Background, Key Terms and Concepts of Destination Development
According to McLennan et al. (2006), destination development is a constant process of organization and creation of services, products, facilities, and amenities that support the host population or country to render quality experiences for tourists, thereby augmenting their living standards. It is a key concept in tourism management and allows stakeholders and destination managers to implement the precedence plans and strategies formulated during the destination planning process.
On the other hand, destination planning is a process that seeks to minimize the negative influence of cultural tourism on the local community’s lifestyle and history. Therefore, a proper knowledge of sustainable tourism enables the development of culture without losing the original and credible identity of that specific culture. The most important tools for enhancing destination development process include the planning process and situation analysis. The process should undergo monitoring in the entire phase of destination performance using well-defined Key Performance Indicators (Destination development 2010, 2010). Henderson (2006, p.93) adds that the most crucially demanded amenities by the tourists is accommodation
A sustainable development of the destination, developing tourism sites without depleting the presently available resources, relies on the suitability of the scale and type of tourism (Ali & Frew 2014, p.2). The term is closely related to efficient destination management that is the continual and iterative process aimed at integrating tourism into the environmental, economic and social aspirations of the community. Moreover, destination management requires a proper planning scheme that determines the nature and type of tourism development.
Purpose of the Essay
Owing to the substantial increase in tourism activities globally over the recent past, there has been an advancement in the research related to tourism. Many researchers consider different aspects of tourism destination development with much focus on destination aspects such as marketing, management and planning issues, socio-cultural impacts, and environmental issues. Each of the research undertaken by various researchers provides a rich background on the topic by providing pertinent information concerning destination development aspects. In the current research paper, the focus is on the economic and technological changes that affect destination development.
Approach to the Topic
As an approach, the researcher settled on the secondary research in which the relevant, current and reliable sources of information were reviewed. The researcher only considered sources published within the last 10 years. The information enabled the researcher to carry an in-depth analysis of the economic and technological impacts on destination development. The approach chosen gave a framework used in the analysis.
Context of Discussion
With the emerging trends in technology, such as computers, the internet, electronic money transfers, and social media platforms, there have been a number of changes that take place in tourism destination development. Many people currently continue to adopt information platforms in the social media such as Twitter and Facebook that continue to transform the tourism sector.
In addition, tourism development has seen a significant advancement with the evolution of globalization trends that has tremendously changed the way in which cross-border trade takes place. Border permeability because of globalization continues to open up regions once locked up to become tourist destinations. In Africa, for example, several countries continue to improve their airline services by acquiring more air travel vessels. There has also been a relaxation of the inter-border travel regulations, which allows for migration of people from one destination to another because of globalization. In addition, most economies continue to expand globally with increased economic investments in different sectors of the economy, such as petroleum, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and service delivery.
Possible Direction and Justification of Chosen Approach
In the current research paper, an in-depth analysis of the economic and technological impacts on destination development anchors on the extensive and cohort study reviewed from different literature materials. This approach will help provide a framework for the current research analysis.
The paper has three major sections; introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction part, the researcher has identified and explained key terms and how they are related. The section also highlights on the purpose of the essay and the approach to the topic. In the second section, the writer has explained the context of the discussion, the possible direction the essay has taken and the justification of the chosen approach. The section precedes the body of the work that explores on the various themes. The paper then ends with a conclusion, which gives a recap of the major pints covered in the essay.
Section 3: Key Themes
Theme 1: Destination Development and Technology Change
The current society is information technology-oriented in all the economic and social aspects, including tourism sector. Information technology entails all processing technologies of digital information that support the resource management process of a particular company and communication with the outside partners of the organization. The capability of using the options rendered by the internet is a key part of information technology. The most hectic challenge of destination development with regard to technology is the adaptation to the changes that occur within a given period. Many researchers suggest that in most cases, the available internet websites fail to meet the needs of consumers because the internet cannot replace the traditional, conventional ways of marketing. Irrespective of the happening threats, there are potential benefits offered by the internet together with other contemporary information technologies to the tourism organizations. Other authors cite that there have been enormous changes concerning destination development. For instance, Morrison (2013, p.472) states that most development management organizations are in the process of adapting to the changes that occur in the destination marketing and management because of information communication technology.
The use of the internet, extranet, and intranet in the destination development combines the functions of information technology together with tourism. Moreover, it assists most tourism companies in promoting their products, services, and infrastructures successfully (Borzyszkowski 2014, p.63). Information technology renders several possibilities in communication, advertising, or promotion, in general. One of such tools commonly used is electronic brochures. It greatly assists in destination management in terms of dissemination. E-brochures contain characteristic features as opposed to the traditional ways of making brochures. One of the differences is that unlike traditional brochures, e-brochures are not sold. It is also easy and quick to update information in them and to regulate the quantity downloaded from the website. In addition, they are affordable. Another important online tool is credit cards, which has greatly ease transactions.
Furthermore, there is a possibility of cross-organizational coordination by the use of cooperation networks. The coordination relies on long-term and unwavering relationship patterns, depicting reciprocal, complex, and financially dependent organizations. Cooperation networks are made possible by technological advancements taking place in the today’s world. They concentrate on the effective management of cooperation in matters pertaining to operations with a distinct interest in the promotion of marketing. The rationale for establishing cooperation networks among organizations is to increase the competitive advantage of the created cross-organizational networks. Network characteristics typically assist in the knowledge and capabilities generation with the aim of improving communication among collaborating organizations. The three fundamental aspects that determine such cooperation include confidence, partner asymmetries, and willingness of the organizations to invest in technology. Knowledge management and networks are fundamental in the success of tourism firms. When an economy faces uncertainty in its operations, the best way to enhance its competitiveness is by strengthening its knowledge (Baggio & Cooper 2010, p.5).
The impact of technology has greatly shaped the transport sector, especially concerning the posterity of air travel. IT airline investment focuses on mobilizing the traveler’s journey and more prominently, on the improvement of business intelligence to understand customers and operations. With the emergence of the digital era, certain procedures and formalities continue to improve by adopting current trends such as smart gates to improve the security of the journey as opposed to the traditional border control process done by personal contact between the border authority and the traveler. According to Gheorghe (2013, p.2), the use of technology in tourism such as sharing videos online leads to the development of mental pleasure to those viewing the video through stimulation of daydreams, fantasies, and flashbacks of past tourism journey.
Theme 2: Destination Development and Economic Change
Tourism has three most crucial kinds of impact on several areas visited by tourists. They include socio-cultural, environmental, and economic impacts. The most beneficial impacts are the economic ones. They include the foreign exchange generation, creation of new employment and job opportunities, and trade, entrepreneurship, and income stimulation, which is most prominent in the small business sectors and the service industry. Other economic impacts include the provision and the development of new infrastructure used by the non-tourist local members of the community.
Economic changes affect tourism spending because tourists in host destinations spend money on services, goods, and social amenities (Ardahaey 2011, p.3). The result of such a huge expenditure leads to the injection of large sums of money into the economy of the hosting community, hence creating an increased level of consumer demand. Foreign tourists convert their foreign country currency into the currency of the local or hosting community to access the services and make purchases. Therefore, the hosting community accumulates more foreign currency to expand on its needs, for instance, improved education and medical facilities. The benefits generally lead to stimulated economic growth. On the other hand, tourism expenditure serves as export income in balance payment terms to the host community. Such communities act as tourism-generating communities.
As income levels of the individuals increase, they also continue to dedicate much of their spending on tourism and travelling. In the United States, for instance, the per capita spending of the consumers on staying in the hotels since 1980 has increased by over 200 percent compared to the 75 percent of the per capita GDP (Oxford Economics 2014, p.6). There has been a continued growth in tourism despite the economic downturn witnessed in the past because the attitude of people towards tourism progressively changes with time, thereby making tourism an economic activity. Moreover, most governments also continue to invest heavily in tourism to boost their economic growth and to market the richness of their culture and traditions.
Section 4: Conclusion
From the analysis undertaken in the current paper, destination development depends on the changes that take place in the global technological and economic trends. Whenever there is an economic downturn, tourism as a sector of the economy experiences the ripple effect. The rising trends in globalization continue to open up countries that were never accessible to become tourist destination centers. A good example is Africa. World economies continue to grow tremendously as new economic activities arise, including mining, petroleum, agriculture, fishing, and service delivery. All these factors grossly affect tourism that is dependent on growth index of a nation by increasing the per capita income and GDP of a country. In many countries, tourism is a major source of foreign exchange because it acts as an export in a country’s balance of payment. As tourists visit a community, they boost its economy through expenditure on social amenities, infrastructure, services, and goods.
It is also evident from the current research that technological changes contribute to major milestones in tourism destination development. Numerous tourists across the world adopt many technological transformations such as credit cards that have tremendously contributed to the way in which people undertake transactions. With credit cards, money transfer has been eased. Equally, by replacing the traditional methods of money transfer with online money transfer, tourists can save time through faster and efficient transactions. In addition, information technology greatly transforms tourism sector through the evolution of information transfer platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which allows tourists to access information pertinent to their tourist destinations. The integration of technological devices such as video cameras has a major impact on the tourism activities since tourists can record their visits and replay on a later date to bring back the memories of their tourist destinations. These advancements make tourists return to such places; in so doing, they boost tourism activities in such communities.