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IMT-GT Tourism Sector Strategy 2017-2036

In this video, we will take an example, illustrating strategic tourism development planning on a sub-regional level.
And now for the second case study, which takes us away from China into a subregional context, which is very different from what many planners are used to, which is doing tourism planning across borders. In this case, the Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand growth triangle, which covers thirty five provinces and states in those three countries. You can see that they’re more or less contiguous with each other, certainly manage the southern Thailand and of course Malaysia, but separated by a water for the case of Indonesia, which is actually the island of Sumatra. Now here the planning background is that you have already a very substantial volume of guest arrivals, ninety two million tourists of which about a third are international.
So that’s already a very big volume of tourism. The medium length of stay is about 4 days for international visitors and about 2.5 days for domestic visitors. The main source markets east Asia and the Pacific, it’s about seventy six percent Europe fourteen percent south Asia five percent and others. The main purpose of visit is leisure about seventy percent of the travel business and visiting friends and relatives about twenty percent. And then the MICE the meetings incentives, conventions and events markets about five percent. The medium daily expenditure in the sub region is around about one hundred and ten dollars for international markets, and about forty five dollars a day for the domestic market.
And the accommodation capacity is roughly four hundred and sixty three thousand two hundred and eighty one rooms. It is a fast growing area with international arrivals at hotels increasing from thirty three million in 2017 expected to grow to forty two point three million by 2021. Hotel room capacity increases from an estimated four hundred and sixty three thousand in 2015 to something like five hundred and eighty one thousand five hundred by 2021. And the introduction of new air routes in the sub region and joint promotion are some of the factors driving this rapid expected growth going forward.
However it’s when you look in more deeply into the structure of tourism arrivals and who gets what you realize very quickly that seven of the thirty five destinations of the regions or top destinations account for eighty percent of the total arrivals rooms and value of tourism in the region, which means that there are twenty eight provinces and states that have high poverty levels difficult access issues. And so therefore very limited benefits from this very large tourism flow. So the challenge in the IMT GT is to figure out how we can move more of those large volumes of tourism to those areas where there is a need in terms of poverty reduction in equality reduction income and employment generation.
And that is the goal of the impact of the strategy. So the vision is to be an integrated innovative inclusive and sustainable region by 2026. You’ll notice it’s a very long time frame. The reason for that is that visions and impacts take a long time to deliver. Of course in planning we have long term planning framework and in shorter term action plans that usually go for about five years. The goal is sustainable inclusive and competitive cross border tourism. So this is also very different. It’s much different from a region or a province like for example Sichuan or Yunnan, which sits within China. But this is actually cross border tourism much more complex in some ways in terms of moving forward.
The key objectives of the strategy are to develop market based sub regional destination and products that support inclusive growth. Although there’s a large tourism flow, it doesn’t get to the people who need it. And so this is a key objective which is to come up with a product that will bring the benefits of tourism to those communities that are currently missing out. So improving connectivity to support inclusive growth adopting green principles and practices in the destinations and in tourist facilities and positioning differentiating and promoting the sub region as a single destination. Other sort s of core strategies that are basically in line with the sustainable development goals.
The plan structure has an action plan, which is five years from 2017 to 2021. And it has four essential four key programs. Projects as they are presented here. And the first project deals with sustainable inclusive and competitive thematic cross border circuits and roots. So this is talking about product development at a sub regional level. And of course the process by which we’ve arrived at these routes is based on the procedures and practices that I presented in earlier lecture on the subject of product development. The second project deals with tourism air and sea transport and ICT connectivity in the region is improved.
In order to get tourists to the place where the benefits most needed, you have to have infrastructure interventions both in terms of accessibility transportation and last mile access in many cases. It’s not just building a highway but it’s also building improving the access to the villages and to the small towns and to the tourist attraction sites. So that’s a very critical part of the process. Thirdly implementing the Asean tourism standards in developing hotel destination standards to raise the competitiveness of the whole destination. And finally marketing the destination as a single destination.
So that involved the process of my undertaking market research developing a marketing strategy, and a two year action plan and initial packaging and promotion of the products that we’ve spoken about. In terms of product development, a number of the circuits were basically heritage circuits based on the old towns of the sub region. And other words the eco tourism adventure circuit based very much on the marine environment and on the nature and culture of Sumatra in Indonesia. And then a marine circuit which focused on marine activities but included yachting for example diving
a whole range of marine sailing activities in that region. But the idea was to bring those activities to the points where they were most needed in the sub region.
And then of course there was a fairly detailed results framework summary of which I present here. The detail is a little bit like the one that I showed you earlier on the Mongolia. But I think you get by now an understanding of the importance of having a results framework, and most importantly of being able to identify the baseline and target indicators in the process. In terms of lessons learned one of the things about working in the sub regional context is that you’re dealing with three countries at different levels of development. So the capacity of the local government, the capacity of the private sector, the capacity of the communities varies tremendously.
So you have to find the common denominator, which means necessarily means that you can’t move as quickly as you would like in every area or part of the subregion. And you have to tailor the planning to the capacity of the stakeholders who are responsible for implementation.
The other lesson is that you need to make sure that the private sector is strongly engaged in the implementation process and therefore in the planning process for the sub regional strategy. And then finally there’s a need to ensure that the investment requirements that are the responsibility of other national government organizations in three countries are aligned with the strategy, which means that there has to be a convergence strategy on things like transportation infrastructure waste management infrastructure, energy telecommunications and information technology across that whole range of which are beyond the purview of the tourism organizations, but which are essential for achieving the impact and the outcomes of the plan.
Finally what I would like to do is just to talk a little bit about the impact of technology going forward. We know that there have been tremendous improvements in information and communications technology in our ability to communicate. And more recently a very strong upsurge in the development of artificial intelligence systems algorithms to allow us to do things that we could never have thought in the past. And so these will have an impact on what we do. They’ll give us new tools for planning and monitoring and implementation in the planning context. For example we have the ability now to use the Internet to undertake surveys. So it allows us to collect data in a way that we could never before.
That would be in the past very time consuming and expensive to mount the sort of surveys that we can do now via the internet through careful preparation. So we can get hold of data at an unprecedented rate. And of course our ability to mine data and take content analysis has improved tremendously. So we have a surplus of data. The challenge then is the analysis. But even the artificial intelligence is beginning to help us. But we have algorithms that can now mine the data and then he gives you the evaluations based on the categories that we program to search for.
In terms of fieldwork there’s a revolution going on we have now draw surveys on site assessment evaluation, which has significantly reduce the amount of time, it requires for field assessment by other consultants. So this is a very powerful tool that has decreased the amount of time, it requires to get the information that you need for the planning work. We have now also virtual destination building a facility modeling. It’s now possible to prepare three options of a master plan and actually work you through a representation, a simulation of that in a room designed specifically for that using virtual technology approaches.
And finally we have high speed account or econometric medley modeling, which allows us to evaluate impacts especially the economic level in a way that we have never been able to do in the past. There was a time when I can remember quite some time ago if I were to do an input output table for a province, it might take me by hand, it might take you a month or two months to do. Today we do them in half an hour forty five minutes if we have the data it’s very simple. So the whole approach to planning is changing as a result of the technology improvements if evolution of technology available to us today.
That is the end of my series of lectures. Thank you very much.

In this video, we will take Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand growth triangle as an example, illustrating strategic tourism development planning on a sub-regional level.

What are the challenges in cross-regional tourism planning?

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Tourism Policy and Planning

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