WHERE IS THE REAL TOURISM CREATIVITY HAPPENING AND WHY?
As I look at my Order Pad for project financing, I realise that development imagination and financial risk is geographically concentrated outside of the developed world where there is huge energy placed on creating jobs.
Hardly a day goes by when Axis Hospitality does not receive one request for assistance in funding a hotel or resort somewhere.
What is extraordinary is that the vast majority of major projects are located in remote, undeveloped areas where the landscape is a virtual open canvas and where zoning restrictions, property taxes and local experienced labour are virtually non-existent.
In these areas, innovative developers are creating spectacular communities with sustainable foundations that will create jobs, wealth and exports while building communities, economic growth, political stability and a sustainable tax base. This they seem to be doing with the full and knowledgable support of their local governments.
What is also extraordinary is the lack of major projects in the developed world. Sure there is demand for financing but this is largely for the acquisition of older properties which, generally speaking will be spruced up a bit and then flipped.
My order pad looks like this, without Asia.
|CARIBBEAN & LATIN AMERICA||CARIBBEAN||9||$455||$51|
In Toronto, where I have no current projects, there is,
- huge opposition to a magnificent Frank Gehry designed residential and commercial complex.
- huge opposition to a multi billion dollar tourism & entertainment complex/mega casino at the lake.
- significant support to re-elect a mayor with an infamous 'crack record' & zero imagination.
- all campaigning politicians promise a plan to create jobs.
In Vancouver, which is #2 on the list of world cities to live in,
- they have passed a law to ban door knobs!
Why is it that,
- 85% of the our new developments are in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East?
- the projects' value in the Americas for 13 projects is equivalent to 2 projects in the Middle East but requires much more effort?
- 85% of the projects in the Americas do not create any jobs, they involve acquiring or refinancing existing properties?
- the average project size of $63 million in the Caribbean and Latin America equals three times the average in the Americas of $21 million?
The answers are relatively simple to find. Here are my Top Ten Development Tips for Developed Countries.
- Countries, Regions and Towns must work together to develop policies to attract new, imaginative development and sustainable, un-exportable tourism jobs.
- Developed countries must find a way to graduate students who are prepared to work with dirty hands.
- Labour intensive industries should attract extensive relief from taxes.
- Clients who utilise labour intensive industries should enjoy government relief from taxes.
- Tourism infrastructure should get the same attention as the health system in most developed countries (with one exception!).
- Government officials should be intimately aware of what Tourism Infrastructure is and where it is in their region.
- Tourism Regions typically compete against each other. Together they are far greater than the sum of the parts.
- Tourism education in the developed world needs to extend rapidly & constructively beyond the classroom.
- Tourism 'Product' needs to be better understood. A school play, a Muskoka sunset & a midget hockey game are as priceless as a visit to the CN Tower. Let's get creative.
- Politicians in the developed countries must realise that international tourism visitors who create jobs vote with their feet.
Having had the priviledge of discussing all of these topics with politicians, functionaries and developers in such countries/regions as Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India and throughout the Caribbean, I have come to realise that they all seem to understand every single one of these Ten Development Tips.
How do I know?
I learned the Ten Steps from them.
For more information, contact Axis Hotels & Resorts