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Principles of tourism

Tourism planning in the last few years has been seen as a method where benefits of tourism activities can be maximized through tourism developments. There are various development strategies that have been implemented to ensure that the local communities, the environment, and the tourists benefit. This paper discusses the impacts of implementing sustainability principles in the field of tourism. A case study of Lesbos in Greece will be used as a case study. Additionally this paper also discusses the reasons why there are tourism plans fail and the solutions to the problems. The final section of this paper discusses how globalization and transnational corporations have impacted the tourism industry.

Principles of tourism
Like in all sectors of the economy, planning is about setting and meeting the specific objectives of the industry. In the tourism sector, various approaches have been developed to plan for the tourist activities. Initially, the outcomes of tourism planning or the objectives of tourism planning were geared towards the measurement of the economic impact that the tourism activities could have on the destination. The gains that were made were measured based on the impacts that the activities of the tourist had on the environment and the social impacts. In order for the governments of the destination areas to maximize the economic gains of the tourist activities, the private sector was given the role to plan for the tourism activities. The vital development and management of the destination of the areas was left to the private sector, and this resulted in the unrestricted and unplanned tourism activities. Principles of sustainability due to the immense impacts on the destination areas and the host communities changed the way tourism was planned. When the idea of sustainable development and sustainable tourism emerged in the early 90’s, interests in the idea grew rapidly, and this led to further research in the field. The concept of mass tourism was instantly viewed as a problem that had to be solved. Sustainable tourism thus was seen as a positive approach that was intended to reduce the frictions and tensions that were created by the complexities of the interactions that were between the host communities, the environment and the industry as a whole.
According to Inskeep (1991, p.234-235). Some of the principles of sustainable tourism include; lessening the impact of the tourism activities on the environment so that the environment can acquire ecological sustainability. This can be achieved through the maintenance and enhancement of conservation through the return on investment in the areas that may be affected by the tourist activities. The second principle in the lessening of the impacts to the local communities. This can be referred to as social sustainability. The third principle of tourism planning regards the lessening of the negative impact of the tourism activities in the traditions, cultures and the customs of the local communities that the tourists visit. According to Raj et al. (2013, p.71), the local communities thus obtain cultural sustainability. When this is developed, then the local communities are in a position to determine their authenticity and individuality thereby preserving their cultures. The communities are also able to avoid the saturation of their cultures by ‘external’ cultures and influences. The fourth principle of sustainable tourism deals with the maximization of the income of the community. This principle serves the protection of the local community in terms of its economic development and the protection of the protected areas. The final principle is the education, information and preparation of the tourists who visit the areas based on the impacts that they will have on the areas. The tourists should improve their attitudes in the areas that they visit especially towards the environment and the local communities.
The principles of tourism can be applicable to all touristic destinations. A case in point is its implementation in Lesbos, Greece. In Greece, tourism is one of the main sources of revenue. This means that the country receives lots of international and local tourists. It is then possible that the impacts that the large numbers of tourists who visit the area are immense. In Lesbos, tourism creates lots of jobs for both the direct workers in the field of tourism and the induced jobs as a result of the tourism activities. Lesbos is an island of Greece that has not yet developed fully like other parts of Greece. Apart from the tourist activities, the other major sources of revenue of the area include the ouzo production and the enormous olive oil production. One of the main problem that Lesbos is the severe environmental impact that it received due to pollution from the high tourist numbers that flocked the island. The amount of fish decreased immensely. There was no effective garbage treatment plan. Additionally, the boats that the tourists used discharged. According to Hill and Gale (2009, p. 29), water was also a problem. Sewage facilities had been overused. From this situation, it was envisaged that their development options could be implemented so that the area could be properly sustained. One of the development approaches that could be implemented had to deal with the growth strategy in that the economic trend of the mass tourism could be allowed to continue. The alternative to this option was to implement strategies that reduced the negative impacts on the environment. The second strategy that could be implemented was opposing the increase in the number of tourists who arrived in the area, and this could protect the environment, the cultural resources of the locals and their traditional norms. The third option was sustainable development of the area. Eber (1992, p. 55)notes that the principles of sustainable tourism were chosen due to the growth potential that it could give the locals, the environment, and the tourists. According to Thomas (1998), the growth of tourist numbers was restricted. The tourists who visited the area had to pay higher so that the additional proceeds could be used in the development of the area. The environment was also saved in that the pollution levels were reduced to the minimum. Water shortages that used to be experienced was solved through the creation of a water filtration system paid for by the tourism proceeds. In the long run, a society that was happy with how the environment, the economic gains and the preservation of its cultural norms were created. Therefore, through the principles of sustainable tourism, Lesbos in Greece became sustainable in terms of the planning that was put in place and the education that the tourists had to undergo before they visited the area.
Explain the reasons behind tourism ‘planning failure’ and how these may be overcome
The impact of planning in the tourism industry cannot be understated. Though there is some evidence, that suggests that some tourism destinations have developed without mush planning, the consequences of unplanned tourism destination can be immense. There are many reasons that can be provided as to the importance of planning in the tourism industry. One of the key reason is that planning provides the best way in which the lifecycle of a tourist destination can be extended. It is imperative to note that tourism activities are constantly becoming more expensive, more complicated and more competitive. Additionally, the tourist activities are becoming more demanding to the host communities in terms of the customer experience that the tourists want. For any touristic destination to be successful, and then there must be ways to overcome these challenges. It is thus necessary for stakeholders in the tourism industry to come up with plans so that they can mitigate against these challenges (Shackley, 1997).
When planning for such challenges in the tourism industry, there are reasons that the best-laid plans do not come to fruition. One of the main reasons why tourism plans fail is the communications between the stakeholders. Poor forms of communications normally take center stage during the planning of tourism operations. Some stakeholders like to develop strategic plans so that they are able to avert the problems that lay ahead. After they have developed the plans, they seem to hide the plans under the rock. This is however not done on purpose. When planners in the tourism industry fail to communicate the strategic objectives and the vision to the other stakeholders. Carson and Macbeth (2005, p.73) note that this may be explained by the developers of the strategy not getting all the information to the stakeholders so that the stakeholders in the tourism industry can comprehend what they are supposed to do with the plans that have been laid forward to them. Sometimes, new initiatives of objectives are outlined but the problem arise when the objectives are not communicated to the whole team of planners on how they should implement the plans. The objectives then appear as vague as there are no steps to take at the exact time. This problem can also be compounded by the different individuals in the groups developing the plans. The expectations of the planners and the stakeholders are not communicated properly within the planning fraternity. The opinions of the group members are not shared or discussed properly.
According to Pearce (2012, p.71), in order to solve the problem of communication in planning, every tactical plan that has been set aside for the implementation afterward has to be supporting the strategic objectives that the group has decided upon. The actions then have to be included in the communication plans so that the implementers of the plan have information to reinforce the plan. Additionally, communication is much more than pictures, words, and actions. It is up to the planners of touristic destinations to ensure that once they have come up with plans, they are also in a position to demonstrate how the plans will be implemented. If the planners cannot be in a position to implement the plans themselves, then the plans will fail.
The second reason that is planning failure in the tourism industry is leadership. This normally occurs when there is a lack of a motivating leader. The individuals involved in the planning process have a weak leader in the sense that the leader offers some specificity. The leader of the team that is planning the tourism strategies allocates the resources improperly, has a tendency of poor follow through, has inefficient rewards and punishments to the team and funny cover-ups for members of the team who are not performing. Sometimes the leaders who are in charge of the plans do not lack the ability to lead but there is a sense of unwillingness to perform certain issues. In order to solve this issue, the individuals who are in the position of selecting the leaders of any particular team have to ensure that the individual given the responsibility to lead is in a position to step up and bring forward the strategies that have been set on paper to the implementation stage of the tourism development strategies. This problem is not only restricted to the top level leaders. All the members of a team that has been set up should know that they can all lead from their respective positions. Additionally, not all leaders have to be charismatic but they have to have some sense of authority and take responsibility for all the actions that the team takes. Leaders of these various development teams have to comprehend that the moment that they delegate duties to their subordinates, then they should also delegate authority to go with the responsibility bestowed upon the lower ranked team members (Rotberg, 2004).
No plan behind the idea is the third reason why tourism plans fail. Most of the time, as evidence suggest, the great plans that individuals think they have are actually no plans at all. Additionally most of the strategic plans that tourism planner have stopped halfway before the plan already exists. When very little planning goes into the implementation process, then this may be considered as undeveloped intentions. Sometimes, the individuals who come up with the plans do not know how the plans that they have come up with will be implemented. In order to solve this issue, and then there must be individuals in the team with inquisitive minds. The individuals should come up with questions as to the reason and the intention of the plan and how it will be implemented. This will solve the problem of big dreamers who do not know what their strategy actually is. The concept of the plan should be cascaded through the organization so that the individuals who are working on the plan know their responsibility clearly.
The other reason that causes tourism planning failure is passive management. In this reason, individuals tend to think that the activities of planning will run by themselves once the process of planning initiates. In some instances, when the planning process begins, some of the tourism planners fail with the necessary follow through. The senior management level is normally guilty of this issue. This may be caused by the poor and inexperienced managers who are working on the project. According to Dale (2005, p.48), the difference with this strategy of management and leadership is that leadership is supposed to communicate the visions that they have of the tourism sector. It is the management that is supposed to ensure that they execute the individual tactics. The end result of passive management is that all the managers do is talk, and no action is taken. Most of the passive managers assume that the individuals whom they are managing have the wherewithal to pull off the jobs that they have been assigned thereby ending by not managing the process. It is vital that the individuals who are given the responsibility to manage the planning process be in a position to follow up the process and ensure that the objectives that were set in all the parts of the plan are achieved during the time limit that was placed. They must know that they are accountable for the success of the project.
Motivation and personal ownership are another problem that exists during tourism planning failure. The individuals who are working on the project normally get biased when they put their interests ahead of the plan. They normally ask themselves. What is in it formed? Some of the individuals are greedy in that they want to be accredited with all the plaudits of the success of the project. According to Hyde, Ryan and Woodside (2012, p.65), if the project fails, then they are in a position to distance themselves from the project completely. They will look for someone to blame and constantly make excuses. In terms of motivation, some people are really motivated in that they want to see he end result and pride in what they have achieved before they have implemented the plan. When there is no urgency in the plan, the planners will just feel disillusioned. This is always the case if the employees do not feel the value of the work that they are doing. It is up to the management to ensure that when planning for tourism projects, all the members of the team that is responsible for planning is properly motivated.
Globalization and the rise of TNCs have fundamentally transformed the balance of power between tourist markets and destinations. It is the economy that is the most vital factor in globalization. Global institutions such as the United Nations have vested interest in some tourist sites and destinations (D’amore and Kalifungwa, 2013). In fact, some destinations have been listed as heritage sites. This forces the tourists to vest the areas in large numbers regardless of the distance. Additionally, the development of technology means that tourists can be able to travel long distances in a very short period of time. The social media platforms provide a method in which tourist destinations can be advertised by people sharing their experiences on these platforms. Transnational corporations also ensure that the various touristic destinations can be visited in one tour trip. Additionally the transnational corporations ensure that they bring the good business practices in the touristic destinations due to the experience that they have in customer satisfaction. The comforts of life are improved by the issue of globalization through the use of better infrastructure, and the cross-boundary interactions between the young and old people (Higham and Lück, 2008, p.123). In some instances, when the transnational corporations take their tourism business to developing countries, it is the host countries that do suffer due to the poor governance, weak infrastructure, and the disparities in the income distribution. The local communities, especially the societies from aboriginal families have strong ties with their social structures whereby their families provide a strong bond in terms of the relationships, caring for the environment that they live in, an inherited conventional or traditional wisdom and knowledge. The host communities are more geared towards subsistence farming and therefor they protect their farms thereby food security has not been an issue in any ordinary circumstance.
In conclusion, it is evident that when the principles of sustainable tourism are properly implemented, the results can be satisfactory to the local communities, the environment, and the tourists. This was the case in one island in Greece. Additionally, the economic gains that arise due to the sustainable tourism can extend through a long period of time as it is easy to manage the small tourist numbers and the economic value of the touristic destination is also maintained. In terms of the reasons for the tourist planning failures, the passive management, no plan behind the idea, leadership and communication problems also cause the failures. The issue of globalization has had both positive and negative feedbacks as a result of the impacts that it has on tourism and the transnational corporations.

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