Discussion of the Hawai’i Planning Process.
Tourism is an integral part of Hawai’i’s community and the main generator of employment in the state. It is reported that in 2003, tourism provided one in every five jobs in the state. Being such an important aspect in the state, it has a lot of influence on the lives of Hawaiian people. Hawai’i Tourism Strategic plan: 2005-2015 is a comprehensive ten year plan that identified a shared vision by Hawai’i tourism stakeholders for Hawai’i tourism industry by the year 2015. This shared vision was: honoring the people and heritage of Hawai’i; foster mutual respect among all tourism industry stakeholders; provide a memorable unique and enriching visitor experience; value Hawai’i’s cultural and natural resources; and support a vital and sustainable economy. Additionally, it specified the strategic directions, specific goals and specifies the responsibilities of all Hawai’i visitor industry stakeholders that is all necessary for the realization of this shared vision.
In 1978, the Hawaii State Planning Act, Chapter 226, Hawaii Revised Statutes, was enacted in order to ensure that an all-inclusive plan was developed to guide Hawai’i’s future. As a result of this enactment, state goals, policies and objectives were established. A statewide planning system was also put in place in order to carry out this planning process. In the late 1900s, a state tourism agency, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) was created in order to develop tourism plans that would strengthen the tourism industry for the benefit of local communities. This organization uses its studies and market expertise to develop and implement Hawai’i’s strategic tourism marketing plan (HTA, 2016). To come up with this plan, the HTA started by revising the 2002 Ke Kumu tourism plan. Furthermore, HTA carried research to examine the state’s competitive position and find out the community’s view of the tourism industry and any suggestions and comments or concerns they may have. In order to successfully acquire the communities’ views, the HTA used the following strategies: focus groups, summits, email and online venues, industry discussions and public information meetings. Those involved in development and implementation of this plan were all the stakeholders of the Hawai’i visitor industry. However, those who were involved in making sure that all these stakeholders collaborate and fully support the plan were the Governor’s Tourism Liaison and the HTA.
This strategic plan was organized in several phases. The first phase, was to bring together all the stakeholders of the tourism industry and ensure that they harmoniously worked together. To do this, guiding principles were formulated to ensure that all these parties cooperate. These guiding principles were: collaboration, sustainability responsibility, quality and accountability. Additionally, all these parties need to strive to incorporate the native Hawai’i people values that make them unique and the island such a fascinating place to visit. These values are Lokahi-harmony; Malama aina-nourishing the land; Kuleana-responsibility; Ho’okipa-hospitality; Aloha-welcome. The second phase of the plan included the different counties on the island. Every county on the island has its own unique beauty and values. For this reason, each county needed its own Tourism Strategic Plan which addresses its own needs of their tourism sector. However, to do this, they needed funds and the HIA set aside funds for each county to develop their plans. Part of the organization of the plan was constant monitoring, evaluation and adjustments of the plans to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
Theory of Tourism Planning
Inskeep (1994) formulated a seven stage formal planning strategy. These stages are: Study preparation- this involves setting the terms of reference and deciding which agency will take the lead in the planning process; determination of objectives- involves setting objectives from competing priorities; survey of all elements- involves collection of data on current and future situations affecting the tourism destination; analysis and synthesis- collected data is brought together and relations between elements are analyzed which may include the use of a SWOT analysis; policy and plan formulation- from all the alternative policy directions, one is chosen and a plan is formulated; formulation of other recommendations; implementation and monitoring- the formulated plan is put into action and the way it works is monitored in order to make sure it is working as it should and if it is not, measures are taken to reassess the plan and implement changes (Inskeep, 1994). Formal planning has the following characteristics: based on the principles of scientific management and rationality; based on the firm belief that rational decision making can increase problem solving; and is focused on logical and sequential stages.
However, formal planning has a major weakness when it comes to tourism planning which is the fact that things in the industry are not always constant, they change all the time. For this reason, formal approaches have changed over the years in order to make sure that they respond effectively to changing circumstances and be more inclusive of the needs and knowledge of all stakeholders involved in the planning process. This leads to a more adaptive form of tourism planning. Hall and Page (2014) argue that planning systems need to be able to adapt and change so that they can learn to be effective. Miller and Twining-Ward (2006) support this notion by arguing that uncertainty should be dealt with through a continuous process of experimenting, monitoring and social learning.
Tourism planning process needs to be a collaborative effort among all the stakeholders involved in the planning process. Byrd (2007) describes stakeholders as any group of people or an individual who has the power to affect or is affected by the development of tourism in their area. The success of any tourism lies in the harmonious working and collaboration of all the stakeholders (Bramwell & Sharman, 1999; Byrd, Cárdenas, & Greenwood, 2008; Timur & Getz, 2008). For this reason, there needs to be consultation and collaboration among all these stakeholders. Tourism planners accomplish this collaboration through holding meetings with stakeholders in order to find out their views about the plan. This is usually referred to as tourism partnerships and may have various benefits to the success of the plan. Some of these benefits include: greater coordination among all stakeholders; reduction of conflicts; pooling of capital, resources and capital that can make the planning process much easier; and enhances democracy if all stakeholders are involved in the decision making process. Local communities are especially very important stakeholders in the tourism planning process since their input can lead to development of strategies and plans that ensure local attitudes are favored, local values and beliefs are preserved, local resources are protected and the overall quality life of all the people in the local communities are improved from the development of tourism in their local area (Faulkner & Tideswell, 1997; Milne & Ewing, 2004).
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Hall and Page (2014). The Geography of tourism and recreation. Routledge. 4th ed.
Hawaii Tourism Authority. (2016). About HTA. Retrieved from http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/
Hawai’i Tourism Strategic Plan 2005-2015. Retrieved from http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/default/assets/File/about/tsp2005_2015_final.pdf
Inskeep, E. (1994). National and regional tourism planning. London: Routledge.
Miller Graham and Louise Twining-Ward. (2006). Monitoring for a Sustainable Tourism Transition: The Challenge of Developing and Using Indicators. CABI publishing. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228583372_Monitoring_for_a_Sustainable_Tourism_Transition_The_Challenge_of_Developing_and_Using_Indicators
Milne, S., & Ewing, G. (2004). Community participation in Caribbean tourism. In D. T. Duval (Ed.), Tourism in the Caribbean: Trends, development, prospects (pp. 205–17). London: Routledge.
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