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  • Writer's pictureSimon

Developing new tourism destinations

Often, new tourism developments start small. and rapidly grow to a point of no return. Examples around the world are demonstrating mass tourism disasters, leaving nature to deal with the leftovers.

Where to start...

Nature tourism is a fast paced segment, growing immensely and unfortunately at the detriment of the environment in the long term. Careful planning, vision and 'boundaries' in the beginning will help to slow the evolution of #tourism in new destinations.

The common undercurrent in new developments often lies within the 'golden pot' as sold to local #communities and stake-holders. Yes, #tourism can fundamentally change and impact communities and natural areas for the better, but can also spiral quickly out of control and end up having a negative impact in the medium term.

Understanding the capacity an area currently has, is the first step to measuring the balance of development. Identifying the end result or desired outcome and impact will provide you with the tools to start planning and monitoring when you lose sight of where you want to get to.

The balance of development is by far the most difficult aspect to focus you go all in or wait until 'too little too late' arrives on the door. Community engagement models should always aim to have a broader impact, and not simply benefit the main stakeholder. Its not only about the jobs being created, but about the services needed through supporting networks within the area.

A single attraction, can be the starting point but every visitor needs more than this. Servicing from other small businesses in the area include accommodations, restaurants, grocery stores and from these three categories there is the need for laundry, food supply, fresh produce...and the list continues.

Each guest experience or draw card to a #newdestination be it a waterfall or a wild animal has the potential impact on 6 - 8 people / small businesses in an area.

This is the true impact on the #community, backed with services, access and municipal support they didn't have.

But where do you stop the wheel?

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