Strategic Planning for Tourism and Leisure Project Paper
Tourism Industry Current Trends
Clacton-on-Sea in Essex is a tourist region that is currently experiencing difficult times, losing its popularity. To research the ways out of the crisis Clacton-on-Sea is undergoing, it is necessary to start with researching the study of the industry and its pace of current trends in the world as a whole.
First, tourism is considered to be one of the most dynamic industries in the world (Costa 2006). It combines economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. This area of activity has inexhaustible capacity for constant progress. Tourism is working closely with many sectors of economy and industry. It is also a major factor in economic and cultural development, environmental protection and historical – cultural heritage of a region.
Second, according to the forecasts of the WTO, the key factors of tourism will be:
- The improvement of quality of life.
- The scientific and technological progress.
- The increase in duration of free time.
- The state of environment (Kester 2002).
Therefore, the factors are to be considered if there is the need to understand the sequence of future tendencies to restore tourist areas in Great Britain.
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Third, it should be noted that the role of international tourism in the world economy is growing enormously. Thus, the state’s economy is under increasing dependence of regions and subregions of tourism activities. As the industry brings the significant profits, tourism is indeed a prior development route of the national economy and culture of Britain. This has happened as a result of its former dynamic development and high profitability. Moreover, international tourism shows its rapid dynamics.
Fourth, Britain remains the world tourist region that attracts tourists from all over the world, as the rest in the highly developed countries of Europe and North America is quite popular (Durie 2014). It has earned 1, 710 million pounds in February of 2016 due to many tourists’ visits (Office for National Statistics 2016).
It is well ahead of regions, such as Latin America, Africa, Australia and Oceania. The main purpose of tourists’ visiting of the UK is to become familiar with the culture, and its historical and natural attractions. Moreover, the UK ranks eighth in the world in the number of tourists visiting the country due to the enormous historical heritage and development of tourism infrastructure. Due to the unique geography of the area, a large number of tourist attractions and routes in the UK provide an excellent choice of recreation. Despite the decline in some areas, the development of tourism industry continues. The number of tourists is growing. In 1987, there were 1,289 thousand people and in February of 2016 3,040 000 thousand (Office for National Statistics 2016; appendix 1). Therefore, the current trends show the increasing importance of tourism, as one of the most prosperous industries.
Coastal Resorts Development Tendencies
Coastal resorts are among the most visited tourist destinations. Countries that have a coastline welcome millions of tourists. In particular, states that are situated along the Mediterranean, Cyprus, Italy and many others define tourism as the main economic activity. It should be noted that seaside resorts have a very important role in preserving the history, culture and heritage of the whole planet and the UK, in particular. The coastal areas of Great Britain attract tourists with various well-known iconic attractions, such as Blackpool Tower (The Blackpool Tower 2016). Historical places significantly contribute to the preservation of coastal tourism in the country. Every person from Britain has memories of holidays on the coast. These resorts are the integral parts of childhood and family life in the UK (Dickinson 2014).
However, visiting some coastal cities have decreased because of the increased cost of the holiday package. Prices of flights have also increased. These changes affect the tendency for choosing where to go on holiday. Cheap flights make travelling easier and more affordable. It increases the competition between countries and regions. The decline has caused some resorts to go through the negative changes in society, such as increased unemployment, low level of education and low salaries of workers (UK seaside resorts in decline – in pictures 2013).
On the contrary to the described situation, many coastal cities managed to solve the problems that kept arising. Some coastal cities managed to create new attractions for tourists to visit. Financially successful residents were attracted to these new tourist destinations with good conditions for work and residence.
Therefore, to support the economy of these regions, the government should implement certain strategic plans. These projects will improve leisure visitors and attract new tourists.
Benefits of Tourism Strategic Plans and Visitor Planning for Coastal Areas
It is necessary to underline that the only way to develop the areas that are in decline is to provide the successful strategic plan and the consistent planning activities. Strategic plan to solve the problem is a project that provides local governments with a direct opportunity to improve the region through tourism. It provides a clear and effective plan. This plan reflects the aspirations and contributions of tourism to the region. This is done by supporting the investment roadmap. This plan provides the tangible action set corresponding vision of the future development of the resort (Auckland Visitor Plan 2021 2014). It should be added that an effective action plan ratings are based on two main rules. These are economic pillars and place distribution.
Economic pillar means that economic contribution of tourists can be significantly increased over time (Lanza, Markandya, and Pigliaru 2005 ). This growth strategy is a long term one. Management intends to implement this scheme to increase the number of visitors. Moreover, the amount of money customers spend in a given time is also being calculated (Güler and Crowther 2012). An effective strategy involves the creation of thousands of jobs in the region to achieve this goal. It is important to provide the opportunities for employees’ career growth. Moreover, local youth should be fully involved in the economy and management of the region. It is important to emphasize that to reach the improvement, the number of skilled workers has to be increased (4 pillars of Sustainable Tourism 2016).
Place aspiration is the second pillar, which should be taken into account. It ensures the transformation of tourism strategic plan for the region. It is necessary to identify the unique characteristics that have coastal areas (Build on sustainable tourism sector 2016). They may be associated with a unique identity and history of the place. These places allow administrators to involve local people and provide them with job opportunities.
Achieving sustainable results is possible with the effective use of two components. They are the increase in the number of visitors to the region and extending the time of their stay at the resort. One more factor that is also worth considering is to enhance the experience by visitors (City of Sydney 2013).
It is necessary to understand the basis for the foundation of tourist centre. First of all, a tourist centre means the highest spatial unit in which the largest number of tourist attractions, as well as artificial natural resources are concentrated. Therefore, to create the successful resort, it is necessary to create the mentioned resources. It is necessary to meet the need of reinforcing the tourist sites, recreational infrastructure, human potential, cultural and historical heritage, as well as education. In other words, the scope of tourist region functions depends on the type and degree of attractiveness of natural environment, its structure, recreation centres, existing traditions, as well as current economic issues. According to the WTO definition, the tourist district is a lower order spatial unit, which is based on the totality of tourist areas that are interconnected with a common hub of tourism and the necessary basis (Burkardt 2007). In addition, the obligatory condition of efficient tourist centre is the availability of tourist resources. The more of the following components are present, the faster the region will recover; that is nature, social and economic principles, cultural values, traditions, historical and cultural attractions, etc. that meet the travel needs of consumers.
It is also necessary to determine the factors that influence the sphere. Moreover, tourism development in the area and success of the industry depend mainly on the availability of attractive tourism resources, the level of environment’s pollution, development infrastructure and facilities, and high level of service. Moreover, there has to be an effective tourism policy, which should be built on the basis of its specific internal conditions and external factors. It should be seen as an integral part of the overall state policy. The attractiveness of a tourist region is influenced by the presence of tourism resources and the demand for them (Ryan 1991). It is correct to assume that they have been the primary criteria of touristic attraction. It is a tourist region attractiveness that is directly dependent on its tourism potential (Hyde, Ryan, and Woodside 2012). An important role is played by the ability of local governments and private businesses to form the desires of potential customers and the influence on their perception. Most experts in the tourism industry believe that the total number of natural characteristics is the main tourist attraction in the region. It is also necessary to take into account the availability of quality tourism infrastructure or the effective tourism policies.
Thus, attractive tourism region is under the influence of natural and recreational factors, such as:
- Special features of the hydrological regime in the territory.
- The state of natural landscapes.
- Favourable ecological conditions.
- The existence of rare species of flora and fauna.
- Availability of interesting natural sites and monuments.
- Environmental characteristics of landscapes.
- The existence of protected areas.
- Availability of spa resorts and health centres.
- Feature geological and geomorphologic structure of the territory.
- The possibility for hunting and fishing.
- Support of rare biomes and ecosystems (Leisfac 2016; Lohmann, and Beer, 2016).
Thus, the benefits of planning are undeniable. Various factors, such as resources, economic pillars, place aspiration, as well as availability of quality tourism infrastructure contribute to the possibility of resort’s reconstruction and alteration.
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Clacton-On-Sea Visitor’s Plan
When taking into consideration all of the British regions, the area of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex has for a while been very popular. It is necessary to emphasize the large positive socio-economic and cultural influence of tourism on the lives of communities in the region. Nevertheless, the popularity of the resort is drastically declining. However, when taking into consideration the hydrological regime, it is very favourable for the family rest time and, especially, for children (MetOffice 2016).
There are beautiful natural landscapes and favourable ecological conditions, as well as a great possibility to observe the natural sites and monuments. The knowledge of tourism development gives the prerequisites for understanding how to create an appropriate new plan. The history of these sites is quite remarkable. The growth of interest in the aesthetics of the sea, its visual appearance and values was promoted by artists, especially the marine painters. Marine and coastal species were increasingly appearing on the canvases, later in photographs and even on advertising. By the middle of 19th century, admiration for the beauty of marine species was firmly rooted in the wider public consciousness and found its expression in various pieces of art and literary works. Almost to the end of the century, the belief that prevailed was that the most important things in the seaside holiday were the beautiful views, clean air and seawater. In the end of the 19th century, because of the doctrine of improving rest and enjoying the nature, entertainment and pleasure during visitors’ stay at the seaside resorts were added. During this period, the former elite resorts were filled with new holiday-makers, belonging to the middle and lower social strata. Merchants, intellectuals, officials, officers, teachers, and students joined the former aristocratic leisure.
The resorts became the places of public entertainment, and it altered the ways they looked greatly (Walton 2016.; Walton and Browne 2010). It is an interesting fact that spas and wellness centres are other factors that determined the specific motivations of mass travel to the area. In the formation of seaside resorts and beach holidays, there were always two doctrines which fought with the rest: health benefits and enjoyment. First seaside resorts were opened with therapeutic purposes. Doctors recommended regularly taking baths with cold sea water and also drink this water. In 1752 in England, a medical doctor Richard Russell wrote “Treatise on the treatment of seawater in the gland disorders, particularly scurvy, jaundice, scrofula and leprosy,” which encouraged the motivation to visit the coastal settlements (Braun 2013). There was a widely spread belief that swimming is unnatural and even dangerous. Therefore, the resort can be positioned as an aristocratic one if to take into consideration its rich history.
Since the Victorian era, Clacton-on-Sea was well known as a place for fun, leisure, relaxation and entertainment. However, like many other tourist resorts, it has largely been affected by the changes in tourist sphere and the decline in the number of tourists. As a result, some attractions during the heydays have gone; thus, the image of the town has completely altered. To revolve the town’s lost glory and notability, certain steps are to be taken. The steps will help rebuild Clacton on the map of former sights and will make the area more attractive to visit, invest and live in. This is one more reason to create a strategic plan for tourism and leisure in the town.
For the last decade, the revivification of the seaside towns has been happening in the whole UK. The strategic plan begins with a combination of actions to be followed by the policy developers. It shows the possible ways to improve the visitor’s experience and create attractions that can keep the tourists entertained all year round. These features have to become the self-marketing. Moreover, it will be helpful in receiving revenue even without the promotion of local goods, like the Whitstable Oyster or events and festivities, like Brighton. Clacton should learn from the successes and failures of other towns. The managers have to keep in mind that the city is quite different from other tourist attraction sites. The people of Clacton must take the responsibility of reviving their assets, in order to create and provide the image of change they wish to reach. It is necessary for the town to display the heritage of people, create attractive open spaces, great beaches, local enterprises and strong community spirit.
Successful resorts at the seaside in other towns comprise of various building blocks. Clacton is not an exemption but the only problem is that the solutions provided must be unique from other cities and tourist resorts in the country. This proposal seeks to create a unique place that is all about fun, motivation, celebration, activities and shared beliefs of the future of the town that provides opportunities for all people, regardless of age. This means that the proposal will consider including the extended event programs, branding, marketing on fun, local cuisines and reminiscing the memories of Clacton traditional seaside.
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Clacton Current Tourism Situation
Clacton-On-Sea’s seafront is the main tourist attraction in the whole of Tendring District. This region can be enhanced along with investments in the facilities and attractions to the larger rejuvenation of the town and its elevation in the 21st century. The most challenging period for Clacton-on-Sea was during the 1960s when the resorts experienced problems in keeping up with the competition for other seaside British resorts. The desire to reinvent and regenerate Clacton and re-establish the visitors’ experiences has led to the development of a number of strategies to make the town attractive and the seafront more enjoyable for tourists.
Strategies for Redesigning Clacton-on-Sea
Restoring the sceneries that allowed the visitors to enjoy the fun in Clacton is the main strategy for enhancing and promoting the resort’s greatest asset, which is basically the seafront area. This strategy identifies various interventions that can be made, in order to improve the public image of the seafront. This requires the identification of a number of interventions, including the enhancement of the public realm, development of opportunities and marketing advice with an intention of restoring the glory of Clacton. This proposal was prepared by an award-winning designer and architect called Wayne & Geraldine Hemingway MBE in collaboration with Broadways Malyan.
The main objectives of the documents were to create a unique and distinctive destination with Clacton brand, encourage investors to invest in the new developments of the improved seafront. The project would also help create tourism and business opportunities, which can enhance the development of the existing characteristics of town’s cultural heritage and the seafront. In their effort to achieve these developments, the Council has completed the improvement of several sea front projects, while several others are underway or being developed as a part of the regenerate program. The new blueprint seeks to provide an integrative and continuous regeneration program that can incorporate the forthcoming marine defence activities from Clacton to Holland-on-sea frontage in order to provide a channel of exploiting the opportunities, as they arise. These actions are the demonstrations of the commitment of local council in regenerating Clacton seafront, and also providing bidding support for external funding, while attracting the investments in the private sector.
The Clacton tourism sector is worth over £300 million in Tendring. The industry is responsible for more than 6,500 jobs, which is equivalent to 15% of the total employment in the district. Tourism is an essential part of life in the region and an important element in the transformation of life to the better. Clacton makes people proud and this is the reason that the community seeks to transform the means of realizing the profits and generating incomes. The coastline is less than 50 miles from the Heathrow and Stansted airport, which has strong links with other parts of Europe, connecting the visitors to the destination.
This strategic plan is the first section towards implementing a transformative tourism industry in Tendring. It is the result of consultation with major stakeholders, regional experts I tourism, local operators and the members of the society who all make their contributions to the formulation of strategy. The idea of working with the local operators is particularly interesting because it can help in harnessing the power of technology and digital revolution on the natural assets to increase and widen the appeal of the destination to the visitors. With a resourceful coastline of 36 miles and rich entertainment history, award winning restaurants and beautiful countryside, there is a lot more to discover in Tendring.
Transforming Tourism in Clacton
Tourism led rejuvenation can help improve the quality of life of the residents, community and also create more job opportunities for the residents. This strategy is a combination of the key aspects of tourism regeneration strategy that provides a platform for achieving its full potential. Before preparing this strategy, it was necessary to review the existing tourism products in the region and ensure there is an understanding of constraints and opportunities, available for sustainability. The results were obtained by performing a baseline study and through consultations with major tourism providers in the city. The study identified the four main objectives that need to be developed in Clacton.
Core Objectives to Develop
- To increase the amount of money spent by visitors touring the town.
- To increase the amount of money spent in the town by all community members.
- To lengthen the period that the visitors stay in the town.
- To improve the people’s perception about tourism in Clacton.
In order to achieve these objectives, there are five priority areas that need to be focused on, as informed by the stakeholder’s consultation and extensive baseline research.
The priorities come in the following order:
- Intensified marketing, public relations and tourism.
- Development of thematic products.
- Improving visitor’s economy and experiences.
- Facilitating the responsible and sustainable tourism.
- Supporting businesses and community through engagement.
After achieving the four core objectives, Clacton will be able to perform the following:
- Repositioning itself as the travel destination of choice by benefiting particularly from the vast geographical location that is accessible from major airports.
- The town will manage to reduce the effect of seasonality.
- The local economy will grow rapidly, based on the increased number of employment opportunities brought about by increased tourism and business, capitalizing on visitor’s expenditure.
Priority 1: Intensified Marketing, Public Relations and Tourism
In the recent past, there has been an intense shift on the way people spend their holidays and short vacations. The digital era has revolutionized the consumption trend in most industries. With office and home internet, mobile phones and other portable devices that have an access to the internet, prospective consumers can access information at any place, where they can identify, investigate, organize and book their itineraries for their own convenience. Hotels and flights have become easier to book in the digital world, which allows consumers to purchase the products fast and with minimal efforts. The research shows that local businesses, which were able to market their services online and provide an easy way of paying for them have recorded significantly more sales than those who relied on the traditional methods alone.
Looking forward, this strategy will enable the local government to play a major role in helping the local hospitality industry in unlocking their potential in the digital world and promoting their occasions, events and festivals. It will also help in communicating and advertising about consistent high quality marketing message about the destination. In addition, the local government would also seek to deliver effective public statement of the new products to the market.
Upon effective implementation of these plans, the following will have changed in the Clacton tourist market:
- There will be a fully integrated tourism portal that provides all the information about the region in one place.
- There will be an integrated marketing campaign, developed by various partners for the most effective market penetration.
- There will be a developed tourist information centre in Clacton.
- The electronic publication of short breaks will be developed to promote the theme.
Priority 2: Development of Thematic Products
Through grouping tourism products and experiences into a single themed product, based on the particular strength of the area, value addition is possible, in order to increase the appeal of the visitors. Themed tourism products can also be shaped to target the visitors with higher spending capacity, thus creating a totally new business opportunity through extending the most dominant stay market and offering all year experiences. Similar watersports will be grouped together in a range of country to pursuit under one banner. Themed products will include those with similar history and heritage, family fun, food and drinks, folklore, myths nature and countryside.
By the end of this campaign, there will be various places that will be changed greatly. For example, the Crag Walk project, which was highly funded in the initial stages, will be able to access continental funding for its efforts to educate people on environmental conservation. The Martello Bay watersports training facilities will be the catalyst of watersport capital in the region. The Clacton and Walton Piers will have undergone the extensive refurbishment to an extent of offering all-year evening entertainment.
Successful implementation of the project will be known through:
- Visitors being able to stay longer and spend more money in the renewed resorts.
- The thematic approach will have reduced seasonality and ensure that tourists visit all year round.
- There would be an increase in the number of foreign visitors.
Priority 3: Improving Visitor’s Economy and Experiences
In order to make the Tendring district and Clacton town the destination of choice for discerning visitors, there is a need to ensure that these tourist brands stand out of the other existing ones. This means that new and existing products should be developed alongside the new experiences of appealing to new visitors. There will also be an easier access to information about the services that were offered before, during and after the stay.
The following changes will be made when implementing the tourist strategic plan. There will be new marinas and new heritage attractions developed in Harwich and Clacton. There will be new leisure facilities and tourist attractions, restaurants, small retail units, cafes, and visitor facilities, along the seafront of Clacton.
Successful implementation of the plan will be identified through:
- Having new products that attract new visitors to the area.
- The reputation of the area will have improved significantly.
- There will be a customer service champion accreditation scheme.
- More quality hotels with more occupancy levels.
- There will also be significant investment in infrastructure in the town centre due to the increased number of visitors who are willing to spend money.
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Priority 4: Facilitating Responsible and Sustainable Tourism
Although the 36 miles coastline of Tendring has become fragile through increased flooding and erosion, there are still some wonderful opportunities that the can be developed alongside the shore, like cycling, walking, sailing, surfing, seal and bird watching. Other opportunities available include: green and eco-tourism, alternative energy and business.
In order to achieve this objective, there is a number of changes that are expected by the end of the plan implementation period. A joint partnership will be enforced with the natural environment agencies of England for eco-visit boat trips. Tourism partnership will be established among various stakeholders in order to undertake business opportunities, as they arise. The shop-local cards will also be expected to have extended its usage, extending the amount money and time spent on their visit.
Success in this sector will be achieved through having more visitors arriving and staying longer in the hotels. There should be an increased number of visitors with special needs. There is also expectation that there will be more tourists walking, riding, sunbathing, surfing and boat racing along the beach.