Free «Tourism Development Strategy of the Slovak Republic Until 2013» Essay Sample
The target destination for tourism development efforts is Slovakia. Slovakia, a European country, has potential in becoming a travel spot for tourists, but various barriers and challenges that were pointed out in the proposal and that will be discussed later in the review, prevent tourism development. The physical features of Slovakia present a good venue for tourists to explore. Slovakia has mountainous but also flatland regions. The climate is extreme, which switches from summer to winter. Majority of the population is Catholic and the Slovaks practice a unique culture that would appeal as a novelty to tourists (Hudman & Jackson 2003: 283). Previous and current efforts to market tourist development in Slovakia focused on what the country could offer in urban and cultural tourism, spa and health tourism, winter tourism and sports, summer tourism, waterside holidays, and rural and agro-tourism (Organisation for Economic Co-operation 2008: 197). Moreover, tourists could visit the city’s capital, Bratislava, to view unique and old architecture as well as art and modern life in Slovakia (Belda 2008: 189). The Tourism Development Strategy of the Slovak Republic is a project approved by the government. Businesses in the tourism industry and the government are the key stakeholders of the project. In addition, NGOs would also play an important part in tourism development in the country since the effort requires cooperation among all sectors (Probstl 2010: 132). The Tourism Development Strategy labeled the effort as “intersectoral.” The Slovak Agency for Tourism (NTO), Slovak Association of Hotels and Restaurants, Slovak Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents, Slovak Association of Tourism Information Offices, Slovak Association of Country and Agro-tourism, and LAVEX are some of the agencies that could contribute to tourism development efforts (Ellul & Council of Europe 2000: 26).
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The primary factor that would affect tourism development in Slovakia is the government’s existing policies when it comes to tourism. The Slovak Republic does not have legislation that would set standards on how the tourism organizations and businesses should be organized (Williams & Balaz 2000: 57). Moreover, the absence of tourism policies means that businesses do not meet rules of management and levels of compliance. Businesses in lodging and accommodation industry and other companies that offer similar services are not governed by policies or regulations that demand them to meet accepted standards of quality services. As a result, tourism services do not meet excellent quality and are unsatisfying to tourists. Other factors that affect tourism development are the increased taxes the government imposes on businesses in the tourism industry (Humphreys & Nollen 2003: 420). Thus, businesses are discouraged to invest in tourism due to the taxes that they would need to pay (Hall, Smith & Marciszewkska 2006: 99). Social factors include resistance from the public against tourism development efforts (Evans, Joas, Rundback & Theobald 2005). Terrorist attacks also affect the inflow of tourists in the country (Mallows 2007: 33).
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The Tourism Development plan is comprehensive plan that covers the important issues that the Slovak Republic must address in order to establish an effective and solid tourism industry in the country. The most important issue that challenges tourism in the country involves the problems and barriers that would affect the industry’s success. The report is thorough and comprehensive enough because it pinpoints existing and potential problems that would deter the plan, and this identifying these issues is important so the Slovak Republic could step in and implement laws and regulations to change or improve them. Moreover, the report does not merely pinpoint the problems. The report has clear and attainable goals and objectives and it contains various strategies and solutions that could help the tourism industry in the country. The report is helpful because it illustrates a clear plan but also underscores clear, realistic, and manageable strategies on how the Republic could enact and achieve the plan.