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Tourism assets and liabilities Tourism assets and liabilities
by Joseph Gatt
2021-01-08 10:34:47
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Last time I discussed tourism policy and planning at length. Here's some additional information that you will need in tourism policy planning.

There are a few factors that you will need to consider, which are:

Geography and topography: When planning for tourism, geography and topography factors are important. Where's your country located? Is it easy to access by car, boat or plane?

Are your surrounded by countries with a lot of tourists? Are the roads easy to access? Is the topography easy?

tour001_400Geographic factors are important. If you are surrounded by countries with a lot of tourists, bringing in tourists should be easy, provided you sign deals with the neighboring countries. For example, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia could sign a deal where Algerians encourage tourists to tour Morocco after visiting Algeria or Tunisians encourage local tourists to spend a few days in Algeria or Morocco or both.

Labor standards of neighboring countries: very, very important factor. Are you surrounded by countries where people work 70 hours a week and only get three days a year of paid vacation?

Or are you surrounded by countries where people work 35 hours a week and get 5 weeks paid vacation?

If in neighboring countries people only get 3 days paid vacation a year, you're not going to get a lot of visitors.

If in neighboring countries people get 5 weeks paid vacation, you should really work on that tourism policy of yours.  

Economic standards of neighboring countries: If people get 5 weeks paid vacation a year, but only make 300 bucks a month, what's the point in having a tourism policy?

But if people get 5 weeks paid vacation a year, and make 5,000 dollars a month, you need to work on that tourism policy of yours.  

Weather: Very important factor: the weather. Do you have a monsoon season? A rainy season? A snow storm or blizzard season? A cruel heat wave season?

Weather factors play an important role. Promoting hiking in the middle of a blazing summer is ridiculous. Promoting beach going in the middle of a cool spring is also ridiculous.

So when you plan your tourism policy, do the following: look at the weather, and look at the activities. Cool activities for the hot weather, indoor activities for rainy days, indoor activities for cold days, sports activities like hiking, or sightseeing on mild spring and autumn days.

Of course a lot of people are going to want to go sightseeing in the middle of an 40 degree Celsius August day, but you shouldn't encourage that.

Language: If people in your country speak English or French or Portuguese for whatever reason (usually colonialism) you want to attract those English-speaking, French-speaking or Portuguese-speaking tourists.

Tourists tend to feel a lot safer in countries where people speak their language.

Shopping: Tourism is often about getting excellent bargains. You want to set up markets where you can find clothing, kitchen items, packaged food items, tools, and even cheap IT and electronics, at a bargain price.

Right now a lot of tourism countries sell all kinds of products at the market which are not adequate for tourists. Remember that tourists can only carry a bag or a suitcase, you markets should really be about cheap clothing or anything cheap that fits into a bag.

Sights: Sightseeing is only one aspect of tourism, usually the boring one for most people. Most sights tend to be overcrowded, and most tourists don't really understand the historical significance of sights.

So sights should be about taking a few pictures and touring the sight for a few minutes, a maximum of half an hour. It gets boring beyond that.

I say this because I've been to countries where they make you spend three hours visiting this one sight. And for most people it gets really boring.

Diversity of tourism products (entertainment, shopping, camping, hiking etc.): Most countries where a lot of tourists come in lack diversity when it comes to activities for tourists.

In most countries it's the same dozen activities. But, one way to make tourists prologue their stay is by offering a series of activities that will make them want to extend their stay.

Nightclubs. Good. Casinos. Why not? Music festivals. Good. Video game tournaments. Good. Sports festivals and tournaments. Good. Organized but improvised beach or mountain activities. Good. Cultural activities. Good. Improvised but organized art expositions or science expositions or handicraft expositions. Good. You get the idea.  

Safety, hygiene and health: I'll save the most important for last. If you want to succeed in tourism, you need good safety standards, good hygiene standards, and good hospitals and pharmacies for health issues.

You want tourists to stay safe and healthy. If they catch VD or STDs, it's their problem. But if they become sick because of lax food or hotel or beach hygiene standards, it's not the tourist's fault.

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