The role of marketing in tourism planning: Overplay, underplay or interplay?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marketing has a key role in tourism planning. Yet, the tourism planning literature offers a range of roles that marketing should take, extending from a secondary planning component to a leading factor that guides the entire planning process. To understand better the relative role of marketing in tourism planning, an exploratory study was conducted, looking at the interplay between tourism marketing and tourism planning in the context of regional planning. Using a quantitative content analysis of regional tourism master plans, this study aims to unveil the exact role of marketing in the tourism planning process. The study's empirical results indicate that marketing plays a dynamic role in tourism planning, and that the specific contribution of marketing to tourism planning changes with the region's level of development and planning needs. Based on these findings, a tentative theoretical model is proposed, portraying the dynamic relations between tourism performance and the level of marketing integration in tourism planning. This model replaces a prevailing theoretical notion, treating the role of marketing in tourism planning as a static, 'one-size-fits-all' process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Institute for Tourism. All rights reserved.


  • Dynamic planning
  • Regional planning
  • Responsive planning
  • Tourism marketing
  • Tourism planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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