travel2change. Development Plan for micro tourism business

Term Paper, 2018

24 Pages, Grade: 1


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. Current Situational Analysis
3.1. The Destination
3.2. Resources
3.3. Main Tourist Groups
3.4. Pull factors
3.5. Local Tourism Industry
3.6. Competitors
3.7. Main actors and Potential partners
3.8. Competition from other destinations
3.9. Products and services offered by the company
3.10. Distribution Channels
3.11. The company’s structure and number of employees
3.12. The company`s brand and image
3.13. Market Gaps

4. Development Plan
4.1. SWOT-Analysis
4.2. Development Goals and Company’s Vision
4.3. Smart Goals of travel2change
Broad Goal:
4.4. Modified Product
4.5. New Product
4.6. Target Group
4.7. Distribution and Marketing Channels
4.8. Further Requirements

5. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Hawaii is a destination that is highly affected by mass tourism with almost 9 million visits in 2016 and therefore tourism is one of the main contributors to the local economy (Hawaii Tourism Authority, 2016). One of the main Tourism resources in Hawaii is its unique Flora and Fauna. Unfortunately, the large number of tourists visiting Hawaii every year lead to more and more degradation of the environment. It is estimated that about 60 % of the animal and plant species are considered endangered. (Darowski, Strilchuk, Sorochuk, & Provost, 2007). Furthermore, the relationship between the locals towards tourists is quite tense and a lot of Hawaiians have a negative attitude towards tourists. Reasons for that are that too many tourists can lead to the loss of sense of place, in other words, people feel alien in their own home. Furthermore, mass tourism leads to increased land and living prices and other financial pressures which the local people cannot afford anymore (Apo, Kanahele, Logan, & McGregor, 2003).

Travel2change is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization based with its headquarters in Honolulu/Hawaii. The organization imagines travelers as a catalyst for creating positive impact. The mission of travel2change is to make travel meaningful and beneficial by offering unique opportunities that the typical traveler would not be able to experience. By achieving sustainability, the organization empowers local communities to benefit from travelers. To achieve this goal travel2change connects travelers with locals who provide fun activities that directly give back to the local community as well as the Hawaiian nature and culture. Those events include authentic hands-on activities, off the beaten path that combine for example: guided hikes with native tree planting, yoga with beach cleanups, cultural walking tours that address social issues, outrigger canoe paddling while learning a Hawaiian tradition, exploring a waterfall or botanical garden while removing invasive species (personal communication with Dusty Loffarelli November 3, 2017).

This given circumstances, as well as the fact that travel2change operates in the field of voluntourism, were the decisive factors of choosing the organization in this case study. Moreover, the personal relationship of one of the authors to the organization made choosing travel2change even more attractive.

2. Methodology

To fulfill the requirements of the assignment, as well as the standards of research different theoretical approaches, are used in this study. For example, the SMART goal analysis as well as the SWOT analysis. Those theoretical approaches are explained later on in the single specific chapters. Furthermore, adequate literature of well-known researchers is used as the basis of this study. In addition to that, personal information of Loffarelli as well as Pöll (author and former community manager of travel2change) is used to establish the connection between theory and praxis.

3. Current Situational Analysis

3.1. The Destination

Hawaii is an island of the US located in the Oceania region. Hawaii is made up of many tiny islands out of which eight are considered the major ones. Tourism is the biggest industry of Hawaii (, 2018). It attracts all kind of tourist groups like families, foodies, romance seekers, shoppers, culture, history and nature lovers. It has many places to offer outdoor activities, hence it is also a perfect place for health wellness enthusiasts (, 2018). The organization, travel2change conducts many activities for the tourists. These activities are conducted in three different islands of Hawaii- Kauai, Maui and Oahu. Apparently, travel2change offers 34 different activities and the location of activities depends upon the kind of activity. In other words, the organization's destinations are scattered around in the three islands (, 2018).

3.2. Resources

Tourism businesses depend upon a wide number of resources. The capacity of a firm also depends upon the resources it has. Resources act as assets that may be controlled by the firm (Camison et al, 2005). Travel2change focuses on giving its customers a meaningful experience by doing nature and cultural related activities with the involvement of the locals (, 2018).

Travel2change organization’s resource inventory includes several natural and cultural resources. There are many places like Diamond Head Crater or Koko Head where customers come to see the amazing landscapes. To see the local flora there are several places to visit like Kualoa Ranch, Moanalua Gardens, Manoa Falls and Lyon Arboretum. Similarly, there are many places to see the local fauna like the Turtle Canyon, Sea Life Park Hawaii, Waikiki Aquarium. Moreover, local events and festivals also play a big role as part of the inventory. The customers can also enjoy water-related activities at North Shore, Lanikai Beach etc. The customers also have the chance to visit heritage related places like Paradise Cove Luau and religious places like Bishop Museum, Byodo-in Temple or The Painted Church.

There are also several local events and festivals like Chinese New Year, Honolulu Festival, Lei Day, Lantern Floating Festival etc which the customers can be part of. There are also several numbers of local hotels and hostels included in the inventory where the customers can stay. Some of them are Waikiki Beachside Hostel, Hostelling International, Ala Moana Hotel etc. (Loffarelli, Personal communication, February 14, 2018).

Furthermore, travel2change strongly depends on human resources since the “employees” are all volunteers. In addition to that, IT must be seen as one of the key resources since currently the distribution is mainly done through the organization’s website as well as through several social media (, 2018).

3.3. Main Tourist Groups

Main tourist groups include the people that are willing to make a positive impact while enjoying a vacation. These types of tourists want to have fun and at the same time take an affordable vacation and travel2change offers both the things and gives tourists a positive experience. The tourists not only join impactful activities but also get to make new friends while volunteering. In other words, the millennials are the main tourists group (Loffarelli, Personal communication, February 14, 2018). The millennials are acting as a huge challenge for the tourism industry because this generation has used ICTs from early years and are quite comfortable with digital the world. According to Veiga, the millennials prefer to be seen as travelers rather than tourists and they try to visit non-touristic places. Moreover, about 84% prefer participating in volunteer activities (Veiga, 2009).

3.4. Pull factors

The ideal pull factors are attributed to the attractions, characteristics of the place itself, for example, beaches, mountains, history or culture of the destination (Kim, Lee & Klenosky, 2003). In case of travel2change, the pull factors are not just beaches, history or culture but also the meaningful travel experience for the more morally conscious tourists. Travel2change offers voluntourism which benefits the locals as well as the environment. Voluntourists are defined as “tourists who, for various reasons, volunteer in an organized way to undertake holidays that may involve the aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society, the restoration of certain environments, or research into aspects of society or environment” (Wearing, 2002 S. 240). By attending travel2change activities, those tourists get the chance to actually interact, be with the locals and experience off the beaten path adventures. Another pull factor is that travel2change is a nonprofit organization and offers a number of free activities to volunteers (, 2018).

3.5. Local Tourism Industry

With the tremendous development in technology and transportation sector over the last 50 years, it has become very easy for the majority of the population to travel all around the world. With the growing importance of globalization, most of the countries have experienced new trends that have affected both economic and social life (Page, 2009). According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the tourism industry is the largest source of employment in Hawaii. In 2017 tourism alone has employed 204,000 people in Hawaii and the government is working on sustaining tourism's momentum in 2018. Furthermore, the Anthology Marketing group claims Hawaii to be the most welcoming, clean and safest destination for travelers (, 2018). On the other hand, tourism in Huawei is impacting the local flora and fauna in numerous negative ways. According to reports, more than half of species of plants and animals in Hawaii are endangered (Darowski et al, 2007).

3.6. Competitors

According to Loffarelli (2018), as more and more people are becoming aware of the damage being caused to the environment by human activities, more people are willing to volunteer for a good cause. This means that the market for travel2change is increasing but so are the number of competitors as more organizations are coming up with similar activities. The current strongest competitors of travel2change are Airbnb experiences, TripAdvisor, MeetUp, Volunteer Match, Expedia, Hotel Concierge and many local tour operators. Travel2change has many competitors that do their business on the internet. Airbnb is a very recent competitor but travel2change is facing the highest competition from it since 2017. The hosts of Airbnb do not have to be nonprofit organizations, but they must make sure that all the funds go to nonprofit organizations. This gives Airbnb an advantage over travel2change as they have 100s of hosts in Hawaii now (Loffarelli, Personal communication, February 14, 2018).

3.7. Main actors and Potential partners

As more and more tourists are getting aware of the damage done to the environment by tourists, the more people prefer to volunteer to make travel more sustainable. So, the main a are the people who want to make a positive impact by traveling and volunteering in activities provided by organizations like travel2change. All the stakeholders related to tourism act as actors for travel2change. These stakeholders include the public transportation, the local bars and restaurants, the tourist places and organizations similar to travel2change. The main potential partners are supporters like Fareharbor, Pipedrive and Djanoeurope who help travel2change to run its activities by donating, offering free licenses and helping in many different ways (Loffarelli, Personal communication, February 14, 2018).

3.8. Competition from other destinations

According to Hassan (2000), a destination’s competitiveness is the destinations efficiency to maintain its market position against its competitors by using its resources effectively. For a destination to be competitive it should be able to increase tourism expenditure as well as to attract a rising number of tourists (Hassan, 2000). According to Loffarelli (2018), destinations that have a higher percentage of vacationing visitors compared to the local population tend to be the stronger competitors. For example, for travel2change, Puerto Rico has the potential to be a rival because it is like a little Hawaii which is in need of social enterprises to solve its problems especially due to the hurricane from last year which has affected its economy as well as tourism market. An organization like travel2change could have a big market there if paired with tour operators that could bring people from far away places. Other rival destinations for Hawaii are New Zealand and Australia because both countries have plenty of opportunities to feed the commonwealth travelers. The backpackers in their 20’s from the UK can work in Australia and New Zealand without a work visa which gives these young travelers the opportunity to work casually as well as to explore the local area (Loffarelli, Personal communication, February 14, 2018).

3.9. Products and services offered by the company

According to Smith (1994), the generic product in tourism should make it easy for tourists to travel and have activities away from their home environment. In addition to that, the involvement of the customer in the production process is necessary, as consumption and production happen at the same time in service industries. (Smith, 1994).

All products and services of travel2change are designed to create a positive impact on the destination's environment and to help local people benefit from tourism. Therefore, travel2change invites travelers to join activities with local people in places where they would not be able to go otherwise while creating a positive impact on the environment together with the tourists. Moreover, giving the visitors an understanding of Hawaiian culture and traditions is part of the organization’s products (, 2018). As a result, the above-mentioned purpose of facilitating travel and activities is fulfilled and there is a high involvement of the customer in the production process. Hence, the products of travel2change are tourism products according to the definition.

Most of the activities are free of charge, so the main goal of the company is not money but to help to sustain the Hawaiian environment, culture and to create special experiences for the travelers. Some examples of products offered by travel2change are "Yoga & and Hawaiian Ocean Healing Tradition", "Explore & Restore Wildlife for Waterbirds", "Paddle and Outrigger and Learn a Hawaiian Tradition", "Hike & Restore "Honokowai" Valley" (, 2018).

3.10. Distribution Channels

The realization of the companies' goals lies not only in achieving specific production goals and a good communication with all stakeholders during the promotion phase. Moreover, it is very important to provide the finished products, in the right condition, at the right place and time. To meet these requirements and to further ensure the achievement of the companies goals a proper distribution system must be of highest interest (Szopa & Pękała 2012).

Furthermore, to ensure the understanding of how the distribution of products and services is understood in this paper it seems necessary to provide the reader with appropriate definitions.

According to Saremi and Zadeh (2014) distribution channels are a "collection of affiliate organizations and individuals that place product or service to end-customers. Distribution channels connect the goods, producers and customers to each other" (p. 452).

Hill (2010) defines distribution channel in the same way: "Distribution channel – one or more companies or individuals who participate in the flow of goods and services from the manufacturer to the final user or consumer" (p. 93). Having this definition in mind the term distribution channel is sufficiently defined. In addition to the definition, it seems also necessary to distinguish the different options of distribution. To keep things simple, we use the basic division into direct and indirect distribution. When we think of direct distribution than the company sells its products directly to its customers, while indirect distribution includes trading companies (Segetlija, Mesarić & Dujak, 2011).

In the case of travel2change, the direct distribution is practiced, which means that all products are offered to the customers directly through the organization and its employees. The organization mainly distributes its products/services through its website ( and several different social media like Facebook and Instagram. Moreover, the organization participants in different fairs and workshops.

3.11. The company’s structure and number of employees

In general, organizations are created to be able to achieve strategic aims. Therefore, the design of an organization must always be adjusted and consistent with its strategy. Furthermore, the organization's structure determines the distribution of power within the organization. This structure could also be seen and explained as an organizations skeleton and all processes involved determine the flow of information just like a circulatory system in a vertical and horizontal way. Therefore, the principal function of the vertical process is the allocation of resources, budgets and supervising operations. Whereas it´s the horizontal process' function to guarantee the coordination among different departments within the organization (Carus, 2008).

In addition to that, it can be distinguished between an organization with steep and flat structures, which indicates how the power and the decision-making process within an organization are handled (Anderson & Brown, 2010). This can also be explained as power distance, which explains how the management and other employees interact and communicate (Ghosh, 2011).

In case of travel2change, it can be said that the organization's structure is designed flat since the operational team is small and all participants need to interact fast to manage the big amount of work. Furthermore, is each's employees operational field clearly defined and every participant is an expert in his specific field.

Figure 1. indicates the number of employees as well as their position within the organization and their specific operational tasks. The information was gained through personal contact (Email) with Dusty Loffarelli, on February 14, 2018.

Abbildung in dieer Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Position and specific field of operation

Source: Personal Communication with Dusty Loffarelli February 14, 2018


Excerpt out of 24 pages


travel2change. Development Plan for micro tourism business
University of Dalarna
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Development Plan, micro tourism business, tourism, Business, Development, SWOT, Destination, Smart Goals, Hawaii, Tourism Industry, Market Gaps, Target Group
Quote paper
Stefan Pöll (Author), 2018, travel2change. Development Plan for micro tourism business, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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