Successful strategic planning requires input and buy-in from a diverse coalition of stakeholders. It is crucial to bring all partners to the table to develop a shared vision and path forward for their place.
Visioning and planning workshops are a critical step of the strategic planning process as it allows the Solimar team to define a consensus vision of “where we want to be”. This is, in our view, the most critical step in the strategic planning process for tourism. Governments obviously have an important role to play in destination marketing, facilitating access, and creating an attractive business environment. But successful implementation of the strategy developed will also require the private investment, creativity, and entrepreneurial capacity of the industry, and the support and buy-in from the communities and citizens that interact with and provide services to visitors on a daily basis.
For this reason, visioning and planning workshops are typically held in each key locations within a destination to introduce the program as well as how stakeholders can be involved. Participants engage in a number of facilitated exercises designed to collect inputs that inform our strategies. We also focus workshops on discussing key issues such as carrying capacity for tourism as well as the desire and capacity among the local community to provide tourist experiences. In larger destinations where multiple planning workshops are needed, a standardized workshop and assessment methodology is utilized to allow for consistent outputs.