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Yunnan Province Tourism Development Master Plan 2011-2020

Yunnan Province Tourism Development Master Plan 2011-2020
For the last lecture in the series, I would like to use a couple of case studies to kind of draw back on some of the things that I said earlier in my lectures, to illustrate and to enhance this. The first case that I will use is Yunnan province where I was involved in both the preparation of its master plan in the year 2020, it has almost finished this year I think. But I was also involved subsequently through the greater Mekong sub region initiative in planning initiatives in specific parts of Yunnan such as Xishuangbanna, for example Lijiang and other locations.
So that will be the first, and the second case I will take outside of China into a different kind of concept altogether, which is actually a cross border cooperation initiative creating an across border destination between Indonesia Malaysia and Thailand called the Indonesia Malaysia Thailand growth triangle.
Let me begin with the Yunnan province tourism development master plan case study. The project was supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization at the request of the Yunnan provincial government at the time to China National Tourism Administration. The planning goals or the impact was to expand and develop tourism in an orderly and sustainable manner between 2001 and 2020, and provide the provincial tourism administration with the capacity to direct and guide the tourism sector over the ensuing 20 years.
The immediate objectives will be outcomes of the planning project, were a long term provincial tourism development framework which would guide the sector development a strategy for human resources development, which would enhance Yunnan’s tourism management and tourist service competitiveness, a marketing strategy and a promotion plan, building awareness of and boosting visits to Yunnan province, protection of the cultural heritage with strong participation by local communities especially ethnic minorities and protection of the natural environment and improve the environmental quality, increases the attractiveness of the Yunnan tourism experience.
In terms of the planning methodology, we used a combination of desktop research of existing tourism reports and as statistical data on Yunnan province and the broader western China region within which it was situated. Site observation and inventory in all prefectures and cities of Yunnan province are using rapid field assessment techniques. Surveys conducted of existing and potential tourism markets and tourism education and training institutions. Detailed field surveys market product matching analysis physical planning and feasibility evaluation at specific intervention sites identified as priorities. We also undertook extensive consultations with provincial and prefectural local government organizations, local community groups especially from the ethnic minorities private sector operators and development partners and non-government organizations.
And this was done through one on one interviews, focus group discussions group meetings and planning workshops.
Economic and impact analysis was also undertaken to estimate revenue, GDP and employment contribution from tourism as well as an environmental impact assessment to identify adverse impacts and strategies for their mitigation.
The plan structure essentially recommended seven priority tourism development areas where tourism resource in priority, tourist development areas focusing on attractions and poverty reduction plans were prepared. Access and destination infrastructure roads airports and power and alternative Asian infrastructure was designed. Marketing and product development programs were put in place. Human resource development programs were put in place. Management and environmental social and economic impacts were assisted. The organization of the tourism administration and financing and investment requirements for implementation were identified. And tourism development structure plan for six of the tourist development regions with sixteen priority tourist development areas were prepared in the form of land use plans site planning a preliminary designs and interpretation guidelines.
The master plan product development strategy was focused around a number of key issues. The key problem was over reliance on traditional sightseeing based circuits and roots that gave short length of stay low yields and a limited spread of the benefits of tourism to the wider communities. The strategic objective was to increase product yield and spread the benefit of tourism more widely. The strategy was product diversification to include new products targeting domestic, an international market segment interested in eco-tourism community based tourism, the meetings incentives convention and exhibition and events markets adventure tourism pilgrimage tourism and health and wellness tourism for which of course Yunnan is noted.
There were a number of new products proposed for Yunnan at the time. Just give an example of a couple here. One was discover Shangri-La an eco-tourism adventure experience. And you can see there from the slide that of the objective and the target markets the duration of the program the attractions and activities and destinations included, and the special needs and arrangements for its implementation. Then similarly for health and wellness heal your ailments with Teng Chong’s wonder waters. So that reflects Teng Chong’s hot springs and its healing powers. And so we use that as a new product to promote not just to domestic tourists but also to foreign tourists, that would be interested in the healing powers of Teng Chong’s hot waters.
And so this is an example of just two, but they were about something like thirty to thirty five existing and new products, which were enhanced or developed as part of the process of attracting new markets in to Yunnan. In terms of the lessons learned, we usually included these in a tourism master planning process. There is a preliminary phase which involves the preparation of the terms of reference for the formulation of the plan. This is where someone has to write the terms of reference to guide the consultants who will do the planning in terms of what is required and what is needed.
And so here the observations and the lessons are that a better understanding of the evolution and context of tourism up to the time of the formulation is very important to identify how change is managed and what might be practically achieved. This is very important because if you don’t have that and a good understanding of that in the terms of reference, then you have potentially weak guidance in the execution of the plan. Secondly ensuring that the change theory which if you remember I talked about earlier underlying the terms of reference for the preparation of the master plan and its implications is clearly understood and in line with the key stakeholder organization capabilities.
So what you want to do is to avoid importing a foreign model that doesn’t fit with the change theory of the implementing organizations in their destination. In undertaking the formulation of the master plan, some of the key lessons are introduce a planning preparatory phase designed to develop local capacities to participate effectively in the plan formulation and implementation. So the more attention needs to be given to preparing the stakeholders themselves to be able to effectively implement the plan formulation. And remember it’s the stakeholders that actually do the formulation of the plan. The consultants are facilitators and you know knowledge provide knowledge products and facilitate the process of the stakeholders designing the plan.
This is important because if the consultants designed the plan not the stakeholders, there’s a good chance that it will not be implemented. And working through and agreeing the change theory will be a key to the stakeholders development. And of course limiting foreign organization and experts to an advisory role in the master plan formulation and not as drivers of the planning process is very important. It’s very easy for us as consultants and advisors on planning to impose our frameworks and our views over those of the implementers and the people they are really responsible for the implementation of the plan. Finally pay more attention to developing a well structured result in a monitoring framework. I cannot stress that enough.
If you look back to my previous lecture, it is absolutely crucial that this be done. And I must confess that although we had a results framework, it was too general in the case of the Yunnan province tourism developments master plan. And it was too easy to avoid doing some of the things that needed to be done that would have been done if there had been a results measurement at the outcome and at the particularly output level. And as a result some of the results are not as good as they could have been if that had been present. So that’s my first case. I’ll come back to the second case shortly. Thank you

By the end of this video, you will have a good understanding of tourism destination planning project approaches at the provincial level.

What are the lessons learned of Yunnan tourism development planning? What is your idea about that?

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