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Tourism Development Plan – A Definition

The goal of tourism development is to increase the attractiveness of a destination or tourism company and thereby attract more tourists. To reach this goal a tourism development plan/ tourism master plan is needed.

Each tourism company respectively each service provider primarily pursues his own goal. However, most of the time it is not a particular service provider, e.g. a hotel or a tourist attraction, that is the target of travelers. They rather are part of a bundle of services consisting of accommodation, meals, infrastructure, leisure time facilities and so forth, which is perceived as an entity by travelers. Therefore, it is important for every single tourism company to follow an individual tourism development plan. But within the bundle of services of a destination it is at least equally important to work towards a common goal of an overall tourism development plan to use synergetic effects.

The basis of tourism development is represented by a tourism master plan which depicts the potential for development on the fundament of an extensive situation analysis. The procedure of preparing a tourism devolopment plan may be divided as follows:

1. Execution of a comprehensive situation analysis.

This contains:

  1. Environmental analysis: The general surrounding conditions, in which the destination respectively the tourism company are moving, are researched.
  2. Market analysis: The market analysis investigates the relevant market for the company, for example the market for hiking tourism or vegan nutrition.
  3. Competition analysis including benchmark analysis: The competition analysis shows the intensity of competition and the characteristics of the contestants. With the help of a benchmark analysis a comparison with the most important competitor is drawn.
  4. Operation and potential analysis: The current state of the destination respectively the tourism company is objectively documented to reveal latent resources. For this purpose the following areas are examined:
    1. Supply: The currently available supply respectively infrastructure and its capacity are determined.
    2. Demand: The present visitors are examined carefully to find out who they are and where they are from. In the case of missing the according data the execution of a survey of the guests is advised. Besides, the wishes and needs of the guests can be found out. If the services are used by residents as well a survey of the population can also be meaningful.
    3. Marketing: The current product, price, promotion and distribution policy are described.
    4. Organisation: The structure of the destination respectively the tourism company as well as the funding are documented, too.
  5. SWOT analysis: With the help of the SWOT analysis the results of the situation analysis are consolidated and interpreted. Strengths and weaknesses of the destination respectively the tourism company related to the market and the environment are analyzed; chances and risks are deviated.
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2. Preparation of a touristic mission statement.


  1. Outline of objectives: Both quantitative and qualitative goals are defined, paying heed to a “smart” formulation. This means that the objectives need to be specific, measurable, accepted, reasonable and time-bound.
  2. Definition of the target group: The target groups and source markets are determined that the supply and the marketing shall be oriented towards.
  3. Supply strategy: The concrete offer and the infrastructure need to be defined. In this connection the increasing competition and the globalization require to find a unique feature which allows a clear differentiation from the competition and distinguishes the own offer.
  4. Corporate brand strategy: Due to the intangibility of the tourism product image building and brand development are of special significance. With the help of this alternative indicator for the quality of the products a mutual trust to the customer is build. A functioning corporate brand strategy based on the unique feature of the supply strategy requires to establish a unique selling proposition.
  5. Cooperation strategy: Strategic partnerships are identified that can have a positive impact on the turnover or the cost of the tourism company.
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3. Elaboration of a precise action plan.

This includes:

  1. Spheres of activity: The spheres of activity that shall be worked on are derived from the preassigned objectives and strategies.
  2. Projects: The particular spheres of activity are concretized in projects. Thereby the further approach is fixed.
    1. Measures: The measures necessary to reach the specific project objectives are defined.
    2. Responsibilities: The person in charge for a project is appointed.
    3. Prioritization: Furthermore, the single projects are prioritized and scheduled according to their significance.
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As aforementioned with the supply strategy the increasing competitive pressure and the globalization lead to a focusing of destinations and tourism companies to a distinctively distinguishing competitive advantage. But that’s not all. The internationalization of the supply is another consequence.

You want to develop your destination respectively your tourism company? Contact me! With my structured functioning and my creative ideas I will gladly provide you with your tourism development plan.