This UKCBC Tourist Destinations assignment has been taken from HND Travel and tourism course, given in UK college of Business and Computing.
Travelling from one place to another for very smaller duration is called tourism and the purpose of this travel is to take break from your work, entertain yourself and to get recreation. Business travel also can also be considered under tourism sector. Tourism is commonly associated with the travel from one country to another but travelling within a country from one location to another also comes under tourism (McIntosh, 1995). The World Tourists Organization has also given a different definition to the tourism industry which is travelling and living in a place which has different environment than the usual environment for not more than one year. People travel to look for recreation, entertainment and for business purposes.
Tourism has been considered as a luxury activity in the entire globe. Tourism plays a very important in the economy of a country. Incoming and outgoing of the tourists also decides the incoming and outgoing of money. It affects the balance of payments of a country. More incoming of the tourists helps in the economic growth of any nation. Tourism sector has played a very important role in the GDP growth (Leiper, 1979). Growth of tourism sector gets effected during recession. Political, cultural, Societal and Technical factors of any country plays a very important role in attracting the tourists. In 2012 the total number of tourists in the entire globe was around 1 billion. China was the number one spender in international tourism in 2012 and the spending was around 102 billion USD. China crossed Germany and United States in that year.
1.1 Tourist destinations in UK and other worldwide countries
United Kingdom is one of the leading destinations for tourists of the entire world. United Kingdom is ranked at number 8th in the entire world. Number of visitors in UK was around 29.2 million in 2011. Foreign tourists spent 17.2 USD billion in United Kingdom. Most of the visitors in UK are from United States and they spent £2.1bn in 2010. Domestic tourism is also contributing a lot in the tourism sector of UK.
There are lots of major tourist destinations in the entire world but in our report we will majorly focus on UK (Page, 2003). There are lots of beauty spots in UK. Below is some of the beauty which should be considered as must watch places. The top visited destinations of UK are as follows:
- Big Ben, London: It is one of the most iconic clock towers of London.
- Tower Bridge London: It is the suspension bridge which was built in 1886 near Thames.
- Towers of London: It is one of the best heritage sites of London.
- Black pool pleasure Beach: It is one of the best amusement parks and resorts of UK. It has more than 145 rides. The BPPB resort management is unique and attractions for the worldwide scholars for learning and understanding.
- The Lake Desert: This national park is an inspiration for Wordsworth’s sonnets and it is located in Cumbria.
- Buckingham Palace: It is one of the very famous palaces of London. It is the home of London’s Queen and it has around 775 rooms.
- Tate and the Tate Modern
- London Eye
- Tower of London
- The Victoria and the Albert Museum
There are four major countries of UK i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. All the four countries have their own national tourist boards. It is not just the nature which is attracting tourists in the country but man made attractions has played a major role in attracting the tourists in the country. Natural attractions include National parks, historic sites, waterfalls, lakes, mountains etc. Museums, temples, other religious places, art related sites, galleries etc. are some of the major man made attractions.
Visitors usually prefer to go to tourist places during the day time and the countries maintain separate records for day and night tourists in the country. Spending from the day visitors is much more as compared to the night visitors and they contribute a lot in the economy of the country. Tourist organizations of UK has done surveys for tour operations about the day and night tourists in the countries and it has been found that night visitors are not regular and time spent by them is also less as compared to the day visitors. Day visitors spent £30 billion in UK in 2003.
1.2 Statistics to determine tourism destination trends and predict future trends
Tourism sector in UK has been growing at a much faster rate. We will take some examples to discuss on the trends of tourism in UK. In 2012 UK tourism sector was very good UK and there were two very important factors behind this which are Queen’s diamond jubilee and 2012 London Olympics. This year it has record breaking inbound tourism. The country got around 18.7 billion USD in this year which has helped a lot in making the economy of the country stronger. We will try to find out the inbound tourists rends in the country from 2002 to 2012. The purpose of the tourists is related to business trips, family recreation, and break from their work etc. Below is the data which shows the number of visitors in the country from 1992 to 2012. From 1992 to 2012 the domestic tourism has increased from around 30 million USD to 70 million USD. International tourism has also increased with the same proportion and this has happened because of the increase in the disposable income of the tourists. All the countries are developing and people are becoming more and richer and they are spending their money in moving around the places in the world. This shows that the future of tourism industry is bright and it will increase in the upcoming years also. Globalization is also playing a major role in the growth of tourism sector. Companies and organizations are expanding globally in all the major countries and business trips in foreign countries are increasing. Transport sector improvement has also encouraged tourism (Li, 2006). Hospitality provision is like a supplier for tourism sector and with the growth of hospitality sector tourism sector is growing. Travel has also become easier and faster. Technology has also played a major role in the growth of tour and travel sector and not just in UK but in the entire world.
With the great customer service, consumer spending has also increased from past some years and this will be explained with the help of a graph. Inbound visitors spending matters a lot for any country and below is the graph showing the money spent by the inbound visitors from 2008 to 2012.
Increase in the disposable income of tourists is the major reason behind the increase in spending of tourists. Even transportation has become cheaper and which has also encouraged tourists to spend more in other countries. We can see from the graph that spending has increased continuously from 2010. This graph also helps us in predicting the future spending. We cannot predict the exact amount but it can be assured that the spending will increase as the economy is increasing continuously and we are not expecting any recession. Recession restricts tourists and affects tourism sector very badly. In recession people loses their jobs and get lesser leaves and time to enjoy and spend time with their families.
We saw that the number of inbound tourist are increasing continuously and amount spend by each tourist is also increasing at a much faster rate. Same way outbound tourism is also increasing which is taking money out of the country. Country should also try to attract more and more domestic tourists also by providing better locations and facilities in their own country. Market sentiments are very positive and supportive for the growth of travel and tourism sector. With the help of above Analysis, county can find out the areas where it has to work to attract more visitors and in keeping the growth of the sector continuous. Natural Tourist destinations are not in our hand but country can work on developing new man made destinations to attract tourists. Marketing strategies are also required for the growth of this sector.
2.1 Factors affecting worldwide tourist Destinations
We have already discussed that globalization, transportation, technology are some of the factors which are responsible for attracting more and more tourists in the country. People of the host country get benefits from the tourism and sometimes tourism is also a threat for the local people, we can say them contemporary issues in travel. Income of the local people increases because of the tourism sector. It is a boon to the local people and it provides lots of opportunities to the local citizens to earn their bread and butter. There are many internal factors which affect the tourism in the country. Some of the internal factors are cultural, social, economic and physical. We will study these factors in detail as follows:
- Cultural factors
There is a term which is the subset of tourism and is called cultural tourism. It includes the lifestyle of the people already living in the tourist destinations. Culture also includes the history, art, religion of the host citizens. Culture also includes factors which have helped then in shaping their way of lives (Broinowski, 1995). Sometimes culture is one of the strongest attractions for tourists. People want to know and learn about cultures of various places which encourage them to travel in the new places. It has been noticed that the cultural tourists spend more as compared to other tourists. Cultural tourism can play a very important role in developing the regions. Tourism is sometimes good for the culture of the host country and sometimes it can affect the culture very badly. Culture of the people coming from other countries will be different from the host country. Religions will be different. Actions done by anyone come affect anyone’s personal sentiments. We have seen that international tourists are more as compared to the domestic tourists and hence there are chances of clashes in culture. It can be a threat or challenge to the culture of tourist destination.
There are definitely some positives of cultural features of tourism. People get to know each other very well. And sometimes there can be some change in the already existing culture because of the new culture brought by the visitors. If visitors start living somewhere for longer period of time and if they are from the same culture and from the same culture, it will surely affect and modify the already existing culture.
- Social factors
Society of the host country also plays a very important role in attracting more and more tourists. If the people living in the tourist destinations are friendly and welcoming it will encourage tourism. People need to be helpful to the new people in their country. People from the host country can also learn from the tourists and can develop their society. This can be explained with the help of an example (King, 1993). Scotland during the World War II was one of the most disputed countries and the economic and societal conditions of the country as not good. But because of the increase in tourism in the county society of the country started developing and it also helped in making the country stronger economically. And today we can see that Edinburg, capital of Scotland, is the strongest economy of UK.
- Economic factors
Economy of any country is very much responsible in attracting the tourists. If the economy of the country is stronger, country will be able to spend more on developing the tourist destinations and tourists will get better facilities. In the same way tourism sector plays a very important role in developing the economy of the country as brings lots of money in the country and provides lots of job opportunities for the local residents. In other words, tourist provides finance and funding for other tourist to a place. Tourists have to spend money on their food and shelter so it has also increased and encouraged the hospitality industry. Tourism sector is interrelated with the hospitality industry, Good finance in hospitality industry boost tourism sector and vice versa.
- Physical factors
Physical features of the tourist destination should be excellent to attract tourists. Physical features include infrastructure, basis facilities, location etc. Government always tries to develop and maintain tourist destinations. Tourist destinations should be kept clean always. There are some negative impacts also on the physical features as the large number of tourists can disturb physical and natural balance of the host country. Overpopulation can affect the nature very badly. Value of the tourist destinations gets affected because of the huge inflow of the tourists. It becomes difficult for the government to spend so much money and maintain the tourist destinations. London is one of the best tourist destinations in UK and government spends a lot on keeping the city up to the date. This city gets priority in any development as compared to the other locations. Hence we can say that physical features such as infrastructure and other basic facilities are very important for the growth of tourism sector.
2.2 Features of tourist destinations in developing and leading tourist destinations
In our report tourist destinations we are studying are from UK and UK is a developed country and features in a developed and a developing country are always different. Economic features will always be different in a developing country and in the leading destinations which belong to an already developed country. Economic factors play a very important role in the tourism sector of any country. If the economic condition is good country will be able to spend more on the tourist destinations as compared to the developing countries. Destinations will be better and attractive in the leading tourist destinations of a developed country. We have seen that man-made attractions and destinations are a major source of attracting tourists so a developed country with stronger economy will be able to create more artificial or man-made attractions in the country.
Society near the tourist destinations or in the host country is also different in the developed countries and developing countries. People in the developed countries are more secure and they welcome new people with open heart. But if we see the cultural features we can find that culture of the developing countries is more attractive as compared to the developed countries. Hence we can say that developing countries are preferred in terms of cultural features but physical, social and economic features are better in developed countries.
3.1 Appeal of leading tourist destinations and developing tourist destinations
It is well known fact that leading tourist destinations such as destination from UK are always more appealing as compared to the destinations from a developing nation. There are many factors which differentiates the leading destinations from developing destinations. First thing is the destination itself and second their facilities operations, how tourists facilitates etc. Destinations can be from urban area or a rural area. People prefer to go to the urban areas. Location can also affect the inflow of tourists for e.g. if the destination is coastal it will be preferred as compared to the central locations. Natural and man-made attractions also create different appeals. Natural attractions are more appealing and natural destinations cannot be copied and they are like core competencies of any country. History also appeals tourists as compared to the modern destinations.
Other thing which affects the inflow or appeal of the destination is the accessibility. If the destination is closer to the place where tourist come from it will always be preferred. It saves time. Most of the tourists are from developed countries as they have more disposable income and leading tourists destinations are also from developed countries. Hence leading tourist destinations are closer to the major chunk of tourists.
Transport facilities are also very important and in the developed or leading tourist destination transportation is better as compared to the developing destinations. This also differentiates the leading destinations from the developing destinations.
Culture of the tourist destinations is very important factor. As we have already seen that in terms of cultural factors developing countries are more appealing as compared to the developed countries. For e.g. if we take example of India, its culture is very old and there are lots of things to know about the culture. There are lots of historical places and palaces. Culture of India is totally different as compared to all the other countries. India is a developing nation and its culture generates a curiosity among the tourists and attracts them. Culture is the one thing which is attracting more than half of the tourists in a developing country like India.
Other important factors are cuisine, lifestyle, society etc. which makes the destination appealing. Environ or weather conditions are also very important. Tourists always prefer to go to a place with pleasant weather.
Leading tourist destinations are more appealing because of the man-made attractions. Countries having leading tourist destinations are economically very strong and they can spend more money in developing new man-made attractions. One of the examples is the theme parks. Theme parks are generating around 15 billion USD every year. But developing nations are not able to develop such huge theme parks.
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3.2 Characteristics of tourist destinations
Appeal of o tourist destination depends on the characteristics of the destination. In this part we will see which characteristics are responsible for attracting more tourists. These characteristics are not always positive and sometimes they discourage the tourism in the destination.
We will discuss this issue by taking an example of a country from developed country and one from a developing country. Paris is the developed destination and Mauritius is the developing destination.
Society of the destination decides the tourism sector growth. Society in Paris is already developed. Social values and norms in Paris are very strong. Society in Mauritius is not that much developed as compared to Paris. Citizen’s standard of living is not very good and there is still people who are poor.
The other characteristics are cultural factors. Culture of any country also attracts the tourists. Culture of Mauritius was more related to art, music and theatre but now it has been changing and adopting western culture and moving towards the fashion and media.
One of the most important characteristics which decide on the number of tourists is the physical characteristics. Infrastructure of the destination should be very good. All the basis hospitality facilities such as food, shelter, accommodation should be available easily in the location. Weather and environmental conditions should also be attractive and pleasant.
Economic characteristics also play a very important role. If the economy of the country is stronger there will be more business opportunities and there will be more business trips which will increase the inflow of tourists. Paris has become one of the biggest economies of Europe and it has been growing continuously from last some years which is the major reason behind the increase in the number of tourists. Economy of the Paris is not much stronger as compared to Paris and government is spending less on the tourist destinations. That’s why number of tourists is less in the location.
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4.1 Issues affecting the popularity of a tourist destination
We studied four major characteristics which affect the tourism sector which are economy, society, culture and physical. There are some other issues which can affect the popularity of a tourist destination and the issues are as follows:
Exchange rate fluctuations - Inflow of tourists is like export and outgoing of tourists is like import because inflow of tourists will bring money into the nation and outflow will send money out of the nation. Inflow of the tourists is affected by the exchange rates. When the pound is weaker than other currencies people prefer to visit UK because at that time they have to pay less to get same amount of pounds and when the currency of the tourist’s country is weaker number of tourists decreases because tourists have to shed more money out of their pocket. Hence exchange rate of currency can decide the popularity of the tourist destination. Costs of the tourism and hospitality industry also get affected because of the fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Environment of the host country - Environment of the host country also affects the popularity of the tourist destinations. Environment includes the weather conditions, chances of any natural calamity, society etc. If the destination has been hit by some natural calamity like earthquake, tsunami etc. popularity of the destination decreases. In South East Asia tsunami affected the entire economy of the country and especially the tourism sector very badly (Scott, 2005). No one wants to take risk of their lives. Weather conditions should also be pleasant. Honeymoon tourists always prefer cold weather instead of hot weather. Locations where we can see snow fall are also preferred.
Militancy - Terrorism has increasing these days and it affects the tourism sector in a negative way (Richter, 1986). In India there is a place called Jammu and Kashmir and it is one of the best tourist places but because of the fact that it is hit by many terrorist activities it is not able to attract tourist up to its potential. 9/11 attacks on the world trade centre in USA also affected the economy and tourism sector of the country very badly.
Other issues which affect the popularity of any tourist destinations include economy and culture of the nation. Developed economies give lots of opportunities to the visitors. Government rules and regulations are also very much important in deciding the popularity of any tourist destination.
4.2 Responsible tourism for to enhance host community
Creating a better place for the host country and for the visitors also is called responsible tourism. With the help of responsible tourism all the negative impacts of economic, environmental and social issues can be reduced. In the tourist destinations of UK which we are studying can be improved with the help of responsible tourism. Local people should be given some economic benefits. For e.g. first preference should be given to the local people to do any business in the tourist destinations. This will help them in improving their wellbeing. Local people should be involved in any decision making regarding the destination. Working conditions should be improved. Responsible tourism also considers preserving the heritage and culture of the host country (Prentice, 1993). It also thinks of preserving the natural resources. It also encourages local people to welcome the tourists and develop strong relationships with them. With the help of responsible tourism better and enjoyable experiences can be provided to the visitors. It encourages the respect between the host people and visitors. It also increases the confidence and pride of the local people. Physically challenged people are also provided access to the tourist destinations.
Sustainable tourism also can be achieved by following the responsible tourism (Goodwin, 2003). All the pints mentioned in the responsible tourism will help a lot in making the tourist destination attractive for longer period of time. Income from the tourism sector should be used to develop the tourist destination and people living near these destinations. Cultural diversity and heritage of any tourist destination get affected in a negative way. So, government and the local citizens have to come together to fight against these issues and to build a scenario of responsible and sustainable tourism. The two strategies which need to be followed are social equality and protection of environment and culture. Local citizens should be treated equally as compared to the tourists. Money coming from the tourists can be used to protect the local environment and to improve the infrastructure.
Tourism sector in UK is very popular and contributing a lot in the economy of the country. We studied various aspects of the tourism sector and destinations. Major tourist destinations in UK are Tower Bridge London, London Eye etc. We also did statistical analysis and saw that inbound tourism has been increasing continuously from last some years in UK. Consumer spending is also increasing and this is because of increase in disposable income of the tourists. We also studied factors or characteristics which affect and differentiates the tourism in developed and developing countries. Major factors are physical, economy, social and cultural. There are some other issues which affect the popularity of tourist destinations such as environmental conditions, terrorism, government rules and regulations etc. Developed countries are always preferred by the visitors. Responsible tourism is a modern concept which needs to be adopted everywhere. It pays attention to the local people and also helps in preserving the culture of the host country.