Ten Factors for a Successful Tourism Program
1. A Complete Tourism Package. Successful rural tourism
communities have created the right mix of businesses for tourism, including
adequate lodging, restaurants, shops where tourists can spend money locally, and
a group of attractions that draw tourism. The development of a complete tourism
package will not only attract tourists, but will encourage visitors to stay,
spend money, and most importantly come back.
2. Strategic Planning. In rural areas where resources
are limited, strategic planning is fundamental for the efficient and effective
use of resources and funds.
Planning for tourism development and promotion can help develop and support
local businesses connected to tourism and facilitate coordination among the key
development partners in the community.
Strategic planning for tourism development cannot be independent from other
community development initiatives. Most business and public sectors of the
community are integrated with the tourism industry; therefore, it is critical to
strive for community development goals within the framework of the tourism
3. Leadership. Successful tourism promotion and
development involves good leadership. The level of involvement by local leaders
can make a difference in the ability of communities to respond to development
initiatives. Strong leadership skills contribute to the capacity of the
community to address development initiatives. There needs to be coordinated
leadership and action between tourism entrepreneurs, local government officials,
and persons in nonprofit organizations (e.g., convention and visitors bureaus)
who work with tourism. Among the key local leaders that need to be involved in
tourism are local government officials, community groups, the business
community, and nonprofit organizations such as Chambers of Commerce and
Convention and Visitor's Bureaus.
4. Support and Participation of Local Government. It is
important to have local government support for tourism development. Local
government can provide assistance with:
a. Funding for tourism development and promotion;
b. The creation and maintenance of infrastructure necessary for tourism (e.g.,
roads airports, railways, boat launches, reliable water and power
c. Zoning and beautification programs; and
d. Training and educational programs for tourism business, employees in
firms and other persons working in tourist industries.
5. Coordination and Cooperation among Rural Tourism Entrepreneurs.
Cooperation among business persons is key for successful tourism industry, it
is important that firms, who traditionally have not worked together, learn to
cooperate and coordinate efforts to better serve their tourism markets.
6. Coordination and Cooperation between Business Persons and Local
Leadership. For tourism development and planning to work, coordination
and cooperation between local government and businesses is critical. Rural
communities have developed strong personnel networks, yet, coordination and
cooperation between local government and the business community do not always
occur easily. Public sector activities to promote tourism will not work without
cooperation and input from local firms. Similarly, local government development
efforts will not thrive without private sector involvement.
7. Active Convention and Visitor's Bureaus. Rural communities
depend on the participation of Convention and Visitor's Bureaus.
Their assistance is especially important for individual tourism
entrepreneurs who cannot afford outside expertise and cannot obtain
this help from financially overextended local governments. Furthermore,
Convention and Visitor's Bureaus can act as a link between local
government and entrepreneurs by facilitating cooperation and coordination
between the two group.
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