The purpose of this paper is to address reasons why destinations stagnate and lose visitor numbers and to offer a series of methods, which stakeholders can employ to assist with rejuvenation efforts.
The paper is based on a limited literature review of Butler's Tourism Area Life Cycle (1980). The academic theory is applied to the on‐going situation that is occurring in the Niagara region of Canada, although the insights are applicable to other tourism destinations that are facing stagnation and decline.
While Niagara tourism is currently experiencing a decline in visitor numbers brought about by a series of factors, the destination has the opportunity to rejuvenate its offering. Key components of the rejuvenation include collaboration, strategizing, developing a destination brand that resonates with existing and future visitors and incremental and revolutionary innovation. Once these key elements are in play, the destination should see visitor numbers rebound if not surpass previous high water marks.
This paper is of value to destination marketing officials and entrepreneurs who may believe visitation numbers are lower as a result of a variety of external factors including rising fuel prices, global warming, terrorism threats, changing passport regulations, SARS, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other concerns. By understanding the signals associated with stagnation, destination stakeholders will be in a position to take proactive actions designed to rejuvenate the destination.
Brooker, E. and Burgess, J. (2008), "Marketing destination Niagara effectively through the tourism life cycle", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 278-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596110810866091
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