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Planning for Tourism in the Future

Planning for tourism in the future
All right I’ve spoken to you about policies and plans, and factors affecting both of these aspects of tourism. and factors affecting both of these aspects of tourism. Then what I’d like to do is to end up with some questions for you to think about, because tourism is very controversial in the sense that we see its benefits and we also see many of the problems that it brings. So, one of the things that we need to think about now is in the future well how we plan tourism change.
The first thing we can see here yes, it’s already changing, because one of the things that helps policy makers, and planners is things like the development, of big data techniques and techniques in ICT. So, because of this here electronic revolution, we can now manipulate data in ways we could never do it, even five or ten years ago. The data has always been there. But we never had the techniques then to dredge the data, to give us the information, which helps us in our policy and planning inputs. So, these things work and will continue, because obviously ICT changes by the day, if not by the hour.
And what we already see is that our customers, the tourists are increasingly traveling using their Iphone. They’re not buying Lonely Planet guides anymore. I think Lonely Planet is actually now on the Iphones in some cases. So, what they’re doing that they’re getting off the plane in a country, and they switching on the Iphone under expecting the tourism data they need to be on that Iphone. If they’re looking for restaurants, they’re looking for places to stay. If they’re looking for the nearest laundry, for example then this has to be made available. So, the developments in ICT will continue to influence our planning.
And I think one of the ways it will greatly affect us is that it will provide us with data which otherwise we’ve not been able to look at. And the other side of it of course, this may be the downside for many tourist destinations, is that with electronic data you can immediately transmit. You’re impressions of a destination or of an airline, for example, or of a particular visit. So, one of the difficult things now for tourist destinations, is to control the dissemination of information, from tourists to tourists or from tourists then to potential tourists. We used to do this by word of mouth, but that’s out fashion now.
And it’s been done increasingly online, So, what are the likely problems which we have analysed and important in the future. Well, I think one of the most important one is what we sometimes calling economics limits the growth. How further can tourism develop? Because there’s no doubt in some cases then, the idea of carrying capacity or over tourism is sometimes referred to now has been exceeded. You go to streets and they’re overcrowded, you go to a market, you cannot be see anything because there’s too many people there. The traffic jams there’s noises pollution, and all these other things. So is it a limit to growth for tourism. The answer must be yes, there is a limit to growth.
But what is the limit is a much more difficult thing to decide. And the other thing we have to think about is that as residents of a tourist destination. We may feel that there are already too many tourism tourists. There’s too much tourism. But if you’re in the tourism business, if you are the government collecting revenue, you may feel no no no no more is what we need, we need more. So, in this question limits to growth then, it’s not just a community input, it’s also a very large political one, very large political one indeed. And in this sense then, limits to growth has never gone away.
It’s been something which is concerned, as for very very long period of time. Unfortunately often there is not a political will to control the number of people accessing a particularly attractive site. And I would say this is the case in the Great Wall which is always full so full of tourists, you can’t really see the the environment, within which the Wall is operating or is built. within which the Wall is operating or is built. So, I think the question of carrying capacity is with us and is not going to go away. There’s something I didn’t talk about in my presentation. I’m sure other people will do so. This is what we call the triple bottom line concept.
The triple bottom line concept then is a very simple one. It simply says when you develop tourism. You have to look at how it affects the economy, and the society and the environment. There are the three triple bottom lines if you like, and people say yes that’s a good idea, because it gives us balance it gives us realism, but the difficulty is of course with tourism. If you look to say the economic impacts of tourism, and as soon as somebody comes into a country, comes out to the airport hires a taxi gets on the bus, goes to the hotel buys the meal buys a drink, go shopping then immediately they are making an impact on the economy.
And it’s now pretty easy to measure that economic impact. Now, think of something else, What about the social cultural changes, So, over a period a time, you notice that the societies begin to change. You might notice that say attendance at religious sites is gone down. You might look at young children and say, wait a moment, they’re not no longer buying traditional clothes. They buy what they see online, they buy what western things, hair styles are changing, these become much more westernized. So, one of the problems then with the social cultural changes, they don’t happen immediately, they happen over a very long period of time difficult to monitor.
And, this is where communities are involved again or should be involved, because they are the persons who suffer from it. And then the last one that causes environmental change, and environmental change again can take years to manifest itself. So, when people talk about the triple bottom line, you have a difficulty. Because the impacts on these three areas then are not easy to discern. And particularly in the social cultural impacts where many of the social impacts, which has said to be injurious to the society, gambling drug taking prostitution things like that, then often then you find that these exist in a society already.
And yet tourism is blame for the increase in these sort of activities, and for the ill effects it have. So, when we look at this triple bottom line concept, everybody’s in favor of it. But, I would suggest to you, we have to be very very careful indeed in how we monitor it. And how effective the monitoring is, and particularly in the social cultural environment. You know can we really say this has been caused by tourism. Because you could argue that changes in culture, have taken place not because of tourism, but because of the development of online technology, like Iphones or the Internet. If you want to find out what people are doing in New York, you can do it.
Then what about the tourism supply chain. You can’t have tourism without suppliers. So, how do we develop this? And one of the interesting things as a result of ICT, in many countries now the traditional division, between the travel agent selling tours, on behalf of the tour operator has gone. More and more countries now are finding that most people are buying travel online, and that’s not going to reverse itself. So, how does this affect then the idea of a tourist supply chain, How does it impose on governments needs to actually regulate these type of businesses. So, you know they’re not criminal, and they’re not really injurious to the tourists themselves.
So, if you have a shop and somebody go around and konck on the door, and said this is not right online is much more difficult, but it’s happening and it’s going to continue. Things about we talking about today, well, what about tourism planners? How many tourism planners do we need? How do we train them? Should it be done in colleges universities? should it be done by government? Should be done by both? What is it that we need to teach them? And I think this is a question, which very often has been neglected, very often be neglected. How can we diversify our tourists to new destinations? So say to people wait, do not go to India come to China.
But, by the way you should not only come to Beijing, go to different parts of China, you diversify Because if you can diversify, you’re spreading the benefit of tourism. And then something which is always been with us, particularly in tourism economy is how do we minimize leakages from the tourism sector, and maximize linkages with others. So, for example, in the West Indies, most islands will get big cruise ships coming in big business, no it’s not big business because the cruise passengers come ashore, maybe for six or seven hours.
They may buy a meal, But if you look at where they are living, they are not buying hotel accommodation as they are on the ship, all the meals are provided on the ship, the laundries provided on the ship. So, in this sense then, there’s a big leakage, because unless you can victualise the ships, then in fact you’re losing out on business. And when I was first started studying tourism in the Caribbean, everywhere you went you saw the sign Florida orange juice. You still see it, So, you ask yourself the question, why are you buying Florida orange juice When every island grows oranges make your own. But Florida orange juice instant had the market image and the reputation.
And I think maybe the last thing I want to end up with here, tourism cannot develop without people. So, one of the big issues not just in developing countries, but one of the big issues then right throughout the world is how can we develop our human resources for tourism development. How do we persuade more and more people to make a career in tourism rather than see them as a job rather than a career choice? There are many other issues then. But I think some of these are certainly well worthwhile thinking about. Thank you very much!

In this video, we are going to explore planning for tourism in the future, and Professor Carson Jenkins will relate some issues.

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Tourism Policy and Planning

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