The Canary Islands consist of Isla de Gran Canaria, Isla de Tenerife, Isla de la Palma, Isla de la Gomera, Isla de El Hierro, Isla de Alegranza, and Isla de Fuerteventura. Tourism is one of the main revenue source for the isands, with Gran Canaria and Tenerife attracting the most visitors, however, tourism abounds throughout the chain (McLeod, 1999).
The Canary Islands, which shall focus on Gran Canaria of the island chain, as the subject location for this study of tourism and destination management in that the location is well known as well as offered suitable information that is available to enable an examination of the varied points to be addressed herein.
In examining visitor and destination management, an understanding of the term is necessary to position it within this study. The Association of Destination Management Executives defines destination management as professional management that specialises " in the design and delivery of events, activities, tours, staffing and transportation, possessing and utilising extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources" (Lee, 1998). The World Trade Organisation Business Council advises that "the current trend in almost all regions of the world is towards semi-public but autonomous tourism organizations involving a partnership with both private sector and regional and/ or local authorities" (George Washington University, 2003).
The preceding marks a distinct departure from the past as the roles as well as responsibilities of the private sector and governments have undergone a significant change in that the state no longer has the main responsibility for the development and promotion of tourism (George Washington University, 2003). The new situation calls for the alignment of both interests due to the huge economic ramifications of tourism that requires cooperation and planning between the state, local governments, the private business sector, as well as local communities in the crafting of long range plans concerning infrastructure investment, that consists of airport, transport, road, energy delivery, and related improvements as well as foreign investment attraction for hotels, general and specific industries (World Travel and Tourism Organisation, 1999). The fact