A2 Travel & Tourism - Characteristics of Tourism Development

Each of these cards will give a few brief points on each of the characteristics



Ifrastructure includes the following:

  • transport
  • communication
  • power and energy supplies
  • waste disposal

Transport - This is creating better links for example between airports and ferry ports which make access to the heart of the destination easier, whether this is via roads or railways. Further more, when developing new infrastructure, it will not only benefit the tourists but will also provide easer routes for the locals and can work to reduce the amount of traffic congestion, in particular via bus lanes, taxi lanes, alternate routes etc.

Communication - this means improving communications both internally (within the destination) and externally (to outside destinations), for example the availability of telephones and internet connections. As technology advances, an icnreasing number of hotels/restaurant/complexes are investing in making wi-fi connections availbale for all visitors.

Power and energy supplies - this will work to beneft not only the tourists but also the locals, providing sufficient electricity, gas and water supplies that are required for daily use

Waste disposal - this ensures that all waste left by hotels, restaurants, clubs and complexes are disposed of so that they do not cause pollution, both air pollution and visual pollution. 

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There are three main rates at which tourism can develop and these are:

  • mass - fast paced
  • niche - slow paced
  • eco-tourism - making it sustainable for future generations

Mass tourism - this is mainly seen as being negative as it does not allow sufficient time for destinations to plan how they are going to manage and operate with a sudden influx of tourists. Due to this, mass tourism normally causes overcrowding in an area.

Niche tourism - this is when the number of tourists visiting an area is spread out evenly throughout the year so that there is not a sudden influx of tourists. This gives the host population the opportunity to prepare and manage aspects such as accommodation, activities and events more confidently and sufficiently.

Sustainable tourism - this is ensuring that the rate of tourism is preferably slow and that tourists are aware of the important aspects so that they are still available for future generations to enjoy, for example, a coastal resort may use this time to invest in things such as bins along the beaches to ensure that pollution is minimized 

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The scale of tourism development is measured by whether it is achieved:

  • locally
  • globally/worldwide

Locally - this is when tourism development is achieved on smaller local level, such as the regeneration of a certain area

Globally/worldwide - this can be when a comopany or organisation develops their service/product not only in their own domestic area, but it is also achieved in countries throughout the world. For example, hotel company The Hilton Hotel is a popular company that is recognized globally. These companies are known as chains as they have branches spread worldwide. 

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Worldwide destinations

Throughout the world there are two main types of destinations:

  • LEDCs 
  • MEDCs

LEDCs - Less Economically Developed Countries are more likely to be heavily dependent upon tourism as their main source of income due to there being limited additional employment opportunities. It is less likely that popular property developers will be interested in these locations and therefore it is dangerous to be so reliant on tourism as it may not be significant. The rate of tourism in these countries is more likely to be niche.

MEDCs - More Economically Developed Countries will have more companies and property developers investing in the destination and this materialistic approach is more likely to entise tourists to visit. There will be more employment opportunities for the locals. The rate of tourism in these countries is more likely to be mass.

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The three main environments that are affected by tourism development are:

  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Maritime

The majority of the time tourism is seen as having negative impacts on the environment. In rural (countryside) areas it can lead to things such as the erosion of popular footpaths and littering along some of the routes. In urban (citiy/town) areas pollution is once again a large concern but this time it is more specific. The most accessible way to travel around urban areas is by car and less people think of using public transport systems and this will cause air pollution. In addition, tall scale buildings and hotels may also contribute to panoramic view damage. In maritime areas, the main concern is associated with ensuring that the habitats and wildlife breeding grounds are preserved. In these areas, the wildlife and sealife are a top reason as to why tourists visit, but factor such as pollution and overcrowding may affect the sustainability of these features.

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In tourism development it is important to make sure that you always maximise the positives and minimise the negatives. =)

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