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The Key Terms & Framework of Sustainable Tourism Product Development

The Key Terms & Framework of Sustainable Tourism Product Development
Hi again, in the previous lecture. I discussed to the overall process of tourism destination development planning in the context of the formation of the goal impact, the identification of the strategic directions and of course, the types of planning tools that one would utilize in terms of the planning approach. What I’d like to do now is to talk in this lecture, about sustainable tourism product development. That it would be normally, one of the strategic directions of a tourism destination plan. And so this is very important to raise as a specific issue in the lecture series presenting to you.
First, I’m going to just talk about some of the key terms that we use, so that you can understand what I mean by some of the key terms in product development. Secondly, I want to talk about the framework for sustainable tourism product development.
That we use in the tourism product development and then introduce some of the references. In terms of the meaning of some key terms, obviously a product is defined by Kotler, for example, that’s anything that can be offered to a market for attention acquisition use or consumption that might satisfy a want, acquisition use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need and it includes physical objects services, persons, places, organizations, and as well ideas or experiences So, in this context at a destination level. The tourism product would be the sum of attractions, activities, services, and experiences that a destination offers to its visitors.
So it’s both physical, emotional, or perceptual characteristics so that each tourism product has both physical and emotional characteristics. A tourist product is a specific component of the overall tourism destination product offering, such as a visit to a theme attraction. So, that’s where we talk about a specific component of that overall destination product which might be a particular activity like a theme park , for example, or three day rafting adventure trip or an event, such as a grand prix or a festival or a health and wellness experience. So that, basically satisfies the needs and wants of specific market segments . So, tourist products are typically part of the tourism product offering of destinations.
Tourism product development is the process by which the tourism product and the specific products and experience they provide are developed. So, and of course we have to understand also that tourism products have life cycles do not then necessarily last forever. They go through an evolution where they can either disappear over a period of time or be renewed in some way so that they can continue to prosper and flourish. And the ability of a product to sustain its presence in a destination will be a function of the changes in the external and internal environment that the destination faces.
Let me move on to the framework for sustainable tourism product development that we use. That goes through a series of stages. The first is an identification of the tangible assets or the resources. So, what is there in the destination that it has to offer tourists. What is already there? What experiences are already offered? What specific products are already presented, either in an informal way used on a freely independent basis by visitor or packaged into a specific product, such as a group tour for example. The next component of the identification of the intangible assets are the people. which of course also represents the culture, the local communities the heritage of that destination.
So the people are very important part of that resource analysis process. The third part is the material the side of the resources. What in terms of the types of geological features, the types of material products that are generated within the destination, especially to support for example construction, art and craft production, timber production, furniture production etc. The fourth area of resource development deals with the types of equipment that is available in the destination in terms of transportation equipment, and of the waste management and recycling. That’s a very important parts of the equation. The fifth is energy.
The sixth is agricultural products, what kinds of agricultural products are produced in the destination that could be linked to the value chain or the supply chain of a tourism development program. The seventh is art and craft and finally the availability of capital both internally and of course externally as a resource. Now, looking at the framework of sustainable tourism product development is to put in a sustainability screen. Remember in the end products need to be sustainable from an environmental, social, and economic point of view. And of course, they need to be financially viable where those products are in fact provided by the private sector. So, this means that there has to be an evaluation of the carrying capacities.
You need to have an understanding of the level of poverty and the types of pro-poor programs that are already in place or that need to be put in place. You need to have an understanding how we waste recycle and reuse is currently already integrated into the destination. You need to also understand how energy efficient. For example, the destination and to what extent do they use energy conservation equipment such as specific air conditioning techniques, for example. To what extent do they, for example, use renewable energy as opposed to energy sourced, from fossil fuel based sources. You also need to understand what is the local production in terms of agriculture. What is produced locally is it organic to what extent.
Is it in that sense sustainable. The level of local production of things like art and craft for example is also a crucial thing. Because sustainable tourism would require strong engagement of local communities including local art and craft rather than, for example, importing that from outside the destination. And of course, in seeking investment, if the investment is to be sustainable, it has to be impact oriented. It has to be investment that figures not just in the financial returns but is also concerned with the environmental social and economic outcomes of that investment. So that’s impact investing which of course is a very large and strongly growing sector across the financial institutions at a global level.
And in the next ten years impacting investing will probably be the biggest single source of investment funding for tourism projects across the planet. The next filter is the product development process is to look at the tourism facilities, to their protection and control, and interpretation facilities, lodgings and food outlets, transport and utility infrastructure, the transport vehicles, the equipment sports and recreation outlets, meetings and convention facilities museums shopping and entertainment. So, all of those are hard physical facilities. And then tourism services, it’s a people oriented component of the product development process. This looks at protected area management, for example, interpretation services, hospitality services in hotels and restaurants, transportation service and so forth.
All of those things together lead to the experience that the visitor has that might be based on social contacts, business contacts satisfaction memories learning and cultural appreciation. So that basically provides a sort of an overview of the framework for sustainable tourism, product development. To summarize the discussion on the framework for sustainable tourism product development. Four things or five things. First, identification of the intangible assets of the destination application of the sustainability criteria under the sustainable development goals, preparing the physical attributes of the product combining the physical attributes to create tourism services and leading to the intangible tourist experience of the destination. Having discussed the meaning of terms as in relation to sustainable tourism product development.
But I’d like to now do is talk a little bit about the need for a framework for sustainable tourism product development. We can’t go into product development without some kind of a theory underlying the approach, and this is what I’m presenting here is a fairly practical way of looking at creating a tourism experience through a process. And it basically involves five components. The first is the identification of the tangible assets of the destination. That of course, deals with the natural cultural assets of the destination, but it can also include the communities . It can include art and craft, it can include agriculture aspects which feed into the tourism value chain.
The second component that we need to build into a framework is the application of the criteria the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, in which most countries are participants including China. This is really making sure that the sustainable product development process includes sustainability as a key dimension running through and that is to do with adapting. And contributing to climate change mitigation. It has to do with use of renewable energies in the product cycle. It has to do with reduced use of materials waste and recycling. It has to do with applying carrying capacities, for example, to critical natural and cultural sites.
The third component of the framework is essentially preparing the physical attributes of the product in the infrastructure and the facilities that relate to that. This is really about protection, control, and interpretation infrastructure in the case of protected areas, for example, It’s about lodgings, food and beverage outlets. it’s about all the physical infrastructure including transportation , that is necessary in arriving at an effective and high quality experience of tourism product. The fourth component of the framework is basically combining the physical attributes to create tourism services. So this is very much human driven. The services are provided by people, whether it’s in a hotel and a restaurant, when a transportation service or in a protected area.
Those are critical components of the product. And of course, together those lead to the experience that tourists will have, and hopefully if it’s a very good experience. Then of course, you will get repeat visitation referral and of course all of the benefits that can bring. So, the framework is important in approaching the whole process of tourism development, sustainable tourism product development.

At the end of this video, you will know how to do identify the tangible assets or the resources, and understand the availability of capital both internal and external.

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