furthermore a negative attitude towards visitors and insufficient personnel training and development can cause a limited involvement. But apart from the local residents, an insufficient support by lending institutions or the government can crimp a healthy development towards community based tourism as well.

Once the introduction of the sustainable tourism system has started within a community, new threats appear. A disturbance of normal economic activities and discrepancies in the attitude towards tourism can confound a peaceful community. Moreover locals could adopt the tourist’s consumer behavior or frictions related to the allocation of limited resources over the needs of residents could occur.

If conducted incorrectly the situation can easily overturn and give foreign tour businesses (by owning major tourism service providers on site) the ability to control local tourism processes as well as gaining the majority of the revenues. Therefore a full, extensive and honest cooperation between the native population, the government and private tourism providers is required in order to successfully implement a community based tourism system. At the same time, tourists have to be sensitized about the host community to foster a better understanding of the other culture and avoid misunderstandings (Addison, 1996).

1.3. Future of Community Based Tourism

Task: Please discuss to what extend community based tourism will be the future form of tourism in general!

The whole concept of community based tourism has been substantial for over 20 years. It has been a major topic in tourism research and development as it is supposed to contribute to sustainable tourism. However, it is questionable if community based tourism will be the main form of tourism development in future.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Baffin Region, Canada (Wikipedia, 2006)

On the one side, it represents an environmentally sustainable opportunity of making an undeveloped region attractive for tourism. For areas that have been without much tourist action in the past this could bring income and employment to its native people and preserve the unique culture of the local community. While also developing an opportunity for community involvement community based tourism can be an appropriate form of economic development and a first step towards more political self-determination of a specific community. However, the concept is still far away from appealing as a magic cure for economic development, as due to problems and limitations named in 1.2. the theory may be an unachievable ideal. At least in the nearer future community-based tourism will still have its margins and practical problems. A basic question in my opinion is the background and motives of each involved party. Therefore factors that most influence the decision makers and the visitors are their aesthetic and moral values while the operators’ are probably more driven by moral and economic values.

Taking the Baffin Region in Canada’s Far North as example, many undeveloped provinces might be interesting for tourists and therefore create a certain demand for travels. Demand determines supply and at this point a new problem emerges: the demand for sustainable travel exceeds the supply of community based tourism by far. Moreover, local inhabitants and investors also have to understand that this kind of tourism development is not aimed at fast profits but it takes a long time for a sensitive implementation. 10 years after implementation, the Baffin Region’s community has not reached the point of total control over tourism that they actually wished for and training and management skills were identified as insufficient. However, community based tourism supported in the Baffin region community involvement in economic development and augmented many family incomes by tourism spending (Addison, 1996).

So all in all, even when every step is applied correctly this is not a guaranty for success which means that community based tourism is not fully developed yet but needs improvements to overcome still existing limitations. For the future there will be the need to define and fully research the views of every single stakeholder, as a specific community’s characteristics have a great influence on the success of the concept and can help identifying potential obstacles in an early planning phase.

2. Seasonality

2.1. Main factors for Seasonality

Task: What are the main factors for seasonality elaborated in the article?

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Climate, Baffin Region (Climatemps, 2008)

Seasonality represents a major problem in the tourism industry which is caused by changes in the volume of visitation numbers, occupancy rates and overnight stays throughout the year (Baum & Hagen, 1999). According to BarOn (1975) there are two forms of seasonality which can be distinguished: natural and institutionalized seasonality. Natural seasonality is determined by natural features such as climate while institutionalized seasonality on the other hand is a result of holidays and events taking place at certain times of the year. Social norms determine those calendars. Another distinction in factors influencing seasonality can be made between the demand and the supply side.

However, the main reason for this seasonal fluctuation is natural conditions such as variations in temperature, precipitation, sunshine and hours of daylight. These climatic changes happen annually, each for a specific time of the year and are more apparent in northern cold-water destinations, as figure 2 shows for the Baffin region . Therefore, areas such as the Scottish Highlands have their high season with maximum tourist activity in summer when it is warm and days are long. Climatic conditions in winter give the destination a competitive disadvantage because of the cold, unpleasant weather combined with issues of arduous accessibility due to snow and ice which leads to the absence of tourists.

However, the different seasons of the year can also affect people’s travel behavior when it comes to sporting events because they are a requirement of specific sports activities. Obviously, sport resorts have a higher demand for skiing and snowboarding in winter while surfing, hiking or rock climbing is more suitable in summer (Baum & Hagen, 1999).

Another major influencing factor for seasonality in tourism is social customs. These can vary from country to country reflecting religious, ethnic and social aspects of each culture. Depending on the religion, e.g. Christmas or Easter holidays have a certain calendar effect as they occur every year at the same time and are especially used for short domestic travels to visit relatives. Longer vacations take place during school breaks, particularly in summer, which has resulted in people’s mindset to use this as the main family holiday of the year. Therefore, seasonality occurs with a certain social pressure and tradition because that is when people always have taken their holidays in the past. School breaks further contribute to seasonality as many vacation resorts depend on the availability of students as labor supply and families also travel when children are on vacation.

Additionally, due to globalization business customs play a vital role in seasonal tourism. International travelling in the business world strongly depends on annual meetings such as board conferences, company conventions and trade fairs. Besides calendar effects like the number of weekends in the month or the date of Easter (Baum & Hagen, 1999), also negative imagery can contribute to seasonality. A negative image of off-season tourism (boring, nothing to do or to see, too many elderly) can be avoided by information on the benefits and targeted marketing measures (Jefferson & Lickorish, 1991).


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Integrated Tourism Planning. Report on Case Studies
Stralsund University of Applied Sciences
Integrated Tourism Planning
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Laura Herrmann (Author), 2013, Integrated Tourism Planning. Report on Case Studies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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