Tropico 4: Tourism Strategies
Welcome back, El Presidente! I’ve received a few requests asking to go over the tourism side of Tropico 4. Ready your passport and pack your suitcases, we’re about to take a little vacation.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, tourism is another way to bring in some money to fund your twisted, grand schemes. It’s fairly easy to get going and is for the most part self-sufficient, but there are a few things you should know.
Do not attempt to start tourism before establishing an economy and providing for the basic needs of your Tropicans. As I mentioned in a previous article (links below), in the beginning of the game your approval rating will drop steadily until you build clinics, housing, churches, restaurants, and other basic buildings your Tropicans need to be happy. Obviously, you can’t do that until you have some money. As I advised before, build a farm or ranch to get your economy and exports going. As you build more buildings to satisfy the needs of your Tropicans, build an extra money-making building to ensure your profits continue rolling in.
Only after your approval rating is stabilized and your profits are steady should you consider setting up tourism. It takes some time and money to set up, ergo the need to wait a little. You should also wait until you have a few unemployed workers. Having too many job openings due to a lack of workforce will make your Tropicans leave your money-making buildings and service buildings to split themselves among your new tourism buildings, causing your profits and approval rating to suffer. Build an immigration office if necessary and set the drop down to “open door policy” to increase the amount of immigration you receive per boat. Don’t forget to manage this drop down regularly so that you don’t have a large, unemployed, unhappy mob knocking at your palace doors.
Start with one or two tourists docks at a nice, open beach area away from your dock, palace, and surrounding buildings. A garage would also be a wise decision to give your tourists the ability to move around the island and to give your workers a means to get back to their homes and civilization. Begin with one or two cheap motels and try to place them in the green areas that come up when you are placing a hotel or attraction. The colored areas are a result of the environment overlay automatically opening after clicking the appropriate building. Green areas are beautiful areas, red is ugly. Placing a hotel or attraction in a green area will raise the service quality above its default, likewise placing a hotel or attraction in red will lower the service quality below its default.
While you are waiting, go back to your “main city” and expand your economy with education buildings, industry, and other advanced buildings when you feel the time is right. When your hotels and docks are built, place an attraction or two in green areas if possible. I prefer the Beach Site and Scenic Outlook. The Beach Site appeals to most tourists and your Scenic Outlook requires no workers. Don’t forget to set the fee of the Beach Site, I normally up the fee to about seven or eight.
A note about tourist fees, there are attractions and entertainment buildings that serve both your Tropicans and tourists. In these special cases, tourists pay three times whatever the fee is currently set at, but no more than the maximum listed. Take the restaurant for example, which is an entertainment building. If you set the fee at five, Tropicans will pay five to satisfy their need when they visit the building. Tourists will pay fifteen. Regular attractions specific to tourists only charge the fee listed. In regards to hotels, you can let the computer auto-adjust the fee or you can set a manual fee yourself by clicking a hotel and making use of its drop down menu. I prefer setting a manual fee. Cheap motels = thirty, hotels & bungalows = thirty-five, luxury and skyscraper hotels = forty and above. Feel free to experiment to see what is right for you.
When you start seeing your hotels become cramped, it’s time to build more so as long as you have the workers available. Continue building one to three hotels at a time. When you see those fill up and stay that way, build more. Add a few more attractions as necessary. A police station to address crime in the area along with two or three more tourist docks wouldn’t hurt.
Eventually you’ll want a power plant to get the ability to build more advanced tourism buildings. Try not to go overboard with the attractions, having too many attractions and not enough tourists will mean wages and maintenance expenses will overshadow your income. Keeping your attractions full (and profitable) is generally what you want to do, building one or two more as more tourists arrive. If you see that an attraction isn’t making money, try raising the fee. Each tourist has a spending limit and will visit any building with a fee at or below their spending limit.
After that, it’s up to you. Keep your exports going and use your tourism to supplement your income. Good luck, El Presidente!
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