The sustainability of a destination is significantly influenced by its ability to adapt to changing market conditions, use resources efficiently and deliver innovative planning and development strategies. That requires an objective review of past performance as part of an ongoing and cyclical process to monitor and evaluate a destination’s progress in achieving its goals and vision. Measuring and monitoring destination performance is important in identifying future opportunities and challenges for tourism in the destination and strategies to improve on performance over time.
Academic and industry research from around the world has shown that effective destination performance monitoring should:
- Be based on key performance indicators or achievement levels that are developed and agreed in the planning and implementation phases of destination management;
- Be based on a performance monitoring framework that guide activities, timing and methods and identifies key roles and responsibilities;
- Identify relevant performance monitoring tools, methods or certification options to assist in measuring and reporting on performance;
- Include an assessment of the organisational performance of destination management organisations as well as destination-wide performance data including visitor satisfaction;
- Sustainability indicators should be used to measure the economic, social and environmental impact of tourism on the destination;
- Regularly monitor potential risks to ensure that appropriate prevention, preparedness, response and recovery strategies are developed;
- Measure destination performance over time against agreed industry benchmarks for best practice;
- Identify strategies for continual improvement and innovation to achieve best practice and destination goals;
- Communicate and report on destination performance achievements with stakeholders, including visitors;
- Identify strategies to leverage performance achievements with funding agencies, suppliers and statutory bodies.
A number of core topics relating to destination performance are described in further detail in the links below including results for topic-relevant research, tools and resources.
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The market performance information available to tourism operators and managers of Regional Tourism Organisations for use in evaluating their relative performance is not considered adequate. Tourism operators individually have their own performance data available (ie hotels may have data on room night occupied per month) but this information is generally considered commercially sensitive. Thus, sharing of such data to enable the performance of an individual operator against others or to allow aggregate performance of the destination to be measured has been problematic. This technical report provides a summary of the pilot implementation of Industry Performance Analyser for Tourism (IPAT) by selected Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) in Queensland.
The objective of this report is to provide a framework for the sustainable development of the travel and tourism industry in the APEC region, through public/private partnerships, and to deliver a sustainability strategy for tourism destinations.
by Terry De Lacy, Marion Battig, Stewart Moore, and Steve Noakes
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