Interpretive Planning for sustainable tourism

THE Asean-Japan Centre recently organised a training programme on ‘Interpretive Planning’ for senior interpreters/tour guides and managers at heritage sites in 10 Asean member states.

Joined by 17 participants, the programme aimed at familiarising the participants to interpretive planning and exercising the planning, and also offered the participants to experience interpretive activities. Interpretation is an approach to communicate with audiences (tourists) in tourism sites and attempts to make a personal meaning and connections with things, places, people, and concepts to those visitors.

Sustainable tourism has been gaining attention in the world as an indispensable approach to conserving valuable tourism resources and providing quality tourism experiences to visitors, as well as enriching the lives of people in the tourism regions.

Interpretation plays an important role in sustainable tourism as it can help tourists and stakeholders understand, appreciate, and then support the tourism resources and/or sites. Interpretative planning addresses management needs and resource considerations, offers an essential guideline for the development of visitor services at tourism sites or facilities, and describes strategic operation and management there.

Participants experiencing visitor services based on Interpretive Planning

Interpretive planning, therefore, should be promoted at tourism sites to facilitate sustainable tourism.

The training programme focussed on learning about and developing an interpretive plan that describes a strategy of visitor services at a heritage site in which each participant works.

The training programme offered lectures on the knowledge, skills, and research needed for interpretive planning and involved discussions and exercises of interpretive planning for the participant’s site.

The Asean-Japan Centre plans to continue organising programmes to disperse the needs of Interpretation at main heritage sites, to achieve sustainable tourism in Asean by utilising the valuable tourism resources in the regions.