Destinations need to be appealing places to live, work and visit. As tourism grows, so does the need for product diversification and smart capacity management.

Increased demand, especially in certain sites or at peak times, puts pressure on attractions and infrastructure. The long-term interests of visitors and residents become lost in a polarised, over-simplistic debate.

While problems related to tourism in famous cities capture the headlines, a growing visitor economy would be a welcome addition to many destinations, supporting much needed employment. Industry can help.

What you need to know

  • Local policy-makers have most control over tourism regulation and taxes
  • Public opinion is highly influential on destination strategies
  • The value added by leisure travel intermediation is often poorly understood

ETOA’s policy objectives

  • Improved destination and capacity management, with adequate notice
    of change
  • Better visitor experience, and no tourist taxes without service improvement
  • Improved public perception and understanding of tourism

What we are doing

  • Local engagement, including ETOA working groups with members and
    the public-sector
  • Seminars on product development and origin market trends
  • Operational updates for members and destination-related research

Electoral cycles are short. The planning horizon for adequate destination strategies is long. Cities and their identities evolve; origin market tastes develop.

To be effective, tourism policy discussion requires detailed industry insight, close community collaboration and an openness to change. Attractions have a duty to look after cultural heritage and make it available. Destinations have a duty to their community and its long-term economic, environmental and social interests, including business development and industry support.

Industry has a duty to its clients from all origin markets to provide positive experiences, continually refining product and developing new services. Tourism is more likely to have a long-term positive impact if it is properly integrated into local plans and processes.