Strategic and Master Planning: Successful tourism industries grow from well thought out and responsive strategies and plans. We work closely with our clients to determine what their needs are, what decisions they need to make to ensure success, what information they need, and how they can achieve their goals.
Market Demand Analysis: Tourism is fundamentally market driven. “If we build it, they will come” – once the status quo approach to tourism development – no longer applies. In today’s highly competitive world, primary market research is essential. To protect our public and private sector clients’ investments, over the past 20 years Blackstone has developed sophisticated yet cost-effective market research tools:
· Blackstone’s Tour Operators Perceptions Surveys (TOPS©) include detailed personal interviews with tour operators who are specifically selected for each project, to determine up-to-date market preferences and attitudes towards a particular destination. As a result, we are able to offer leading-edge analysis of global tourism market trends of direct relevance to our clients;
· Blackstone’s Tourism Statistical Analysis (TSA) goes beyond government-cited statistics that are often misleading. Typically, visits by business travelers, people visiting friends and relatives (VFRs), and actual bonafide tourists are aggregated into national visitation statistics. Use of these figures as “tourism statistics” from which to calculate future demand can lead to highly inaccurate projections . At Blackstone, we undertake detailed research to determine how many actual tourists are selecting destinations or attractions, to provide a sound basis for highly informed decision-making.
Tourism Product Development:
Development of tourism products – that combination of elements which define the whole travel experience, including access, services, attractions, programs, etc. – needs to be carried out with an understanding of a complex array of key considerations. These considerations include, for example, differentiation, providing value for the dollar, theming/packaging, and ensuring excellent service. Lack of attention to any one of these key elements risks failure or realization of sub-optimal results. We offer a creative, original approach to TPD;
Matching Grants and Revolving Funds: We have prepared detailed operational designs for both matching grants and revolving funds to support community members to obtain the benefits of tourism while offering marketable tourism products and services.
Linkages Studies and Strategies: Tourism is an industry that is inextricably linked with other sectors, including transportation, other economic sectors, water and sanitation, energy, waste management and others. We conduct detailed analyses of these linkages and how to strengthen them.
Marketing Strategies: Tourism marketing today must be multi-dimensional – web-based, involving a strong network of contacts/partners/operators etc., and based on sound market research. Our team includes a highly experienced tourism planner who is also a tour operator and hotel owner, with first-hand experience about what works and what doesn’t “on the ground”;
Economic Impact and Financial Feasibility Analyses: Economic assessments are often a key part of a client’s evaluation related to investments in tourism. Our economists and hospitality experts have developed economic impact models that have been applied to project income, expenses, return on investment, payback periods, etc.. We have carried out many financial feasibility analyses for the hospitality industry, employing, for example, the detailed Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), which is widely considered to be the standard for financial reporting for lodging-industry operators.
Due Diligence: Earning a social license to operate and demonstrating a high level of corporate social responsibility are important to our clients. We are GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)-certified and support ISO 26000 Social Responsibility. We can help our private sector clients, in particular, to fulfill their due diligence and report on achievement of sustainability benchmarks, cost-effectively.