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EDEXCEL Travel and Tourism Management
Unit Number and Title
Unit 9 Tourist Destinations
The recent global financial meltdown has resulted in the loss of income and job across many sectors and travel industry is one of them. As per the World Travel and TourismCouncil, the UK and many other countries will be increasingly dependent on the travel and tourism industry as this industry is expected to exceed other industries in terms of financial growth and employment generation. The following report highlights recent trends in travel and tourism.
One of the fastest growing industries in the world is tourism industry. Apart from being one of the fastest growing industries in the world it is also a great contributor to foreign exchange earnings and it also helps tremendously in employment generation both for developed and developing economies. It is an evident fact that the world tourism demand has been continuously exceeding expectations from all sectors. As per the UNWTO world trade barometer and the report released by them, it was stated that within the first few months of 2006 a total of 578 million international tourists arrived worldwide. This figure has increased by 4.5% from the year of 2005 when total number of international visitors were 553 million worldwide. The survey also reported that in the coming few years tourism industry’s growth is expected to grow at 4% worldwide (Organization, 2010). Tourism is therefore important for the wellbeing of many countries and people. It is because of the reason that it helps in generating income and also helps in creating income when good and services are consumed by the tourists. When the taxes are levied on the businessmen working within the tourism industry and further opportunity is provided in generating employment as well as economic advancement in the industry(Besculides, 2002).
Source: UNWTO, 2010
Source: UNWTO, 2010
In the year 2008, international tourists spent USD 944 billion as per the WTO; however, 2009 saw a downward trend due to recession and the tourism industry was hit by it. As per the recent records, Austria earns $21.8 billion in tourism revenue and it accounts for 9% of their GDP(Organization, 2010). The next in the list is Turkey which makes $22 billion in travel revenue generation and receives 40 million and above in travellers every year. One of the top grocers in terms of travel revenue generations is the USA which gets approximately $110.1 billion and its Las Vegas strip alone receives 31 million travellers every year. In terms of revenue generation through tourism, USA holds the number one spot. Spain, on the other hand, gets approximately $61.6 billion in income through travel and tourism. Also, close to Spain is France, which receives approximately $55.6 billion in revenue generation through its travel and tourism industry(Dorotix, 2009). France receives approximately 80 million travellers in a year. Another popular travel destination, Italy, receives approximately $45.7 billion in income generation through the travel industry and it is home to 44 World Heritage Site. One of the fastest developing countries in the world, China is also one of the top grosser in terms of travel and tourism and receives approximately $40.8 billion in income generated through tour and travel. Post the Olympics of 2008, the country has seen steady growth in terms of inbound tourists and when it received a mere 230,000 tourists in 1978, the figure jumped to 53 million people in 2008 itself. It is evident that despite tremendous potential and growth, tourism still suffers due to political reasons worldwide.
Despite the global financial downturn, people still want to travel and this is why the tourism industry worldwide showed resilience. According to reports it is expected that international tourism will reach an all-time high post 2013 and it will be driven mostly by the emerging countries. According to a report by IPK International World Travel Monitor, 6.8 billion trips were taken in the year of 2012 which was 2.5% more than 2011. This report also suggested that domestic travel will also grow by 2% and the total number of trips domestic will be 5.7 billion and on the other hand international travel will increase by 4%. The World Tourism Organisation states that there will be a 3-4% rise in terms of international tourists’ arrivals in 2013. And this figure was proved right in the years that have gone by(IPK International, 2012).
Also, global travel spending has also been reported to grow at a rate of 7% at €875 billion which reflects a 3% increase in travel spending. According to the same report, South Americans, Asians and North Americans spend the most per trip because of high level of fixed costs and on the other hand, Europeans spend lower. For world travel, Asia reflected being a positive travel destination wherein it was reported that the travel in this region will grow at 7% per annum(IPK International, 2012). One of the greatest jump in tourism has been shown by Japan which saw an increase of 13% in inbound travellers. North America and Europe also grew in terms of travel but at a lower side. Across the world, people reported maintaining that they will continue to travel despite the financial meltdown (39%) and 28% stated that they intended to travel more.
Source: UNWTO, 2010
The report also stated that Europe will profit from travel because of stronger dollar and weak euro as per ETC. There has also been a rise in the number of visitors from the US to Europe. Furthermore, it has been estimated that China and Brazil will continue to grow. China will be one of the fastest growing travel destinations in the world. It has been estimated that the Chinese travel will contribute in international tourism despite slow economic conditions. Furthermore, one of the fast growing niche market is medical tourism and it will be worth $60 billion annually.
The ongoing recession across the globe is so catastrophic resulting in loss of many jobs and crashing down of many country’s economies. Culturally Britain’s heritage has come out to be the most visited and travelled places amongst top 50 nations and thereby, ranks them at 7th in the list. Countries that are most influenced are USA, Australia Canada, South Africa, Poland, Argentina, and Russia(Agnew & Palutikof, 2006). Such is the case that most countries feel as connected in terms of ancestral or historical cultural heritage as their own part. Out of many places one of the best activity is Britain’s old built museums might not attract younger visitors but older visitors cherish and relive the precious moments and once the word is spread the younger lot succumbs to history and magnificent Britain’s heritage caged in museums, it is regarded as high as 3rd on potential visitor’s to-do-list. Britain has one of the finest traditional pubs; it becomes visitor’s obvious choice of eating and drinking experiences. The culture oozes with class and panache having the blend of incredibly exciting contemporary culture such as music, films art and literature, it ranks them amongst 4 in out of 50 nations. The blend of language, traditions, festivals, sport, and cuisine contributes to the culture in such a way that the visitors explore more and dedicate their interest in learning and comprehending cultural activities rather than limits themselves to intangible seeing sights, immersing themselves in the culture on a larger proportion(Hall, 1995).
The United Kingdom is made up of Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland also known as Ulster. The UK is an island in Western Europe just off the coast of France. It has been spread out in approximately 243,610 square kilometres. The UK lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, and comes within 35 km (22 miles) of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel, Sharing 360 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The Channel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France. England comprises most of the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. Much of England consists of rolling hills, but it is generally more mountainous in the north with a chain of mountains, the Pennines, dividing east and west(Josefa, 2004). There is more hilly area in the north and Midlands are the Lake District, the North York Moors, and the Peak District. This roughly divides between terrain types indicated by the Tees-Exe Line. Scotland another country occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The Highland Boundary Fault which traverses the Scottish mainland from Helensburgh to Stonehaven. Wales is mountainous and its three main regions are Snowdonia in the North West, the Cambrian Mountains in the mid Wales, and the Brecon Beacons in the south. Mourne Mountains and Lough Neagh is the geographical feature of Republic of Ireland covering 388 km, bagging more water are in entire UK.
India is blessed with diverse culture, history, architecture, cuisines, hospitable people, picturesque places, temples, festivals and full of colour. Thus, India is coming up in the list of tourists most wanted place to visit. India although have made a sedate progress in comparison to other countries in growth of tourism Ranking 40th in 2010 and only climbed two spots up in last four years , this is because India strategically is inadequate in advertisement and marketing, poor organisation of health and sanitation, poor infrastructure, lacks technology. The negatives picked by the tourists weigh more. Place like Red fort known for its magnificent architecture loses its attraction to rubbish in its surrounding, Taj Mahal serves as the most desirable place as its one of the Seven Wonders of the World. India though have invested US$ 15.70 million in advertisement campaigns such as “Incredible India” to no avail because the severe problem of littering and surroundings that are full of filth has made mockery of hygiene also adds woes to the tourism as second largest population in the world suffers from poverty pollution and unemployment(Ministry Of Tourism, 2012).
Majority of International tourists contributes to the tourism in United Kingdom. Department of Tourism helping it further by investing more so that as many people travel overseas may match with people travelling in around United Kingdom. One of the main attractions, is the country’s love for sports that way keeping tremendous hospitality including upcoming luxurious facilities provided to the tourists, getting them to acquaint with rich history and culture, the 2012 World Olympics have done world of good for tourism and roping in as many tourists as they could which has opened window for new jobs up to 50,000. The innovative marketing strategies have overshadowed the flaws by bringing London Olympics games.
Department of Tourism has been working on in pouring more and more tourists to boost the economy by employing more manpower (workers), providing more management skills and training to small and medium enterprises. Propagating all the required information for visas to the tourists via advanced technology and laying it out easy visa norms to the reliable applicants. Substantial investment has been made in improving airport such as Heathrow and Gatwick, improving transportation and taking every step towards the comfort of the tourist.
United Kingdom’s unprecedented blueprint in tourism have notched them to ever climbing 6th position, they are way ahead in Marketing strategies, ever improving infrastructure, cleanliness and technology, tourists are in awe of their museums and parks, reaching out to masses in broadcasting movies. Since English is now the most spoken language around the world, thereby tourists find themselves at ease to visit and move around in the UK without any linguistic hassle(Visit Britian, 2012).
UK has its own drawbacks or flaws which are led by racism and that results in higher crime rate leaving the tourist bothered. UK also dominated by high taxes although Government’s assurance of tax evasions yet doesn’t satisfy the tourist a great deal. Whereas India in thiscase holds the edge in terms of economical destinations to travel, given more promotion and extensive marketing can give India sharp boost.
The drivers and motivation in order to visit a destination may vary from individual to individual and they all weigh in many aspects before zeroing on a destination to visit. Therefore, in order words, there are many issues and factors which have a profound impact on the popularity of a tourist destination(Schoefer & Ennew, 2002). Consciously or unconsciously certain factors play a key role in forming a decision about visiting a destination and it in turn affects the popularity of the same. Some of the issues have been discussed as below–
Natural Environment and Natural Resources - The key factor for any travellers to choose a destination over and over again is its environment. The environment of a tourist destination includes both the climate and the landscape. For instance, the travellers who want to get away on a vacation and simply relax may look for a place which receives plenty of sunshine and has pristine and beautiful beaches to its credit and this may give them the best atmosphere to choose. For the rest of the travellers, a breeze in the air, chilly climate and snow-capped mountains may form an ideal destination.
The Built Environment – The built environment is essentially that environment which is man made to enhance the beauty of a destination. This may consist of hotels, casinos, restaurants, shopping areas, etc. For instance, Dubai is known for its shopping avenues more than its natural beauty. It’s annual Shopping festival and grand malls drive tourists. Also, Chicago’s beautiful Magnificent Mile receives plenty of tourists every year – both domestic and international travellers who are interested in seeing a 13 block stretch which is replete with retail shop, finest restaurants and luxury hotels. Some travellers look for destinations which have a lot of entertaining options while others may look for a simple environment.
Spirit of Hospitality – For most of the tourists, the warm welcome and hospitality they receive at a destination also forms an important factor in choosing it again and again. Many tourists visit popular destinations such as the Caribbean because they feel that the place gives them a warm welcome and the locals are friendly. It is human nature to feel warm when they feel welcomed with whom they come in contact with at a relatively new location.
Operating Sectors of the Destination – Within a destination all the operating sectors also play an important role. The operating sectors include better availability of transportation, variety of food services, variety of accommodations, many entertainments and events, varied attractions and better opportunities in terms of adventure travel, recreational activities and outdoor escapades. For instance, for a traveller, a place like Las Vegas has multitude of facilities including availability of taxis, range of hotels and its strip around the region, endless events, shows, concerts and better yet road trips to Red Rock Canyon. This place is one day away from the city and is a popular hiking spot.
Also, personal preferences play an important role in choosing a location. For instance, some travellers look for adventure and some for a sunny coastline. Therefore, targeting the right audience is also an important factor in boosting the popularity of a destination.
There are certain factors which can be taken into considerations to contribute to responsible tourism. These factors are given as below–
Tour operators in the country, such as Thomas Cook can come together and be part of responsible tourism in the country(Thomas Cook, 2012). The policies and guidelines on corporate social responsibility should be followed by the tour operators. Furthermore, tour operators in the country can extend their support to a charity organization such as the Travel Foundation. This charity organization cares for the tourist destination and the people living in and around it. This charity organization also helps the travel industry by taking a proper and effective action which has a social and environmental of tourism especially in the mainstream destinations across many cities around the world. This charity also protects the natural beauty and environment of the country, its local traditions as well as local culture. Furthermore, it also extends its support in improving the living conditions of the local population.
Tour operators can also contribute towards responsible tourism in the country by providing fair working conditions throughout their business operations and they also make sure to work with local communities in order to better their lives. Also, the tour operators suggest travellers to buy local products where it is practical and possible for them so that local communities are benefited from the same. They should also follow all the legislations of the country and all operations should be transparent and any form of illegal and exploitative form of tourism will not be tolerated. Also, responsible tourism awareness should be done and all related employees and stakeholders should be aware of the same.
It is also important for tour operators to for alliance with the Federation of Tour Operators (FTA) within which tools are developed and fostered to follow sustainable tourism.
Also, to enhance travel across all travellers, alliance with organizations such as Enable Holidays can be done. Through this holidays can be sold to travellers who are physically challenged. The national disability charity scope endorses Enable Holidays. It has hotels in over 20 tourist destinations which offer tailor made and exclusive facilities for travellers with disabilities.
Also, the UK government funds an independent company called The Carbon Trust which helps turn opportunities in saving energy into real world reduction with regard to energy consumption. Also, alliance should be formed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office wherein British nationals are always updated and informed about risks and dangers in travelling to certain tourist destinations for their safety and wellbeing.
The aforementioned report has highlighted various travel destinations and their typical features along with what has been trending in the past and future in terms of travel and tourism industry. The report also highlighted emerging tourist destinations and what they can contribute to the overall travel industry.
Agnew, M. & Palutikof, J., 2006. Impacts of short-term climate variability in the UK on demand for domestic and international tourism. Climate Research, 31(2), pp. 109-120.
Besculides, A., 2002. Residents’ perceptions of the cultural benefits of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(2), pp. 303-320.
Dorotix, 2009. Top Ten World's Tourism Earners. [Online]
Hall, C., 1995. Introduction to Tourism: Development. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.
IPK International, 2012. ITB WORLD TRAVEL TRENDS REPORT, Berlin: IPK International.
Josefa, D., 2004. Factors influencing destination Image. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(3), p. 657 – 681.
Kotler, P. & Brown, J., 2003. Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism.. 3rd ed. USA
Kwun, J.-W., 2004. Effects of brand, price, and risk on customers’ value perceptions and behavioral intentions in the restaurant industry. Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing, 17(1), pp. 31-50.
Ministry Of Tourism, 2012. Competitiveness of Tourism Sector in India With Selected Countries of the World, New Delhi: Government of India.