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Strangford Lough Destination Planning

 

BTS is an Edinburgh based specialist tourism consulting practice, familiar with what makes successful destinations work in terms of tourism management, marketing and development. Our brief is to update the destination management plan for Strangford Lough building on the area’s tourism assets, providing reasons to visit, growing demand and providing sustainable wealth and employment benefits in line with the DETI Draft Tourism Strategy for 2020.

Our approach to the Tourism Destination Plan preparation and design

The strategic framework for the new Tourism Destination Plan lies in a complex weave of local, regional and national policies, strategies and delivery plans. Our first task is to make sense of these, drawing on national best practice and locally determined priorities. We add to this catalogue of reviews and plans, what the market itself is saying about the destination – who has been coming to the area to date, where will the future markets be and what are visitors interested in?

We’ll also look at the quality of the visitor experience and at the baseline of tourism related facilities and attractions – the natural environment being a significant component. Much of this data is already published and we will draw on available statistics and data.

BTS is also conducting a consultative programme, comprised of a series of face-to-face and telephone interviews, an electronic survey of tourism operators and a couple of workshops to ascertain what public agencies, local authorities and tourism operators themselves consider to be the opportunities, constraints and priorities as well as the scale of ambition for the area.

The Tourism Destination Plan is to be delivered by BTS for the end of March 2013, and will include an action plan to support implementation.

It’s important to emphasise that the Tourism Destination Plan is not just about marketing the destination. Successful destinations operate best when they align with strong brands (the Northern Ireland brand) and strategic priorities (the DETI draft Tourism Strategy), whilst also ensuring engagement and commitment from the private sector and the local community.

The Tourism Destination Plan will address the image and character of the area. It will certainly include marketing and promotional actions as well as development opportunities and options, transport and other infrastructure, management of the public realm and amenities and people/skills and customer service perspectives. All of these contribute to the competitiveness of the area, its visibility in a crowed tourism marketplace and the quality of the visitor experience. 

If you would like to contribute to this project please contact:  Stewart Walker, BTS, 0131 625 7040 e:stewart@bts-solutions.com or follow this link to complete our BTS Projects Contact Form.

 

 


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