INTEGRATED TOURISM PLANNING
The nature and scope of tourism planning continues to be contentious and somewhat nebulous,
because most government officials and tourism industry practitioners harbour their own definitions and
parameters of the task. By its very nature planning is multidimensional and is purposely i.ntegrative.
This being so, the narrow definitions and perspectives of special interest groups, particular disciplines
and professions, and each of the various contributory industries and activities are likely to miss the
opportunities which are inherent in planning. ..
In the special case of tourism, this is particularly evident as business leaders interpret tourismwithin
the scope of their industry, as government officials interpret tourism according to theirdepartmen
responsibilities, and as various interest groups pursue an interpretation which serves their
particular purposes. Seldom are the interests of tourism per se revealed, that is tourism in its most
expansive form incorporating social, cultural, environmental, economic, technological, trade, psycholo-gical,
political and many other dimensions. Clearly, it is extremely difficult for any consideration of
tourism to be encyclopaedic; however, that is not really the challenge -the challenge is for the relevant
dimensions in any case or circumstance to be considered in an integrated fashion.
There is general concurrence that the pursuit of planning is seldom as successful as its most
ardent advocates would like. Perhaps this is not surprising given the complexity of the many decisions
of individuals, corporations, businesses and governments. As skills in planning have increased, it has
become commonplace that planning should be continuous, flexible, reflective of changing ~ocio-cultural
aspirations, and responsible to new opportunities.
Thus, planning has become increasingly strategic. In addition, it has become increasinglyintegrated
The reasons for this second emphasis have included recognition of the need to:
different sets of values
respond to different sets of objectives
be responsive to demands of interconnectedness and pluralism
incorporate tactics to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty, and complexity.
Even in the less complex circumstances of island countries at the early phase of tourismdevelopm
it will be necessary for those charged with the responsibility to oversee or administertourism
planning in the public interest to be cognisant of the two special dimensions -strategic planning
and integrated planning.
approach to tourism planning should recognise that:
tourism is of world-wide significance,
planning can be used to avert the negative consequences of tourism
tourism can be symbiotic with conservation
planning is multi-dimensional
planning is pluralist, serving many constituencies and stakeholders
planning is political.
In addition, the three crucial underpinnings of contemporary tourism planning should be that
tourism must be strategic, integrative, and have a regional perspective.
1. Need for integrated tourism planning
Although there is evidence that some tourism destinations have developed without conscious,
strategic and integrated planning, many of them have experienced unforeseen consequences which have
led to their deterioration.
Many reasons are offered for tourism planning, not least the advocacy that planning is the best
way of extending the vital life-cycle of a destination by providing a means of anticipating changes,
adjusting to the demands of change, and exploring new opportunities.
Some of the likely consequences of the lack of commitment to integrated tourism planning
damage or permanent alteration of the physical environment. .
damage or permanent alteration of historical/cultural landmarks and resources
overcrowding and congestion
poor or deteriorating quality of facilities and services.
less accessibility to services and tourist attractions for local residents resulting in local
dislike of tourists on the part of local residents
loss of cultural identities
lack of education of tourism employees in skills and hospitality
lack of awareness of the benefits of tourism to the destination area.
failure to capitalise on new marketing opportunities
erosion of market shares due to the actions of competitive destination areas
lack of sufficient awareness in prime markets
lack of a clear image of destination area in potential markets
lack of cooperative advertising among individual operators
inadequate advantage taken of packaging opportunities
lack of sufficient attractions and events.
a fragmented approach to the marketing and development of tourism, often involving
lack of cooperation among individual operators
inadequate representation of the tourism industries' interests
lack of support from local public authoritiesfailure
to act upon important issues, problems, and opportunities of common interest tothe
poor or inadequate travel information services.
Few, if any, of these potential negative impacts are problems intrinsic in the nature of tourism.
Most are directly attributable to a deficiency in the substance and implementation of tourism planning.
It may be claimed that strategic and integrated tourism planning has five purposes:
identify alternative approaches to
services and activities
adapt to the unexpected in
general economic conditions
energy supply and demand situation
values and life-styles
fortunes of individual industries
the external environment
to maintain uniqueness in
features and resources
local cultural and social fabric
historical monuments and landmarks
local events and activities
parks and outdoor sports areasother
features of the destination area
high levels of awareness of benefits of tourism
clear and positive images of the area as a tourism destination
effective industry organisation
high levels of cooperation among individual operators
effective marketing, signage, and travel information programs
friction and unnecessary competition among individual tourism operators
hostile and unfriendly attitudes of local residents towards tourists
damage or undesirable, permanent alteration of natural features and historical resources
loss of cultural identities
loss of market share
termination of unique local events and activities
overcrowding, congestion, and traffic problems
Tourism activity is becoming more competitive, more extensive, more complicated, and more
demanding of host communities and their culture and environment. In order for the tourism
enterprise in any destination area to respond positively to these challenges, it is necessary for
tourism planning to be practised in a fashion commensurate with the needs of the destination area
and the nation.
Integrating tourism planning into official planning -whether economic, social, welfare,environm
infrastructure, or cultural -has been slow, and remains unusual. The ideal model would
be a national/regional/local comprehensive planning system into which tourism is an integral component.
This model is rare, which is not surprising, as the various component strategies within tourism are
seldom integrated. The important aims at two levels are
the various interests, requirements and needs to be fused together into a composite,
integrated strategic tourism plan
for tourism to be planned with the intention of being fused into the social and economic life
of a region and its communities.
Tourism planning has been beset by a number of new challenges.
Among these new challenges are:
a response to the threat of environmental deterioration
a recognition that tourism can be synergised with protected areas
the principles of sustainable development
the threats of carrying capacity violations
designing to be "place-specific" and "Place-appropriate"
special interest tourism
conservation and resource protection
overcoming the exclusivity of economic development as the only goal
inclination towards quality, away from quantity
public sector and private sector co-operation
a response to "parachute tourism" -the resort enclave
demand for adequate data with which to make decisions
creativity and innovation
land use stewardship.
The danger could be that tourism will become over-planned.the Rather than act as a constraint,
new approaches to tourism planning should:
accommodate spontaneous development
new planning concepts and processes.
Planning policies, concepts and processes should be seen to be merely tools and not ends.
Means of achieving integrated tourism planning
Experience with tourism planning reveals that it operates at three levels:
There can be little argument that there should be integration within each of the levels and
across the three levels, so as to achieve balance, aesthetic harmony, cooperation, confidence (forinvestme
efficiency, identity, and sensitivity.
These aspirations of integration can be achieved through preparation of a tourism policy, andthrough
the preparation of a master plan for tourism following a systematic process.
a. Tourism policy
To guide a government's programme of action, and to provide a frame of reference for thetourism
industry's actions, it is essential that a distinctive tourism policy is deve10ped. Such a policyshould:
provide a set of guidelines for the actions of
-private sector organisations, corporations, businesses
specify the broad objectives to be achieved
specify programme actions
nominate responsibilities for implementation.
Various policy formulation models are readily available in the basic literature on tourism planning
and in case studies of practice by agencies at different levels of government.
The broad objectives present the first opportunity for integration within tourism and with the
linkages across to other responsibilities of the government. It is crucial that tourism objectives not be
set in isolation, and that they should be consistent with other, related arenas of government action andresponsib
The tourism objectives should be set in the context of (and contribute positively to the
achievement of) the broad economic, social, cultural and environmental objectives of the nation/region/locality.
Each objective should be tested for its general applicability and contribution to broad objectives
environmental and resources conservation
In a commitment to the achievement of a satisfactory tourism policy it is common for sets of
objectives to focus on the following issues:
-To optimise the contribution of tourism and recreation to economic prosperity, full
employment, regional economic development, and improved international balance of
To contribute to the personal growth and education of the population and encourage
their appreciation of the local geography, history, and ethnic diversity.
To avoid encouraging activities that have the potential to undermine or denigrate the
social and cultural values and resources of the area and its traditions and lifestyles.
-To encourage the free entry of foreign visitors, while balancing this goal with the
need to monitor persons and goods entering the country with laws protecting public
Resource Protection and Conservation
To protect and preserve the historical and cultural foundations as a living part of
community life and development and to ensure future generations an opportunity to
enjoy the rich heritage of the area.
To ensure the compatibility of tourism, recreational, and activity policies with other
broader interests in energy development and conservation, environmental protection,
and judicious use of natural resources.
Human Resource Development
-To ensure that tourism has an adequate supply of professionally-trained skilled and
managerial staff to meet its future needs.
-To ensure that the education and training programmes and materials are available to
meet the needs of tourism.
To coordinate government activities related to tourism
To take a leadership role
To support the needs of tourists, residents and tourism businesses with appropriate
legislation and administration.
It is likely that as the statements of objectives become refined and interpreted for implementa-
tion, some will be found to be in conflict, not only within the domain of tourism, but also in the linkages
across broad social, cultural and other objectives. For example, the facilitation of casino development
may be consistent with an economic objective, but may be in conflict with a socio-cultural objective
which intends to safeguard the local community.
Most Pacific Island countries will have developed their own style of policy-making. It is
important that the policy for tourism be consistent in its general aim and orientation and be readily
integrated with other policy areas. Lateral (with other policy areas) and vertical (internal) linkages must
A policy process progresses to strategies, plans, programmes, legislation and regulations. It is
important that each stage at whatever level (national/regional/local) be carefully integrated laterally and
b. Tourism planning process
The basic tasks of planning are
.to set goals and objectives
.to analyse the past and the present
.to prepare for the future
.to select the best course of action.
The complexity of tourism activity decision-making in general and the interconnectedness oftourism
with other areas of policy and planning have rendered obsolete the traditional mechanistic, finite
plan style. Such a style was usually very ambitious, inflexible, and target-driven. A companion style
rests on the adoption of performance standards, whereby, after determining the likely amenities/facilities
and services needed for a projected future level of visitors, the performance standards are applied to
reveal the necessary level of accommodation and other services.
A collaborative, integrated process style, combining elements of the corporate management
process used in business and the systems process often adopted by government agencies, may be
used. Such a process usually consists of seven phases: (See figure 1.)
determination of objectives(iii)
(iv) analysis and synthesis
(v) formulation of policies and plans
(vi) preparation of the final, preferred plan
(vii) determination of means of implementation and means of monitoring.
A brief description is given here of these seven principal steps.
realisation of the need for planning and for the systematic preparation of a tourism plan
preliminary interpretation of:
-current tourism circumstances-pending
-latent tourism opportunities-potential
problems for and because of tourismdecision
to undertake systematic assessment
preparation of terms of reference
specification of the problem to be addressed
specification of preferred end-product (e.g. set of guidelines, comprehensive tourism plan, or
Determination of objectives
(the objectives expressed early in the study process will be provisional, and may be modified as
experience and information is gained)
general government objectives
consultation process (mainly involving government and tourism industry)
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usually referencing such matters as:-principal
targets to be achieved-principal
safeguards (especially culture, community and environment) to be imposed-principal
opportunities to be seized
objectives set in two categories:
-those which are essential (quantities of visitors, protection of environment, or limits to
-those which are discretionary.
each study will determine its own spectrum of surveys
surveys will cover such matters as
-existing tourist profiles
-assessment of tourism features
-assessment of complementary features
-assessment of investment sources and capability (including entrepreneurship and local
-assessment of government structures and organisations, and their involvement in
activities which interact with tourism.
market assessment of demand, supply and feasibility of matching demand and supply
integrated analysis of environmental, social and economic factors, to reveal
problems to be addressed
needs for tourism
interpretation of potential environmental, social and economic impact, and the determination
of management strategies to overcome any potentially detrimental impact
assessment of the impact of prevailing government policies and organisations and industry
bodies on the achievement of the set objectives -including assessment of the suitability of
existing tourism organisations, legislation and regulations.
Formulation of policies and plans
of a series of integrating policies concerned with-economic
cross-referencing with preliminary objectives -perhaps necessitating review and revision in
the light of further experience
preparation of integrated development options (not a single plan, but a number of alterna-
tives which may be tested against the reformulated objectives).
Preparation of final plan
this may be either of the previously considered options, or a new hybrid with a mix of the
best compatible features from these options
finalisation of the plan in respect of:
tourism development regions/zones
investment levels and sources
environmental and cultural conservationorganisation
Means of implementation and monitoring
of an agency or agencies with the responsibility to ensure the finalised plan is
implemented and monitored,
preparation of a schedule of tasks to be completed within prescribed time frames and periodfor
review and revision
of an agency or agencies for on-going supervision to ensure the plan remains
relevant and feasible
The accurate and precise definition of the terms of reference is crucial, because it will set the
parameters of the study. As the preparation of the plan will contribute to the general economic strategy
of most island countries, it is important that the terms of reference are prepared at a senior level of
government, with cabinet endorsement.
Recent plans prepared by TCSP have followed a successful formula in which the framework has
a general term of reference which links the tourism strategy to the government's general
economic development strategy
specific terms of reference which include:
linkage of new plans with any existing- strategy (to provide continuity)
of the services tourism resources, including
inventory transport country's and infrastructure systems existing attractions, plannedfacilities,
analysis of international, regional and domestic tourist markets
preparation of a nation-wide tourism plan within which tourism areas or zones are
designated, tourism activity types and levels of development for each area or zone will
be determined, local detailed plans are prepared, and development will be set in
designated time periods
preparation of an economic analysis of the present and projected levels -sl tourism,
especially in terms of GNP, foreign exchange earnings (and possible leakages), and
employment and an indication of how economic benefits may be optimised
estimate of investment requirements and potential sources of investment
preparation of an assessment of socio-cultural impact and the need for local awareness
preparation of an environmental impact assessment, especially recommending measures
to mitigate any potentially serious detrimental impact
assessment of human resources needs and training programmes
assessment of the relative participation and contribution of the government agenciesand
private sector businesses and agencies in the implementation of the plan
assessment of the traditional land tenure patterns, and recommendations on means to
bring benefits of tourism development to indigenous land owners
assessment of the efficiency of the data collection and compilation systems and of
marketing and promotion.
It may be considered appropriate to include the requirement of sets of guidelines or models for
tourism facility design, financing and operation.
One of the early stages of assessment will be of the resources available to conduct the requiredstudy.
The nature of the task, the sources of sponsorship and level of funding, the timescale allowed
for the study, and the availability of the necessary skills will influence the composition of the study team.
Study teams could include:
chief technical advisor/team leader
economic and financial analysis
marketing and promotion
human resources development and training
transportation and infrastructure planning
statistics and forecasting
Some team members may cover more than one area of specialisation. In addition, particular
specialists may be co-opted for short periods to cope with such matters as architecture, resort design,
land tenure and land strategy.
The nature of the task is such that, in order for the plan to be produced in a suitable timeframe,
it will be necessary to select a specialist team rather than attempt to complete the task "in house" -unless,
of course, the government has an extensive and suitably qualified staff. This latter case will be
rare; it will be more usual for a special team to be established for the duration of the study so that thework
can proceed without distraction and interruption from routine business.
There are planning manuals which provide descriptions of complex tourism planning processes,
especially providing systems linkages to/from other policy areas.
3. Master plan for tourism
There is no single model of a master plan for tourism.style, exists for content,
approach and emphasis.
a. Alternative emphases
A master plan is the principal instrument of planning for tourism.comprehensive plan may be
and wide-ranging, or it may focus on one or a combination of:
promotion and marketing
conservation (of environment or heritage resources)
human resources development.
On a temporal scale, the master plan may focus on a short-term time scale (of five years,
perhaps to coincide with the cycles of the national economic strategy), or it may focus on an
indeterminate scale with indications of preferred end-states or achievements, not associated with
particular time periods.
differences of emphasis may be on:
attitudes to spontaneous development (strict or flexible planning)
degree of incentives and technical assistance
apportionment of benefits
integration with tourism-related activities
certainty of site prescription
regulation and strategy support.
An important element in any tourism plan is the degree to which it is integrated with the nation-
wide or region-wide economic, welfare and physical development plan.
Master plans for tourism prepared in recent years, and those to be prepared, can be expected
to include specific references to:
heritage (built environment) conservation
cultural heritage conservation
special interest tourism (to maxi mise the advantage of the "unique selling point" or USP)
human resources development.
Plans excluding such matters may be considered to be incomplete.
The content of these guidelines is indicative of the nature and scope of the content of any
master plan for tourism
It may be that for any particular island nation, the plan could adopt a particular focus, perhapsfor
only one of the review phases. However, a generalised prospectus of contents would include:
the institutional or organisational framework, setting out:
-the principal organisations
-the principal responsibilities
-the legislative framework
-the roles and functions of the private and public sectors
principal plan elements, such as:-infrastructure-facilities
development implications -economic, environmental, and socio-cultural
the principal means of securing implementation, including:
-financing and investment
-tourism information systems
-tourism awareness programmes
-human resources development.
The plan of any island nation may refer to regional cooperation in the various aspects of tourismplanning
and development, and the contribution which can be made to the regional circumstances.
In some cases, the emphasis of the plan may direct the considerations away from the physicaldimension
of the tourism development. This would be unfortunate, because no matter what form the
development takes, the tourism experience of the visitor will take place in a region, in a destination, at asite.
Therefore, it is important that these particular aspects of tourism planning are given due attention.
Form and structure
Tourism planning may focus on the nation, the region, a destination, or a site. Integration of all
these will achieve the most satisfactory outcome. In the context of physical development, tourism
planning at the three lower levels can be conducted with attention to spatial form and structure. For
island countries composed of many islands, these levels may not be too useful. However, the principles
of form and structure are generally applicable, and they are considered here.
Regional scale. Often, the basic approach is to attract a new hotel or resort development and
then expect that a comprehensive regional tourism zone will ensue. Planning for tourism at the regional
amenable to integrated planning
aimed at achieving a harmonious balance of facilities, services, infrastructure and tourism
able to facilitate companion sectoral plans at the regional scale, such as regional transpor-
In the establishment of defined "tourism destination zones", it becomes possible for investment
and development to proceed with confidence. Such zones will be the physical framework or unit within
which tourism facilities, services, resorts, attractions and urban centres will be concentrated. If there are
to be zones of increased levels of visitation, these will attract expanded capacity of existing plant (such
as hotels) and increased numbers of establishments, which will be dependent upon the presence of:
abundant natural and cultural resources
usable service communities
ease of access and circulation
good image and reputation
suitable government planning controls
available human resources
Regional studies which precede the plans are characterised by:
extensive resource inventories
projections of demand
assessments of economic cost-benefit
consideration of critical issues, deficiencies and opportunities
Among the principal issues at this level are:
identification of potential
promotion, and image-building
These various operational issues are linked to the principal determinants of regional form andstructure.
Experimentation is ongoing, but there are some constant principles. The basic options
using existing developments as magnets and regional control factors
creating new developments
creating a hierarchical network of tourism destinations
devising a balanced strategy
developing a region-wide strategy, eliminating those areas/islands which have scarce tourism
devising a destination-focused strategy
devising a tour or circuit strategy (linking destinations, or islands)
developing a strategy of complementary tourism destinations, with each destination
specialising in focus or market segment.
The basic form and structure patterns include:
concentration of tourism development and corridors linking these
tourism destination areas
"base camps" on the threshold of a tourism region
gateways or points of entry into the destination areas
non-tourism areas which may be expanses of ocean.
Variants on this basic spatial formula exist in tourism planning literature and in many case
studies world-wide. The dilemma for the Pacific region is to re-interpret the land-based concepts of
regional form and structure to what is basically a water-based region, with non-continuous transportcorridors.
The translation from a land-based to a water-based arena of operation has not been
demonstrated well so far.
Destination scale. This is an important tourism planning scale. The destination area contains
the critical mass of resources, facilities and amenities which contribute to the satisfaction of tourists.
basic elements of a tourism destination area or zone are:
one or more communities to supply the utilities, services and facilities
one or more attraction complexes
transportation linkages to and between the communities and the at,tr,actions
an entrance or "gateway" at the destination
a non-tourism area.
It is an important principle in the planning and design of tourism destination that they; be
distinctive places, with unique internal relationships between the various parts (both other places and the
various facilities and services).
The destination is what attracts the tourist. To be successful, the tourism destination should be
planned so as to maximise
the locational advantage
the product advantage (in comparison with competitor destinations)
the advantage of proximate cultural resources and natural resources
hospitable host attitudes.
There is not one successful formula for destination tourism, although there is increasing
evidence that clustered tourism development at definite destination locations provides a high probability
of success at the destination and conservation of the surrounding area.
As with the regional scale, form and structure, concepts of: concentration, linking communicationnetworks,
clustered services, and clustered attractions are sufficiently flexible to facilitate manipulationfrom
land-based to water-based situations. A critical organisational tool is that of the critical mass.
There are some peculiarities at this level which may influence the systems-driven form and
structure concepts. These peculiarities include:
transport linkage between the points need to be scenically attractive or interesting
ambiguity (or, worse, monotony) is possible in the basic tourism development
the transport corridor linkages need to be secure and consistent
the historic resources may not be concentrated; a strategy of interpretative linkage becomes
the cultural resources will need protection.
Among the planning and design principles appropriate to the destination scale are:
destination should be integrated into a region-wide strategy
destinations should attract (or create) a distinctive image
successful destination planning will involve
progressive accumulation of the critical mass of attractions, services,amenities,
and transport linkages -all within carrying capacity limits.
Site scale. This scale of tourism planning provides a particular challenge, because this is the
scale at which a single, functionally or aesthetically unviable form of development can seriously disrupt
the image of a tourism destination. If the tourism business on any site fails, it becomes a monument
to bad decision-making that may affect an entire destination by association. The independentattraction
facility or service may be operated by an individual or family, a private company, a
At this level "place" takes on a particular important meaning. This is not only the contribution
each place makes to the entire destination, but also as a geographical reference point and landmark.
Place has meaning as:
site of conservation or developmenta
an urban fabric artefacta
contribution to a spatial system
evidence of wealtha
site of historical associationan
item of urban aesthetics.
There is increasing evidence of a transition from a traditional, conformist, conservative design
ethic at site level towards a new paradigm of creativity, site sensitivity and individuality, andsustaina
This new paradigm is being subjected to public scrutiny as the organs of decision-making
subject plan designs at the site level to public adjudication. Although this is not happening everywhere,
it is a design-influencing process which is provoking greater awareness of and compliance with good
principles of design such as:
integration with adjoining sites and with the wider district
commu n icabil ity /inte rpretation
feasibility (financial, environmental, and social).
It is at the site scale that regional and destination tourism planning yield concrete outcomes, and
it is at this level that the projections and predictions of demand for facilities, services and experiences
are materialised. Therefore, special understanding of the site characteristics, their potential andconstrain
and the contribution of the site to the wider destination area becomes crucial. It is also
critical that the planning, management and monitoring processes be efficient at this scale. So as to
avert the repetition of inappropriate design and development, post-development evaluation should
become an integral part of the planning process, especially to determine the validity of the pre-
development design decisions.
Land use strategy
In order to implement the tourism development proposals examined at the various levels
(national, regional, destinational, and site), it is necessary to provide a suitable context. This is the land
use strategy. An important element is the conduct of land use (town) planning. There are basically four
different approaches to land use (town) planning:
Blueprint planning is based upon the expectation that the full plan as prepared will be
implemented exactly and in its entirety. Such an expectation is unrealistic, because no plan ever starts
with complete information and functions within a completely controlled operational environment. Such a
plan type is too inflexible.
Regulatory planning is that approach which relies upon the application of development perform-
ance standards, with the possibility of all development eventually conforming to previously-set model
codes and standards. While easy to implement, the built environment may become monotonous and
repetitive. Even so, some form of regulatory planning is inevitable.
Market-driven planning is best suited to individual projects, rather than to planning strategies forentire
communities or regions.
The systems-driven approach to planning is becoming more common, especially as planningfunctions
are needed to address increasingly complex situations involving threats to the environment andas
development is becoming increasingly scrutinised in accordance with ecologically sustainable principles.This
approach provides for review, monitoring and adjustment as circumstances in the plan change.
The most likely land use planning system will be one which combines the compatible elements
of the systems-driven methodology and the regulatory approach to planning.
a. Basic elements of land use planning control
In many cases the system of land use (town) planning control is derived from standard
European codes of planning practice, modified to meet the needs of national governments and
administrative systems. The usual case where a land use planning control system is in force is for the
planning system to be backed by appropriate legislation which provides for: control over land use anddevelopme
specified administrative procedures, and necessary infrastructure development.
It may be that the preparation of a land use strategy with accompanying regulations is optional
in a particular Pacific island situation; another case may be where the preparation is a government
responsibility with local communities delegated the responsibility of overseeing implementation.
As far as tourism development is concerned, the most important issues in land use planning and
development will include:
location of tourism uses
accessibility to and travel within tourism districts/zones
quality of the built environment
landscaping of tourism developments
precinctisation -especially if certain hotels and retail stores are assumed to be targeting
particular visitor groups
free-standing major developments
tourism attractions in rural environments
location of the major transport interchanges such as airports, and bus/coach terminals;
impact of tourism development on local architectural styles and areas of heritage importance.
achieve a good standard of land use development, the planning system will attempt to:
relate infrastructure requirements to needs
define the responsibility for necessary works
apportion costs of those works
pursue consistency, fairness, and propriety
secure optimal advantage for all parties' .
implement appropriate concepts and ideas
achieve acceptable, conventional standards of aesthetics, health, convenience and diversity
(of interest, experience, and culture)
promote development where and when appropriate
provide prior knowledge of the requirements of development to the developer (in the form of
prevent prejudicial development (by type, location, timing, or quality)
retain control in the public domain
reflect changing acceptable standards and fashions
Although it may be claimed that the best plans and developments have been the outcome of
deliberate planning using a systematic planning and decision making process, there are examples of
successful plans and developments which have not emerged from the application of a systematicprocess.
Such development may be considered to have been fortuitous or fragile, or both. In any
case, the pursuit of a systematic process should offer the best chance of successful and harmonious
b. Statutory land use planning tools
The peculiarities of tourism, and the difficulties which are presented in incorporating this land use
in a statutory planning framework are evident in the varieties of approach to and content of tourism issues
in land use planning schemes. The principal differences are geographical, temporal, and administ~ative.
In the section on the Master Plan for Tourism, there is a discussion of the basic elements of
geographical or spatial planning; they are not repeated here. This section will consider the various
administrative elements of land use planning for tourism. In some cases, the discussion may be too
detailed for the planning circumstances encountered in some Pacific island countries. However, the
general discussion highlights those matters which are relevant to the circumstances where tourism
development will become or is becoming a vital element in the overall land use strategy. Among the
important issues are:
definition of tourism land usesthe
categorisation of those uses into land use zones
the prescription of performance standards to guide development
the determination of land use strategic issues, including setting objectives
companion statutory requirements.
The definition of tourism land uses is problematical, because many such uses are for both
tourists and residents -such as shopping centres and restaurants -while others are for tourism
purposes -such as beaches. It is the multiple-use nature of so many of the facilities which
pose problems for definition, especially for the inclusion in a plan, and for inclusion in particularzones.
In many cases, special zone types have been created for tourism land uses.
The matter of performance standards is difficult in the context of land use planning. In general,
with non-tourism-specific development, the prescribed performance standards will refer to such matters
as parking standards, site development dimensions and rations, and landscaping requirements.
However, it may be that special performance standards should be set to differentiate tourist-type land
uses, although the differences in areas of accommodation, shopping, entertainment, and recreation may
be difficult to justify, especially if the same facilities and land spaces are used by both tourists and local
The most common elements which are prescribed by performance standards are sitedevelopmen
environmental conditions, services and infrastructure.
Site development standards refer to the site and/or building dimensions,. site coverage (as a
percentage of the total developable site), and dimensions. These standards are set so as to effect
some measure of control over density of use on the site, the demand for infrastructure services, the
bulk of buildings, and the provision of access to the site and circulation within it. Creative design can
achieve a flexible use of the available site so that the necessary development (such as a required
number of hotel rooms) is achieved within a design which has an attractive setting with ancillaryfacilities.
Controls of environmental conditions refer to heights of buildings, landscape requirements, and
response to environmental sensitivity. These controls are necessary to limit noise, atmospheric pollution
and visual pollution. Creative design can achieve privacy, exposure, and environmental sensitivity. In
the current climate of concern with sustainable development, most major developments will be approved
subject to the outcome of an environmental impact assessment.
The planning controls in the category of services and infrastructure refer to such matters as the
establishment of the necessary infrastructure capacity (road systems, water reticulation systems,
stormwater drainage systems, and waste disposal systems) as part of the planning approval process.
It is common for these matters to take one of two forms. Either the proposed development is
required to assume responsibility for any necessary road works, and installation of new or modification
of existing utility infrastructure systems (water, drainage, and electricity); or the government will require a
contribution from the development calculated on the basis of the necessary work being undertaken by or
on behalf of the government.
For major developments, the tourism developer may be required to provide or contribute a
proportion to the costs of installing a range of community facilities, such as open space, footpath
systems, parking, street and road maintenance, and security in those areas where the tourism
development would generate increased usage of existing facilities, or would be likely to create a
heightened demand for those facilities and amenities.
There are two problems. Firstly, if the tourism development embodies facilities and amenities
which will be available to the local community, might there not be a double penalty payment if the
developer is required also to make a money payment or undertake prescribed public works to meet
the needs of the community? Secondly, as the tourism development is likely to be contributing to the
local community by creating jobs, paying local rates and taxes, and contributing to the image of the
district, is it not already paying its way in the community? There are strong arguments put by both
developers and governments on such matters, and many cases of dispute have to be resolved in
The matter of land use strategy preparation insofar as it involves tourism development has been
described in the sections on Master Plan for Tourism and Planning Process.
In order for tourism development to be integrated with other forms of development in a
comprehensive land use strategy, often prospective and actual tourism activity is required to take notice
of what may be described as companion legislation. Thus, tourism development is confronted with a
range of legislation and derived regulations concerned with:
.macro-economic policy, including foreign investment
.land leasing and occupation
.management of marine habitats
.harbour controls and coast issues
.marine park and offshore conservation
.national parks and protected areas
.operation of casinos and amusement parks
.general legislation affecting agriculture and forested areas (especially if they form part of the
In addition, some Pacific island countries have adopted the practice of countries around the
Pacific Rim and have created legislative provisions for special types of integrate.d resorts, golf courses,
and theme parks or have made arrangements administratively for some forms of tourism developme'nt to
receive dispensation from usual town planning controls.
These various issues render the preparation and eventual implementation of a land use strategy
involving tourism a complex administrative task. However, if tourism development is to be integrated
harmoniously into the general land use strategy, such issues have to be addressed.
5. Implementation of the master plan
There is an inherent danger in separating the step of creating the master plan for tourism from
the step of implementation. It is preferable to consider the planning process as a continuum, integrating
the steps of plan creation with its implementation.
The stage of implementation will include:
.preparing and putting into practice such guidelines. regulations and policies as are
necessary to bring the plan to fruition
.undertaking development in accordance with the plan
.supervising that development
.preparing the community for the impact of tourism development
.preparing and providing training facilities for those intending to work in the tourism/travel/
.collecting information so as to monitor the progress of the plan as it is put into practice
.undertaking the tasks of marketing and promotion to ensure that the tourism destination is
known and appreciated for what it has to offer.
Even within a set of "implementation" activities, there will be cross-referencing as new circum-
A master plan for tourism is a tool for the guidance of development. if anything, will
a suitable legislative and administrative structure
suitable sources of finance
suitable entrepreneurial interest
evidence of demand for the tourism product at the destination
certainty of access by visitors.
In addition, a tourism plan at any level, and especially at national and regional levels, will need
disaggregation so that the various resource needs -land/water, labour and capital -are seen in their
spatial, temporal, financial, infrastructural, and social inter-relationships. An additional consideration is
the likely impact of forces external to the destination area, and especially the impact of the decisions of
the international airlines which service the region, and the international tour operators who facilitate the
arrival of tourists.
Principles for integrated tourism planning
Integrated tourism planning is an exercise in good management. To be effective and contribute
to the overall management of a nation's welfare, tourism development should:
conform to a special-purpose master plan
be coordinated with other activity and policy areas
be supported and promoted by the government
be considered as a good risk for investment
be conducted by a well-informed and well-trained tourism industry.
It is important that tourism does not become isolated, and that it is not considered in a vacuum.
Even if tourism activity is or may become the dominant economic sector, it will still need to be
interpreted and operated within a broader context of the national welfare. In addition, no Pacific island
nation is so completely unique that the experience of other island countries cannot be drawn upon to
help solve common problems.
For most island countries, the prospectus of aspirations for tourism will include action to:.match
demand with supply (or vice versa)
.maxi mise economic benefits
.minimise social dislocation
.mini mise environmental disturbance
.achieve sustainability (of the environment, economy, society, and culture)
.maintain flexibility (to respond to market changes)
.achieve a well-trained labour force
.ensure efficient planning, management and monitoring.
The basis of integrated tourism planning is derived from generic planning theory, a domain of
theory which has undergone a series of paradigm revolutions. At the present stage of theory development,
integrated tourism planning is more expansive than physical or land use planning. It includes:
economic planning (principally at the macro level)
human resources development planning (including education and training)
social and community planning
business planning and corporate management
The complexity of approaches, interests, operational frameworks, resource demands, resource
inter-linkages, community aspirations, and competence needs render a simple, integrated tourism
planning model virtually impossible. Therefore, in this section, a set of principles for integrated tourism
planning are suggested. Implementation and application of any, some or all of these principles will
depend upon the stage of development of tourism activity in each particular Pacific island nation.
The set of principles presented here are to be considered bearing in mind that the integration of
planning at all levels and across all levels is essential. Such a principle needs constant repetition and
should be incorporated into all negotiations on tourism planning and development.
In the following paragraphs, the principles discussed are set into five categories:
the creation of a master plan for tourism
the incorporation of determining characteristics
the incorporation of special emphases
the principles of implementation
the principles of administration and training.
The principles considered are not of equal weight and significance. However, they represent the
types of principles appropriate to a master plan which is both comprehensive and integrated. In
particular, the pursuit of integration will ensure the desired outcome of all of its forms -economic,
environmental, spatial, management, social, cultural, technological and political-ar.e explicitly incorporated
into a decision-making framework and open to participation by stakeholders appropriate to each decision.
Basic principles. A number of universal principles can be identified. These principles are
A tourism master plan should be prepared to provide direction, provide a framework for
development and operation, achieve integration of the various complementary factors
involved in tourism development, set targets for achievement.
Tourism should be sustainable
Long range planning and "public interest" planning should be paramount.
Tourism should reflect and enhance the special qualities and characteristics of the communi-
ties and the destination, the special nature of attractive places should be maintained, and
planning and design should reflect the special characteristic of the places.
Tourism planning should respond appropriately either to the mass tourism market or to the
particular requirements of the special interest market.
Tourism development should be pursued to contribute positively to the general economic,
environmental, social and cultural improvement of the nation as a whole, of particular
destinations, or at particular sites.
Tourism development should accommodate the principles of land stewardship maintained by
traditional land owners.
The master plan should respond to the need to be competitive in the region and to
accommodate competition between destinations within the nation (alternatively, in the case
of the commitment to tourism development within the confines of the nation's boundaries,
the plan should seek complementarity between destinations within the nation.)
Tourism development at all levels (national, regional, destination, site) should be integrated
and coordinated spatially, temporally, economically.
Tourism development and activity should be symbiotic with the natural environment,communitie
and indigenous culture.
Principles of emphasis and focus. In addition to the basic principles of good practice listed
previously, master plans (in order to achieve a special identity and competitive advantage) should
incorporate the following principles:
Tourism achieves its level of highest efficiency if all the components of supply are brought
within the scope of the tourism plan.
The tourism plan should reflect diversity of tourism experience opportunities by incorporating
urban tourism attractions, facilities, services, and amenities-similar
features for non-urban a,reas-integrated
-natural and cultural environment features.
The approach to the development of the basic vision for tourism development should be
responsive to changes in market demand by adopting a flexible conceptual paradigm and
The design criteria used, especially at the scales of the destination and of site development,
must be responsive to
-site and location appropriateness
-requirements of land-use association and compatibility
-needs of users
An attempt should be made to maintain low levels of impact, especially in respect of
-access to natural, cultural and heritage attractions
-interaction of visitors with traditional settlements and sites
-the adoption of low-impact technology
The adoption of the principle of low-impact need not mean low economic benefit.
.Where special features or attractions exist they should become the foundation for niche
market tourism as "unique selling points".
Principles of implementation. In order for development to take place, the principles of intent
and vision and focus, need to be supported by principles of implementation. If this set of principles is
development may not take place
integration, of any kind, may not be achieved
uncontrolled tourism activity may cause degradation of the resources which originally
performance (in terms of economic benefit) may become sub-optimal
competitive advantage may be lost
community involvement may be by-passed.
The basic principles of implementation are as follows:
The tourism product available is dependent upon foresight guidance and organisation of
leadership at each level of decision-making.
The formulation of the tourism master plan is the outcome of an appropriate planning
The proposals for tourism development and activity are constituent elements of the national/
regional/local strategy to achieve improved levels of welfare and resource use.
The tourism strategy is responsive to entrepreneurial initiative and partnerships involving
private enterprise -corporate or individual, traditional communities, and the government.
The various sectors of decision-making (corporate, individual, traditional, and governmental)
operate in a negotiated framework.
Tourism development takes place within a basic framework of appropriate form and
structure, infrastructure, and complementarity.
In order for tourism activities to take place at all, and certainly to be sustained, important
principles of implementation include the following;
The government should introduce appropriate mechanisms, including legi~lation
regulation, facilitation, incentive, and promotion.
The government and private enterprise should ensure that suitable opportunities for
education and training accompany any growth of tourism activity.' .
b. Concluding comments
The important characteristics of integrated tourism planning should include:
a decision-making structure designed to link tourism with other sectors of economic and
an approach which is strategic and goal-oriented rather than being re-active and preventative
a structure which can accommodate inputs and influences from the tourism industry, other
sectors of government, and the affected community
a process which is purposive and deliberate, but which is also flexible to adjust to changing
a process which is guided by principles of good management.
One of the crucial determinants of implementation is the availability of land for the development
to take place. This matter is influenced particularly by the special land ownership issues which prevail
across the Pacific island region.
In the Pacific island region much land is in communal ownership. There is ancedotal evidence
that the complications of land tenure and land ownership in many of the Pacific Island countries has
proved to be an impediment to tourism development. Such evidence suggests that the traditional
patterns of land ownership are problematical in other ways, being the cause of disputes among
indigenous peoples, villages and tribal groups. In the case of many island countries, land -is not
individually owned, but rather held in trust for future generations by communal lineage. Faced with this,
any need for land for tourism development by a private entrepreneur can be expected to require a
compensatory payment, which may be ongoing, to the communal land owners.
Some traditional societies are responding to the interest in their land by major developers
by progressively modifying their conventional approach to accommodate leasing, arrangements of
land amalgamation, partnership in enterprise development, and retention of traditional kinshiprelations.
The allocation of particular sites for tourism development may be at risk if the land concerned is
subject to customary ownership. In many cases, this may mean the land will not be easily at the
disposal of the tourism industry, and it may mean that protracted and at times inconclusive negotiations
for land leases may prejudice the financing capability of the project. Some Pacific Island governments,
cognisant of the impact of land ownership issues and their potential to delay development, are
endeavouring to cope with the matter by:
instituting statutory mechanisms
supplementing existing legislation
providing extensive negotiation and management responsibilities for native land boards
(or similar agencies)
providing mechanisms to deal with boundary disputes, adoption rights, land transfers, and
providing guarantees and security
promoting partnership arrangements
setting recommendations on terms of negotiation, including periods of leasing.
Even so, for many potential foreign investors and developers, the uncertainty attending the
availability and use of specific sites is interpreted as an obstacle to tourism development. If land cannot
be offered as security in the conventional mode of financing common to societies with which most
developers are familiar, it is difficult for developers to convince financing sources of the soundness of
the proposal because of the lack of security to repay any debt caused by failure of the project.
It may be that the complications and diversity of land tenure positions across the Pacific island
countries act as convenient brakes on tourism development~ curbing the rampant expansion into tourism
activity which might otherwise ensue.
A contrasting view is that there is a need for each Pacific Island government to consider whether
or not to intervene in the traditional land tenure system by various structural and institutional means so as
to render it more conducive to increased levels of tourism development. A system is needed which:
addresses and overcomes the problems of protracted land lease negotiations
ensures the availability of appropriate sites for tourism development
protects the traditional rights and privileges of the customary land owners
provides opportunities for local groups, if they so wish, to become involved in tourism
enterprises on their own or in partnership with foreign developers/financiers.
Initiatives being explored in the Pacific island region include:
the option of long leases:
-agreed rental to the custom land owners
-agreed compensatory payments
-predetermined periods (with options for renewal)
the option of joint ventures
-participation in development and sharing of benefits
-equity in projects being the land
-joint partners providing the finance and expertise for development
-opportunities to "learn by doing", as preparation for independent operations in the future.
the option of self-development
-best pursued at the small-scale level (at least until experience has been gained)
-best for remote or isolated ventures
-may contribute positively to culture-related activities.
If the option of self-development is pursued, almost certainly it will be necessary for the
government to create a special tourism development fund upon which land-owning groups could draw to
become involved in tourism as developers.
In most cases, no matter which of the options is used, the requirement in any leasing
arrangement should include provisions for creating jobs, providing training programmes, establishing
investment programmes, and providing opportunities for the transfer of technology and management
skills for members of the land owning community.
It seems to be incumbent upon governments to institute appropriate mechanisms, provide
opportunities for indigenous entrepreneurship, and undertake necessary programmes of tourism
awareness so that indigenous involvement in tourism planning, development and activity is conspicuous,successful,
not prejudicial to any party and capable of ensuring the long-term viability of the tourism
industry and the involvement of indigenous communities in it.
There are two matters in respect of indigenous participation in tourism development which have
been proven by experience to be crucial.
One is to be sure that negotiations with native land owners are conducted by government
officials in whom the land owners have confidence, because. of: ..
(a) the respect they show the community and its leaders,
(b) the sympathy they have for the local leadership who might find it difficult to assess the
impact of engaging in a tourism venture, and
(c) the sensitivity they demonstrate towards local cultures.
A second matter is that any documentation to be discussed with local communities and their
leaders must be expressed simply and the negotiators must be able to express the intent of the official
documents in a language which is readily grasped by local communities.
The importance of communication is critical so that each party to the negotiation can be
confident that the matter is being dealt with completely and accurately. It is important that the native
land owners do not feel they are being taken advantage of, and that they feel instead, that all of their
genuine concerns are addressed.
B. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
There is considerable evidence of the need for an effective institutional framework if tourism
development is to be coordinated, efficiently supervised, monitored and integrated into the overall
scope of national economic, environmental and social planning. It is important that the institutional
framework encompasses organisations from both the public and the private sectors. A coordinated
framework is necessary because of the fragmented nature of the tourism industry. This diverse nature
and its susceptibility to pragmatic decision-making within particular industry sectors, coupled with the
possibility that different government policies for tourism may not always be synchronised, creates the
need for a coordinated institutional framework.
The tourism planning process provides the catalyst for the inputs of the various stakeholders in
the outcome of decisions affecting tourism development. Even after the preparation of a tourism
development plan, the final outcome is dependent upon the integrated realisation of a series of
independent development decisions based upon the pursuit of individual opportunities.
Important roles in tourism planning and development are played by the public sector, the privatesector,
non-profit organisations, the community, and tourists.
In each case, there will be particular perspectives on tourism development and on the need
for tourism planning and the shape of that planning. The principal perspective of the public sector is
to manage development so as to achieve community goals within the public interest. For the private
sector, the principal function is to provide facilities and services to tourists while maximising returns on
the investment. The private sector has come to accept that it has social and environmental
responsibilities. It is also recognised that entrepreneurial flair may create tourism development
opportunities beyond those identified in the prepared tourism plan. The formal plan should be
composed with sufficient latitude and flexibility to accommodate such initiatives, especially if it is
responding to shifts in tourist preferences. Some of these changes in preferences may be identifiedthrough
the constant monitoring and evaluation of tourism activity by consultants, market researchinvestigators
design professionals and project managers. Particular interest in the changes of fashion
and the dictation of the tourism market will be paid by financial institutions and corporate lendingagencies.
The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has described the distinctiveness of the roles of the
public and private sectors by the principle that governments should not seek to do what the private
sector is able and willing to do. However, in many cases of large scale development the private sector
and government may work in a partnership. Other partnerships may develop where governments assist
indigenous land owners with the commencement of an enterprise to be managed eve~tually by
The perspective of the tourist on tourism planning is different from the other stakeholders. The
interests of every tourist cut across the various independent decisions made' by governments and the
private sector; the tourist is concerned with the experience which can be gained. In most cases, the
tourist is little concerned with who provides the service, who built the facility, who owns the land, or
which regulations were applied. In the conduct of tourism planning, the interests of the tourist must be
considered with those of the host community. If that is not the case, the sustaina1;>ility of tourism actiyity
at that destination may be in jeopardy.
One of the principal purposes of tourism planning is to bring into harmonious balance the
different interests of the various stakeholders. This balance may be achieved through the establishment
of an appropriate multi-faceted institutional framework.
In some tourism development plans, an effective institutional framework is considered to be one
of the principal determinants of successful tourism development. This section considers the most
important elements of an institutional framework related to the special needs of Pacific island countries.
Consideration will be given to the following:
public sector organisations
structure of national tourism offices (NTO)
private sector organisations
facilitation systems and procedures.
1. Public sector organisations
a. Reasons for public sector involvement in tourism
There are three groups of reasons for public sector involvement in tourism: political, environ-mental,
International tourism involves the crossing of national boundaries, a matter which necessitates
policies and procedures regarding the entry and exit of travellers. The encouragement of international
tourism raises the international profile of the host nation, and promotes international agency support in
the development of infrastructure systems and services which are of benefit also to national residents.
It is becoming apparent that one of the potential debilitating aspects of tourism development is the
impact on the environment, the history and cultural heritage, and even the routine quality of life and life-
styles of the resident community. The protection and conservation of the natural environment and
heritage is a responsibility of the national government. As tourism generates employment, income,
economic diversification, export earnings and foreign exchange, it is incumbent upon governments to
ensure that'the maximum benefit accrues to the national economy and the welfare of the host nation
through the development of policies and practices which achieve the retention of high levels of benefit
within the nation.
There is considerable diversity in the type and degree of government involvement in tourismactivity,
but generally there is evidence that levels of government involvement parallel the degree of
importance which is attached to tourism as a generator of social and economic benefit and as a potential
cause of debilitation of natural and heritage resources. Another important determining factor is the political
system; the range extends from considerable involvement in governmental systems of highly centralisedeconomies
to very loose involvement in systems of a predominantly free-enterprise philosophy.
A third important determinant is the level of socio-economic development. In general, the
greater the level of economic development, the less the need for government involvement, and viceversa.
An aspect of this level of socio-economic development is the maturity and financial capabilities of
the private sector; the greater the competence of the private sector, the less need there is for public
sector involvement. In the cases of many of the Pacific island countries, there is a strong rational for
high levels of government involvement in tourism because of all three of these factors. .
The principal public sector roles and functions are as follows:
.the preparation and administration of tourism policy '.:' ,
.the preparation, administration and monitoring of the tourism plan
.the coordination of public and private sector groups
.the preparation and administration of tourism-related legislation and regulation
.the provision and maintenance of infrastructure services
.the stimulation of investment and development
.the conduct of promotion and marketing strategies
.the provision of education and training programmes to support the tourism, travel and
.the collection of tourism-related data.
In addition to these overt roles and functions, public sector roles include:
supervising immigration procedures
maintaining quarantine regulations
supervising and coordinating tourism-related activities across different levels of government
coordinating private sector initiatives
coordinating policies and programmes
monitoring and enforcing building, planning and health regulations
administration of national assets (such as national parks and heritage buildings)
coord!nating off-shore borrowing for tourism development
supporting indigenous cultures and land ownership systems.
Without a clearly defined role for involvement of the public sector in tourism planning and
development, there is the possibility of a destination being developed in a haphazard and potentially
negative manner, possibly neutralisig the original attractiveness. For a tourism policy and plan to be
brought into effect, it is necessary to have an organisation responsible for its implementation. This is
the principal justification for public sector involvement.
The precise nature of the public sector organisation in tourism in any Pacific Island nation will
be determined by the significance attached to tourism by the government, the political system, the
maturity of the private sector, and the perceived need for government involvement.
Not all Pacific island countries have a separate department and ministerial portfolio which is
responsible for policy, planning and administration in tourism. In many island countries, the tourism function
is handled as one activity within a department or portfolio concerned with Commerce, Economic
Development, Transport, Trade, Industry, or any combination of these. Sometimes, the word "tourism"
occurs in the departmental title, a factor which gives it some visibility and status. In some cases, the
tourism function is performed by a specially-created bureau, agency, authority or commission. This diversity
of the tourism function in governments may be indicative of a degree of ambivalence about that function.
In some Pacific island countries, especially those in which the significance of tourism is only
emerging slowly, it may be that tourism is not accorded a high governmental profile. What is
important is the degree of serious attention given to the policy-forming and planning processes, the
systems of administration and supervision, and the degree of government support given to the tourism
development function. It will be recognised that a distinct government department and portfolio for
tourism is indicative of the degree of significance attached to tourism as an aspect of national policydirection.
2. National tourism offices (NTO)
In general, a national tourism organisation responsible for planning, coordination, regulation,information,
and promotion and marketing, with the status of a statutory body, but located outside the
conventional civil service structure, is indicative of a government's commitment to serious tourismadministratio
promotion, marketing and legislation. '.
A particular hazard of an NTO structure that is outside but part of the government structure is
the potential for under-funding and the under-development of suitable professional tourism expertise.
Alternative designations include tourism/visitors bureau, tourist authorities, tol,Jrism offices, tourismcommission
tourism promotion authorities, or national tourism offices.
a. Principal functions
Among the principal functions performed by a NTO are:
planning and development
marketing and promotion
manpower development, tourism education and training
compilation of research and statistics
visitor information services
industry regulation, inspection and licensing
public education and awareness.
The nature and size of many NTOs is such that the discrete functioning of these activities is not
possible. In many cases, organisational principles of flexibility and multi-functional staffing are adopted.
No matter what the adopted structure is, the principal activities will remain:
to achieve an increase in visitor numbers
to achieve an expansion of the tourism plant by attracting investment
to develop the destination's product base
to develop the necessary human resources
to ensure idle capacity is taken up and new opportunities created.
The size, scope, configuration, staffing complement, skills, and the functions required of a NTO
will be determined by the:
.tasks allocated to it by the government
.degree of significance accorded tourism planning and development
.degree of autonomy or integration within conventional government structures
b. Sources of financing
There is little consistency across the various models of NTO in the funding procedures. The
full funding by the national government by grant
partial funding from information, publications and advisory services
revenue from fees charged for registration and licensing
revenue from taxes, including airport taxes, taxes levied on accommodation, and entertain-
ment, funding from regional agencies, and development grants from international agencies.
Organisation at sub-national level
For some Pacific island countries, it may be necessary to implement an organisation at the sub-
national level. It is unlikely that provincial governments could be able to support the development of
their own, independent tourism offices. The NTO may need to consider providing support services,
including professional staff.
Some Pacific island countries operate under processes of government devolution to provinces or
states, with these devolved units empowered to develop and promulgate their 'own tourism strategies
and to pursue independent administrative practices. Such discretion may lead to problems, especially of
competition, lack of consistency and integration. As tourism is an international activity, it is necessary
for governments to deal with international airlines, cruise lines, and tour wholesalers, each of which is
more likely to acknowledge the total national entity rather than its component parts. Essentially, tourism
development in any nation is indivisible, irrespective of the different degrees of geographical concentra-
tion or dispersion. Unilateral action by any province or sub-national unit will have repercussions on the
entire nation. If it is the governmental preference that regional autonomy should be practised, then it
becomes incumbent upon the NTO to facilitate coordination, integration, consistency and compatibility of
policies and practices. It may be necessary to establish a nation-wide tourism consultative committee to
facilitate liaison and coordination.
d. International and regional affiliations
To achieve regional coordination and cooperation, it is appropriate for NTOs to become affiliated
with appropriate international and regional organisations such as the Tourism Council of the South
Pacific (TCSP), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), or World Tourism Organization (WTO). In
addition, to pursue efficient tourism strategies in the context of sustainable development the NTO should
become affiliated in a suitable way with and draw on the services of other international and regional
The role of the public sector in setting and enforcing various forms of legislation and regulation
is both essential and controversial, especially in free-enterprise driven tourism destinations. The
controversy arises because governments may consider it essential to introduce legislation and regula-
tions because the private sector cannot be relied upon to regulate and control its operations effectively,
and the private sector considers governments may go too far in their interference, involveme:nt and
It is not unusual for the tourism industry to allege that the optimisation of its contribution to the
national economy is impeded by the degree and range of intervention from all levels of government. In
large economies, there is often an extensive range of government agency programmes and regulations,
some of which directly affect tourism and others which indirectly affect tourism.
The description which follows here may not be strictly relevant across all Pacific island countries.
The range and scope of legislation and regulation will depend on the scale of the tourism activity.
However, there are some basic health, safety, environment and facilitation regulations which may be
considered necessary for every island nation which is a tourism destination.
a. Legislation and regulation taxonomy
Even if the government and the tourist industry agree that the government should avoid
unnecessary regulation of the industry, there remain crucial areas of government responsibility for which
suitable forms of regulations may be necessary. These include, protection of the environment, economic
development, border controls, public health and safety, and planning and building codes. In addition,
there are cases which can be made for government regulation of classification, and grading of hotels,
and restaurants, licensing of liquor sales, consumer protection, visitor liability, employment conditions,
taxes and tariffs, and weights and capacities of vehicles.
These matters may be controlled by regulation generally or by particular tourism sectors -accommoda
restaurant and catering, transport, entertainment, and so on. In addition, there may
need to be specific regulations which will apply to retailing, car rental, commercial attractions and themeparks.
b. Specific legislation for tourism bureaux
Some governments have enacted legislation specifically to encourage a preferred model of
public sector tourism operation and organisation. Such legislation establishes the bureau, commission,
or authority and confers nominated powers and responsibilities.
c. Complementary Regulations
A number of spheres of complementary regulations will influence the conduct of tourism planning
and development, and if not within the control of the NTO or tourism agency, will at least need input
and advice from that source. Such complementary regulations may include:
review processes for tourism development project proposals
applications for loan financing for tourism projects
applications for building permits
licensing and regulation of hotels, restaurants and other tourism businesses
licensing and regulation of tour guides, tour wholesalers, travel agents, transport operators,
and tourism business operators.
In addition, some agencies may be empowered to impose levies on hotels in order to raise
revenue for nominated tasks such as tourism marketing and promotion, or for tourism facility construc-
tion (such as airport expansion).
Of particular significance is legislation and regulation of land use planning, infrastructureservicing,
building and construction, and building and heritage conservation.
d. Multinational regulations affecting the tourism industry
In addition to national, provincial, regional or local legislation and regulations affecting tourism,
either directly or indirectly, there are agreements which have been reached between various countries,
and many island countries are signatories to some which have a direct impact on travel and tourism.
One of the most significant agreements, relating to travel between countries, is referred to as the "fivefreedoms".
These are the:
Right of transit (The freedom to fly over another country without stopping.)
Right of technical stop (The right to stop at another country's airport for fuel and servicing.:
Right to discharge passengers at another country's airport
Right to pick up passengers from another country's airport and return them to their homes
Right to discharge passengers at another country's airport and to then load passengers.
Such agreements have been facilitated by the formation of the International Air Transport
Association (lATA), which represents international airlines) and the International Civil Aviation Organiza-
tion (ICAO), an organisation of national governments. The objectives of ICAO are:
to adopt international standards and recommended practices for regulating air navigation
to recommend installation of navigation facilities by member countries
to set forth proposals for the reduction of customs and immigration formalities
to seek the development of airways, airports, and air navigation facilities for international
to provide for safe, regular, efficient, and economical air transportation
to discourage unreasonable competition
to ensure that the rights of contracting countries are fully respected and that every member
country has a fair opportunity to operate international airlines' .
to discourage discrimination between contracting countries.
Other regulations of general applicability cover:
.liability for passenger injury and damage or loss to luggage (the Warsaw Convention, Hague
Protocol, and Montreal Agreement)
.classification of tourist accommodation
In addition, some countries are signatories to bi-lateral agreements.
The general purposes of the legislative framework include:
the protection of the general interests of the citizens of the host country and of visitors to
the tourism destination
the protection and conservation of the destination's natural, historical and cultural resources
the assurance of health and safety of visitors
the protection of visitors from unscrupulous tourism practices.
There may be a danger that the decision-making process and the system of regulations will
become over-bureaucratised, and the pace of decision-making too slow. Such a situation may be the
outcome of a lack of coordination and cooperation between government agencies. The key should be
the adoption of a legislative system which facilitates suitable and sustainable tourism development, while
allowing the tourism industry to be innovative.
Private sector organisations
In order to balance the attention given to tourism by government agencies, it is necessary for
there to be an effective private sector organisation. There is a view that it is the initiative of the
private sector which creates the need for public sector involvement. In a developing country,
especially one in which there are limited human and financial resources committed to tourism by thegovernmen
a national, regional, or local government may benefit considerably from tapping the private
sector for skills, especially in marketing. At the embryonic stage of policy and planning by the publicsector,
it is the private sector organisations which may be responsible for raising the profile of tourismactivity.
A distinctive feature of the private sector is its organisation by industry, so that the interests of
particular industrial sectors -hotels, restaurants, transport, and so on, become clearly articulated.
In Pacific island countries where the level of tourism activity is low and visitor numbers are small,
there may not be a need for a comprehensive range of private sector organisations. In these cases, the
alternatives include umbrella organisations such as Chambers of Commerce, at which tourism-related
businesses will be represented among non-tourism businesses, and National Travel Industry Associations,
which are composed of representatives and members of tourism-related businesses.
If there is sufficient interest and resources, an umbrella organisation such as a Chamber of
Commerce may incorporate a specialised unit which is composed of tourism-related business represen-tation.
This may become necessary, particularly if one of the tourism sectors such as tourism
accommodation or tour wholesaling achieves particular prominence.
There will be benefit to the tourism industry, and eventually to the national economy, if the
private sector becomes organised so as to encourage the government into improving its policy and
planning competence. To assist tourism development with infrastructure services, and to undertake
regulation and policing in those areas where industry self-re~ulation proves to be difficult, it may be the
private sector organisations which prompt the improvement of the processes of promotion and marketing.
As tourism is basically an industry dominated by small business firms, it is necessary for organisations
to be established to coordinate and represent the views and interests of these important components of
the total business community and to ensure that government decisions are made to reflect wide
Facilitation systems and procedures
Using various international agreements and bilateral arrangements, governments endow
themselves with means to facilitate cooperation and to facilitate the flows of travellers and goods.
Many bilateral arrangements on cooperation refer specifically to tourism and tourism-related
activity and encourage travel between the signatories, set out documentary needs, designate types of
visits and regulations which are relevant to each, and specify privileges and concessions available to
One of the principal international forces behind the progressive liberalisation of travel has been
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This agency has sought through
a number of initiatives, to persuade governments to remove unjustified impediments to international
travel and improve international cooperation.
Among its initiatives and recommendations on tourism policy is a code of practice concerned
with the process of facilitating international travel by avoidance of measures which distort competition,
avoidance of measures which impede traveller movement, removal of measures which treat travellers
unequally, and adoption of measures to ease the passage of tourists. Its general advocacy is for the
harmonisation of rules regulating entry into and move~ent within nation states.
a. Regulations on entry and passage
Of particular concern to travellers are the processes which facili~te entry and free passage.
These processes are entry formalities and passenger processing.
The entry formalities include presentation of a current passport, possession of a valid visa
(where necessary) appropriate to the nature of the visit, and possession of any required healthcertificates.
The purposes of setting visa constraints on entry include: limiting visitor numbers, restricting
visitor types, and maintaining security. The selectivity of the visa process is patently discriminatory, and
needs very careful adjudication, perhaps with bilateral arrangements of reciprocity. Visa restrictions for
business travellers and if linked to work permits, should be related to maintaining opportunities for ttfe
resident community. Any system of visa requirement may cause irritations to potential visitors. Some
governments see the issuance of visas and the imposition of departure taxes as revenue-generating
A matter of potential irritation to travellers, especially if there is simultaneous arrival of a large
number of visitors, is the passenger processing system, especially at airports. Most irritation is
points of entry, with presentation of passports and the checking of visas
retrieval of baggage after arrival
clearance of baggage through customs and quarantine
points of departure, with payment of departure tax
points of check-in
In some Pacific island countries, the points of entry and departure are enlivened with indigenous
music presentations and welcome ceremonies. While these are appreciated, they should not take
precedence over efficient and streamlined arrival and departure processes. It should be remembered
that the visitors' first and last impressions of a country will be of the facilitation processes. To a large
extent, the matter lies in the scope of management and organisation. A report on the need for
improvements to facilitation processes in one country of the Pacific Rim suggested the keys were
promptness, courtesy, and efficiency.
Although these matters cannot be legislated, the encompassing system can be designed so that
entry and departure are facilitated.