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What is a Plan?

What is a plan?
Well, what I’d like to do next is to discuss what is a plan. I’ve used the word often in the earlier part of this presentation. And one of our problems is that different people have different ideas of how to define a plan. We, all think we know what it is, but actually getting a form of words is much more problematic. And I understand that, there are over one hundred definitions of what constitutes a plan. So, what I’ve done then is to look at two well established writers, in the field of tourism, and look at their definition of what is a plan. And I think these have stood the the test of time.
First one is by a Canadian called on Don Getz. And he came up with this definition in 1987. And he came up with this definition in 1987. And he said a plan is ¡°a process means a continuum, is a process based on research and evaluation, which seeks to optimize the potential contribution of tourism, to human welfare and environmental quality. There are some very interesting words in there. He talks about research and evaluation. When I was talking to you earlier on about policies, I said the same thing. You know you’ve got to evaluate an objective, and this what he’s saying here. The other word was an important here is optimize, because sometimes when we look at planning, we use three words.
We say how can we. Let’s take an example from tourist arrivals Okay. What are minimum number of tourist arrivals, which will allow our industry to continue. Secondly what are the maximum number of arrivals, we can accommodate given our resources. And somewhere in the middle, then a balance between maximum, and minimum is obviously optimized. And what he’s talking about here is the attempt to use a plan, which optimizes is the attainment of a goal. And he links to very interesting things. One is environmental quality, as we don’t want to develop tourism to an extent, where the environment is degraded and continues to degrade. And secondly it has to contribute to human welfare, because tourism takes place where people are.
And I think that’s a very interesting definition. The second one is by Michael Hall. And this goes back even earlier in 1970, when he said the plan is a sequence of operations designed, to lead to the achievement of a single goal or a balance, between several goals, a sequence of operations designed to lead to the achievement of a single goal, or a balance between several goals. So, it’s again planning is sequential. It’s not one off activity. And sometimes then we have to balance. For example, to increase our number of tourists against our available resources.
Or, for example, in some rural economies, maybe in city economies as well, to balance the number of tourists, with the tolerance of the local community, with the inconvenience of having more tourists. We could well be buses, it could be noise, it could be bad behavior, all sorts of things. So, these two definitions, I think are are broadly acceptable. And the other point about a plan is normally. And the other point about a plan is normally. A plan has some physical dimension. So, if we are building a hotel, then the physical layout of the hotel, the rooms, the services, the air conditioning, the access roads. the landscaping will be very very detailed indeed.
And so normally a plan involves some form of physical targeting, in order to identify what we’re sticking to. And I’ve taken maybe, for example, is one airport. If you look at the airport, an airport is a big infrastructural development, but it’s also a big operational development as well. And, if you look at the plans for airport, then they are exceptionally detail. You have probably at least three major areas. One would be the physical out to the airport, how planes come in land how they take off, where they’re parked, what are the service and facilities to the air side if you like. And then the other side of things would be, for example, the whole question of passenger flow.
With airport handing millions of passengers a year. One of the important things is, how do you get them off the plane, through immigration through customs and out of the airport. That’s another dimension to it. And then once you got them out of the airport, what about transport. Are there buses Are there trains? Are there metros for example? Remember in Malaysia, they built an overhead railway into Kuala Lumper from the new airport. So, if you like then airports are very complex operations, very complex indeed. The other example resort development. Now a result can mean many things to many people. So, you can develop a resort which is pretty small. It might have three or four small hotels.
But they’re integral and in the sense that, they market as an entity. And in this sense you find that some resorts are very small, others are very large, I mean the World Bank’s first big investment, in resort development in Indonesia in Bali, was at Nusa Dua. And, that space has now finally been taken up over thirty years. So, it’s sequential. The other one big one was in Mexico, which they which they invested in as well. So, when you look at resort developments. you know even the word resort is ambiguous. Ok. So, let’s assume well, one of the things I’m going to do my resort, I’m going to open an entertainment center for children.
Now compare that with Disney in Shanghai, It’s a huge development then it’s again is a resort. And one thing of a resort normally, and particularly theme parks, you have to have many things under the same roof, is not as a single attraction. In Macao, for example, most of the new building has taken place on reclaimed land. And what is it is for casinos. Something like ninety percent of visitors to Macao are going to the casinos. So, when we look at the these types of development, they are enormous development. Okay, but on the other hand, we’ve got to also think of infrastructure. So, if we can build a resort on, are there roads into the resort? Is there a electricity supply?
Is there a sewerage supply? Is the water available? And the other thing which has changed over the years, when we developing these facilities, this infrastructure for resorts, we try also to make sure the local community can share them. So, another big project which was forty years ago, now was the road running from Venice down, right down through Yugoslavia to Dubrovnik. It was then and that had a tremendous impact, because it allowed European tourists, to drive right down through Yugoslavia. But much more important where the road went. It opened up a facility for local people to take their products, the market to drive into Europe and various things like that.
So, one of the things we trying to do is to wherever possible, because infrastructure is expensive, is to try to share it to to the local community. Another example, which people sometimes don’t think about. But what about traffic management schemes. Firstly every city and sometimes towns in the world, have huge problems with traffic. If you look at big cities like Beijing, if you look at London, if you look at New York, if you look at Paris, one thing you’ll find at certain times of the day, that is huge traffic pollution, and not only slowing down movement, but creating noxious gases polluting the environment, and various things like that. So, that’s another example of where we need.
where we need a plan to try and control that. And, control doesn’t necessarily mean banning. So, for example, in the UK can give you a good example of this. The government’s policy is in the next twenty years, to phase out cars which use petrol in diesel. It will be electric driven cars, because that means it’s much cleaner environment, cheaper to run and all the rest of it. So, if you like that that is a policy. The plan is how do we do it. And government gives subsidies, if you buy electric cars now, and they will continue in the future.
So, in that sense then when you think about plans, then plans are on-going and often you have to go back and look at plans, and some of the plans we need are effectively simple, but very difficult to achieve. And you think about a tourist site heavily visited, by tourists and ask yourself the question, is there a circulation? How do tourists get around? Are they colliding on narrow alleyways? Are they likely be a danger to themselves? And you know these things have to be looked at, and maybe a strange example. But if I think in Edinburgh on Scotland, Edinburgh zoo has two pandas which are leased from China.
But if you go to the zoo, you buy a ticket to go to the zoo. If you want to go and see the pandas, you buy another ticket. Why? Because obviously they are the big attraction. But the other point is you are given a time, when you can actually go to the enclosure, and look at the pandas. Now, why do you do this? Because they don’t want too many people, there disturbing the pandas and parts of the day, then you know there’s no access at all. So, the pandas are given area. So, if you like pandas are the attraction, the people come to see them. And that can create a problem.
So, we think about next time, it’s at an airport look how big they are. Look how many aspects of it there are. You have to fuel aircraft; you got parking, you’ve security you got shops and various things, very very important issues a day again. And this is what planning is about.

Now you have learned the definition of plan.

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Tourism Policy and Planning

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