Cultural heritage and the achievements of the ancestors of a country are considered to be one of the most influential factors of the tourism industry development.
For a long period of time, the tourism industry is regarded as a considerable part of business life in UK. Taking into consideration the idea that many various factors and people are involved in the sphere of tourism, it is not very easy to provide this particular industry with a clear definition and comprehend how the development of tourism policy and planning processes may be organized.
In this paper, the evaluation of tourism policy and planning will be offered to define what achievements have been made during the last several years, what priorities have been identified, and what factors may influence the development of the chosen industry.
Political and even environmental instability dictate their own rules which have to be followed by the representatives of the tourism industry. A number of cultural and social aspects may also predetermine the developments of tourists’ activities. And finally, economic challenges deprive the tourism industry of the possibilities to develop to its full extent.
This paper will present several strong evidences in order to prove the need for tourism planning in any destination. Tourism policies and planning are considered to be crucial points in the development of the industry due to the possibilities to evaluate the situation, to forecast possible troubles, to identify tourism destinations, and to respond a number of calamities which have natural roots or depend on human activities.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of the richest countries in the whole world with its traditions, people, abilities, potentials, and resources. In spite of the fact that some misunderstandings with different countries like the United States of America, France, and Germany, took place, the country realized that the necessity of cultural integration and a kind of exchange of the experience.
This is why the British government supported the idea to develop the industry of tourism as “the processes, activities, and outcomes arising from the relationships and the interactions among tourists, tourism suppliers, host governments, host communities, and surrounding environments that are involved in the attracting and hosting the visitors” (Goeldner & Ritchie 2006, p.5).
To succeed in the defined activities, it is very important to choose an appropriate policy that could look at special political processes and public support in order to meet the demands of the government and a number of public interests. Only in this case, tourism policy will be identified as a “vehicle for a government to direct and stimulate the tourism industry” (Edgell et al. 2008, p. 13).
In fact, some researchers admit that such terms as tourism policy and tourism planning may be interchangeable due to the fact that both of them are based on the political factors which promote successful decision-making processes and the evaluation of the possible outcomes.
For example, Harry Clark (2001) admits that UK tourism policy is based on the two questions posed: “When do markets fail and when is government intervention called for?” (p. 408). This is why tourism should be regarded as the industry the success of which is crucial for the country as it is considered to be the main source of “income for many groups” of people (Welford & Ytterhus 2004, p. 410).
The process of tourism development plays a very important role in the sphere of business. The way of how people are able to organize their tourism activities define the way of how the country may develop the relations with other countries. The representatives of UK government try to take as many effective steps as possible to evaluate the situation and introduce some appropriate ideas and support.
Gilmore et al. (2008) underline the fact that the sphere of tourism is properly established in Europe, still, some countries require more financial support as they are “only now emerging as modern tourist destinations” (113), and one of these countries is Northern Ireland.
This country is regarded to be a considerable part of the UK; this is why it is necessary to evaluate the factors which may predetermine tourism development and the effectiveness of tourism policy and planning. There are several factors which may influence this kind of development: economic, technological, socio-cultural, and environmental.
To understand the need for tourism policy in regard to a particular destination, the United Kingdom, it is better to evaluate the factors and define how urgent this policy and planning processes may be. It does not actually matter what kind of tourism is supported by the country (whether it is eco-tourism, heritage tourism, or some kind of adventure tourism), the importance of the factors is observed.
In case the UK government takes into consideration all the factors from social to environmental perspectives and apply them during the tourism planning process, the vast majority of goals can be met. The most integral goals in tourism are: promotion of visitors’ satisfaction, appropriate use of sustainable resources, abilities to respond market failures, and in-time integration of tourism into the particular community.
The idea of tourism planning may be approached in a variety of ways, and in this paper, the attention to economic, social, cultural, environmental, and technological benefits is paid to promote appropriate development of society. The economic approach helps to comprehend that tourism has to be equal to the rest of industries because this sphere promotes the development of job places, increase of revenue, and improvements of regional items.
And government, as an integral part of policy-making process should be able to perform the functions of a successful coordinator, planner, and legal regulator. Now, evaluation of factors which determine the necessity of tourism planning will be developed.
It is universally known that the Planet is in danger because of the natural pollution. All the countries of the world try to protect the environment and to support different policies directed at the problem. The environmental factor influences the tourism policy and planning greatly. The protection and conservation of the nature is one of the main objectives of the tourism industry as it is one of the main reasons for tourism development.
While planning tourism objects and developing new sights for tourists in the United Kingdom, the government should pay attention to the condition of the environment in those regions. One of the main reason people want to travel is to have a rest and enjoy the nature. The view with landfills is not going to attract those. Thus, to spend money and afford on the environment protection on the state of tourism planning, the government of the UK will be able to get more profit in the future.
At the same time the environment protection section in the tourism policy may create a number of difficulties which may become a real hazard for people. Thus, there are some jobs which may contradict to the tourism policy in the question of the environment protection. In this case, the UK government should understand what they need more, the creation of the workplaces or the environment protection necessary for the increase of the tourism potential of the country (Dodds & Butler 2010, p. 42).
For example, while creating a tourism policy, the “integration into public and private sector development, policies plans and programs” should be provided (Dodds & Butler 2010, p. 38). One of the examples of such policies is the local environmental plans. The tourism should be related to those policies as it may be helpful while planning new places of recreation.
Moreover, the local environmental plans and tourism policy plans may be directed at one and t same region that may increase the productivity of the results and nature conservation in that region.
The technological innovations have already affected all parts of human life. Tourism is not an exception. The influence of different innovations in t technological sphere is great. Thus, according to the research conducted by Formica & Kothari (2008) “innovation and advancement of technology” impact the increase of “digital divide for consumers and businesses” and the growth of “hardware and software expenditures” (p. 363).
The work is provided from home what increases the productivity and customer service quality, the products and services become more personalized, and “leisure behavior more dependent on technology” (Formica & Kothari 2008, p. 363). Us, the customers and the tourism policy makers state only on the positive features which became available with the appearance of the innovative technologies.
Moreover, there is an opportunity to be at the place of destination within several hours that was impossible several years ago. Planning tourism industry, the United Kingdom may be sure that people should not spend days or even weeks on the voyage to its coasts. The convenience and time saving are the main facilities which should be considered while planning the tourism in the UK. The location of t country on the island does not make it less available for people in other countries. This should be remembered while planning tourism.
Each economy is striving to augment incomes and employment rates and tourism is one of evident sources for promoting this sphere. Strong economic infrastructure, diligent level for employment, and government revenues serve as a solid underpinning for developing tourism. In its turn, properly-defined tourism policies and planning can greatly contribute to the growth of economy.
It can raise the employment rates, increase the governmental budget, and strengthen other sectors of economy making them more sustainable and mature. More importantly, the need for tourism policy and planning offers many other great benefits.
It should also be stressed that economic growth and tourism are closely intertwined with regard to global trends, interest rates and exchange rates. In this regard, tourism is considered to be as linking chain to the international market allowing the government to keep pace with recent shifts in the world economy.
The problem is that public authorities fail to recognize tourism as one of the chief economic stimulator. In this regard, UK government should realize an urgent need for tourism planning and development because “tourism taxes will be used to fund education and other unrelated services that rely heavily on public financial support” (Formica and Kothari 2009, p. 360).
A new course of tourism planning, thus, can lead to a considerable improvement of other sectors, such as education, marketing, commerce at domestic and international level. Moreover, it will expand and strengthen international cooperation and involve foreign businesses to the countries.
The fact that tourism affects social and cultural dimensions of development is undeniable because this sphere is closely connected with cross-cultural communication between nations and communities. Along with planning and expanding tourism sector, the country provides much space for community advancement and international communication. What is more important is that a favourable socio-cultural environment can fulfil cultural diversity gaps and present the peculiarities of local culture in its full extent.
Tourism policies and planning is also predetermined by the necessity to enhance and protect of local cultural amenities and introduce regulations that would “protect local cultures and natural areas, as well as provide economic incentives to local communities to act in an ecologically responsive manner” (Formica and Kothari 2009, p.). In addition to this, intensive development of tourism in the UK will advance the sphere of education and will provide more recreational opportunities for people.
Taking a course on consistent development of tourism policy and planning is a brilliant opportunity to introduce the world with rich history, culture, and traditions of the country. In this regard, the government should provide diligent funding of museums and other non-profit organizations that support the development and preservation of cultural heritage.
In general, the development of tourism industry is considered to be an integral part of society’s life. People are in need of fast-developing activities which may bring a lot of benefits. This is why the process of tourism policy and planning cannot be stopped. It is similar to decisions which are made by different people: they cannot stop making them, still, they have a variety of opportunities to approve and implement them accordingly.
Tourism development depends considerably on a number of social, environmental, technological, and cultural concerns. To avoid various barriers and failures, it is better to evaluate the factors and their possible outcomes and consider the effectiveness of the plan provided.
Taking into account the evaluations offered in this paper, it is possible to conclude that the need of tourism policies and planning is evident. There are a number of countries which demonstrate how this process may be developed: success of American or Mexican tourism should encourage the representatives from other countries be similar or, at least, try to be such.
Under the conditions people have to develop tourism business, it is possible to find various improvements and ideas on how to succeed in tourism policy and introduce successful planning processes. Implementation of the policies should certain help to achieve high tourism goals and impress the tourists with high quality services.
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