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Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 772±791, 1999 # 1999

Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Printed in Great Britain



PII: S0160-7383(99)00007-9



Dianne Dredge

University of Newcastle, Australia

Abstract: Destination place management requires that land use and development issues beaddressed. Despite considerable advancement in the methodological processes, there is still no clear conceptual destination model to address these issues. Existing models have largely been developed through a fragmented case-study approach and have not yet achieved a suf®ciently integrated conceptual basis for a comprehensive understanding of the spatial characteristics of destination regions. This paper attempts to sharpen the conceptualization of the core elements of destination regions by building upon existing models and concepts. The model presented here is a systemic construct and provides for a common platform from which investigations can proceed into the normative and functional aspects of spatial destination design. Keywords: planning, destination regions, models. # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Re Âsume Â: Plani®cation et conception du lieu de destination. La gestion du lieu de destination exige une conside Âration des questions de politique agraire et de de Âveloppement. Malgre  des avances conside Ârables dans les processus me Âthodologiques, il n’existe pas encore de mode Ále conceptuel clair pour ces questions de destination. les mode Áles existants ont e Âte  de Âveloppe Âs surtout par des approches fragmentaires d’e Âtudes de cas et n’ont pas de base conceptuelle suf®samment inte Âgre Âe pour bein comprendre les caracte Âristiques spatiales des re Âgions de destinations. Cet article essaie d’af®ner la conceptualisation des e Âle Âments fondementaux des re Âgions de destinations en ba Ãtissant sur des mode Áles et concepts existants. Le mode Ále pre Âsente  ici est une construction syste Âmatique pour une plateforme commune des investigations sur les aspects normatifs et fonctionnels de la conception spatiale de destina-tion. Mots-cle Âs: plani®cation, re Âgions de destination, mode Áles. # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

All rights reserved.


One of the most important challenges arising from the goal of sustainable tourism development is destination planning. The traditional boosterism approach to development has been oriented toward reducing barriers and in stimulating market interest (Getz 1987). This emphasis has resulted from importance being placed on the economic bene®ts of the industry, such as income generation, employment creation and regional development. However, researchers into the impacts of tourism are increasingly noting that the tra ditional market-driven approach does not always provide the most appropriate or sustainable solution (Inskeep 1987, 1988). Some form of intervention is necessary to protect the environmental assets on which tourism is based, to mitigate social and cultural impacts, and to maximize economic bene®ts and minimize negative impacts (Inskeep 1991).

While the most desirable framework for this intervention depends upon the nature of tourism itself as well as political and administrative frameworks, it is increasingly being recognized that development issues should be addressed as part of a comprehensive planning process (Getz 1986, 1988; Inskeep 1991). In addition to market planning, the spatial implications of tourism also need to be addressed (Fagence 1991, 1995; Gunn 1993). In addressing the pragmatic concerns associated with destination management, Ashworth and Dietvorst (1995) argue that it is essential to integrate tourism into local place management policy. That is, tourism is reliant upon a community’s stock of natural and human resources; however, these resources are frequently planned and managed under other statutory and non-statutory planning regimes, such as land use planning, natural resource management and community economic development schemes. Most of these regimes are primarily concerned with other issues and are conducted independently of tourism planning initiatives. Accordingly, if destination place

management is to be effective, it should be integrated into existing planning frameworks.

This paper is concerned with the integration of tourism into the physical or land use planning framework. In simple terms, land use planning is a statutory process which aims to identify a vision for the spatial development of an area and to pursue this by designating a preferred pattern of land use. It is a process which is carried out at the local or regional level as opposed to market-oriented tourism planning which is most commonly carried out at the regional level or above. The aim of land use planning requires that developmental issues be spatially interpreted. Frequently however, there is little or no guidance in the form of spatial strategies at higher levels of government (Fagence 1991). In some countries, this hiatus has resulted in a situation where development processes become complicated and protracted as planners attempt to assess projects on an ad hoc basis using planning documents which have been elaborated without full consideration of tourism development issues (Dredge and Moore 1991; Long 1994). It is argued that despite considerable advancements in the development of methodo-

logical processes of tourism planning (Getz 1988; Inskeep 1988, 1991; Lawson and Boyd-Bovy 1977) there is a lack of spatial concepts, models and theories from which the land use planner can draw. This in turn can exacerbate the dif®culty in integrating destination place management into the land-use planning framework.

An analysis of spatial models of tourism corroborates this perspective. Pearce (1995) detects considerable fragmentation of spatial tourism models, noting that many have been developed inde pendently of one another, with little or no recognition of or attempt to build on previous efforts. Furthermore, few have been subject to critical appraisal or empirical testing. Fagence (1995) acknowledges that the main contributions of these models lie in establishing the relevance of certain geographical concepts such as spatial interaction between components, distance decay from origins to destinations, nodal hierarchies, tour circuits, and specialization between destinations and nodal interdependency. While these may be important in understanding the geographical nature of tourism, their use for the purposes of identifying a preferred pattern of land use is limited due to their predominantly descriptive or explanatory nature. Mitchell and Murphy (1991:65) argue that “despite

attempts to cast spatial and environmental relationships into a broader theoretical framework, there is still a need to integrate such models into more comprehensive paradigms of land-use and tourist behavior” (1991:65). Jansen-Verbeke (1992) observes that despite the plethora of models and concepts to aid in the planning of housing, traf®c, industrial, and commercial activities, there are few such models in relation to tourism and recreation planning. The aim of this paper is to sharpen the conceptualization of the core elements which comprise destination regions in order to assist the land-use planning process. In doing so, the paper draws from a number of existing models, concepts, and theories in order to build a framework for improved destination place design in as much as physical planning, land use, and development issues are involved.


Planning is the process of establishing a strategic vision for an area which re¯ects a community’s goals and aspirations and implementing this through the identi®cation of preferred patterns of land use and appropriate styles of development. Traditionally, the range of concern for planners has been narrowly focused on residential, commercial, and industrial land uses. Tourism, because it involves a wide range of interrelated land uses, has usually not been considered in its entirety, but has been compartmentalized for the sake of expediency. However, the stimulus for local planners to become more involved in destination planning and management stems from changes that have been occurring in the profession over the last two decades. Issues such as sustainable development and community consultation have had an enormous impact on the planners’ self perception and the way they de®ne their role (Forrester 1989). They are increasingly moving away from an insular bureaucratic role to encompass a wide range of other considerations, including environmental protection, commercial and corporate interests and public opinion, that have previously been considered outside their domain.

In an era of growing specialization and differentiation of community interests, increasing public participation and access to the decision-making process, the task of balancing this growing range of issues is dif®cult. The planners’ role is neither rational nor compreDESTINATION PLACE PLANNING AND DESIGN 774 hensive (since it is impossible for all factors to be investigated and considered equally) but is bounded by a number of personal, pro fessional, and political factors (Forrester 1989). These may include the education and training of the individual, personal attitudes and beliefs, understanding of the issues at hand, ability of the planner to present and justify recommendations, and the in¯uence of lobby

groups and the professional tools which the planner employs. It is the last factor, professional tools, which is the concern of this paper. Since tourism issues must compete against all other community interests in the development of place management policy, the planner must have available a range of tools in the form of methodologies, concepts, models, and theories to answer critical questions about the most desirable spatial structure of tourism in order to facilitate destination region design and development.

In short, models and concepts are needed which can provide answers to several critical questions. For example, what is the most desirable spatial con®guration to facilitate the ¯ow of tourists, goods, and services to and within a destination region? How can a destination’s spatial structure be manipulated to enhance its “sense of place”, to promote a sense of security, and to heighten environmental “legibility” for tourists who ®nd themselves in an unfamiliar environment? How can a destination maximize its integration with the wider regional, provincial, or national tourism product? Can the spatial structure be manipulated in order to facilitate the protection of natural, social, and built attributes which make a destination appealing? What is the most appropriate and cost-effective spatial sequencing for tourism? Planning tools come in a variety of forms. A brief examination of their types provides a useful basis from

which to organize existing models and concepts of tourism, to determine their contribution, and to identify open problems for future investigation.

Planning Tools

Three broad groups of planning tools exist. The ®rst, process tools, are concerned with the nature of the planning process and are closely aligned with the ®elds of decision-theory and policy analysis. In planning literature the rational comprehensive, blueprint, mixed scanning, and bounded rational models are well known examples (Campbell and Fainstein 1996). In tourism literature, several planning models exist, including Getz (1986), Inskeep (1987, 1988, 1991) and Lawson and Boyd-Bovy (1977). Most of these attempt to forms. In tourism literature, examples of functional tools include center-periphery models (Britton 1980), morphogenic studies of destination regions or their parts (Smith 1992; Stans®eld and Rickert 1970), and analysis of travel behavior patterns (Lundgren 1982). follow the rational comprehensive paradigm. The second group, functional tools, encompass a broad range of theories, models, and concepts which explain the way settlement patterns emerge and function. Derived principally from systems theory, they may be descriptive, explanatory or predictive in nature and may be holistic or focus on one component of a larger system (McLoughlin 1969). More ambitious functional theories attempt to explain the dynamic relationship between human behavior and structure of settlement.

Normative tools, as the third group, deal with the generalizable connections between human values and settlement form. Less well developed and in many ways more nebulous than the preceding groups, normative tools deal with the connection among architectture, urban design, and landscape architecture, a number of normative tools have emerged in planning literature, including Alexander et al’s A Pattern Language (Alexander et al 1975) and Lynch’s Theory of Good City Form (Lynch 1981). However, examples of normative tools in tourism are scarce. Gunn’s regional planning concept (1972) and model of attractions (1965, 1993) are notable examples. These three groups of tools are not independent but are closely and inextricably related. No single tool can address all planning problems in a region. Planners employ a variety of these tools at different stages to de®ne the planning process, to describe and explain the problem under investigation, to generate alternative solutions, and to identify the preferred option. This paper focuses on functional and normative tools of a spatial nature that can assist in strategic land use planning of the destination region.

Spatial Models of Destination Regions

Over the last 30 years a number of models have emerged that can assist in destination region planning and design. They deal with such aspects as spatial structure, hierarchy evolution, travel patterns, and linkages (Table 1). The different disciplinary perspectives from which these models have evolved provide invaluable understanding for planners who are by nature multidisciplinary professionals. Although many of these models contain ideas fundamental to the planning model, only their relevant aspects are discussed in this paper. Detailed descriptions and discussions of the models appear in the original works or in Pearce (1995) and Fagence (1995) who provide extensive overviews.

In relation to the utility of these models for the purposes of planning, ®ve important points are noted. First, models which deal with travel patterns and linkages have been developed primarily based on North American destination regions where the automobile travel dominates; thus these models have limited applicability to other types of destination regions. Furthermore, while the travel patterns generated in a particular region are inextricably related to its physical characteristics (for example, the availability, cost, distance, and condition of routes among points of interest), these models do not tend to recognize these factors and as such are of limited utility to planners.

Second, most of the structural models have been developed out of empirical studies where the existing physical structure of a destination has been generalized in order to understand or explain some

particular phenomena. That is, an inductive logic process has been used to examine and explain a historical process or phenomenon. As a result, existing models of destination regions have tended to re¯ect what is there (i.e., functional models) and not what should be (i.e., normative models). For example, Smith (1992) maps changes in the physical structure of several coastal destinations in order to explain the spatio-evolutionary process of coastal resorts. Miossec (1976, 1977) describes a destination’s evolution based on spatial characteristics, transport, tourist behavior and attitudes of decision-makers, and the community. While these models provide the planner with an understanding of the processes by which the phenomenon came to be, they do not assist with the identi®cation of a preferred spatial structure, nor do they assist in answering aforementioned critical questions.

Third, the evolutionary models in Table 1 are a diverse group which address various aspects of destination region development. Plog’s allocentric-psychocentric model (1973) and Butler’s destination lifecycle model (1980) are examples which are widely cited but for which important criticisms are emerging (Getz 1992; Haywood 1986; Leiper 1995). These models attempt to describe some evolutionary process but are neither explanatory nor predictive and hence of limited use in planning destination regions. Fourth, since most of the models are empirically derived, many lack wide ranging applicability across different types of destinations such as island and land-based destinations or those of different scales (e.g., regions or nations). They also lack wide ranging applicability to a number of different markets such as drive, cruise, or ¯y segments. Fifth, while there is some consensus over the components of the destination region (i.e., nodes, paths, and networks), investigations into the nature of and relationships among these components have been scant.

Despite these criticisms, there are a number of important ideas that emerge from the analysis of existing models and which provide the basis for the development of a spatial model for destination region planning and design. One, Gunn (1972, 1988, 1993) has made considerable progress in describing the physical structure of destination regions. While his work is widely cited, he remains one of only a handful of researchers who have devoted attention to describing and developing models of desirable destination structures. In his regional planning concept, Gunn (1993) identi®es ®ve key elements, emphasizing that the linkages among them should be given special attention to destination planning. These elements are a de®nable regional boundary, access from markets and internal circulation corridor, community attraction complexes, a non-attraction hinterland, and entrances or gateways to the region. Mill and Morrison re¯ect this view suggesting that not only are destinations a fundamental part of the total tourism system, but the destination itself is a system which consists of a mix of attractions and services where “each part is dependent upon other parts for success in attracting, servicing, and satisfying the tourist” (1985:xix).

Within the destination region, as the second perspective, a number of nodes or points exist. These have been called destinations or community attraction complexes (Gunn 1993) and contain attractions (also called “nuclei”) and services. In order to get away from confusing and ambiguous situations where there are destinations within destination regions, or attractions within attraction complexes, here the term “nodes” is used to refer to clusters of attractions and services which together form a local subdestination. Gunn (1993) observes that these nodes comprise attractions, services, and facilities and are organized into clusters which are surrounded by a non-attraction hinterland. This is the fabric of the destination community and contains residential areas and business and industrial land uses servicing both the permanent and temporary population. Gunn (1993:270) suggests a spatial structure for these nodes in the form of three concentric rings. The nucleus is the center: it is an attraction, a sight, or an object of signi®cance to a tourist. This is then surrounded by an inviolate belt. The latter provides the immediate physical and psychological setting for a tourist experience.

The inviolate belt is then surrounded by a zone of closure which is the “outer area of in¯uence” and which contains any services and facilities which support tourism. Apart from this model, there has been little work focusing on the composition of and relationship among nodes.

Paths, or circulation corridors link tourist generating markets to destination regions and link nodes within destination regions; and this forms the third position emerging from the analysis of existing development models. Early research by Mariot (1969, in Pearce 1995) suggests that there are three types of routes: access, return, and recreational routes. In this case the concept of touring emerges based on tourists’ desire to visit multiple destinations in order to ful®ll multiple motivations. In research which appears independent from Mariot’s earlier work, Lue, Crompton and Fesenmaier (1993) observe that pleasure tourism comprises a relatively complex pattern of interdependent activities even in groups as small as two persons and that this heterogeneity encourages visitation to multiple destination regions or single ones with multiple nodes (subdestinations). Their work centers on the description of recreational pursuits including, but not limited to, tourism.

Lue et al (1993) identify ®ve patterns of multi-destination pleasure trips which are relevant to tourist travel. (a) There is the single destination pattern where a single node provides the sole reason for the pleasure trip. (b) There is the en-route pattern where a single attraction provides the focus of the trip; however, other “places of interest” may be visited along the way. These enroute attractions are established between the origin and the primary destination so that tourists are drawn off their most direct route. (c) The base-camp pattern represents a direct journey from origin to primary destination which is subsequently used as a “base camp” to visit other places of interest in the region. (d) The regional tour pattern depicts the scenario where a tourist goes to a destination region and visits many places of interest before returning to their origin. (e) The trip chaining pattern represents a tourism vacation that includes a number of foci. Tourists’ itineraries involve visiting multiple destinations and going from one to another, rather than having a single focal destination. It is assumed that in these models the points visited are not simply attractions, sights, or objects at which a given motivation is being ful®lled, but are nodes which contain tourism services and facilities. In this case, these models provide a good starting point for the exploration of the nodal structure of destination regions and ultimately, the conceptualization of a spatial model for destination region planning and design.

Role of Nodes in the Destination Region

Despite the importance of attractions in the destination region, there are few researchers who have addressed their structure in detail. Most have preferred to focus upon developing frameworks for typologies, classi®cations, and inventories (Lew 1987). Leiper (1990, 1995) argues that it is more useful to develop an understanding of the function of attractions than to develop methods to categorize them. He observes that the treatment given to attractions in past research has often lacked scienti®c quality and suggests that a systemic approach provides the necessary framework. Drawing from earlier work by Gunn (1972) and MacCannell (1976), Leiper identi®es three components of an attraction system: a nucleus, a tourist, and a marker. A nucleus is “the central element in all tourist attractions, [and] might be any feature or characteristic of a place that a person visits or contemplates visiting for tourism”. Different degrees of signi®cance may be acknowledged by classifying nuclei into primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.

As to his second component, he states that tourists are a subset of travelers and are de®ned as “persons contemplating or making overnight trips to the extent that their behavior involves leisure ex-

periences which include personal contact with features or characteristics of places visited”. A marker, the third component, “is an item of information or image, received by a tourist, about anything which

could be the nucleus of an attraction” (1995:144, 151). While this framework is yet to be widely tested, it contains a number of appealing elements particularly in developing an understanding of destination region spatial structure. In particular, this could be used to study the way destinations attract tourists, to understand the nature and patterns of visitation to nodes within the destination, and to provide a window to the structure and function of attraction complexes as fundamental components of destination regions.

A Model for Destination Region Design

On the basis of this literature review and discussion, a spatial model for destination region planning and design is proposed. The model is expressed in an abstract fashion with the intention that it can be applied to different types of destinations and across different scales. It is intended to represent a destination region dominated by pleasure tourism, rather than travel motivated by other reasons, such as business trips or visiting friends and relatives. A systemic approach is taken which allows the destination region to be conceptually integrated within other holistic tourism models. This is consistent with the basic tenet of systems theory: a set of interrelated parts with each system in itself and the whole possibly part of a larger system (McLoughlin 1969). Three fundamental assumptions provide the basis for the model: that tourist generating markets and destination regions are separate geographical entities; that the complex and multiscale nature of destinations requires a ¯exible hierarchical structure adapted to suit different locations, scales, and market characteristics; and that the planning and design model comprises a destination region, tourist generating markets, nodes, districts, circulation routes, and gateways.

Destination Regions. In essence, a destination region is a location that a person chooses to visit for at least one night in order to experience some feature or characteristic perceived as satisfying a leisure time experience (Leiper 1990, 1995). A tourist may go to various points within the region; however, where the visit involves an overnight stay in a different location, a new destination region is invoked. Accordingly, two important points emerge with regard to the physical limits of destination regions. Boundaries of destination regions are tied to travel patterns and characteristics. Depending upon characteristics of the visit (e.g., mode or distance traveled), destination regions may be large or small and may or may not overlap. Planners must be aware that these regions exist at different scales in one location and that the use of administrative boundaries commonly adopted in land-use planning may limit proper conceptualization and planning of the destination region.

Tourist Generating Markets. The term tourist generating regions or markets is used to collectively refer to the usual place of residence of potential tourists. Accordingly, any given destination can be as diverse or as limited as the market itself. While tourists go to a destination in order to experience its features or characteristics perceived to be of interest, speci®c demands and expectations are derived from motivations and preferences of tourists and are in¯uenced by conditions within their diverse generating markets. The inclusion of tourist markets is intended to ground the destination region planning and design model within those of whole tourism systems (Leiper 1979; Mill and Morrison 1985) and to serve as a reminder to planners (who are sometimes accused of narrowly focusing upon inappropriate geographical boundaries) that markets and destinations are interdependent and must be considered as part of any destination planning exercise.

Nodes. Nodes comprise two primary components which are quite often interdependent: attraction complexes and service components. Attraction complex comprise any facility that tourists visit or con-

template visiting. The term refers to one or more individual attractions, sights or objects which creates a place of interest. The term uses as a foundation Leiper’s (1990, 1995) mode of an attraction system which is comprised of three interrelated components: nuclei, tourists, and markers. Attraction complexes may be located in one geographical location or in spatially distinct clusters within the destination region. The complementary nature of attractions usually increases the overall appeal of the individual nuclei contained within the complex. The complexes usually have a synergetic relationship with each other, thus increasing the overall touristic interest to a level greater than the sum of its individual parts. Leiper also observes that the nuclei (and thus entire complexes) can be organized into a hierarchical structure according to the signi®cance of the attraction.

Travel to and within the destination region is manipulated by the use of markers. The term marker is drawn from MacCannell’s (1976) work relating to attractions. A marker is any item of information about a potential attraction and may be promotional or informational in nature. Leiper (1990) de®nes two types of markers: detached markers and contiguous markers. The detached ones are made up of generating and transit markers, with the former located in the market and the latter along the travel route. Contiguous markers refer to information about the attraction that is found at the site. Markers may perform a number of functions, including trip motivation, destination selection, itinerary planning, activity selection, nucleus identi®cation, name connotation, and souvenirs. In relation to destination planning and design, detached markers in¯uence tourism patterns within the destination and thus may

have a signi®cant in¯uence in determining which nodes to be visited, in what sequence, and for what length of time. In this model, generating and transit markers play an important role in providing information about attractions possibly unknown before the trip. Hence, further travel within the destination region may be stimulated and this may potentially increase the length of stay.

At the destination regions the service component comprises a diverse range of facilities such as accommodation, restaurants, retail outlets, and any other services necessary to support visitors. While these are important elements of the destination and have signi®cant economic values in the region, their complementary natures suggest that usually they are not elements which determine a destination region’s attraction. However, this is beginning to change. The division between services and attractions is becoming increasingly blurred such as in the case of theater restaurants, casinos, or specialized accommodation establishments and resort complexes, including ecotourist lodges and other themed properties. The service component can have a signi®cant in¯uence over the spatial structure and evolution of the destination. For example, accommodation establishments are likely to locate as close as possible to the attractions of the destination region. The elongated accom modation development characteristic of coastal destinations is an example of this trend (Smith 1992). Furthermore, different styles and classes of accommodation are likely to establish in different nodal levels. For instance, in general, smaller options (such as guesthouses and farm stays) would be found in a tertiary node while ®ve star hotel accommodation is more likely to be located in a primary node. Resort developments in isolated locationsÐsuch as the Mirage Resort in Port Douglas, AustraliaÐhave demonstrated that accommodation developments can create a synergy of their own and can become themselves an attraction. The con®guration of nodes is determined according to the level of attraction of the nuclei. Primary nodes contain nuclei known to the potential tourist while still at their place of origin and which provide the prime motivating force for choosing a destination. Secondary nodes contain those nuclei (also known to the tourist before the trip) which are not the primary motivating force for visiting that

destination. However, the secondary nuclei can contribute to the overall attraction of the destination region when similar destinations are being considered. Tertiary nodes are those which contain nuclei not known to tourists before visiting the region but they become aware of once there. As such, tertiary attractions do not in¯uence the decision to visit a destination, but can in¯uence the length of stay, particularly for independent tourists.

Districts. The concept of districts recognizes that within any single destination region there are precincts or nodes characterized by different tourism emphasis, such as areas in which one particular style or focus of tourism dominates. The atmosphere of a destination is derived in part from the cohesiveness of and consistency within these districts. The Niagara Region (of the United States and Canada together) is an example where within a short distance of each other themed amusement areas, shopping precincts, scenic parklands, and the historic-cultural precinct of Niagara-on-the-Lake exist. Moreover, districts can encompass one or many nodes which possess similar styles of tourism. The existence of such districts supports the notion that any one destination region is likely to be able to ful®ll a variety of tourist needs and expectations. Furthermore, if well planned, these areas can co-exist and even create a synergy where the attraction of the region is more than the sum of its constituent areas.

Circulation Routes. Circulation routes allow the movement of tourists among attraction complexes and services. Lue et al (1993) point out that these routes are chosen based on the motivations of and bene®ts sought by tourists in the destination. While this is not disputed, there are also other factors which in¯uence travel within the destination. The availability of direct linkages, the scenic quality of potential routes, mode of transport used, and positioning of markers also in¯uence the choice of route. The model assumes that not all nodes are linked and that travel along these paths may or may not be bi-directional. In other words, not all visitors will choose to travel the same route when returning to their accommodation (Mariot 1969, in Pearce 1995).

Gateways. Gateways are entrances or arrival zones to the destination region and are located along inter-regional circulation routes. They may be sharply focused at a particular point along a route or involve a gradual transition from one destination to another. Although often unmarked, these gateways perform an important physical and psychological function, for example, to signify arrival in a destination region, to indicate a journey’s end, to give a panoramic view of the destination, or to assist in the orientation of

tourists. Gateways are statements about a destination region and accordingly should be given careful consideration in destination planning and design.

The model recognizes that there may be multiple gateways to the region and the one used to enter may not necessarily be the same one used to exit it. Moreover, the gateway used will often depend upon a range of factors including choice of transportation modes, the origin of the tourist, and seasonal conditions such as snow or rain. Entry statements at gateways may be interpreted differently by different market segments. As a result, consideration needs to be given to the most appropriate and desirable entry statements made at each gateway by taking into account the characteristics of tourists most likely to use a particular gate for arrival or departure.


The many different typologies of travel patterns identi®ed in earlier models by Campbell (1967), Gunn (1993) and Lue et al (1993) provide the starting point from which the destination region planning and design model is developed. An important feature of this process is that the many different patterns identi®ed by these and other authors can be represented within the model’s structure. The hierarchical arrangement of the destination region planning and design model is shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3.

The single node destination region (Figure 1) describes the situation where tourists go from their places of origin to a single node within the destination region. This node contains either a single nucleus or one attraction complex comprising multiple clustered nuclei. In this situation tourists arrive at the destination and stay in a location that is spatially con®ned in comparison to more complex destination regions. Here all the necessary support services and facilities required during the visit are provided, and no use is made of intra-regional circulation routes. Generating markers in tourist markets provide the stimulus for the trip; and on arrival to the destination tourists may ®nd contiguous markers. A stay at an integrated resort development such as Club Med, where all servicesrequired and desired within the one complex are supplied and thustourists may choose not to venture outside, is an example of this type of destination.

The multiple node destination region (Figure 2) describes the situation where a destination comprises more than one node (attraction complex and service components). It incorporates many of the ideas generated by Lue et al in their base-camp pattern. As already discussed, in this model three levels of nodes are identi®ed: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Examples of multiple node destination regions include the Island of Oahu (Hawaii) or Orlando (Florida), in the United States. It is not necessary for a destination to possess a primary node. The synergy created between secondary nodes may in itself be suf®cient to draw people to the region.


The chained destination region (Figure 3) is constructed by connecting either single node and/or multiple node destinations. For example, if a tourist was involved in either en route or regional tour travel patterns described by Lue et al, the models shown in Figures 1 and 2 could be considered part of a larger system of linked destinations. Figure 3 shows this chained destination pattern which depicts the situation where a tourist trip comprises a sequence of two or more distinct destination regions at which at least one night is spent in each. Spatially, these types of destinations are typically larger. For example, drive tours of New Zealand or tourism based on the castles of the Loire River in France are chained destination regions. In the travel among destinations various en route nodes of primary, secondary or tertiary signi®cance are visited. The decision to visit these nodes may or may not be planned. Transit markers within the destination region are thus important in stimulating interest in attractions within the region and may be used to increase the number of nights that a tourist stays in that region before moving on. Each of these overnight stops results in a new destination and hence the planning and management of a chained destination should ideally involve integrated regional planning. In practice, these three types of destination regions may be present within a single travel pattern.

In summary, this integrated model draws together and attempts to set within a spatial planning framework various existing models and concepts such as travel patterns (Campbell 1967; Lue et al 1993), attraction systems (Leiper 1990), and nodal structure (Gunn 1993; Leiper 1990; Miossec 1976). The contribution of this expanded model is in integrating this knowledge to depict destination regions

and how they may be linked and in stimulating inquiry into spatial design parameters for destination land-use planners.

While the model needs to be tested in a wide variety of destination types, potential research could be grouped into two main lines of inquiry. First, the model can be used to develop functional planning tools which describe and predict the way that destination regions emerge and function. Research could focus on single destination regions or investigate how multiple destination regions ®t and function together. This type of research reveals important characteristics about patterns of visitation and structure of trips

which would help tourism planning at both micro and macro levels. Second, considerable potential exists to explore the normative aspects of the model in order to develop planning criteria which describe the characteristics of a “good destination”. Normative criteria could be identi®ed in terms of both tourists’ and residents’ perceptions and values. For example, investigations could focus on determining the preferred nodal structure and location in order to minimize tension between the host and guest populations or to maximize legibility of the destination environment for both.

In addition to these lines of academic inquiry, empirical application of the model raises important questions that need to be answered by destination place managers. For example, what type of destination structure is most applicable to the region under study? How does the destination ®t into the broader structure of tourism activity in the region, the state/province, or the country? Answers may be derived from an examination of the location and nature of the gateways and the markets beyond. Can this role of the region be facilitated in any way? What are the characteristics of the existing nodal structure? How does this pattern relate to the existing and future pattern of infrastructure servicing? How does this relate to other nodal structures associated with commercial, industrial, and community activities? Should the existing nodal structure be modi®ed in light of these other considerations? If distinct districts of tourism activity can be identi®ed, are they important to protect and enhance? Can the manipulation of the circulation/access routes assist in enhancing specialized tourism districts and the preferred nodal structure or in¯uence the need for infrastructure servicing in certain areas?

The model developed and presented in this paper attempts to draw together much of the knowledge about destination regions and their various parts. While considerable research is needed to test the model, wide acceptance of a systemic model such as this one would help to overcome the fragmentation of previous modeling and in establishing a common framework from which researchers

could ground both functional and normative investigations into destination place planning.

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Submitted 17 June 1997. Resubmitted 30 June 1998. Accepted 8 September 1998. Refereed
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