When planning for a holiday, visitors don’t see one product in isolation – they see a destination in its entirety, brimming with packaged offerings that match the experience they are looking for. Destination Management is about destination partners working together to define what is special about their place and leveraging from these experience themes to provide a compelling visitor offer. Destination Management Plans aren’t just about visitors either. Importantly they are about building strong and resilient local communities. Local people should continue to love where they live, be proud of sharing their destination with visitors and receive benefits from tourism – in terms of economics, environment and socially. The destination itself should also benefit with sustainable developments that both protect and present cultural and natural resources.
After extensive consultation with industry, government and community leaders TRC recently completed the Snowy Monaro Destination Management Plan. The plan is an exciting new strategic document which provides a framework to guide sustainable tourism in the Snowy Monaro Region. Why are DMPs important? As stated on the Destination NSW website “the State and Federal Governments have identified a well-developed DMP as a key requirement for accessing future investment.”
What is involved in developing a successful DMP? TRC uses a 5-step approach:
1. Understand the Destination through a Situation Analysis — this involves a product and experience audit, visitor needs analysis, alignment with existing plans, policies and strategies and investigating what destination competitors are offering.
2. Stakeholder engagement and consultation — being involved in all levels of consultation with various agencies, industries and individuals, from one-on-one meetings to coordinating and facilitating workshops. Using sensitive and effective communication methods focusing on maximising project ‘buy-in’ through establishing a united vision that realises multiple stakeholder aspirations.
3. Define the Destination — Once we understand what is on offer and the aspirations of project partners and stakeholders, growing from the Vision we will establish a unique Destination Positioning Statement that describes who we are and what we offer.
4. Build the Destination Management Plan — this will provide a logical way forward to aid in future tourism decision-making with detailed opportunities and concepts, a prioritised and staged implementation plan, high level costs, governance, partnership and investment recommendations and marketing and promotional options.
5. Keep the momentum going through delivery of an evidence-based Business Case and Investment Prospectus inviting public/private funding opportunities.
We look forward to the implementation of the Snowy Monaro’s new Destination Management Plan and seeing the financial and social benefits of visitor expenditure the DMP brings to the region.