The 10 As of Successful Tourism DestinationsHow can it be determined if a tourism destination is successful or not? And if...
Samos (Greece), and Tela (Honduras). This system was a breakthrough for destinationmanagement and was created with the sup...
DMO question: Does the destination offer a diversity of attractions that are    appealing to tourists?    Availability: T...
   Action: The availability of a long-term tourism plan and a marketing plan for       tourism are some of the required a...
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Morrison the 10 as of successful tourism destinations

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10 As of Successful Tourism Destinations by Alastair M Morrison

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Morrison the 10 as of successful tourism destinations

  1. 1. The 10 As of Successful Tourism DestinationsHow can it be determined if a tourism destination is successful or not? And if thedestination is judged to be successful, can the DMO take the sole credit for this greatachievement? These are hugely difficult questions to answer but nevertheless theyshould be tackled.One answer to the first question is that the successful destinations are the ones with themost tourists. So you will often see the “world’s top destinations” identified as the oneswith the most tourist arrivals according to UNWTO. These would include countries suchas France, USA, China, Spain, Italy, and the UK. However, many will argue that this is achoice of “quantity” over “quality” and that smaller destinations are not necessarilyinferior because they have fewer visitors. Additionally, these are countries and there aremany more destinations and DMOs below the country level.Some travel magazines and guidebooks publish “top destination” lists each year. Forexample, Frommer’s Top 10 Destinations 2012 included the Bay of Fundy (Canada),Beirut (Lebanon), Chongqing (China), Curacao, Fukuoka (Japan), Ghana, Girona(Spain), Greenwich (England), Kansas City (USA), and Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico).These were picked by Frommer’s editors, authors, and experts, and with some inputfrom readers. Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries for 2012 were Uganda, Myanmar,Ukraine, Jordan, Denmark, Bhutan, Cuba, New Caledonia, Taiwan, and Switzerland.This was based on the voting of a Lonely Planet expert panel based on topicality,excitement, and value. TripAdvisor.com’s Travelers’ Choice 2011 Top 25 Destinationsin the World included Cape Town (South Africa), Sydney (Australia), Machu Picchu(Peru), Paris (France), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), New York City (USA), Rome (Italy),London (UK), Barcelona (Spain), and Hong Kong (China); these were the top 10 in theratings followed by 15 others. There many other of these “top destination” lists but justfrom this small collection, it is interesting to note that no destination appeared twice onthese three. But more importantly no specific and detailed criteria were given for theselections.The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED), located in Montréal, Canada,has developed the System of Measures for Excellence in Destinations (SMED).Established in 2007, CED has evaluated several destinations around the world withSMED. A panel of SMED experts visits and assesses each destination that applies, andthe destination pays a fee for this service. The destinations that have been evaluatedsuccessfully include Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Canada), Andorra, Cantons de L’Est(Canada), Chengdu (China), Crete (Greece), Douro Valley (Portugal), Jeddah (SaudiArabia), Madeira (Portugal), Mexico City, Montréal (Canada), Riviera Maya (Mexico),
  2. 2. Samos (Greece), and Tela (Honduras). This system was a breakthrough for destinationmanagement and was created with the support of UNWTO. However, the criteria forapproval of destinations under SMED have not been made public.Based upon years of related experience, the author suggests “The 10 As” as a usefulset of attributes for judging the success of tourism destinations. Each of these 10attributes begin with the letter “A” (Figure 1).Figure 1: The 10 As of Successful Tourism DestinationsThe following is a short explanation of each of the 10A attributes:  Awareness: This attribute is related to tourists’ level of knowledge about the destination and is influenced by the amount and nature of the information they receive. DMO question: Is there a high level of awareness of the destination among potential tourists?  Attractiveness: The number and geographic scope of appeal of the destination’s attractions comprise this attribute.
  3. 3. DMO question: Does the destination offer a diversity of attractions that are appealing to tourists? Availability: This attribute is determined by the ease with which bookings and reservations can be made for the destination, and the number of booking and reservation channels available. DMO question: Can bookings and reservations for the destination be made through a variety of distribution channels? Access: The convenience of getting to and from the destination, as well as moving around within the destination, constitutes this attribute. DMO questions: Is there convenient access to and from the destination by all modes of transportation? Is there convention transportation within the destination? Appearance: This attribute measures the impressions that the destination makes on tourists, both when they first arrive and then throughout their stays in the destination. DMO question: Does the destination make a good first impression? Does the destination make a positive and lasting impression? Activities: The extent of the array of activities available to tourists within the destination is the determinant of this attribute. DMO question: Does the destination offer a wide range of activities in which tourists want to engage? Assurance: This attribute relates to the safety and security of the destination for tourists. DMO question: Is the destination clean, safe, and secure? Appreciation: The feeling of the levels of welcome and hospitality contribute to this attribute. DMO question: Do tourists feel welcome and receive good service in the destination?
  4. 4.  Action: The availability of a long-term tourism plan and a marketing plan for tourism are some of the required actions. DMO question: Is the tourism development and marketing in the destination well planned?  Accountability: This attribute is about the evaluation of performance by the DMO. DMO question: Is the DMO measuring the effectiveness of its performance?These 10 attributes can be useful for all destinations, but they need to be expressed ingreater detail than that shown above. Additionally, there are other criteria that could beadded to this list of 10. For example, the economic contributions of tourism to thedestination might also be included, as well as the degree to which the destination isfollowing a sustainable tourism agenda. © 2012 Alastair M. Morrison

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