What Is a Tourism Action Plan?

A tourism action plan is a comprehensive plan that seeks to boost tourism in an area or locality. The plan outlines various strategies to draw more tourists to a particular site or activity in an effort to generate profit and higher traffic.

According to figures published by Statista, the global revenue of the travel and tourism sector plunged by 17% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent national lockdowns and international restrictions that followed. Europe was seen to have the biggest decrease in revenue while the Asia Pacific region was expected to suffer the greatest employment loss due to the worldwide pandemic.  

Types of Tourism

In today’s modern society, the options have become virtually limitless. Tourists are presented with so many choices and avenues to experience travel. Tourism industries customize all types of packages to cater to individuals and tour groups alike. The following are just some major examples of these tourism options.. 

Ecotourism: With environmentalism being a loud and prominent advocacy in the past decades, it has generated a new breed of conservationist tourists who are environmentally aware and seek to promote the preservation and protection of nature. Nature or ecotourism promotes the industry through various activities that range from simple sight-seeing to extreme adventure. Examples of these ecotourism activities include trekking or hiking, cave diving, mountain climbing, bird watching, and nature tripping. Pilgrimage/Religious Tourism: Another reason people travel is to fulfill a religious or spiritual activity. Individuals and tour groups flock to religious sites around the world because of the profound meaning and faith-based beliefs they hold. A popular destination for Christians everywhere is the Holy Land. Millions of pilgrims travel to Jerusalem and its neighboring sites because of the historical significance of the place. It is where Jesus Christ lived and conducted his ministry. For Muslims, Mecca is a sacred place and making the journey is deeply rooted in Islam belief and tradition. These pilgrimages and religious tours are a big boost to domestic tourism in these particular areas. Culinary Tourism: A lot of people like to explore and experience the local cuisine whenever they find themselves in a foreign country. The popularity of street food and local food tripping seems to appeal to generally all kinds of tourists. A sensory experience, culinary tourism and food tripping can be a delightful and insightful travel experience. Whether it is fine dining along the streets of Italy or savoring the street food in the night markets of Taiwan, the sheer broadness of culinary tastes offer endless options to travelers and visiting tourists. Educational Tourism: Just like business trips, education tourism can also be a lucrative type of tourism for any country. Educational tourism is not just limited to schools, libraries or universities. Many people want to immerse themselves in the history and culture of a place so they visit museums, exhibits, galleries, trade expos, and even language schools just to gain information and insight of a particular area, city, or country. On another note, foreign exchange programs may also be classified as educational tourism to some extent because there is an active investment in people’s education and assimilation into a new place. Cruise Ships: A popular vacation option for many people is going on a cruise. Cruise ships or cruise liners employ millions of people from all around the world. And because these ships sail across the world, many countries that serve as ports and excursion hubs benefit from the lucrative tours and foreign visits. From the Mediterranean seas to the sands of Southeast Asia to the shores of the Caribbean, cruise ships bring big tourism gains to many localities. Usually, these big cruise ships offer all types of packages from short weeklong cruises to extended or long-term stays.

The Importance of Tourism and Travel  

Nowadays, traveling has become faster, cheaper and more accessible to a lot of people. Advancement in transportation and infrastructure has allowed people the opportunity to simply hop on a plane and discover new places. The travel and tourism sectors have quickly risen to be one of the most important and lucrative industries today. The examples below are some of the main reasons why this particular industry is so important.  

It helps boost the local economy. Tourism is more than just a personal experience. It can be an vital lifeline for a lot of people. Millions of people are employed in the tourism sector and a steady flow of tourists is needed for them to make a living. Not only does international and domestic travel contribute to the local economy, it can provide fulfillment and growth to a lot of people. Tour guides, travel agencies, transportation rental companies, and hospitality professionals all depend on customers and visiting tourists- whether they be locals or foreign nationals. However, different cities or places have varying degrees of dependence on tourism. Some municipalities and provinces heavily depend on tourism for a strong GDP; while others rely on tourism to a much lesser extent. It broadens one’s horizons. Getting out of one’s comfort zone requires being open to new experiences. Nothing quite accomplishes this like travel and adventure. The tourism industry offers so many opportunities for people to broaden their horizons and deepen their individual perspectives. For instance, a foreign exchange student on an educational grant can learn even more from traveling and immersing in the city’s culture than what is merely taught in the classroom. A person seeking adventure and escape can find solace and renewed meaning in a new city or town. Traveling and seeing new places can contribute a great deal to your personal growth and development in more ways than one. It provides novel and educational experiences. More than the benefits it offers society as a whole, traveling can bring positive changes when it comes to an individual’s personal growth. Not only does a person have the opportunity to learn about the new place, he or she is also adding a new experience to his or her personal journey. People can learn so much during trips, regardless if it is domestic or international travel. The potential for knowledge is essentially endless. If you are seeking educational experiences when traveling, you can try visiting heritage sites, museums, historical landmarks, or memorials to gain insightful knowledge and information. Other than its educational value, travel offers new experiences and gives people a renewed sense of life and excitement in the process. It promotes cultural exchange. When people travel to different places, they bring with them their cultures either consciously or unconsciously. Travel and tourism promotes a dynamic and lively learning exchange of cultures, practices, traditions, and beliefs. In relation to what was previously stated, a cultural exchange can become a door of endless learning possibilities and opportunities. Travel enables this in such a way that people learn and discover a multitude of things, if they only are intentional and pay attention during their trips.

How to Create a Tourism Action Plan

To create a tourism action plan, choose from several sample templates above to get started. When you have found a template that suits your needs or preferences, try to keep in mind the following steps listed in the tutorial guide below. 

Step 1: Set the Right Objectives

The first step is to set realistic objectives. What types of goals do you want to achieve in your tourism action plan? What do you want tourism to do for your locality or area? Governments would do well to construct a comprehensive and detailed action plan in order to maximize the tourist sites and activities in their cities and localities. Common objectives would include economic gains, increased employment, cultural and national preservation, external support, or network expansion.   

Step 2: Evaluate and Review the Data 

Before brainstorming on strategies and programs, you need to review the existing data and information. It is absolutely crucial to do a prior survey on the conditions or current state of tourism in your area. It is a major step in creating a more comprehensive tourism action plan, you need to be able to thoroughly and realistically examine what your locality can offer visitors. Is it lacking or flourishing? In evaluating, you also need to identify the areas that may have untapped potential or revenue-generating benefits.  

Step 3: Craft Policies and Plans

The next step is the actual drafting of the plans and policies for implementation in order to achieve the objectives stated prior. Having a good format is crucial to this section. Most action plans consist of tables or timelines. Using these types of formats can make your action plan look more organized. Further, the content in this section will depend entirely on your objectives. If you need more ideas on format and content, the sample tourism action plans above can serve as useful reference guides.     

Step 4: Provide Recommendations

As an extension of the policies and strategies stated in your tourism action plan, include your educated recommendations as well. What are the next proposed steps? Your recommendations may involve other stakeholders and agencies who are also essential to the success of your plans. The purpose of having recommendations is to promote improvement and continuous learning. They must be specific, doable, realistic, and forward-looking. In addition, you might also need to include a projected timeline to ensure that these recommendations are acted on. 


How do you make a tourism plan?

To draft a tourism action plan, make sure you establish your goals and objectives first. You want a comprehensive survey of the current state of tourism in your area. Once you have a good grasp of this, you can better craft more meaningful and educated policies and programs that target your tourism objectives. Outline various strategies and plans that will solve your goals. Make sure to provide hard data and sound recommendations in your action plan as well.

What are the 4 A’s of tourism?

According to a journal article published by Shih Chien University, the 4 A’s framework in tourism destination management are the following: attractions, access, amenities, and ancillary services. Most travel destinations comprise or require these four attributes.

What are the 3 main types of tourism?

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization or UNWTO, there are three forms of tourism. In a basic and broad sense, these types are domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism.

Travel and tourism offer a lot of benefits for individuals and communities alike. But to truly maximize the benefits of the tourism industry, authorities must ensure that there are sound plans and strategic policies in place. It is important for these plans and policies to be inclusive that its gains benefit all stakeholders. Choose from a wide selection of tourism action plans above to customize your own plan today!