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The Advancing Tourism 2016-20 Report

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Question:

Discuss about the Advancing Tourism 2016-20 Report.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The state of Queensland has achieved significant growth in tourism over the last couple of years. The growth patterns have informed the decision to develop a strategic plan that will take advantage of this opportunity to grow the market share while increasing the number of jobs in the state. The Advancing Tourism 2016-20, is a strategic document by the government in collaboration with the industry stakeholders to ensure that that the above goals are met. The partnership seeks to direct investments in such a manner that they achieve real growth in terms of increased number of visitors, creation of new jobs and greater return on investments.

To put the government’s commitment into perspective, since the beginning of 2015, the Growth for Tourism Guarantee Plan has set aside $400 million financial support undertaking to the Tourism and Events Queensland, a body charged with marketing and development of destination and experience for major events in the state. The state has also invested $33.5 million to the Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia Strategy among other key investments. This new strategy seeks to leverage on the above agendas to drive the advance tourism and create jobs by developing inventive tourism products and experiences while building a workforce with the prerequisite skills required. The objective of this new drive is make the Queensland the tourism hub of Australia by taking advantage of the new opportunities like the growth in global tourism, the internal economic environment thriving and favoring export-centered industries. The industry has recorded increasing numbers of domestic and international guests and these opportunities need to be turned into economic growth and creation of jobs.

To achieve the milestone, the government, through the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) has established a partnership with the industry stakeholders in the name of the Destination Q banner. The partnership seeks to build on the investments and achievements that have been made over the years and working with the relevant stakeholders to turn the strategies into realities. Building on the diversity of the assets and experiences, accessibility, clean and green environment, proximity to Asia, and the competitive dollar, the Advancing Tourism 2016-20, seeks to invest in infrastructure, build a skilled workforce and establish superior products, experiences and events. It is expected that this will lead to more number of visitors coming to the state, higher overnight expenditures from international and domestic customers, resilient communities, more jobs and a stronger economy for the state.

 

Evidence of a Systems Approach

The Advancing Tourism 2016-20, gives evidence of a systems approach by putting into focus the various internal and external factors that affect the industry and how to take advantage of them to build on the new agendas. Specifically, it recognizes that some regions within the state generate more tourists than other. These include the Great Barrier Reef, and the Islands and Beaches. Other factors that contribute to the increase of tourists in Queensland include the unique experiences created by the adventure, food, lifestyle, natural encounters and the discovery in addition to the events.

The state is growing its reputation as a tourist destination hub especially with the emerging Asian markets. This region has boosted the growth of the industry alongside the contribution of the more established Western markets like the USA, Germany, and Canada among others. One critical factor that is influencing the growth from Asia is the close proximity between the two regions. The plan also highlights the need to use the international education networks to market the destination Queensland which is a smart strategy. The plan will make use of the departing customers to market the destination by offering quality and customer-oriented service while at the same time maintaining links and attracting returning clients.

Stakeholders and Roles

Stakeholders can be defined as any person or entity or group of persona that have different interests and priorities in a business. The stakeholders are affected by the activities in the business (Byrd, 2007, p. 7). In the Tourism industry in Queensland, the stakeholder include the visitors, both domestic and international, the various government agencies concerned with tourism, private owners of businesses that offer service to tourism related activities like hotels, and financiers of the projects that support tourism among others. The following table will summarize the various stakeholders in the plan.

Stakeholder group

Contribution to the plan (using two/three bullet points)

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

·  Private sector organization that represents the interests of the tourism industry in Queensland

·  Working with agencies of the government and other bodies in the industry to advocate for the issues relating to tourism and hospitality

·  Operates and hosts the Queensland Tourism Award every year to recognize the outstanding groups and individuals that have made worthwhile contributions to the industry

Tourism and Events Queensland

·         Agency of the government charged with marketing and development of destination and experience as well as events.

·         It partners with the government and other organizations, commercial and industry stakeholders to grow the industry through fostering innovative products and boost the expenditure of visitors.

·         The agency researches and analyses tourism trends in the state.

 

 

Target markets and Segment Bases

Market segmentation refers to the aggregating a given market consisting potential customers into various units because they possess diverse characteristics. The groups created are thought to have consumers with similar interests, locations, and needs and therefore, are expected to respond to marketing strategies in a similar manner (Tkaczynski, Rundle-Thiele, and Beaumont, 2009).

The Advancing Tourism 2016-20 segments the Asian Market as one of the main markets largely because of its importance in driving the economy of the state. There are more travelers from Asia visiting the tourist sites in Queensland with the subsequent increase the expenditure and creation of jobs. It is with this understanding that the plan seeks to make Queensland the leading destination in Australia from the Asian market by building on the record numbers of visitors from this segment. Indeed, an approach called the Queensland Asia Tourism Strategy has already been developed which has the guidelines and specific actions to be applied to make the industry to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Asian market. The strategy seeks to target marketing towards consumers in Asian, enrich the trade agreements to increase the awareness of the consumer, improve aviation access, and develop unmatched experiences targeted for Asian consumers among other actions. They also seek to utilize the tourism potential of the global education framework to encourage repeat visitation.

Another market segment that is prevalent in the plan is the more mature markets of the western countries like the United States, Germany, and Canada. The plan identifies this as a stable market despite its growth not being as spontaneous as it has been seen in the case of the Asian market. These markets continue to provide the opportunities for the Queensland tourism industry to build on as it strives to lead the Australian tourism industry.

Array of TLE Experiences

Experiences

Location in Queensland

Type of experiences (natural/cultural/urban)

The Great Barrier Reef

In the Coral Sea (Coast of the state)

·     This natural great wonder can be observed from outer space

·     It is the biggest single structure in the world that is made of living organisms.

·     The coral polyps that form the bigger reef support a diversity of life and it was made a World heritage Site in the year 1981. The state of Queensland named the reef as the state icon.

·     It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world

·     Apart from being used by the Aboriginal Australians and the peoples of Torres Strait Islander for spiritual and cultural purposes, it is a great tourist destination. Towns like Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville and Mackay have become independent and do not rely on Brisbane because they are genuine coastal capitals.

Adventure (Story bridge climb, stadium and Museums)

Brisbane

·         This is an urban experience where one gets to enjoy hundreds of images of the city.

·         It is the only city in the entire world that afford the visitors the experience of both the climb and abseil

·         Below the road, one can get to visit and climb the tallest external building in the whole country at SkyPoint and the Gold Coast.

·         The Suncorp stadium offers an opportunity for visitors to get to close range with some of the world’s greatest athletes either in training or in competitive matches.

·         For the lovers of the art and pop culture, the galleries and museums in South bank offer the perfect experience of the Australian culture.

 

 

Potential and Challenges of Operationalising the plan

Potential

Tourism has been and will remain one of the most important industries in the whole of Australia. Indeed, the amount of economic growth and numbers of people in employment as a result of tourism (about 5 percent of the Australian workforce) will indicate that it has a great future. One of the potential factors that may positively impact the operationalisation of the plan is the dedication and commitment of the major stakeholders in the industry (Elliott, J., 1997).  For instance, the government has already set aside huge sums of dollars running in millions towards the improvement of the industry especially the funding of the state agency, Tourism and Events Queensland with more than $400 million for a period of four years. This shows the political and administration goodwill of the government to improve the tourism industry (Queensland government, 2016). And is there anything as positive as having the resources and support of the government in trying to implement a project?

Beside, the plan seeks to in most scenarios, leverage on the already existing infrastructure and networks to capitalize on the opportunities that have been presented. This is a critical strategic advantage because it makes it easier for stakeholders to negotiate on a point of statistics and positive results that have been posted in the previous years. For example, the connections and trade partnerships with airline already exist, and what is needed is to secure more access which should be relatively easier to negotiate as opposed to starting trade engagements (Queensland government, 2016). In the same way, the Asian market is already the biggest contributor to the tourism industry of the state and expanding it and exploring ways of marketing the products would be easier than when starting a new collaboration.

Challenges

While it is anticipated that tourism will continue to grow, the insecurity caused by the global terrorism presents a significant threat to the realization of the ambitions of the Queensland tourism industry. The safety of the visitors is of paramount importance to the marketing of a destination to the international market. While Australia has not faced a major terrorist attack, the authorities should be on high alert to ensure that all threats are mitigated as soon as possible to ensure the travelers have confidence about their safety (Theobald, 2005). This is the brand that Australia has given the world and the challenge will be to maintain this safety, cleanliness and calmness of the tourism brand.

Tourism is one activity that is heavily impacted by the changes in the economic and geopolitical instabilities. If the global economy slows down, then the industry feels the effects almost directly as less people will be willing to travel. It is necessary that the country keeps close diplomatic and economic relationships with the major markets for the products like in the Asian markets (Pike, 2015). Failure to maintain the relationship may see the whole industry collapse within a matter of no time. Besides, the news that the Great Reef could be damaged beyond repair does not give good news to any of the Australian or lover of nature a good feeling (Beames, 2003, p. 208).

 

Recommendations

While the plan looks to have been thought out while developing it, it should be noted that some of the critical aspects have not been considered. The plan fails to suggest the strategies of pooling resources and integrating some of the shared resources with other states to take advantage of the economies of scale in the implementation. Besides, forming alliances with other states will allow seamless movement of tourists from one state to another which will improve the economy of the country at large (Haddadi, and Khodadadpoor, 2015). Forming alliances with other states and territories will enable the sharing of experiences, technology and improved tourism related trade (Gursoy, Saayman, and Sotiriadis, 2015).

A critical factor missing from this plan is the involvement of the residents who are affected by some of the proposed plans. It is necessary that when executing a project, the involvement of the community is considered to enable buy-in and acceptance (Mason, 2015). Besides, achieving acceptance, it has been established that when the local communities are involved especially during the decision making phase, the rate of participation in the execution is increased. Involving the community is also a sign of transparency and accountability in running the affairs of the government (Murphy, 2013).

Conclusion

This report has detailed the main points from the plan Advancing Tourism 2016-20. It is evident from the report that the government of Queensland is committed to ensuring that they take advantage of the unique opportunity to grow the tourism industry in the state and consequently the economy. The agenda also involves the creation of jobs for the Queensland people. The plan has identified especially the growth of the Asian market as the unique opportunity to enhance tourism numbers and increase the number of travelers from this market. To take advantage of this opportunity, the plan sets out to build on the state’s competitive advantage of having diverse products, strong transport network, iconic assets, clean and safe environment, and its proximity to Asia to execute some strategic priories to achieve their desired outcomes. The strategies in question include improving the quality of the events, products and experiences that the state offers, making investment in infrastructure and developing a skilled workforce. The policies are meant to yield more visitors visiting the destinations, increase in overnight expenditure, creation of more jobs, and resilience of the communities.

The report has also analyzed the role played by various stakeholders in enhancing the sector. Specifically, the role of the private and a not for profit QTIC and that of the Queensland Tourism and Events was discussed. Besides, some of the experiences like the Great Barrier Reef and adventures found in Brisbane were analyzed in addition to the potential and challenges that may be faced during the operationalizing of the plan. In this regard, the commitment of the government and the fact that most of the strategies rely on existing data and networks provide the potential for the successful implementation of the plan. The challenges include the ever rising incidences of terrorism and the unpredictable global economy. Finally, the report gave the recommendations that may need to be considered to make the plan complete. Creating of alliances and partnerships with other states and territories and involving the residents in the decision making and execution phases of the plan were the recommendations suggested.

 

References

Beames, G., 2003. The rock, the reef and the grape: the challenges of developing wine tourism in regional Australia. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 9(3), pp.205-212.

Byrd, E.T., 2007. Stakeholders in sustainable tourism development and their roles: applying stakeholder theory to sustainable tourism development. Tourism Review, 62(2), pp.6-13.

Elliott, J., 1997. Tourism: politics and public sector management. Psychology Press.

Gursoy, D., Saayman, M. and Sotiriadis, M. eds., 2015. Collaboration in tourism businesses and destinations: A handbook. Emerald Group Publishing.

Haddadi, M. and Khodadadpoor, M., 2015. The Role of Public Private Partnership Contracts in Tourism Industry Development. Tehran: Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 4(1).

Mason, P., 2015. Tourism impacts, planning and management. Routledge.

Morgan, N., Pritchard, A. and Pride, R., 2007. Destination branding. Routledge.

Murphy, P.E., 2013. Tourism: A community approach (RLE Tourism). Routledge.

Pike, S., 2015. Destination marketing. Routledge.

Queensland government. 2016. Advancing Tourism 2016-20.

Theobald, W.F. ed., 2005. Global tourism. Routledge.

Tkaczynski, A., Rundle-Thiele, S.R. and Beaumont, N., 2009. Segmentation: A tourism stakeholder view. Tourism Management, 30(2), pp.169-175.

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