Tag Archives: change management

Systems Thinking in Tourism

The idea that tourism is a system has been around for a while.¬†Morrison and Mill wrote the first edition of The Tourism System in 1985 – and they weren’t the first to recognize the concept. Since then there have been advances – Louise Twining Ward – added that tourism was a Complex and Adaptive System and Noel Scott and his colleagues have done great work on understanding the dynamics within these networks.

So – if we know its a system – why don’t we treat it like one ? Why is it that when so many industry leaders¬†talk about tourism they tend to assume top down, hierarchical decision making? You can’t just tell a system to do something…

Systems thinking is one of the important skills of Destination Managers. Networking, collaboration, negotiation, knowledge management, partnering, political skills…these are the tools for success in the tourism system.

Connecting Dots

One of the real challenges in creating change for sustainable tourism is creating meaningful support for practitioners. We know what needs to be done – but it is hard to do. Seth Godin’s Blog “How to Draw an Owl” captures the problem perfectly. Its easy to draw the two circles that form the basic structure of the owl – but the challenge is in drawing the rest of the damn owl….