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Strategic planning is a course of action which is concerned with defining strategy, direction as well as carries out decision making process on allocating resources in order to pursue their strategy. It is a methodical progression which has the capacity to translate vision into goals and objectives and follows series of steps for attaining this. It plays a very significant role in the field of travel and tourism sector for the purpose of undertaking overall physical development of an area in long run (Brookes, Altinay and Ringham, 2014). Here, in this present report strategic planning in terms of physical development of City of Bath is going to be discussed.The city is situated in Somerset and became World’s Heritage Site in the year 1987. It has become one of the most important centres of tourist attraction in recent times (Morgan, Lugosi and Ritchie, 2010). The study will focus on various benefits of strategic plan focusing in area of tourism and leisure. In addition to this, development of an area will take place including its policies and plans along with this description of another area will take place and compared and on the basis of that vision will be developed as well as implemented.
There exists range of advantages of producing adequate strategic plan for the purpose of guiding physical development of an area in terms of tourism and leisure activities. Some of them are enumerated as under:
Establishes direction: It is one of the most important benefits of producing a strategic plan as by means of this clear purpose of development of an area is defined. In the similar manner, it provides assistance in establishing goals and objectives along with mission with the help of which comprehensible communication takes place. It acts as a guiding principle which directs physical development of an area in terms of travel and leisure. It also provides a suitable base which proves to be of great use in measuring progress of an area and at the same time provides a common ground for carrying out effective decision making process (Hwang and Lockwood, 2006).
Increased profitability and market share: By means of effective strategic planning along with focused thinking will prove advantageous in uncovering segments of customers, market conditions as well as service offerings that are regarded as in best interest of a particular area of travel and leisure which need to be developed. In addition to this, more amount of profit can be generated in tourist destination by making process of distribution and other related business decisions effective so that site can ensure stronger position in market place (Bloodgood and Chae, 2010).
Increases ability to deal with external environment: With the help of producing an adequate strategic plan for the purpose of guiding physical development of tourist destination each and every risk associated with external environment can be solved with utmost effectiveness and efficiency within stipulated period of time. Floods, fire, diseases, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes are some of the threats of external environment which can affect tourism sector up to a great extent by limiting the number of visitors Adequate strategic planning can reduce amount of such kind of happenings for longer period of time (Xiao, O'Neill and Mattila, 2012).
Creates unique differentiation: This implies that it avoids competitive convergence and provides assistance in gaining competitive edge over other related areas of travel and leisure. This is due to the fact that by means of this tourist destination will be able to develop its new identity by providing more customized services along with unique experiences to its potential clientele through undertaking effectual strategic planning at initial level (Benefits of Strategic Planning, 2009).
Establishes uniform vision and purpose: Strategic planning in terms of formulation of new physical development of an area provides help and support in devising clear and meaningful vision as well as purpose which can easily be shared among all concerned parties and at the same time provides assistance in drawing their attention in same direction during entire course of action. In the similar manner, range of priorities are also set up at initial level and on the basis of that available resources are being matched with that of opportunities prevailing in the field of travel and tourism in long run (Okumus, Altinay and Chathoth, 2010).
The City of Bath is located in Somerset in South West England which comprises of population of around 88,859 residents. In the year 1974 it became part of Avon and due to its abolition, the city became principal centre of Bath and North East Somerset. Romans have built baths and temples in the valley of River Avon and as per old traditions it was known as hot springs. During Georgian era it became one of the most popular spa towns and has created well renowned heritage of Georgian architecture with that of Bath Stone (Evans, Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012). The city is quite famous for its theatres, museums as well as other cultural and sporting activities as a result to which it has successfully drew the attention of large number of visitors and has become major tourist centre where more than 1 million guests stays and 3.8 million visitors pay a visit during every single year. They mostly falls under the category of heritage and cultural tourism. It has around 100 restaurants, bars and public houses, along with this, it provides 30,000 jobs in the field of education and health, 14,000 in retail, tourism and leisure and 10,000 jobs in business and other professional services (Klanten, Fort and Ehmann, 2012). In terms of planning it is the first and foremost duty and responsibility of The Director of Planning and Development to:
The key planning considerations which has been undertaken by planning and development department is to conserve areas which are of special architecture or historic interest. These all are protected under Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990.This has covered almost two-third of city and they have also listed around 5000 buildings which are covered under same act. They have formulated National and local policies which aims to develop, protect and maintain Green Belt area in order to enhance its rural character (Pablos, Tennyson and Zhao, 2011).
There are number of areas in the City of Bath in which range of needs has been identified for carrying out change. Some of them are mentioned as under:
Infrastructure: It is necessary on the part of ruling body to make some necessary and essential modifications in existing infrastructure of City of Bath. This is due to the fact that, it has been observed that in recent time, most of residents are building modern buildings and houses by eliminating cultural aspects in mind. For this it is significant to carry out some changes in infrastructure as well as preservation of buildings (Harrington and Ottenbacher, 2011).
Education system: It has been found that the educational system prevailing in the City of Bath is not up to the mark. It is very much required to increase the number of universities so that more number of students can come from all across the globe as a result to which growth and development of a city can take place on large scale (Brookes, Altinay and Ringham, 2014).
There exists range of areas in which number of opportunities prevails for developing tourism and leisure such as:
Museums: City comprises of 17 museums in city centre such as Building of Bath Collection, Fashion museum, The Jane Austen Centre, Victorian Art Gallery and so on. With the help of such type of museums the area of tourism and leisure can be developed up to a great extent by providing free guides so that guests can pay proper visit of such places and know about place in detail (Morgan, Lugosi and Ritchie, 2010).
Architecture: There are various Roman archaeological sites which are located throughout central area of city. Majority of buildings are made from local, golden colored Bath Stone which is one of the most prominent examples of architecture. In earlier period visitors can hire such places on rent or room and pay for such services (Enz, 2009).
Bristol is yet another area in which large amount of physical development has been undertaken in the field of travel and tourism. The city is a unitary authority area which is located in South West England with a population of 437,492 as per the data of year 2013. It is eighth populous city of UK and most populous city of South West England. In recent times, for the purpose of making it is as a major tourist hub, range of developments has been carried out in this city so that it can easily draw the attention of visitors towards it (Ajagunna, 2014). Development undertaken in City of Bath can be easily compared with that of Bristol on the following grounds
Architecture: The architecture of City of Bath is quite famous for its Roman archaeological sites and in hot springs, Roman foundations, pillar bases and bath can been seen easily without posing any difficulty. Most of buildings in Bath are constructed with golden colored stone which is further concealed by honey colored classical facades. Major developments have been seen in its museums, heritage as well as cultural sites. In the similar manner, it has around 5000 listed buildings categorized under various grade such as I, II* and II* in order to represent their relative national importance (City of Bath World Heritage Site Setting, 2013). While on the other hand, architecture of Bristol comprises of 51 Grade I listed buildings followed by 500 Grade II buildings and around 3,800 Grade II buildings in a wide range of architectural styles. The city has used unique style of architecture such as Bristol Byzantine which has created an added advantage for the same (Xiao, O'Neill and Mattila, 2012).
Media: In the City of Bath its local paper Bath Chronicle is being circulated which is in action from 1760 and it has now become weekly from 2007. Since 2003, BBC has been covering news as well as events in their program “Where I Live” website for Somerset. On the contrary, Bristol has two daily newspapers namely, The Western Daily Press and Bristol Evening Post. It also has number of local radio stations along with two student radio stations (Hwang and Lockwood, 2006).
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Tourism: Large number of development has been observed in both the cities in terms of tourism. In city of Bath more than 1 million people stay here all round the year, and approximately 3.8 million pay a visit on an annual basis. As a result to this, it has almost 300 places of accommodation which comprises of 80 hotels, 100 restaurants as well as most of business enterprises offer open top bus tours all around the city (Malphurs, 2013). On the contrary, Bristol is quite famous for its music and film industries and it hosts huge amount of events all round the year which attracts half a million people. It draws attention of large number of tourists by means of its cinema and films, spas and wellbeing, sports and adventure along with theatre and performance and so on (Hudson, 2011).
Benefits that has been incorporated by means of development such as:
For the development of an area it is necessary to create a well defined vision so that entire course of action can be carried out with utmost effectiveness and efficiency within stipulated framework of time. Vision is an inspirational description of desires which company wants to attain in their mid-term or long term future. It acts as a guide that focuses on current as well as future course of action (Harrington and Ottenbacher, 2011). The vision that can be seen for the city is to make it a tourist and tourism friendly places through improving accommodation, transportation and related facilities. In order to develop existing development opportunities prevailing in City of Bath, it is advisable to form appropriate vision statement in regard to functions related to tourism and leisure. For attracting more number of visitors to pay a visit it number of museums and cultural events can be increased up to a great extent (Tew and et.al., 2008).
By doing so, people interested into such kind of activities will definitely provide assistance in overall development. In the similar manner, the target is to raise number of hotels and restaurants up to 50% so that more number of tourists can be accommodated during peak season and no difficulty can be faced in such type of situation. The vision statement of City of Bath is to increase number of tourists making their visit per year. This is due to the fact that by means of this government will be able to generate more employment opportunities for its residents as a result to which their present economy will broaden and city will further grow as well as develop in long run (Woodside, Crotts and Harrill, 2007).
In addition to this, vision need to be developed for enhancing current transport facility so that number of problems related to this can be lower down and tourists will not face such kind of problems in near future (Jackson, 2008). Their next set of vision is to increase number of universities in city so that they can attract professionals along with more number of students which will enhance economy of a city for longer period of time. Moreover, ruling body need to restore existing architecture so that interest of residents as well as visitors can be retained for the same which will open new arenas and area of development in long run in City of Bath (Thomas and et.al., 2001).
In order to derive desired outcomes, it is essential to execute pre determined vision with utmost effectiveness and efficiency. Implementation is discussed as under:
Increase in number of tourists: It is one of the most significant vision that need to be attained by City of Bath so that it can retain its position on world’s map as a major tourist destination. In order to execute this successfully government can lower the fair or prices of tickets. In addition to this, many tourism companies can present lucrative and eye catching offers and packages for the purpose of attracting tourists throughout the world. This will boost number of guests making a visit in long run (Brookes, Altinay and Ringham, 2014).
Increase in number of accommodations: Next set of vision is related to enlarging the number of hotels as well as restaurants up to 50% in order to support enhancement in visitors. This can be executed with the help of proper help and support from both government and residents. Ruling body can provide space and land at quite reasonable price so that individuals can built hotels as well as eating joints for the purpose of accommodating visitors during high time (Bloodgood and Chae, 2010).
Transport facilities: In recent times, it has been found that current levels of transportation is not adequate and up to the mark as a result to this visitor are not able to explore the city and remain dissatisfied. This vision statement can be implemented by raising number of national highways so that major cities of UK can be connected to City of Bath. In the similar manner, routes of trains can be enhanced along with this government along with private business enterprises can increase number of city tour buses (Morgan, Lugosi and Ritchie, 2010).
Increase in number of universities: Presently, City of Bath comprises of two universities which can be raised to more number so that attention of students from all across the globe can be attracted towards it. For this, ruling body can open new universities and colleges offering world class courses from renowned professionals. Likewise, for this they can take affiliation from some renowned universities of UK so that certain standard can be maintained (Pechlaner and Sauerwein, 2002).
Rise in number of cultural activities: It is quite evident that for the purpose of improving market of tourism in City of Bath number of cultural and related activities need to be carried out. In order to fulfill this vision, various types of festivals can be undertaken on grand level so that tourists schedule their vacation to make a visit to such places. In summer theaters of bath offers range of activities such as dance, music, comedy, circus and many more. Along with this, government can make every possible effort to make Great Bath Feast a attraction point for food lovers which is a month long celebration which offers best of food and drink so that they can come and enjoy such type of festivals and cultural activities (Zajac and et.al., 2000).
Increase in employment opportunities: It is very necessary to generate ample amount of employment opportunities for local residents to broaden their economy and generation of wealth. This will prove beneficial in providing world class facilities to visitors and set high standard of living. This set of vision can be attained by enhancing number of availability of jobs in both public and private sector. In regard to this, more companies can be attracted towards opening their operations by providing them ample space at minimum possible price in city so that problem of solve can be solved effectually (Hwang and Lockwood, 2006).
Restoration of buildings and architecture: Last but not the least set of vision of City of Bath is to restore old buildings as well as architecture so that their heritage can be maintained for longer period of time. For this they can carry out entire course of action by constantly upgrading their mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems along with other required work in order to make properties functional within a time frame of restoration period (Ladeiras, Mota and Costa, 2010).
There exists range of benefits of sites of City of Bath to its nearby residents as well as visitors. Some of them are enumerated as under:
Overall development of an area: With the help of development of site, nearby residents will be highly benefitted with the development of an area in which they are residing. Along with this, they can make best possible use of available opportunities for their growth and development in long run (Jackson, 2008).
Generation of employment opportunities: By means of developed site, employment opportunities in that particular area will enhance up to a great extent which results in generation of wealth among residents. In the similar manner, problem of narrow economy will be solved and standard of living of people will increase within stipulated period of time. This will result in greater attainment of developmental opportunities prevailing in market place by individuals (Woodside, Crotts and Harrill, 2007).
Enhanced educational system: Improvements and with more number of developments in City of Bath will improve current level of education system by opening up of new universities and colleges offering world class courses to its residents. This will prove beneficial in advancing educational qualifications of residents and children and youth will not have to go to other cities for carrying out their further studies (Brookes, Altinay and Ringham, 2014).
Improved transportation and infrastructure: Enhancement in growth and expansion in the City of Bath will improve existing level of transportation and infrastructure facilities which will reduces distance between number of places as a result to which residents can make easy visit to nearby places. In addition to this, it will solve the problem of accessibility (Tew and et.al., 2008).
Better accommodation facilities: With more development of City of Bath visitors will gain added advantage of superior accommodation facilities along with restaurants where they can enjoy and explore the city to their fullest. Through this they will be capable of making their experience unforgettable with the help of world class services (Xiao, O'Neill and Mattila, 2012).
Reduced financial wastage: Huge amount of financial resources of visitors will be saved by means of various tour packages offered by several tour operators in City of Bath. By means of this they will make best possible use of available opportunities at minimum possible cost as a result to which they will pay visit again and again and make recommendations to others as well (Hwang and Lockwood, 2006).
Improved experience of historical places: With the help of development in infrastructure of city, tourists will be able to experience historical as well as cultural places which have been restored that will provide them maximum level of satisfaction. This is due to the fact that City of Bath is primarily is famous for its historical and cultural architecture throughout the world. This will provide assistance in maintaining importance of place in world’s map (Harrington and Ottenbacher, 2011).
By attributing the above facts from research report it can be concluded that range of benefits are being associated with producing strategic plans in order to provide guidance in undertaking physical development of an area in the field of travel and leisure. City of Bath is one of most renowned tourist attractions in recent times which is renowned for its culture along with architecture. There are several areas in which there is a need to carry out changes such as infrastructure, educational system and so on.
For the purpose of developing tourism city can make best possible use of its museums and present architecture. Followed by this SWOT can be carried out for the same. Bristol is yet another city in which same developments has taken place as that of City of Bath which has brought range of benefits associated with it. In order to improve existing level of tourism and leisure functions, adequate vision statement can be developed as well as executed by means of which development of transportation; architecture can take place in long run. This will result in generation of number of benefits to residents along with visitors of City of Bath in long run.
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