Defining the destination's competitive strategy
The gastronomic tourism strategy of the destination is built around the following four pillars:
- The tourism development model: la mission and the vision, inspiring principles and strategic goals of the destination,
- The territorial strategy,
- The competitive strategy of gastronomic destinationand
- The basic strategies: product strategy, priority target audiences, markets and positioning.
Tourism development strategy
What should be the role and weight of gastronomy in the tourist development of the destination? And what should their relations be with respect to other economic and social sectors? It is about getting the development of the gastronomic tourism is carried out in a harmonious and balanced way with respect to the rest of the sectors and activities. It will be necessary to define, both the mission and the vision, of the gastronomic tourism strategy, aspects that:
- they should be conceptual formulations / statements and therefore they should be ambitious and inspiring,
- They must serve as a reference for the strategic objectives of the destination. I mean, all the big strategic that condition the evolution of the gastronomic tourism strategy must be consistent with these formulations,
- They are conceived in the (very) long term: As transversal activities, tourism and gastronomy have a great inertia and impact on the territory. They require long-term investments, create interdependencies between different sectors of the destination's economy, culture and society, and the operation of the project's base product, gastronomic culture, obviously exceeds the time scale of any strategy, and
- Therefore, they must be agreed upon and validated by the different actors in the territory to guarantee acceptance, understanding and permanence in the long term.
The mission of gastronomy in the destination's tourist proposal must define the fundamental objectives pursued by the ANT or OGD through its commitment to this sector of activity.
The vision should offer us a long-term picture of what the project will be like in the future. It is a desired scenario and, therefore, it should be inspiring, define an ideal for the plan.
- How is gastronomic tourism to be structured territorially?
- What is the role assigned to each tourist area and / or resource, and how are they to be conceptually and physically linked to each other?
- How should the gastronomy proposal be structured in relation to the territorial reality of the destination?
It is about ensuring that the territorial implementation of gastronomic tourism is carried out in an optimal way, both from the point of view of cultural, social and environmental sustainability, as well as from the point of view of competitiveness, and taking as a reference the objectives of the improvement of quality life of the local population.
By competitive strategy, we understand the choice between various alternatives, as a long-term vision, of the strategy that provides the maximum competitive advantage to the destination's gastronomic tourism strategy. The alternatives are:
- Cost leadership: is a strategy based on efficiency that minimizes costs and allows you to compete in the market with Prices lower than other similar destinations,
- Focus or specialization: it is a strategy that is based on an area of specialization, almost exclusively, but in which the destination is recognized as the BEST option,
- 'Blue Ocean': It is a strategy based on an area of specialization in which there are no competing destinations, and
- What makes us different: it is a strategic option based on the enhancement and use of the values of the destination's offer that characterize it and make it different from its competitors.
In this sense, the competitive strategy that is normally proposed for a gastronomic tourism destination is one of differentiation.
Therefore, the vectors and attributes that distinguish the gastronomic offer of the destination must be identified and on which the strategic proposal of the gastronomic tourism destination will be based.
The basic strategies to define are:
What must be the gastronomic tourism products or activities to promote and with what priorities?. For this, it is proposed to use the methodology of the potential / attractiveness matrix, which will allow defining the portfolio of gastronomic tourism products.
Market strategy and target audiences:
What should our clients be ?: The determination and prioritization of the target audiences for each of the proposed tourism products or activities. To do this, the main interest groups and target audiences and priority markets will be identified.
We define as positioning of the gastronomic tourism of the destination, the place that it wants to occupy in the minds of its interest groups and its target audiences, that is, the image that we want the destination to be perceived, for each one and for the set of interest groups and target audiences. The positioning of the gastronomic tourism destination will be specified in a unique value proposition, a unique selling proposition (USP). It is a simple phrase that should almost completely summarize all the values associated with the gastronomic positioning of the destination.