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UK is the eighth largest destination for tourists in the world (Anon, 2016). The number of visitors to UK is larger in comparison to North America. The major tourism destination of UK is London and the most attractive place in London is Tower of London. Tourist destination is selected cities of UK, Europe or rest of the world and tourist generators are the source of the tourists. The tourists are influenced by the cultural, social and physical features of the destination. The cultural features include monuments, museums and churches; social features include religious, religion and national needs of people while physical features include mountains, lakes, flora and fauna (Ibrahim and Gill, 2005). The popularity of a tourist destination can be estimated on the basis of growth, demand and revenue from tourism. Travel and Tourism is growing at faster rate worldwide in comparison to other sectors such as financial services, health care and automotive. Tourism supports local businesses such as apparel, food and construction industry. It also provides employment opportunity to the country. It also influences the social life style of host country. It also influences and enhances the culture of host country by preserving and encouraging craft and designs.
Tourist destination is the place or country where tourists like to travel and visit. While tourist generator is the place or country from where tourist belongs to or coming from (Smith, 2014). The main tourist destinations in world and number of visitors are shown in the table below-
Number of international visitors (in millions)
Palace of Versailles
Palais des Papes
Dune of Pyla
Golden Gate Bridge
Between New York and Ontario
The Great Wall of China
Across North China
The Yellow Mountains
Aqueduct of Segovia
Leaning Tower of Pisa
St. Peter’s Basilica
Grand Venice Canals
The Berlin Wall
Giant Old Church
Check Point Charlie
The Eden Project
The Isle of Skye
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Petronas Twin Towers
Eye on Malaysia
Table 1: Top Ten Tourist destinations in world
The above table shows top ten tourist destinations in world. The table shows that the maximum number of visitors travels to France. In the list of top ten countries, UK falls at 8th position in terms of number of visitors (Anon, 2016). In recent years, Travel and Tourism is growing at faster rate worldwide in comparison to other sectors such as financial services, health care and automotive. In 2014, Travel and Tourism generated revenue of US $ 7.6 million which is 10% of total global GDP.
Figure 1: Statistics of Travel and Tourism
This table shows the contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP and employment. It also shows the growth rate, spending and investment of Travel & Tourism industry.
Table 2: Rank of countries in terms of spending and trips
This table shows that UK stands in third position in terms of trips and in fourth position in terms of spending at global level.
According to The Blue Book, ONS, 2015; the value of tourism to UK economy is £121.1 billion which is 7.1% of GDP of UK. UK is the eight largest international tourism destinations on the basis of number of visitors. It is the fourth largest international tourism destination on the basis of visitor’s spending (Anon, 2016). The value of tourism region wise n UK is shown in the table below-
Figure 3: Value of UK Tourism by region
This table shows the maximum value of tourism is shown by London in comparison to other cities of UK. London is popular city for tourism and mostly visited for its popular destinations such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Madame Tussauds and The London Eye (Visitlondon.com, 2016). Apart from London, Edinburg is also a popular city in UK for visits. It is popular for its National Museum of Scotland, Royal Yacht Britannia, Cove, Arthur’s seat, etc. Manchester is famous for its crafts and design, shopping exhibitions and Cathedral. Birmingham is popular for its sites such as Birmingham botanical garden, millennium point and Aston Hall.
Figure 4: Trend of visitors and spending of UK Tourism
This table shows the increase in number of visitors and their spending towards UK Tourism from 2008 to 2015. There is not only increase in number of international visitors in UK but also in domestic tourism which is shown in the figure below-
Figure 5: Trend of visitors and spending of UK Domestic Tourism
Looking at the present trend of tourism in UK, it can be said that the future trend of UK tourism will be boom. It can be concluded on the basis of introduction of online promotional media in tourism which has cheaper cost and wider reach (Smith, 2014). UK government is also favouring the international as well as domestic tourism in UK. Additionally, the country is also promoting eco-tourism to protect the nature.
One of the popular cities of UK has been selected to understand the appeal made by the cultural, social and physical features of tourist destinations. London is the most popular cities of UK which attract both international and domestic visitors (Visitlondon.com, 2016). The analysis of cultural social and physical features of tourist destinations of London explaining their appeal to tourists is shown in the table below-
Appeal to tourist
The Tower of London
It is one of the very few unbroken buildings of medieval period in the world. Total 22 executions took place in here. The last person was executed in 1941. At least 6 ravens are kept in the tower due to superstitious reasons.
The crown of jewels is kept in the tower which is worth £20 bn. There was a zoo in tower with exotic animals for over 600 years.
The building was harmed in world war I and castle was damaged in world war II but the Tower was slightly damaged which was repaired and opened to public.
It is an example of Norman Military architecture which includes palace, fortress, prison and place of execution.
It is one of the remaining working royal palaces in the world today. They are kept open for 8 weeks in summer for public.
There is no admission fee to enter the palace. It is centrally located in the London. There are 200 trees, 35 types of wild flowers and 3 acre lake. The regal and traditional procedure of guards exchanging duties.
There are 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace. These rooms have marble columns, sparkling candelabra, damask wallpaper sumptuous carpets, sculptures etc. it has grand magnificent bronze staircase. It has a majestic throne room.
It is the greatest work of arts from royal collection such as sculpture by Canova; paintings by Poussin, Rubens and Rembrandt; gorgeous French and English furniture; and Sevres porcelain.
It is one of the greatest collections of painting in the world. There are almost 2300 paintings from mid-13th century. There is no entrance fee in this gallery. It is one of the most visited art museums in the world.
It is a non-departmental public body and exempt charity.
It was designed in 1832 by William Wilkins. It lacks space. It is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture.
It is on show for 365 days of year and free of cost. It contains paintings of western European tradition from 13th to 19th century.
The Tate Modern
It holds the collection of national art of British from 1500 to present day. It contains contemporary art and international modern. Presently it has 4 major sites and 70,000 artworks. It raises funds through legacies, donations and sponsorship.
It is one of the largest museums of contemporary and modern art in the world. it has floors out of which 0 to 4 floors contain gallery space. Each wing has separate subject or theme.
It is an example of adaptive reuse i.e. finding new life in old buildings. Architects expanded the building rather than demolishing it. From outside the building appears as 20th century factory style. From inside, it has steel girders, taupe walls and concrete floors.
It is a modern art gallery of London located in the bank side area of the London Borough of Southwark. It has large performance space, seminar room, starr auditorium, Clore education centre, McAulay studios, room, community garden and several shops.
Tourism is London is source of cultural understanding and peace. London as tourist destination is expected to yield more benefits in future due to investment made by government in online advertisement. Tourism supports local businesses such as apparel, food and construction industry. It also provides employment opportunity to the country. It also influences the social life style of host country (Pearce, 2012). It also influences and enhances the culture of host country by preserving and encouraging craft and designs.
The comparison of features of developing tourist destinations such as India and leading tourist destinations such as UK is shown below-
NIDP (National Infrastructure Development Plan) has decided to invest £480 billion on infrastructure development in UK. The demand to increase infrastructure related to air, road and rail transport from London to rest cities of UK (Blake, Sinclair and Soria, 2006)
India has second largest network in the world which is 4.7 million km. The connectivity between villages, towns and cities in the country has increased over years. In the 12th five year plan (2012-17) government has decided to spend 20% of investment on infrastructure development. The 70% of fund will be invested into airport, power and urban infrastructure sector. FDI has also increased in segment of infrastructure development (
Hall and Page, 2012)
Visit Britain with government boost image of England to grow tourism in England. The marketing campaign of Visit Britain includes real-time travel guide, local and global market campaign, etc.
Government of India has launched several marketing and branding initiatives such as Athiti Devo Bhava and Incredible India. Government of India has also introduced M visa or medical visa to encourage medical tourism in country (Kerrigan, Shivanandan and Hede, 2012). It has also introduced e-tourism scheme for 43 countries. It has also allowed 100% FDI in tourism and hotel industry.
Purpose of tourism
The purpose of tourism in UK accounts for business, holidays, visit relatives or friends, etc as shown in figure 6.
The purpose of tourism in India accounts for business, recreation, leisure, holidays, social activity, education, pilgrimage, medical, etc as shown in table 7.
Figure 6: Proportion of tourist visits by purpose of visit in India
Figure 7: Proportion of tourist visits by purpose of visit in UK
The greatest appeal of tourism in UK is its destination itself. UK is attractive destination for tourism because of its historic cities and towns such as Oxford and Cambridge; seaside destinations such as Blackpool and Brighton; national parks and large cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester. To increase the appeal of tourism to customers UK has created new and improved spots such as BALTIC Centre, London Eye, and New Darwin Centre etc (Visitengland.com, 2016).
The promotional strategies adopted by tourism industry in UK includes online ads, e-mails, newspaper, magazines, websites, etc as shown in the figure below-
Figure 8: forms of advertising in Tourism in UK
The marketing effort inspire consumer to make decision related to travel plan (Smith, 2014). A customer is influenced by word of mouth and social media; advertising, websites, brochures and ease of booking as shown in the figure below-
Figure 9: factors influencing customer decision
Tourism in developing country like India has increased due to improved infrastructure and increased investment in tourism sector. States like Delhi, Punjab and Haryana are point of attraction for visitors due to business and commerce related purpose while visitors come to Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, UP for leisure and religious purpose (Hannam and Diekmann, 2010). In 2002, Ministry of Tourism of India had launched Incredible India Campaign which was successful in attracting visitors around the world to India (Kerrigan, Shivanandan and Hede, 2012). This campaign included road show in New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada and UK. Ministry of Tourism of India has also encouraged entrepreneurs to open more lodging facilities for foreign visitors. Indian government has also allocated fund into infrastructure development which includes development of heliports in rural areas. Ministry of Tourism of India is also encouraging ecotourism to implement sustainability; preservation and conservation of culture and ecology. India is a point of attraction for tourist for its physical and spiritual healing. Many visitors come to India to visit Ashrams. Spiritual yoga is also a point of attraction for tourists (Hannam and Diekmann, 2010). Ministry of Tourism of India uses these features in their campaign while promoting.
The characteristics of a tourist destination affect its appeal in following ways-
The issues that affect the popularity of tourist destinations are as follows-
Adverse exchange rate and inflation: Strong pound will lower other foreign currencies which will result into lower spending by international tourist to UK. Increasing inflation also reduces the expenditure to international tourism (Richards and Wilson, 2007).
The potential for responsible tourism in country such as UK can be explained as follows. Tourism sector in UK is employing approximately 2 million people and generating revenue of £106 billion every year. It works in coordination of other sectors such as retail, transport, farming, arts, sports and museums. Responsible tourism includes paying fair wages to employees and treats them fairly. The visitors should respect the culture and customs of host country (Spenceley, 2012). The local people are benefited by employment in form of drivers, guide, hotel business, etc. It involves reducing pollution and waste. UK promotes responsible tourism in form of green tourism, UNESCO world heritage sites, the new forest, green dragon and association of independent tour operators. UK is promoting responsible tourism, thus it does not require promoting regarding its natural beauty to attract tourist.The greatest appeal of tourism in UK is its destination itself. UK is attractive destination for tourism because of its historic cities and towns. The promotional strategies adopted by tourism industry in UK include online ads, e-mails, newspaper, magazines, websites, etc (Morgan, Pritchard and Pride, 2011)
The strategies should be designed to fulfil primary aim and supplementary aim. The primary aim is to increase the value of tourism in UK and supplementary aim is to increase the reputation and image of UK. The objective of the strategies is to increase the number of visits to UK and increase the average spending of tourist to UK (Morgan, Pritchard and Pride, 2011). The strategy which can be implemented is to mix market segments together and deliver high yield to tourism business round the year. The essence of strategy is shown in the figure below-
Figure 6: essence of strategy
Analysis of Strengths and weakness:
Travel and Tourism generated revenue of US $ 7.6 million which is 10% of total global GDP. UK falls at 8th position in terms of number of visitors (Anon, 2016). The maximum value of tourism is shown by London in comparison to other cities of UK. The UK tourism is in boom because of introduction of online promotional media in tourism which has cheaper cost and wider reach. UK government is also favouring the international as well as domestic tourism in UK. Additionally, the country is also promoting eco-tourism to protect the nature. Tourism supports local businesses such as apparel, food and construction industry. It also provides employment opportunity to the country. It also influences the social life style of host country. It also influences and enhances the culture of host country by preserving and encouraging craft and designs (Hall and Page, 2012).
The popularity of a tourist destination can be estimated on the basis of growth, demand and revenue from tourism. Travel and Tourism is growing at faster rate worldwide in comparison to other sectors such as financial services, health care and automotive (Moutinho, 2011). Tourism supports local businesses such as apparel, food and construction industry. It also provides employment opportunity to the country. It also influences the social life style of host country. It also influences and enhances the culture of host country by preserving and encouraging craft and designs (Urry, 2013) The UK is known for its good quality of services in terms of hotels and restaurants. Organizations like Visit Britain only promote those companies which pass quality criteria. The issues that affect the popularity of tourist destinations are adverse exchange rate and inflation, Social riots, Terrorist attacks, Environmental impact, infrastructure, tourism leakage and enclave tourism (Spenceley, 2012).
At present, UK is promoting responsible tourism in form of green tourism, UNESCO world heritage sites, the new forest, green dragon and association of independent tour operators.
One of the fastest growing industries in UK is travel and tourism industry. The value of tourism to UK economy is £121.1 billion which is 7.1% of GDP of UK. UK is the eight largest international tourism destinations on the basis of number of visitors. It is the fourth largest international tourism destination on the basis of visitor’s spending (Anon, 2016). The purpose of tourists can be categorized into business, leisure and visiting relatives and friends. Thus, the wide categories of tourists are inbound tourists and outbound tourists. The external pressure faced by tourism industry are currency fluctuation, legislation related to transport acts, development of tourism act, package tour regulation act, etc; climate; terrorist attacks; etc. The factors responsible for growth of UK tourism industry are motivating factors such as socialization, relaxation, rest, prestige, escape from boring schedule, etc; proper marketing of destination, availability of travel and ease of booking; etc (Richards and Wilson, 2007). The structure of UK travel and tour includes attractive spots, accommodation, ancillary services, transport, tour operators and travel agents.
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