Research & Training

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Scenario Planning

What is scenario planning?

Scenario plannings makes a strategy 'futureproof' by elaborating uncertainties, risks and changes.

Scenario planning is a methodology that helps businesses and organisations to take more informed strategic decisions. An inventory of the most important and uncertain environmental factors or strategic dilemmas, allows us to develop future scenarios in a creative way. Businesses are challenged to break with their dominant thinking and see futures from different perspectives. Scenarios are not predictions but plausible, realistic and surprising qualitative pictures of the future that can be used as input for strategic debate concerning a new vision, new business concept or new strategy. The horizon for scenario planning is adapted to the natural cycle of an organisation or its decision making process, often about 10-15 years.

A scenario planning research contains:

  • No predictions
  • Multiple qualitative pictures of the future
  • Strategic instruments for debate
  • Based on most important uncertainties

You can read all our research reports and get some scenario planning examples.

The founding of the European Tourism Futures Institute

In 2009 the European Tourism Futures Institute was established to lead and inspire the discussion on the future of tourism.

This international institute with its numerous scenario planners such as Dr. Ian Yeoman and Albert Postma (Assoc. Prof. Scenario Planning), is an eminent partner for public bodies, NGOs, leisure and tourism companies in the development and dialogue on their future scenarios.

ETFI applies different types of scenario planning:

Scenario planning in tourism

VisitScotland with its scenario planner Dr. Ian Yeoman first adapted scenario planning within the tourism sector within the early 2000s.

In 2001 VisitScotland, the national tourist organisation of Scotland firstly adapted scenario planning. VisitScotland used the scenario approach to scan the business environment, think of possible consequences and to be prepared. A scenario planning group was established and Dr. Ian Yeoman was appointed as the scenario planner. The goal of the group was to answer numerous questions such as ‘What actions does VisitScotland and its stakeholders need to take to ensure tourism is the first and everlasting industry of Scotland to 2025?’ but also to understand how the war in Iraq could affect Scottish tourism of the impact of a flu pandemic on Scottish tourism.

Dr. Ian Yeoman about scenario planning

In the video below, our visiting Professor Ian Yeoman gives an explanation about the scenario planning methodology.

Contact ETFI about Scenario Planning

If you are interested or if you require more information about scenario planning, feel free to contact ETFI