Tourism Planning and Development
Tourism is always viewed as a key economic contributor in developed as well as developing countries worldwide. Believing on this idea, most tourism policy makers understand the importance of tourism planning and development so as to maintain sustainability among tourism stakeholders – society, people, and environment. Sustainable tourism planning and development is one of the important things to consider in gaining positive tourism effects to specific country or immediate community. On this paper, tourism planning and development is discussed by creating a site plan for Tamar in Hong Kong. The development of Tamar site is believed to be an essential action especially in providing a primary attraction that will interact with other attractions and draw more tourists to the destination area. Hong Kong is a premier tourist destination. Tamar site will significantly affect the current condition of Hong Kong tourism provided that it has the necessary and unique tourism features. Specifically, this paper discusses the following important parts: destination, market analysis, program definition, site analysis, conceptual design, feasibility, final plan, and evaluation.
Hong Kong is considered as among the world’s most competitive tourism spots and holds a recognized identity as one of the most exceptional and vibrant tourist destinations. Kwong and Miscevic (2002) provide descriptions that pictures Hong Kong as a land with an aura of magnificence, efficiency, and state-of-the-art competence. Hong Kong had many unique competitive advantages such as the hardware and software required of a world-class city, including keen business acumen, a well-developed infrastructure, a versatile financial system, robust legal institutions, policies conducive to a free and open society, a clean and efficient civil service, simple and low tax, a large pool of talent and a very cosmopolitan community (Hwa 2003). Hong Kong is also known for sustaining its competitive advantage especially in Asia’s hotel, restaurant as well as the entire tourism and hospitality industries (Lloyd et al. 2000; Yu 1994). Because of abundant offers and several attractions like its world-renowned cultural heritage, Chinese cuisine and dining, entertainment, leisure, and cosmopolitan lifestyle, tourists move their way to experience Hong Kong’s splendor through such top level offers. Geographically speaking, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) locates Hong Kong in a favorable geographic location in the centre point of Asia Pacific region with a minimum five (5) hours fly reaching most of the areas worldwide. With the support of government and able infrastructures, events tourism thrives on this piece of land. Different kinds of events that consist of both commercial, social, cultural, educational in nature are present in this venue. The historical brief of tourism development is limited because of the fact that it remained a British colony for several years that there other information and developments that are not credited to the present situation. However, in reference to the previous national history, it could be said that Hong Kong tourism is just fresh and pioneering. With the influence of free trade, globalization and advent of modern technological means, the nations become an instant role model in international tourism especially in cultural (heritage tourism). The development of the tourism is still in the making. Thus, it is still on the process of development in cooperation of the government, tourists, tourism-related individuals, and Hong Kong people.
Today, Hong Kong has its various tourism features that attract visitors as bounded on its four product pillars, which are supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). These four product pillars are the following: shopping; dining; culture and heritage; and city, harbour and green. It could be said that almost any of the districts of Hong Kong holds a tourism feature, thus, making it worthy of visit. The HKTB promotes Hong Kong as a vibrant, international city, the Events and Culinary Capital of Asia, and a leading global business, transportation and communications hub. Looking on the four product pillars, it is said that the current tourist market of Hong Kong is consists of various nationalities coming from all walks of life including Chinese people from Mainland China. Data obtained from the HKTB’s Annual Report 2006-2007 and published in their website indicate that there are 25.3 million people who arrived in the city. Although lower than what is expected by the HKTB, it is still a remarkable number as it increased into 8.1% compared to the previous year. Accordingly, long-haul markets especially members of the European, African and Middle Eastern countries flock all the way to the city and making a record of 11.1% progression. Competing with other tourists destinations in the country (e.g. Macau) and other Asian countries (e.g. Thailand, Malaysia, and other), the HKTB, as the prime marketing force, work on coming up with competitive combo and multi-dimensional tourism features and itineraries.
Potential markets and development opportunities may come in forms of other added features in the existing tourism package. For instance, the development of Tamar site can increase tourist arrivals provided that the said site is a promising location for construction of tourism facilities and other infrastructures like buildings that can serve as venue for tourism activities. The HKTB can also extend their international tourism networking to other leading tourist destinations and countries in the world. Strategic marketing plans and promotional programmes are also useful. If tourism in Hong Kong will consistently grow, economic development is ensured as well as employment is guaranteed.
The proposed tourism development is mainly focused on the development of Tamar site into a free and open space area where economic, political, cultural, social, and entertainment activities will be held. Today, the Tamar site is eyed as an outstanding location for the construction of new central government offices and in fact started project development application in November 2003 but halted during the SARS outbreak in China due to economic realignment. Critics argue that the conversion of Tamar site into a government complex will restrain the economic contributions of various tourism activities occurring in the site during some specified time of the year. Thus, this tourism development plan intends to improve Tamar site into a free and open space area that will stage a variety of economic, political, cultural, social, and entertainment activities in the whole city, managed by the HKTB and the government, and contribute into tourism economic benefits for Hong Kong.
The goals and objectives for the development are as follows:
1. To renovate Tamar site into a free and open space economic, political, cultural, social, and entertainment area managed by the HKTB and the government;
2. To make Tamar site as a prime area that will boost tourism opportunity and increase tourism revenue among Hong Kong tourism players.
Tamar site (see Appendix 1) is originally the location of the naval basin close to the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong headquarters. It is approximately 4.2-hectare large and is presently served as a parking lot at the harbourfront of Central, Hong Kong Island. Tamar site is near to some cultural and convention facilities including the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to the east. It also links a group of financial, commercial and tourism hubs to the south. And it connects to Garden Road that is rich in historical and heritage values to the southwest. The site is also among the last enduring empty sea front spots along Victoria Harbour. It is also the most costly part of empty land in Hong Kong as it is valued at .3 billion on the market, that is, ,000 per square foot. Reports say that there are groups of businesses and individuals who are interested in putting up their own projects in the site including the halted project developments of the Hong Kong government.
Describe the location of the site, its size and features. Explain the on-site and off-site factors that were relevant in deciding to develop the tourism project for this site. Include a map of your proposed site (need not be to scale and may be hand drawn) showing site features, the proposed tourism development, access routes that lead to other attractions in the destination, and other relevant supply factors or links.
Discuss and describe visitor management strategies that will be implemented at the site. Include relevant design features, such as buildings, access drives, paths and parking areas, in your map specified in item 4.
The physical environment of Tamar site is ideal as it has both ways into land and water areas.
Analyse the physical environmental and social environmental feasibility (sustainability) of the proposed development by comparing potential positive and negative impacts on both dimensions.
Provide your final recommendations for the development (ie whether it should proceed or not) and reasons for your decision.
Explain three key monitoring processes and relevant indicators that will be used to evaluate your plan.