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

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Morrison The 10 As of Successful Tourism Destinations

  1. 1. The 10 As of Successful Tourism Destinations How can it be determined if a tourism destination is successful or not? And if the destination is judged to be successful, can the DMO take the sole credit for this great achievement? These are hugely difficult questions to answer but nevertheless they should be tackled. One answer to the first question is that the successful destinations are the ones with the most tourists. So you will often see the “world’s top destinations” identified as the ones with the most tourist arrivals according to UNWTO. These would include countries such as France, USA, China, Spain, Italy, and the UK. However, many will argue that this is a choice of “quantity” over “quality” and that smaller destinations are not necessarily inferior because they have fewer visitors. Additionally, these are countries and there are many more destinations and DMOs below the country level. Some travel magazines and guidebooks publish “top destination” lists each year. For example, 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 input from 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 Destinations in 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 the ratings followed by 15 others. There many other of these “top destination” lists but just from this small collection, it is interesting to note that no destination appeared twice on these three. But more importantly no specific and detailed criteria were given for the selections. 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 with SMED. A panel of SMED experts visits and assesses each destination that applies, and the destination pays a fee for this service. The destinations that have been evaluated successfully include Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Canada), Andorra, Cantons de L’Est (Canada), Chengdu (China), Crete (Greece), Douro Valley (Portugal), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Madeira (Portugal), Mexico City, Montréal (Canada), Riviera Maya (Mexico),
  2. 2. Samos (Greece), and Tela (Honduras). This system was a breakthrough for destination management and was created with the support of UNWTO. However, the criteria for approval of destinations under SMED have not been made public. Based upon years of related experience, the author suggests “The 10 As” as a useful set of attributes for judging the success of tourism destinations. Each of these 10 attributes begin with the letter “A” (Figure 1). Figure 1: The 10 As of Successful Tourism Destinations The 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 in greater detail than that shown above. Additionally, there are other criteria that could be added to this list of 10. For example, the economic contributions of tourism to the destination might also be included, as well as the degree to which the destination is following a sustainable tourism agenda. © 2012 Alastair M. Morrison

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