Premier Ranked Tourist Destinations: An Evaluation .Premier Ranked Tourist Destinations: An Evaluation

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    The Tourism Investment and Development Office,Ontario Ministry of Tourism

    January 2001

    Premier Ranked Tourist Destinations:

    An Evaluation Framework and Its Testingin the South Georgian Bay Region


    AI A2 F1 F2 F3 I1 I2 I3

    A1.i A1.v A2.i F1.i F2.i F3.i I1.i I2.i I3.i

    A1.ii A1.vii A2.ii F1.ii I1.ii I2.ii

    A1.iii A1.viii A2.iii F1.iii I2.iii

    A1.iv A1.ix F1.iv

    A1.v A1.x F1.v I4 I4.i


    J. Product Renewal

    B1 B2 B3

    B1.i B2.i B3.i J1

    B1.ii B2.ii B3.ii J1.i

    B1.iii J1.ii

    B1.iv J1.iii

    G1 G2

    B4 B5 B6

    G1.i G2.i

    K. Managing win Carryiing Capacities

    B4.i B5.i B6.i

    G1.ii G2.ii

    B4.ii B5.ii B6.ii


    K1 K2 K3

    B4.iii B6.iii


    K1.i K2.i K3.i

    B4.iv B6.iv K1.ii K2.ii K3.ii

    H. Critical Acclaim

    K2.iii K3.iii



    H1 H2 H3

    K4 K5 K6


    H1.i H2.i H3.i

    K4.i K5.i K6.i


    K4.ii K5.ii K6.ii

    C. Satisfaction and Value K4.iii K5.iii K6.iii

    K4.iv K6.iv

    C1 C2 C3

    C1.i C2.i C3.i K7

    C1.ii C2.ii C3.ii K7.i

    C3.iii K7.ii


    D. Accessibility K7.iv

    D1 D2 D3

    D1.i D2.i D3.i

    D1.ii D3.ii

    D1.iii D3.iii

    D1.iv D3.iv


    E. An Accommodations Base






    I. DestiInation Marketing

    G. Occupancy and Yield


    B. Quality and Critical Mass


    A. Distinctive Core Attractions F. Visitation


  • Premier Ranked Tourist Destinations:An Evaluation Framework and Its Testingin The South Georgian Bay Region


    Prepared For:The Ontario Ministry of TourismTourism Investment and Development Office900 Bay Street, 9th Floor, Hearst BlockToronto, OntarioM7A

    Prepared By:Malone Given Parsons Ltd.140 Renfrew Drive, Suite 201Markham, OntarioL3R 6B3Tel: (905) 513-0170Fax: (905)

    January, 2001





    The Ontario Ministry of Tourisms Tourism Investment and Development Office (TIDO) retained Malone GivenParsons Ltd. to undertake the study presented in this report. The study was commissioned to:

    1. Develop a framework that captures the attributes/factors/conditions needed in order that a tourist destinationbe perceived as a premier-ranked destination; and,

    2. Compare the attributes/factors/conditions that exist within the southern shore region of Georgian Bay againstthis framework and identify what is required, if anything, in order that the Region would be perceived as apremier ranked tourist destination.

    The Ministrys primary focus is on developing a framework that is relevant to the whole of the Province. Thesouth Georgian Bay region is used as a test case for assessing the frameworks utility in identifying: premierranked destinations, the elements that contribute to that ranking, and the gaps or opportunities that respectivelyconstrain or enable a destinations place among the premier-ranked.

    The study process involved three phases, whereby:

    C Phase 1 addressed development of a Requisite Elements Framework, capturing the elements considerednecessary for a tourist destination to be perceived as being among the premier ranked, as addressed in thereports Section 2.0;

    C Phase 2 assessed the tourism resource and infrastructure base in place and planned for the south shore regionof Georgian Bay, and compared it to the Requisite Elements Framework, as addressed in the reports Section3.0; and,

    C Phase 3 identified gaps, barriers, issues, opportunities and potential partners influencing tourism development(Section 4.0), and concluded with a review of the Requisite Elements Framework in use, and identificationof next steps in its development and tourism development in the study region in Section 5.0.

  • Ontario Ministry of TourismPremier Ranked Tourist Destinations // South Georgian Bay Region



    The Framework Development Process

    Development of the criteria for a Premier Ranked Tourist Destination was guided by criteria for the criteriawhereby the framework must be: market demand vs. product supply side driven; logically and intuitively connected to the elements that make for a premier-ranked tourist destination; as relevant to identifying gaps and opportunities and weighing investment decisions about future products as

    it is to making assessments of a current situation; measurable in a transparent, defensible and replicable manner; able to stand on its own as a template or tool for use by any Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) or

    project proponent, for performance assessment at one or a series of points over time, or to identify how andwhy a particular project is important to the attractiveness of a tourist destination area; and,

    relevant to a destination area ie. a complex of attractions and facilities that operate as a natural tourismdestination, as opposed to an individual attraction.

    Development of the Framework was also guided by:

    C a review of literature addressing tourism destination and resource planning and assessment, and managing inthe Experience Economy;

    C consultation with key informants representative of ten organizations active in the travel, tourism marketingand product development sectors;

    C a review of methodologies used to rank tourist destinations, facilities and services by travel and special interest(skiing and golf) magazines, and of that used by Communities in Bloom to identify its winning communities;

    C a review of literature addressing policy and project management frameworks; and,C discussion with the study Steering Committee at the Ministry of Tourism.

    The Requisite Elements Framework

    In essence, a Premier Ranked Destination must have attributes with well above average performance, alongdimensions that capture destination attractiveness, quality of the tourist experience, and market success. In orderfor that quality and success to be maintained over time, the destination must also be marketed, renewed, andmanaged in a sustainable manner.



    These essential dimensions can be distilled to Product, Performance, and Futurity. They are more fully articulatedas:

    THE PRODUCT A Premier Ranked Tourist Destination provides a high quality tourist experience, enabledDIMENSION through the destinations offerings of:

    A. Distinctive Core Attractions;B. Quality and Critical Mass;C. Satisfaction and Value;D. Accessibility; and,E. An Accommodations Base.

    THE PERFORMANCE The quality of the tourist experience and the destinations success in providing it is validatedDIMENSION by:

    F. VisitationG. Occupancy and Yield; and,H. Critical Acclaim;

    THE FUTURITY and sustained by:DIMENSION I. Destination Marketing;

    J. Product Renewal; and,K. Managing within Carrying Capacities.

    This logical structure and its eleven elements are the backbone of the Requisite Elements Framework. Eachelement is supported by criteria (36 in total), each of which is supported by measures (105 in total) that lead theuser through the analysis and evidence required to substantiate performance against the criteria. Data sourcesrelevant to each measure are also suggested. The criteria and measures are expressed as statements orexpectations, which effectively demand fill in the blanks proof that a tourist destination can respondaffirmatively to the implied question. The Framework is also supported by, and demands completion of, anaccompanying Tourism Resource /Opportunity Matrix as a tool facilitating a resource audit. A one pagePerformance Summary graphically captures a destination areas performance against the nested measures, criteriaand elements.

    The first page of the Framework is reproduced on the next page to illustrate its dimension/element/criteria/measures structure, followed by the Performance Summary.

  • Ontario Ministry of TourismPremier Ranked Tourist Destinations // South Georgian Bay Region


    Figure A: Page One of the Requisite Elements Framework


    A.Distinctive CoreAttractions

    A1. The destination offersdistinctive core attractionswhich are intrinsically linkedto its setting and/or history.

    i. A Resource Audit has been completed.

    ii. The Audit distinguishes core or principal attractions from ancillary orsupporting attractions, and identifies the former as: ______________.

    iii. The core attractions are destination travel motivators on their ownand/or operate as part of a complex with the following attractions:_________ in the larger destination region encompassing:__________.

    iv. Opportunities to build on potential complementarities with nearbydestinations have been addressed through: ______; which concludedthat: _____.

    v. The core attractions are considered to be relevant to a wide/narrowmarket base characterized as: __________ and estimated at: ______visits per year in Ontario because: ______.

    vi. The core attractions are linked to the setting of the destination in thatthey: ___________.

    vii. The core attractions are linked to the history of the destination in thatthey: _________.

    viii. The nearest destination with a competitive or similar offering is:_________, located: ______ km distant.

    ix. The subject destinations offering stands out as distinct fromcompetitive offerings be