Strategic Planning- Tourism Strategic Plan Lewis-Clark Valley
Lewis-Clark Valley is the beautiful site of Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington. The historical background of this valley is rich in cultural stories and its own heritage that dated back in some 18th century. The area has been land of Nez Perce Indians who had travelled to this valley and lived long in the land and rivers. The valley is so named because in the 1805, the Corps of discovery explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark visited this place and was welcomed by the native people. This meeting and warm welcome has developed good relations with the land and its people thus named it after their second names. Lewis-Clark Valley is the land of miners, merchants, railroaders, millworkers and farmers. Its geographical location is somewhere 465 miles from the Pacific Ocean at the convergence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.
The cities of Lewiston, Clarkston and Asotin are in modern times referred to as the openness to Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river gorge. The place outlays wide range of recreational activities like jet boating, white-water rafting, swimming, fishing, hunting, hiking and camping. The Lewis-Clark Valley is considered as a recreational paradise enriched with the cultural heritage and natural beauty. Because of the mild winter climate which allows year long golfing and snow skiing and snowmobiling this area has also been named as "Banana Belt" of the Pacific Northwest.
The Lewis-Clark Valley because of its unique geographic location combined with natural beauty and broad array of recreational activities, have always been center of tourism and visitors attraction. Economic survey has statistically shown that in the year 2004 tourist had spent $126.1 million in the Lewis-Clark Valley. The high volume of tourism had supported many businesses, created employment opportunities by generated 2,040 direct jobs and contributing to the state revenues in the form of taxes for about $7.75 million. (Valley Vision Economic Development Lewis-Clark Valley, 2007). Tourism promotion has improved the valley's infrastructure providing high quality of life to its inhabitants. Better transportation service has been developed; new and creative business opportunities have been developed.
The Lewis-Clark Valley is full of surprising tourist spots which has the great potential for growth in recreational activities and promotion of tourism in the location. The following strategic plan critically analyze the tourism vision for 2012 by reviewing the goals, strategies in respond to the action of these goals and provide with the recommending solutions for valley's tourism in view of the geographic and demographic identities, responsibilities and resource allocation.
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
Strategic planning is the process through which strategies are made and resources are allocated according to these strategies including material resources and human resources. Strategic management is the art and science of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organization to attain its objectives. Strategic management focuses on integrating management, marketing, finance/accounting, production/operation, research and development, and information systems to achieve organizations success (Markides, 1999). If strategic management process implemented on the country wide scale then all the functional areas of the organization are likewise affected by the functional areas of the economic, socio-economic, financial and managerial capacities of the country.
The strategic management process comprise of three stages: strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation. (David, 1999)
The first stage of strategy formulation requires developing mission, identifying external opportunities and threats and determining internal strengths and weaknesses. This analysis is done through a tool called SWOT analysis. The focus of this stage is on establishing long-term objectives, generating alternative strategies and choosing particular strategies to follow. The second stage is of strategy implementation. This stage requires establishing annual objectives, devising policies, motivating employees and allocating resources which make possible the implantation of the formulated strategies. Strategy implementation also includes developing a strategy-supportive culture, creating an effective structure, redirecting marketing efforts, preparing budgets, developing and utilizing information systems and managing the best work teams. Strategy implementation is the action stage of the strategic management process. Successful strategy implementation pivot upon the management's ability to motivate workers which is more of an art than a science. Strategy formulated if not implemented at all or not implemented properly serves no purpose.
The third stage strategy evaluation. Strategy evaluation enables the team to know what strategies are working and which one is ineffective. However, all strategies are subject to future modification because external and internal factors are in continuous change. Therefore for the purpose of evaluating strategies it's important to review external and internal factors that are bases for current strategies, performance measurement and then taking corrective actions. Strategy evaluation is important stage because the successful strategy today doesn't guarantee successful strategy tomorrow. Success always brings with it new set of problems and opportunities. Strategist need to overcome the problem and avail the opportunities.
The Strategic management model
The Strategic management process is dynamic and continuous. Since the process required interrelated activities therefore a change in any one component can necessitate change in another or all of the other components. The setbacks in strategic management model that requires alteration in other components can take up the following form:
a) Economical change that required long-term objectives to be reshaped.
b) Failure to accomplish annual objectives can enforce a policy change.
c) External factors like competitor move can force the mission to be changed.
Thus strategic management process never ends its continuous and constantly undergoes changes. It allows organizations to be proactive rather than reactive in structuring their future strategic plan. The process of strategic management is not limited to the organizations ability to respond to the activities but it focuses on taking initiatives, making influence and having control over its own destiny.
Fig 1: A Comprehensive Strategic Management Model
Perform External Audit
Measure and Evaluate Performances
Establish Long-term Objectives
Establish Policies and Annual Objectives
Generate, Evaluate, and Select Strategies
Establish Long-term Objectives
Perform Internal Audit
Source: (David, 1999)
Benefits of Strategic Management Process
The primary benefit of strategic management is to help make better strategies through the use of more systematic, logical and rational approach to strategic alternative. The success of strategic management is in the art of communication. Communication includes involvement of all the key members, team mates and group associates in supporting the achievement of common objective. Dialogue, discussion and participation is an important elements of the communication process in the strategic management. Beside the strategic management model implementation in the process, the manner in which strategic management is carried out is equally important. Manager's abilities are judged in the process to evaluated how much the team members are committed towards the process and motivated in the achievement of highest possible results. The potential of strategic management to product desired results also lies in the act of Empowerment (Langley, 1998) by the top management. Empowerment creates sense of encouragement and reward to the team members in the decision making process and foster increased level of initiation, creativity and cooperation among the participants. When sense of responsibility is increased among the group members there are few chances of conflict among the participants and work teams are well managed to the strategic objectives. It has been reported in the Wall Street Journal about 40% of U.S. manufacturers have adopted empowerment through the formation of self-directed teams. (Aepel, 1997)
It has been found that organizations that follow strategic planning are more financially sustainable than those who ignore the process. The outlined financial benefits of strategic planning are:
a) Systematic planning to prepare for future external and internal fluctuations in the environment.
b) More informed decisions with profound understanding of the both short- and long-term results.
c) Firms are able to measure the weak performance controllable factors pertaining to internal environment like capital intensive investments yielding undesirable results and uncontrollable external factors like poor economy, technological advancement, and foreign competition and increasing cost of funds in the financial markets.
d) The sustainability of the project can be analyzed by using various financial indicators which enable firms and projects to halt at the stage where strategies are going unprofitable.
Along with the financial benefits that strategic management provides, it also supports in providing material benefits to the firm. Some of the non-financial benefits are listed below:
a) Strategic management process helps in recognition, prioritization and utilization of opportunities.
b) Through its continuous process and feedback mechanism it provides management with problem solutions.
c) It's proactive in minimizing the effects of adverse conditions and changes.
d) Allocation of human, material and time resources are well managed through strategic management process.
e) It provides a framework for the internal communication system.
f) It fosters creativity among the team through forward looking and tackling problems in a systematic manner.
Method of secondary research is used in order to evaluate the strategic planning of the Lewis-Clark Valley. All information and data is collected with the help of extensive literature review. The method…