Category: Tourism Development

What Defines a Destination

What Defines a Destination?

Destinations and the journeys that accompany them are continually adapting and diversifying for the coming trends in travel. Destination management has become increasingly important as tourism leaders coordinate the management of all elements that make up a destination, including the attractions, amenities, access, marketing, and pricing. But what actually defines a particular place from a tourism perspective? The following aspects factor into the many ways we explore and adventure through a destination to ultimately shape its identity.

1. Location 

Where a destination is located is the most obvious factor. Geographically, destinations can be defined as individual towns, cities, regions (such as states), countries or routes comprised of multiple locations often linked together through a particular theme.  Destinations that are part of a larger route will often partner with other businesses and vendors to create a more streamlined and accessible experience for travelers.  To learn more about the creation of a route where businesses are partnering together, read more about Solimar’s work along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

2. Attractions 

Destinations are also often defined by the area’s attractions. If your location is famous for its national parks, for example, consider centering management efforts around carrying capacity to protect biodiversity while reducing overcrowding to ensure an enjoyable visitor experience. The key attractions of a place is also vital for establishing a brand identity and marketing to potential customers. 

For example, the owner of a hotel in Armenia may recognize that their clientele is mainly travelers with an appreciation for the country’s local culture and gastronomy. This hotel might partner with local businesses that offer master classes in local handicrafts or wineries that offer tastings, and create a package with these stakeholders. This strategy creates a more attractive experience for visitors while encouraging them to stay longer and increase their spending. 

 3. Target Market 

It is crucial to remain cognizant of the buyer persona when creating, marketing and defining a tourism destination. Are people coming to your destination to relax, to learn, or to explore? Emerging destinations may choose to analyze their suppliers by conducting data analytics online or by doing market research collection through the use of customer surveys. This research will provide excellent insight into partnership opportunities, pricing structures and target markets. 

Over the years, Solimar International has consulted with hundreds of tourism destinations and destination management organizations to help them in their journey towards developing and operating in a sustainable way. Read more about some of our projects here

 

Sustainability in business has become a major priority in the global objective to better care for our planet. With tourism being one of the largest industries, it must play a major role in emphasizing this need. Done sustainably, tourism can provide economic growth for communities and businesses while also creating support for the conservation of natural and cultural resources. While there is no one correct way to develop a tourist destination, doing so in a way that balances the needs of residents, businesses, tourists, and ecosystems provides some extra considerations for the governments that allocate land use. Therefore, it is critical that countries learn from each other in their pursuit towards accomplishing this goal.

Solimar and the World Bank recently worked together to document a series of case studies intended to help governments understand how concession agreements can be used to develop tourism. The document includes research that describes the importance of proper development and provides several case studies of real-world examples from a variety of global destinations. The use of concessions is a common practice in tourism, and The World Bank and Solimar have put their own spin on the subject by emphasizing how these concessions can truly benefit the communities living in and around protected areas. As a result, they have collected information on the importance of sustainable tourism, the role concessions play in tourism, and the evolution of a protected area into a tourist attraction. Utilizing extensive research of various case studies over multiple countries, the document highlights the major insights from a series of practical examples. Our hope is that we will be able to catalyze smarter development by learning from the experiences of others who have done it.

Click here to download a copy of Stimulating Sustainable Development through Tourism Concessions. 

“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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