In February 2017, Foundation for Puerto Rico published a research paper on Destination Management that analyzed the different elements that comprise a destination, and the different governing structures to manage it. Most importantly, the paper made some critical observations about the challenges within each element in Puerto Rico and recommended a management framework to develop the destination. During that time, FPR urged national stakeholders to begin a destination planning exercise using the framework suggested by FPR. As a result of these efforts, several key stakeholders joined a coalition with FPR, to work on a national destination plan for Puerto Rico.
As it relates to Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative, FPR wanted to apply the recommended national framework at a community level. Thus, the FPR program design team adopted concepts from various traditional destination planning models, community-based planning initiatives in Puerto Rico and asset-based development programs around the world. The result was a customized proprietary framework that could work in communities in Puerto Rico.
This Local Destination Management Plan convey a statement of purpose shared and agreed upon by a group of key stakeholders in the community. The Plan seeks to define the ways to develop the destination over a given period. It also describes the roles and concrete actions to be carried out by the local key stakeholders in the short-term to increase tourism activity sustainably, in line with the vision adopted by community residents themselves.
The following are some of the benefits and findings of co-designing a local destination management plan:
Promotes that residents themselves, and not external agents, develop and manage their community as a destination, capitalizing on existing assets.
Encourages residents to value their assets and commits them to manage them responsibly.
Helps establish strategies that serve as a guide for local governance among the different stakeholders of the community.
Facilitates the incorporation and participation of the community in other tourism projects and efforts at the state and regional level.
Enables the development of a local, multisectoral and sustainable governance model, strengthening the social capital and its capacities to strengthen economic community development.