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As said by the World Tourism and Travel Organization (WTTO) 2016, 10.2% of the world's GDP comes from the travel and tourism sector, as well as one in ten of the global population's jobs.

According to UNTWO Annual Report 2017, a seventh of the world's population travelled abroad last year, growing by 4.4% from 2016. This growth highlights the increasing influence tourism has on a nation's economy, society and environment. This can be both positive and negative. The birth of tourism as a leading sector has required interdependence across many sectors. For example, tourism in a popular region will influence the manufacturing of products and services, which would increase factory demand, which would increase agricultural demand etc. Subsequently, the tourism sector also has an indirect effect on the whole economy of a nation (Chirrindze, University of Johannesburg).

Strategic tourism planning helps create a corporative administration that helps “determine a destination's vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.” It sets the foundations for a location to cultivate a brand identity during its process to arranging a marketing plan (Edgell and Swanson, 2013).  This can also be explained as “the process of developing approaches to reach a defined objective” (Axson, 2010).

Consistent with data by WTTO 2016

Pros and cons of tourism

Social Economical Environmental

Pros • Better living standards – tourism contributing to the economy directly improves how much the government invests in an individual's wellbeing

• Preservation of culture – gives the community something to be proud about and helps them define their identity. • Employment – people will start to set up their own businesses, people will become more skilled

• Better infrastructure – new roads, accommodation, resorts and spaces of relaxation are put in place. In turn, this attracts more tourists. • Raises awareness of the local environment

Cons • Some culture may be lost when integration of different cultures occur

• Health and emergency services can get strained • The jobs made are often low wages

• The costs of housing may get so high locals won't be able to afford it

• Leakage may occur in which private companies take most of the profit generated by the area • People may be careless and litter/ harm the environment

• Pollution by excess travel

Master planning

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, and set targets for achievement. The master plan should respond to the need to be competitive in the region and to accommodate competition between destinations within the nation.

The tourism plan should reflect diversity of tourism experience opportunities by incorporating urban tourism attractions, facilities, services, and amenities, similar features for non-urban areas, integrated resort developments, isolated attractions, natural and cultural environment features. a decision-making structure designed to link tourism with other sectors of economic and infrastructure development, an approach which is strategic and goal-oriented rather than being re-active and preventative and a structure which can accommodate inputs and influences from the tourism industry, other sectors of government, and the affected community.

According to Atkins 2017, masterplans address the unpredictable issues that influence our towns, urban areas and neighbourhoods, by reacting to the issues that face a specific situation to imagine and impart how it can improve. They give a dream and additionally a key basic leadership apparatus, with financial and showcase components, clarifying how a site, arrangement of locales or a region will be produced.

For example in the Philippines, the National Tourism Development Plan (NTPD) paints an arrangement to accomplish tourism objectives ought to more often than not comprise of renegotiation of air benefit understandings, decreasing remote profession activity costs, rearranging border conventions and enhancing sea and street transportation.

Example: Tourism Master Planning in Korea

South Korea's tourism plan has decided to focus its tourism on Korea's culture, mainly on something known as Hallyu, or The Korean Wave which is based on Korean pop culture and entertainment. In the past few years, Hallyu has gained a lot of popularity internationally, and can be seen as a major reason as to why the economy has increased over the past few years. According to BusinessWorld, in 2016, 17.2 million foreign tourists visited South Korea (Garcia C, 2017). This is greatly thanks to the nearby countries in Southeast Asia like China and Japan where the impact of the Hallyu is most obvious on the younger generations.

Long term plan

Mr. Kim Syung-Hoon of Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) Director for Planning and Coordination Department claims their future long-term aim is “to develop more content and infrastructure that can replace Hallyu if it ends sooner or later. With these new content and infrastructure, we can attract more travellers and make them want to visit Korea.” In this interview with BusinessWorld, he also acknowledges that in the changing times, tourists are becoming more independent and rely more on apps on their phones to book and reserve holidays and events, so independence plays an important role in their future plan.

Medical Tourism

Another aspect of Korean strategic plan is medical tourism. Korea has become a hotspot for cosmetic surgery and, according to the New York Times, the government invests $4 million per annum to popularise this sector, which seems to be working. One million are expected to travel to Korea annually up until 2020, a lot of the customers coming from their neighbour China. The chairman of the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons, Dr Cha Sang-Myun states “In terms of advertising it's very much exaggerated... You see it everywhere: on the subways, on the buses and even in the movie theatres.” This extreme promotion of aesthetics in Korea has made it home to the highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita, according to a recent study by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Stevenson A, 2014).

Medical tourism has proven to be an important part of Korean tourism. When a patient goes to get their nose done, it takes up to two weeks for it to get back to normal (sometimes even longer for other areas of the body to fully recover) and it is done over a course of several medical appointments. This means the patients tend to plan out their stay in Korea for those couple weeks, on things like accommodation, entertainment and food. This directly benefits the local economies, as hotels, restaurants and nightclubs/bars will have customers continuously flowing in, improving their living standards.

According to Seoul Touch-Up, South Korea owns about a quarter of the world plastic surgery market - $5 Trillion – which is predicted to increase as the popularity of double eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty continues to soar. Over 80% of the medical tourists do these surgeries.

Data sourced from International Medical Travel JournalTM (IMTJ)

Political Relations

Relationships between other countries, especially China, is vital to the stability of Korean tourism (as the graph above clearly shows). Therefore, they must maintain good relations with its allies and often succumb to their needs. In 2017, China prohibited group package tourism to South Korea in anger over their choice not to prevent the disposition of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence), which they saw as “a threat to its national security.” (Huang E, 2017). Because of this boycott, the economy lost $6.8 billion according to South Korea's National Assembly's Budget Office.

Tourism Policies

According to VisitKorea, their tourism policies are:

• Boosting sightseeing activities through improving infrastructure

• Local people and culture setting the foundations of the tourism sector

• To become a leading figure in tourism globally

• To set a golden era of Korean Tourism

Due to globalisation, South Korea strive to make their tourism industry stand out within Northeast Asia and intend to do this by increasing private investment into development for tourism both regionally and nationally. In order to reach their goals they must pay attention to the local/small businesses, encourage Fairtrade, increase competition within national businesses and attract foreign investment. Essentially, the government strives to paint the picture of a bright future in South Korea's economy in order for these investments to rapidly increase. This is important both to those abroad as well as the inbound tourists.


According to Sustainable Tourism In Korea, Han H.

According to Han H, the Korean tourism sector want to promote sustainable tourism by strengthening the bonds between locals and tourists, so that they become more aware of who and what they are impacting. They plan to “offer tour contents, infrastructure, network, marketing and training for local residents.”

Tourism Planning

Mass tourism frequently accentuates boosting financial advantages while disregarding the social and network parts of tourism advancement (Macbeth, Carton and Northcote, 2004) This is especially so in poorer nations, which regularly need adequate or suitable necessities to secure their characteristic assets and nearby eco-frameworks from the weights of mass tourism (Neto, 2003). Along with the constant increase of tourism, the lack of planning has paved the way for other issues in developing countries such as socio-cultural inequality, leakage, weakness and dependence on other countries for basic resources and ethnic divison (Thammajinda 2013).

In order to avoid this from happening, a well thought-out plan is necessary – hence why tourism planning is so important. The main approaches to tourism planning are:

• Boosterism

• Economic approach

• Physical/Spatial approach

• Community-based

• Integrative approach


Economic • New job opportunities hence less unemployment

• Boost in product manufacturing and services

• More stable foreseeable economic increase

Environmental • Increased awareness of impacts we have on the environment

• More sustainable tourism

Social • Cultural diversity

• Open-mindedness

• Increased communication

• Better job satisfaction as there is assurance in their future career

Techniques to improve tourism planning

Since tourism's growth has correlated with the welfare of the environment, methods have been produced to measure the ecological footprint of the sector; Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) which assess the potential environmental damage caused by tourism, Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) and Tourism Optimisation Management Model (TOMM) which helps set policies to tolerate the amount of change (Hall C, 2007). These ecological studies will help planning for the future in tourism, making them more sustainable.


Boosterism is when the hosting state is gaining positively from tourism development in that region. It is suggested that cultural and natural resources should be used to for tourism development without any consideration to the negative economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism that will occur due to this exploitation. This approach is done mainly by two groups. They are 'politicians who are philosophically or pragmatically believe that economic growth is always to be promoted, and by others who will gain financially by tourism' (Getz, 1987 cited in Hall, 2008).

According to J Wisangsing, boosterism showed its strength in the 1960s, and had the sole purpose to promote growth of the tourism sector through using different marketing tools. A lot of their investments was towards promoting this ideology, both in private sectors and public (WTO, 1979, Pearce, 1992). However, because of this, there was no thought on the actual tourism offers, which became a cause for concern. As Getz realised, “tourism planning has evolved over this period (Second World War) with an explosion of economic and marketing ideas coming to dominant tourism planning." The downside to this tactic however, is that it left no development on price or product (the other two P's) and focused merely of promotion. The intention of this strategy was merely that tourism is profitable and should be magnified.

How the reuse of historic buildings contributes to strategic tourism development

The reuse of historic buildings contributes to strategic tourism development because of the famous historical events associated with that place. “Rehabilitation is the recycling of buildings involving restoration and new construction” (Gregory 2004, Douglas 2002). According to PA Bullen, this adaptive reuse is “a process that retains as much as possible of the original building while upgrading the performance to suit modern standards and changing user requirements.” The Tower of London demonstrates this sustainability perfectly, as it has undergone many different episodes of refurbishment and extensions to suit the unique tourism landscape in London.  

The truth of environmental change has incited to the earnestness in the decrease of carbon outflows and the arranging of low carbon urban communities. (Chan, Yung 2012). The development of new structures expends huge measures of crude materials and vitality, and produces high carbon outflows. Structures are in charge of over 40% of worldwide vitality utilize, and create 33% of worldwide ozone harming substance outflows (UNEP, 2009). Development and building represent roughly 136 million tons of waste yearly, almost 50% of which is from obliteration (HUD, 2003).

   Data taken from Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA 2016).

Tower of London

Cited from Historic Royal Palaces (HRP)

The Tower of London (Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London) is a castle located on the north of the River Thames in central London. The Tower of London has a rich history of imprisoned royalty, bloodshed and Victorian horrors. Despite being used before as a place to imprison royalty's enemies, it is now one of London's most popular destination sites. The Tower is the sixth most popular site on a tourist's and saw a rise of 11% in visitors last year headed there to view the Crown Jewels and the home of the many bloody executions within the venue's past.


The Tower has been the setting for presumably the most noteworthy events in European and British History. Its part as a stage whereupon history is approved is one of the key segments which has contributed towards the Tower's status as a significant building. The murder of Edward V and his brother, amplified by Shakespeare's ‘Princes in the Tower', has transformed into the stuff of legend. Incidentally, it includes real sureness that the young fellows were confined in the Tower and vanished without after. This event is possibly the most infamous from the Wars of the Roses, which saw various scenes played out inside the dividers of the Tower. The Tower's reputation went up against its darkest tone in its association with the Tudor line, and the religious changes of the period. The Tower not simply accepted a vital part in the certain events of this period yet helped shape the story of the Reformation in England, as both Catholic and Protestant prisoners (those that survived) recorded their experiences and portrayed the Tower as a place of torment and execution. The Tower holds a hugeness for both Protestant and Catholic society in light of this. The Tower is moreover at present saw as an acclaimed filling in as displaying the last productive military interruption of England (Buchanan, 2010).

Tourism and its reuse

Reusing the Tower of London as a tourism destination preserves the tradition and culture that is associated with the tower – the tower has seemed to be trapped in the times of the Victorian era, where it was at its peak serving as a slaughterhouse for the national wanted. It has also been a place where the Crown Jewels have been kept since 1303, and so the tradition of this is kept strong by the attention it attracts from the outside world. There are also many national events that take place there, such as the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' on Armistice Day which commemorated all the British lives lost in WW1. This alone attracted more than four million people. Events and activity like this creates many jobs across the board as it takes a big team of people to sustain such a large tourist attraction in the middle of London.

The Tower of London is a Grade 1 listed building. This means it is a building of “exceptional national interest” (Tower Hamlets).

 According to Statista 2018

The Tower gets more than 2m guests every year. Numerous more guests, suburbanites and occupants utilize the regions of the Tower each day. The Tower is recorded as a 'guest fascination' as ahead of schedule as the rule of Elizabeth I, at first by welcome just, however by the late seventeenth century guests would introduce themselves at the door. Charges for going by, and an official guide, were presented in the eighteenth century. A ticket office was situated at the western passage in the mid nineteenth century and yearly guest numbers ascended from 10,500 out of 1837, to 80,000 (1839) and to more than 500,000 before the century's over. The Tower had around 2.13m guests in 2008/09, with numerous all the more getting a charge out of the neighbourhood setting (Buchanan C, 2010).

Local benefits

The Tower of London, in the many events it holds, has proven to become a way of unifying London. This social unity makes it easier for the city to function and decreases the chances of division between different cultures and communities. Furthermore, it increases the popularity of local shops and businesses near to the site, as people usually go to the Tower of London as their day out, making it likely for them to stop and eat at a restaurant, buy souvenirs or rest at a café.

Crucially, it creates a lot of jobs for those in the local vicinity. An increase in visitors means an increase in demands from those customers, whether it be in the local businesses or in the Tower itself. Schools centred in London benefit from the Tower for educational purposes, for its historical worth in British history.

Sustainability and Conservation

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), the owners of the Tower, claim they train their staff to use as little electricity as possible, only when it is needed, to keep their environmental impact to a minimum.  Their conservation projects are designed to preserve natural habitats and landscapes for the people to enjoy in the future. They have also invested in waste and packaging strategies to help prevent littering and harm to the environment. At the Tower, they opened the Mint Street Exhibition to allow more public space. In addition, the Tower's electrical supply is used as substitute for the generators in seasonal moat events which saves a lot of money. (HRP Sustainability Report 2014/15)


In conclusion, tourism planning is a crucial part of the efficiency of the tourism sector especially as it continues to increase on a global scale. It is important to several particular aspects such as sustainable development, revitalisation of historic buildings, local and social impacts and of course economic benefit. From the information gathered, it is plain to see that as more and more of the world's population becomes dependent on the tourism industry for employment and survival, strategic planning is not something the industry can live without, and is everchanging, especially since mass tourism exploded in the 1960s. The main problem going forward is how to keep the environment intact whilst at the same time trying to support a trillion-pound worth industry.

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