Strategic Planning For Tourism And Leisure

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Strategic Planning For Tourism And Leisure
03.02.2020
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Introduction

Tourism as a system includes a variety of independent economic entities that, as such, are also systems. So, tourism system management consists of planning and control of its individual elements in order to meet the consumer’s demand for a particular tourist product. It is necessary to emphasize that a change in one of the elements leads to changes in other key aspects of the system. In addition, it can have an impact on economic and social changes. Thus, in order to attract tourists to a specific region, it is necessary to develop a systematic strategy concerning tourism in terms of its management. The process of planning is one of the primary and most important phases of managing any sphere of activity. This complex process manifests itself not only in the analysis of the tourism industry and assessment of natural resources, but also, which is frequently more significant, in the disclosure of competitive opportunities in the region. This paper will discuss the dependence of tourism success on strategic planning, a particular role of BIDs in the tourist industry, the exemplar historic building in the UK, and the role of reuse and adaptation of such buildings for the development of tourism in the economy of the country.

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Tourism Planning and the Concept of BIDs

The basic concept of tourism planning is represented by an interconnected system of supply and demand factors. “Planning tourism at all levels is essential for achieving successful tourism development and management” (World Tourism Organization 1994). The demand factors are the international or domestic tourist markets and local residents who use tourist attractions, facilities, and services. The supply factors include these very tourist attractions, extraordinary activities, and venues, the means of accommodation and other peculiar tourist facilities and services. “All tourism products begin with an attraction, without which no further discussion is needed” (Stange & Brown 2014). Attractions consist of natural, cultural, and historical landmarks, special facilities such as theme parks, zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums; as well as activities associated with these and numerous other places of interest. Accommodation means include hotels, motels, inns, guest houses, campsites and the multitude of other facilities where tourists stay overnight. The wealth of other important for tourist services which are necessary to organize tours and trips of high quality include restaurants, shops, banking services, currency exchange points, medical institutions, and care services. These supply factors are known as tourist products.

It is necessary to create an infrastructure in order to use facilities and services efficiently. “Tourist infrastructure is a component of a regional touristic product” (Panasiuk 2007). A properly managed tourist infrastructure cannot exist without not only the landmarks and events attractive to the visitors but also the transport, water supply, electricity, sewerage, solid waste management and telecommunications which ensure their convenient stay in a particular place of interest. The appropriate infrastructure is also necessary to protect the environment as it helps to maintain a high level of environmental quality that is crucial for the desirable successful development of tourism and comprehensively beneficial for the locals.

In order to develop, operate and manage tourism business it is of vital importance to remember and ensure the presence of the following points:

· Organizational structures, particularly, state tourism agencies of the private sector associations.

· Legislation and regulations related to tourism, such as standards and licensing requirements for hotels and travel agencies.

· Education provided through training programs and schools to prepare qualified personnel for the tourism sector.

· The availability of financial resources to develop tourist sights, facilities, services, and infrastructure; as well as mechanisms to attract investments.

· Marketing strategy and tourism promotion programs aimed at informing tourists about the country or the region and encouraging visits to that particular area;

· Simplification of tourist formalities including visa requirements, the passage of customs control and the provision of other facilities and services at points of entry and exit of tourists.

Tourism planning as an interrelated system should be aimed at the comprehensive development of all of its parts, namely the factors of both demand and supply, physical and institutional elements. This system will operate more efficiently and bring the desired benefits if it is planned in an integrated manner with the coordinated development of all its components. Sometimes this integrated system approach is also called a comprehensive one because when planning and developing any aspect related to tourism it is necessary to take all the elements into account.

Planning is very important for the complexity of the tourism system. “In western developed economies, approaches to tourism planning and policy are very tightly linked to profound changes in ideological and socio-political landscapes” (Dredge & Jenkins 1961). Also, it is essential to fit tourism harmoniously into the overall policies, plans, and models of country and region development. Therefore, the planning of such integration will allow all sides to solve any potential conflicts associated with the use of certain resources or places for different areas of development. It will also provide a multi-purpose use of expensive infrastructure for the overall benefit and the satisfaction of the needs of the community and tourism.

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Naturally, a particular emphasis is placed on the creation and adoption of policies and plans of tourism development for a particular region marked by a higher level of tourist attention. This fact allows businessmen to direct decision-making on promoting the most popular venues and activities of the area. Tourism planning, however, should be considered a progressive and flexible process. “Without proper planning or management tourism can damage the destination’s environment; cause social and cultural conflict and alienate the communities that host tourism” (World Tourism Organization 2007). The recommendations on the policies and plans should be flexible, allowing those involved to adapt to changing circumstances. Too rigid planning can prevent the development process from responding to changes effectively. There may be breakthroughs in transport technologies, new forms of tourism and market trends demanding flexibility from the plan and the possibility for its swift customization. At the same time, it is necessary to support sustainable development and stick to the main task even if specific intermediary models change.

During the process of tourism planning, it is significant to develop the recommendations of creative and innovative character, which, however, are realizable. It is very important to study different performance techniques throughout the course of outlining. This approach ensures the implementation of recommendations and provides the basis for determining the methods that should be used. These can be original, not based solely on the well-established concepts. It is, nevertheless, a common practice to include the explanation of methods of its implementation into a tourism development plan and in some cases prepare the individual manuals detaining the ways of bringing such plan recommendations to life.

It is obvious that during the process of tourist activity environment can and does change dramatically. “Tourism is significant also because of the enormous impact it has on people’s lives and the places in which they live, and because of the way in which tourism is itself substantially affected by the world around it” (Hall 1961). In this case, negative changes predominate, causing considerable and ever-increasing damage. Tourism impact on the environment can be direct, indirect and incentive, as well as positive and negative. Tourism cannot progress without interacting with the environment, but with the help of its clear development management, it is possible to reduce the negative effects and increase the positive ones.

It should be noted that the speed with which towns and cities continue to grow, prosper and attract people to live and numerous tourists to visit them, at the same can threaten their own achievements if not properly controlled. The quality of services increases but the standards of life and health are in decline due to environmental effects. It is difficult to solve all problems but a partnership such as a Business Improvement District is a big part of the solution. “Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are partnerships between local authorities and businesses which are intended to provide additional services or improvements to a specified area” (Stanford 2016).

The role of the BID in relation to the strategic planning of the tourism and recreation industry is very weighty. Of course, profit is one of the aims of any enterprise but strategic planning should include diverse features such as customer satisfaction and health improvement to ensure a collective balance. It is very important to develop concrete plans and guidelines, tactics, policies, procedures and rules to achieve this, in which BIDs have proved successful. Thus, in order to realize the full business plan, it is necessary to work together with BIDs.

The main aim of such partnerships is to help to improve the environment. There are a lot of organizations of this type that create, develop, and fund projects benefiting local businesses and society simultaneously. Since the environment is one of the main spheres evoking lots of questions regarding tourism impact, Business Improvement Districts provide additional street cleaning, waste treatment, street watering, and gardening. Also, BIDs can implement social and educational programs for the communities in which they are located, bringing various benefits in terms of reducing crime and antisocial behavior in particular. Such programs would also be useful for areas where people suffer from social exclusion.

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It is possible to claim that BIDs give a reliable income to the United Kingdom, which is an essential feature of these partnerships. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (2015), “There are now over 200 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) operating across the UK”. However, it should be noted that the partnership model can also have a negative point, namely, they may become victims of their own success. Some businessmen are in shock because of significant costs. For this reason, there may be constant disturbances to their financial wellbeing.

Projects are funded by the fees that businessmen pay annually. “The majority of BIDs charge 1% of rateable value; however, there are some that have opted for higher levies, particularly in smaller locations with lower rateable values and in the industrial areas” (BritishBIDs). BIDs include managers and owners of local businesses that together agree on how to spend money better. Thus, they give everyone the opportunity to develop the business and make significant changes in the area of their affiliation. In addition, BIDs act as intermediaries between the state and individual enterprises in this area, developing a close working partnership. They provide different approaches and make a valuable contribution in relation to the realization of successful management and prosperity of cities in the UK due to the flexibility of their mechanisms.

Windsor Castle

It is known that tourism as a commodity is sold in the form of services. A tourist service, as well as a catering service in general, is an action of a certain value in use, which is expressed in the effect that suits a particular human need. This service can be provided with the help of the product, or in the operation of living labor. The tour is a complex of different services such as accommodation, food, transportation, sightseeing, guides, souvenirs, etc., which are united on the basis of the main purpose of the trip and provided on a particular route at a certain date.

The set of services and goods visitors buy in tourist destinations form the concept of the tourism product. Expenses of tourists from other regions are the contribution to the economy of the host one. Tourist export is the export of tourist impressions which is accompanied by the simultaneous import of tourist money into the country. According to VisitBritain, as of 2010, “Taking into account direct and indirect impacts (including aspects like the supply chain), tourism in England contributes 106 billion to the British economy (GDP) and supports 2.6 million jobs”. In fact, owing to tourism popularity, by 2013 the British GDP had increased by 20 billion and the number of people employed in the industry exceeded 3 million. Thus, the development of the tourism business in the country has enormously contributed to the economy.

They say one will not see everything in London and their travel will be incomplete if they do not visit Windsor Castle. “It is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen and is still very much a working royal palace today, home to around 150 people” (Royal Collection Trust). Tourists from all over the world are eager to get out there and feel the atmosphere of this ancient place. “Travel exposes us to novelty and the excitement, if not the shock, of the new” (Broadhurst 2001).Therefore, in terms of the number of visitors and the money they spend there, Windsor Castle makes a huge compliment to the economy of the United Kingdom.

No wonder that every tourist wants to visit this place since Windsor Castle is a jewel in the crown of British monarchs. It is not only a sample of an architectural style with unique relic regalia and cultural values but also a place that is available for everyone who wants to feel the spirit of the British kings. All wishing tourists can see the monarchic luxury and traditions which are coming through the centuries with their own eyes. The visit to Windsor Castle in London can open the doors to the British culture to all the pilgrims and fans in the world.

The residence of British monarchs is located in Berkshire County not far from London. The unique structure is built on top of a hill, revealing a dizzying panorama of the Thames to its visitors. From the beginning, Windsor Castle was located on the territory of the royal hunting ground, but soon its area was increased, then castle walls were reconstructed and redesigned a lot of times, and lounges and meeting rooms were expanded.

One of the most comprehensive renovations was made during the reign of Henry II. After his reign was over, each succeeding monarch thought that it was their duty to change the construction plan. However, visitors can see numerous frescos, tapestries, and paintings that reflect the amazing metamorphosis which Windsor Castle managed to survive from the time of its foundation to the present day.

Of course, all tourists will find a lot of impressions and discoveries awaiting them while visiting the magnificent castle walls. From the very first seconds, the sight of visitors is caught by an impressive round tower and massive Norman gates. Windsor Castle has an over 45-meter tall round stone tower. The tower has a separated structure forming two complexes – the so-called lower and upper courtyard. It is also necessary to say about Chapel of St. George, which has not only a big scale, but also a unique collection of heraldic stained glass, regalia, and the relic values that are directly related to the valor of the royal dynasty. Also, the chapel keeps silently buried a fair number of various men of mark.

Thereafter, tourists are able to enjoy the atmosphere of the state apartments. There are a lot of trophies that kings won and placed therein memory of the conquest, along with the presents which were given by plenty of royalties ruling in other countries and visiting the British monarchic elite. In its state apartments, Windsor Castle stores a unique malachite vase brought by Nicholas I on the occasion and in honor of Queen Victoria’s coronation. In addition, you can feel the oriental spirit as there is the throne of the monarch of the Indian principality in the apartment.

Windsor Castle invites all the curious people who must pass the way from the center of London to see its walls. “Offered exclusively to group visitors, an in-depth Exhibition Talk by a member of the Royal Collection staff can be added to a day visit” (Buick & Driver 2013-2014). On this tour, visitors cross Berkshire country while going by comfortable buses to the west of the capital for about forty minutes. Before their arrival at the very residence of the British kings, travelers appreciate the authentic railway station located in Windsor. They have an opportunity to see the locomotive produced in 1894 and are able to see the style of past centuries and foretaste the forthcoming tours due to the magnificence of this place.

Tours are conducted in a group format and there is a certain period for the visits, more specifically at the time when monarchs are not present in the family residence. All travelers are unfortunately not allowed to take photographs during the way through the royal state apartments, but Windsor Castle will remain in the hearts of all who visit it, thanks to the possibility of panoramic shots of this legendary place taken from the outside.

Reuse and Adaptation of Historic Buildings

Tourism being a multi-faceted phenomenon is an object of study of many sciences. This is due to the fact that tourism covers not only the economy of different countries but also their cultural heritage, traditions, religion, and handicrafts. The United Kingdom is rich in unique historical territories such as ancient cities, series of palaces and gardens, complexes of religious architecture, historic buildings, cultural monuments, and other venues that are appealing to those travelers who pursue fresh impressions. They should not be frozen and may well become the next major landmarks of the world if they are treated with due care. To prove this point of view Dalia Abdelaziz Elsorady cites Steven Spector who “… supports the notion that adaptive reuse is an excellent way to create valuable community resources from the underused property, to substantially reduce land acquisition and construction costs, revitalize the existing neighborhood, and to control sprawl” (2014). When organizing unique areas, it is necessary to combine traditional forms of activities that have historically shaped the territory with innovative kinds, to which tourism is referred. However, new activities should complete rather than overwhelm the existing economic, socio-cultural and natural processes. Moreover, there is a necessity to form a certain number of tasks included in the strategic plan to organize reconstruction activities in a city having the potential of becoming a tourist destination. “The mission statement should provide boundaries and direction for growth” (Moutinho 2010). Three most important tasks here are to preserve the architectural heritage, integrate monuments in the modern urban environment and, finally, the task related to the social problems of the city is to provide the reconstructed historical facilities with rational functions, which will make them full-fledged objects of the city landscape without diminishing their cultural value. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many parts of the world where valuable landmarks are located. Today, the negative impact of tourism is experienced by many developing countries, especially those which do not have sufficient technical and financial capacity to balance the spent resources, remove the waste produced by them, and prevent the damage posed to sightseeing places by careless visitors.

It is necessary to ensure equilibrium between the social, economic and environmental interests of current and future generations. “However, the adaptive reuse of historic buildings is more complicated than the reuse of ordinary buildings” (Yung & Chan 2011). Tourism thrives thanks to a pristine environment and hence it is a fertile ground for testing innovative methods or policies adopted to achieve different goals. Therefore, policies and strategies for sustainable tourism should be developed taking into account all parties. The strategic choice should be based on a robust assessment of the conditions, challenges, and opportunities. It can be determined with the help of sustainability indicators as well as the results of investigations of the industry and surveys of tourists. Besides, it is possible to reach stability only by establishing purposeful partnerships between the private and public sectors. Many aspects of sustainability of tourism and the difficulties faced by this industry require a strong joint front to define and implement tools to ensure the long-term economic viability of the sector in the framework of a clean environment and healthy social conditions.

Historical and cultural tourism plays a significant role in the formation and development of tourist areas in the UK. In contrast to natural factors, historical and cultural aspects combine features of movable and real estate and have their own dynamics. As the level of culture of the population increases, historical and cultural tourism becomes an increasingly important element in the development of tourist centers. In the fast-moving and changing world the places which have managed to preserve the monuments of history and culture, the ones where the past and the present meet are the ultimate target sites of visitors.

Fabulous buildings and magnificent scenery of the United Kingdom are the places breathing with myths and legends, which are the basis of historical and cultural tourism. Across the UK, you can see castles, grandiose historical structures, many of which are open to the public. Scattered all around the UK they attract thousands of visitors from all corners of the world. Everyone can find something interesting for themselves. There are many cultural monuments which were brought back to life through adaptive reuse in the UK and it is no wonder that thousands of tourists come there every year to see the majestic buildings, historic sites, and works of art, which give the opportunity to eyewitness the places where history originated and evolved. They significantly affect the development of tourism in the UK.

Luton Hoo estate is one of the most interesting reused historical places. This estate attracts a lot of fans of architecture and classic interiors. It was built in 1767 by Robert Adam. “The Walled Garden at Luton Hoo Estate was designed by Capability Brown in the late 1760s for John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, noted botanist and prime minister under George III” (Open Objects 2016). In 1830, the house was partially rebuilt by Robert Smirk, the author of the building of the British Museum. And finally, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa was founded in 2007 in a restored estate, and now it offers rooms in the main house, the former stables in Adam’s project.

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Bodysgallen Hall is another reused space and the heart of the Welsh manor. It is a five-story tower of the XIII century which was overgrown with additions for six years. During four centuries Mostyn family owned this house, and in the early 1980s, it was converted into a hotel. “The 17th-century house has been skillfully and sympathetically restored by Historic House Hotels Limited since 1980, and given to the National Trust in 2008” (Bodysgallen Hall & Spa). This historical building attracts not only fans of history and architecture, but also lovers of gardening: the castle is surrounded by flower gardens, broken in the XVII century, the rose garden and ponds with water lilies.

Сardiff Сastle is one of the oldest buildings of Wales, built on the site of a former Roman fortress. During its existence, the castle has been a good actor, changing its look many times. “Conservation isn’t just about repairing structures, it is also about providing access and ensuring adequate interpretation to allow visitors to be informed by what they see” (Edwards 2008). It is obvious that Сardiff Сastle is the main attraction of the capital city. It is a unique building that is worth a visit. Looking at the castle it seems that the building is too large and it takes a lot of time to see it. But it is an error since there are not so many living rooms in the building with the majority of them being very small and a lot of rooms simply closed.

Thus, the British Isles take one of the first places among popular tourist routes of the globe.” The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.8% through to 2025 – significantly faster than the overall UK economy (with a predicted annual rate of 3% per annum) and much faster than sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and retail” (VisitBritain).

The United Kingdom is a country with active monarchy boasting of the rich history and culture: churches, palaces, parks, museums, pubs, solemn ceremonies, musicals, operas, and street musicians are nothing but the entire cultural heritage that the British Empire has accumulated over the last few centuries. The United Kingdom is a country with a tremendous, touching one’s imagination scenery, the country where you can learn English, drink proper tea, try porridge, whiskey, and see fogs that much as almost nowhere else on the planet.

Conclusion

Tourism plays a significant role in the preservation of historical and cultural heritage and economic growth potential. It is an important means of creating ties, motivating local authorities, public organizations and business organizations to actively participate in the protection and improvement of the environment. Properly managed tourism contributes to the revival of local cultural values and life, the development of folk arts, crafts, and trades. It is one of the most effective stimulants of business development around the cultural sites of historical cities, ensuring the stability of hotel and transport infrastructure, as well as the creation of new jobs in the urban space. However, modern tourism has a double impact on the environment and left to grow uncontrollably may threaten and damage it drastically. Of course, the United Kingdom gives attention to this problem. The solution is achieved by means of intelligent planning and design, as well as optimal management capabilities. It is necessary to take into account all factors, interests, and obligations of parties involved – government, industry and the public. Also, it is reasonable to state that the country’s economy and tourism are closely interconnected with each other. Tourism helps to solve common economic problems, but it cannot effectively develop itself without a professional managerial approach taking into account the multidimensional nature of its activities. The economic activity of tourism is directly linked to the development of the national economy, is one of its driving forces and if developed correctly may bring it considerable long-term benefits.

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