Strategic planning should be focus for tourism

TOURISM destinations on the Coffs Coast would benefit from a more co-ordinated approach to tourism planning, new research has shown.

A report from the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) found that the tourism industry has a focus on marketing rather than strategic planning.

The report found that this type of focus could be adversely affecting the industry, since local, state and federal governments have their own tourism strategies that may not align with one another.

STCRC chief executive officer Ian Kean said strategic planning for tourism needs to be addressed.

“There is a lack of a co-ordinated planning approach to the supply of visitor services and experiences,” Mr Kean said.

“The predominance of marketing organisations in tourism planning and a lack of involvement from organisations with a responsibility for addressing product supply issues, highlights a structural weakness within current tourism planning processes.”

Coffs Coast Marketing manager Rob Cleary said the report supports strategies that are already under way in the region.

“The Coffs Coast Tourism Strategy is based on the philosophy of destination management, with a focus on looking at product supply rather than promotion in isolation,” Mr Cleary said.

He said the recently signed memorandum of understanding between Coffs Harbour City and Bellingen Shire Councils means the two bodies are working collaboratively to develop a strategic focus for the local tourism industry.

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