Tourism – the essentials

Tourism - The
Why has global tourism grown?
Growth in tourism is explained by 3 sets of factors:
Social and Economic
Improvements in technology
Greater holiday choice
 Since the 1950s people have
become wealthier
 Travel today is quick and easy e.g.
motorways, more airports, faster
 Since the 1970s there has
 Incomes are larger and so is
disposable income (money left
after bills)
 Flying has become cheaper (although
has been hit by the recession and
rising fuel prices) and online booking is
quick and easy
 Holidays to unusual
 People have fewer children
 Car ownership has grown rapidly
 Holiday leave time has increased
(2 weeks in 1950s to 4-6 weeks
 Many retired people have good
pensions i.e. can afford several
trips a year
been a rapid increase in cheap
package holidays globally,
especially to Europe e.g. Spain
destinations e.g. Alaska and
ecotourism is expanding rapidly
Different types of holiday activities and
their attractions
Both physical (natural) e.g. beautiful mountains and human factors (to do with man) e.g.
historic buildings encourage the development of tourism. There are 3 main types of holiday
choices for tourists:
 Sea (where people can swim/take part in water sports e.g. sailing/surfing/scuba diving
 Beaches (where children can play)
 Arcades (families can go to if the weather is poor)
 Nightclubs (where young people go to party e.g. Ibiza, Majorca)
Larger range of shops (greater choice of things that people can buy)
People can enjoy their culture e.g. visiting historical buildings (castles/cathedrals etc.)
Entertainment is greater and more varied (theatres/cinemas/art galleries/concerts etc.)
 Hiking
 Sporting opportunities (swimming in lakes/skiing/snowboarding/fishing etc.)
Benefits of tourism to LEDCs (poorer
 EMPLOYMENT – waiters, souvenir shop assistants, tour guides
 TAX – many governments tax visitors to help pay for extra
services they use such as water supply, electricity and roads
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE – tourists spend holiday money in the
 BUSINESSES – many small businesses start up to supply tourists
demands such as farmers, taxis, bars and restaurants
The history of tourism in the UK
Domestic tourism grew quickly in the 1950s and 1960s as the growing UK economy
provided higher pay and more time off work. Having an annual holiday became common.
UK seaside holidays peaked in the early to mid-1970s, with 40 million visitors annually.
After that, Britain's seaside resorts declined as package holidays abroad grew in number
and affordability. Cheap package holidays in the 1980s with guaranteed hot weather
attracted people of all incomes. It was often cheaper to go to a Spanish resort like
Benidorm than somewhere in the UK. British weather was seen as too unreliable.
Recent factors affecting the UK tourist industry
 Terrorism – London is a terrorist target (Underground bombing, 2005). After an event
like this, tourist numbers decline sharply.
 Exchange rates (tourist) – although the weakness of the British pound against the Euro
has made it more expensive for UK visitors to Europe, it has become cheaper for
European visitors to travel and stay in the UK.
 Banking crisis (recession) – many people have lost their jobs and may reduce the
holidays they take until the UK economy improves.
What is the Butler tourist resort life-cycle model?
This model says that tourism starts on a small scale, develops into something more
significant, then either goes into decline or makes changes to maintain its attractions.
There are 6 stages.
Small numbers of visitors are attracted by something particular; good beaches,
attractive landscape, historical or cultural features. Local people have not yet
developed many tourist services.
The local population sees the opportunities and starts to provide
accommodation, food, transport, guides and other services for the visitors.
Large companies build hotels and leisure complexes and advertise package
holidays. Numbers of tourists rise dramatically. Job opportunities for local
people grow rapidly.
Tourism is now a major part of the local economy, but perhaps at the expense of
other types of development. Numbers of visitors are steady making employment
more secure. However, some hotels and other facilities are becoming older and
unattractive, so the type of customers attracted goes downmarket.
The resort becomes unfashionable and numbers of visitors start to decline.
Businesses change hands and often fail.
Decline: visitors prefer other resorts. Day trippers and weekenders become the
main source of income.
Rejuvenation: attempts are made to modernise the resort and attract different
people to enjoy new activities.
Butler tourist resort life-cycle model
National Parks in the UK
What are National Parks?
National Parks are large areas of mainly rural land.
What is the aim of National Parks?
Their aim was to conserve natural and cultural
landscapes while allowing access for visitors to
enjoy them.
Where are the National Parks?
Many of the UK National Parks are found in upland
areas e.g. Lake District (high/hilly/mountainous)
although a few are found in lowland (Norfolk
Broads) and coastal (Pembrokeshire) areas.
CASE STUDY: Lake District
Where is it?
The county of Cumbria, NW England
What attracts people to the Lake District?
 Stunning scenery
The area is straddled by ribbon lakes and tarns
(left over from the glacial period) e.g. Lake Windermere.
 Water activities
Lake Windermere specialises in ferry cruises. Most people sail between Windermere and
Ambleside. Small boats are allowed on many lakes. Areas are set aside for windsailing and
power-boating. Fishing from the shore/boats is increasing in popularity.
 Walking
Very popular. Public access to the fells (hills) is unrestricted.
 Historical and cultural sites
There is much evidence of early settlement remains. Many 19th century writers and artists,
such as John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter had homes in the Lake District.
What have been the impacts of tourism?
 Traffic problems
Congestion and parking are serious problems. There is a lack of capacity (parking) for the
number of tourists. In the countryside, people park on grass verges, causing serious
 Honeypot sites
There are many honeypot sites (locations which attract large numbers of people, putting
pressure on the environment and people) in the Lake District e.g. beauty spots, historic
houses and shopping centres. Footpath erosion has become a serious problem and scars
the landscape.
 Pressure on property
Almost 20% of property is either 2nd homes or holiday let. Although this gives a good
income from those who own these, others are critical and say that:
1. The owners are not part of the community full time
2. These holidaymakers shop at home before arriving, so do not support local businesses
3. Demand for property from outsiders forces house prices up and local people out
(cannot afford the high property prices)
 Environmental issues
Windermere has ferries and allows power-boating where the wash from faster vehicles
erodes the shore. Fuel spills are also common, causing pollution.
Strategies to manage the impacts and maintain a successful tourist industry in the area
a) Repairing/reinforcing footpaths
b) Signposting routes limits the number of paths tourists may take
a) Fence off roadsides so people cannot park and damage them
b) Develop several new small car parks and landscape (plant rows of trees) to hide them
c) Reinforce car park surfaces in countryside (waffles = large concrete slabs with holes in
them, so soil fills them in and grass grows, giving a hard green surface)
a) Bins should be provided at honeypot sites and emptied regularly
b) Designated picnic areas means less litter in other places
c) Place signs encouraging people to be responsible
Local authorities could build more homes for rent and developers could build more low-cost
homes for sale
Speed limits for boats could limit the amount of wash caused. The most noisiest and
damaging sports could restrict damage done
Mass tourism – Advantages and disadvantages
Mass tourism involves large numbers of organised tourists (e.g. package holiday) coming to
one country or region, often year after year.
What attracts people to Jamaica?
 Tropical climate
 Sandy beaches
 Clean, clear Caribbean Sea
 Wildlife reserves/bird sanctuaries
 Blue Mountains
 Caves
 Golf
 Water sports e.g. swimming, diving/snorkeling/deep sea fishing
Negative impact of mass tourism
 Day trips taking tourists to dive/snorkel pollute the sea with motor fuel
 Tourists feet damage the coral when snorkeling
 Many jobs are seasonal, so problems with unemployment
 Crime rates have increased (tourists can be a target) and there are increasing problems
with drugs and drug related crime
 Jamaica has problems dealing with the levels of waste and rubbish during peak tourist
seasons and providing enough clean drinking water for visitors and locals.
Strategies to maintain tourism and reduce its negative effects
 A recent trend has been the growth in community tourism. This involves local people
directly because visitors become a part of their home and village during their stay. Families
provide bed and breakfast accommodation and other local businesses, such as restaurants
and bars, supply their other needs. This type of holiday provides greater interaction
between locals and tourists and supports local businesses and uses fewer resources. Money
goes to local people, not international companies
 Ecotourism is developing (eco-lodges and nature reserves) and this utilises the inland area
of the island such as the Blue Mountains as well as parts of the coast, spreading tourists
further around the island. Tourist densities are kept low in these areas, which keeps
pressure off the environment.
Extreme Environments
What is an ‘Extreme Environment’?
Extreme environments are locations with particularly difficult/dangerous environments
where the development of tourism has only recently occurred e.g. ice
caving/walking/diving, 4x4 trekking etc.
They often have difficult climates, access is limited and they are sparsely populated.
Examples of extreme environments
 Mountains
 Deserts
 Rainforests
 Caves
 Ice covered terrain
What type of tourist is attracted to extreme environments?
 Adrenaline / thrill seeker often aged around 30, unmarried,
without children, have good jobs and income.
CASE STUDY: Antarctica
Impacts of extreme tourism
 The impact of tourists in some places is too great. Animals, especially penguins and seals,
are disturbed by more than a few people. Not used to humans, they do not like to be
touched. If they leave as a result, they may abandon eggs and young.
 There have been accidents when ships have hit rocks and ice floes
 Oil spills are becoming an increasing hazard for wildlife
 Landing sites are chosen for a special feature, so quickly become honeypots
 There is the threat of domestic waste from ships entering the food chain
Strategies to cope with the development of tourism
 All tour operators are members of IAATO which directs tourism to be safe and
environmentally friendly
 Visitors are not allowed to visit Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in order to
conserve precious wildlife and landscapes and are given instructions on behaviour when
ashore and rules regarding wildlife observation
 A permit must be gained for any activities on the continent e.g.
skiing/walking/kayaking/scuba diving/helicopter flights etc.
 Ships can only land at certain places and there must not be more than 20 people at one
spot at a time
 No ship carrying over 500 passengers can land in Antarctica
 Cruises are largely educational in nature, so tend to only attract real enthusiasts
Sustainable tourism
Many LEDCs have already realised that they can generate increased income by expanding
tourism developments and exploiting resources e.g. rainforests, coral reefs etc. However,
the consequences of this approach can be considerable.
What is sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism is tourism attempting to make a low impact on the environment and
local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.
What are the aims of sustainable tourism?
The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience
for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves.
What should sustainable tourism involve?
STEWARDSHIP The personal responsibility for looking after the environment on a large
scale (regionally, nationally and globally)
CONSERVATION The careful and planned use of resources in order to manage and
maintain the natural environment for future generations (on a smaller scale)
What is it?
Ecotourism is environmentally friendly tourism.
What does it involve?
Ecotourism usually involves small-group travel to natural and unspoilt environments
(Amazon Rainforest, Galapagos Islands off coast of Ecuador etc.)
It is often educational, supports long-term conservation and has minimal impact on the
natural environment.
It seeks to benefit local communities and encourages respect for different cultures.
CASE STUDY: The Galapagos Islands
Where are the islands?
There are 50 islands which lie 1000km off the coast of S. America, which belong to Ecuador
How does ecotourism benefit the islands?
 90% of the islands have been given National Park or marine reserve protection. The
islands became the first Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979.
 Tourists visit under strict rules and arrive mainly by small ships which allow people
onshore only at specific locations in limited numbers
 Tour boats have professional guides who give visitors accurate information and prevent
tourists from causing damage
 Local businesses have been started to provide for the needs of tourists e.g. tour boats
owned by locals take 10-16 tourists around and between islands
 Tourists stay in small guest houses, often run as family businesses
 People are employed in guest houses, on boats and as guides. Many visitors give tips,
which go directly to local people.

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