As a researcher, an important part of Meredith’s approach to developing plans is to undertake a comprehensive review of how a destination or region is managed, developed, and marketed. This involves understanding the type and scale of tourism product and experiences, facilitating effective stakeholder consultation, and working closely with her clients.
The aim is to develop strategic plans that help to position destinations so that they can compete, innovate and prosper over the long-term. It is also important to develop, manage and market tourism in a way that ensures and maintains a desirable quality of life for residents, as well as providing satisfying experiences for visitors.
Her approach to stakeholder engagement and strategic tourism planning is inclusive and strategic. Key principles include:
- Adopt a collaborative approach that involves developing on-going working relationships with clients and stakeholders across local, regional and state levels
- Become embedded in destination regions to better understand unique tourism products, experiences, opportunities and issues
- Undertake critical and strategic thinking that considers the tourism destination region, tourism generating regions, transit routes and relevant environments (economic, natural, built, social, cultural, political)
- Bring together information, knowledge and skills from stakeholder perspectives, empower stakehlders and secure agreement on solutions and implementation strategies
- Educate communities about the benefits of sustainable tourism and strategic tourism planning within a broader tourism context
- Tap into the knowledge of tourism experts
- Consider relevant policy and legislative frameworks
- Determine destination management structures that will guide and inform the implementation of destination plans
- Present reports and plans in a simple style
- Adhere to project deadlines
- Provide on-going advice to clients to ensure the implementation of key strategic planning and management initiatives.