Tourism

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Reasons for change in destination

  • Natural disasters-earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc have a major impact on tourism.
  • Natural processes-coastal erosion and rising sea levels threaten many tourism locations.
  • Heath scares-the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in March 2003 had a considerable short term impact on tourism in China.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations-e.g. if the value of the dollar falls, it is more expensive for Americans to holiday in Europe but cheaper for Europeans to visit the US.
  • Political uncertainties-governments may advise against visiting certain countries if the political situation is tense.
  • International image-A US film in 2006 called Turistas has caused major concern in Brazil. It depicts a group of US backpackers whose holiday in a Brazilian resort turns into a nightmare when they are drugged and kidnapped before their organs are removed by organ traffickers.
  • Increasing competition-as new 'more exciting' destinations increased their market share, more traditional destinations may see visitor numbers decline.
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New types of holiday

  • Theme parks/holiday village enclaves-theme pars create artificial destinations from scratch. The largest are the Disney theme parks located close to Tokyo, Paris, LA and Orlando.
  • Gambling destinations-Las Vegas is the largest gambling destination in the world. In the USA as new locations are emerging. The scale of destination gambling is increasing in other countries too, often very controversial.
  • Cruising-growing faster than any other holiday type, North Americans take more than anyone else. New record set in 2006 with the launch of the 160,000 ton Freedom of the Seas which has 15 passenger decks.
  • Heritage/urban-visits to key historical and cultural sites attract large numbers of people, many urban sites and can infrastructure is built for the tourist demand.
  • Wilderness/ecotourism-some people want to avoid all aspects of mass tourism by connecting with nature in its most unspoilt settings.
  • Medical travel-people from affluent countries looking for cheaper surgery
  • Dark tourism-travel associated with death, tragedy and war e.g. WW1 battlefields and WW2 concentration camps.
  • Religious tourism-large numbers of people visit places associated with their religion e.g. Muslims to Mecca as a part of the Haj pilgrimage.
  • Working holidays-young people on low budgets go to work for short periods
  • Sports tourism-e.g., sports tours or watching national teams abroad.
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UK tourism: Major issues

  • Negative balance of tourism means more money goes out of the country than comes in through tourism. Major reason for this is UK residents have a desire for guaranteed sunshine.
  • Regional imbalance of tourism revenue when so much of the foreign tourism is located on London and a few other 'world famous' sites.
  • Pressure of tourism on honeypot sites.
  • Perception that the industry provides little reward for many communities apart from low-paid seasonal jobs.
  • Growing concern over impact of air transport due to tourism. Plans to extend Heathrow and Stansted airports are controversial. Apart from the direct impact of the populations near the airports, there is concern on the effect to climate change.
  • Continued decline of British seaside resorts resulting in high unemployment and urban blight in those resort areas.
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UK tourism: Outbound

In 2005, Britons made 66.4 million visits abroad, three times the number in 1985. 2/3 of these foreign visits were holidays, just under half of which were package holidays.

Although the number of foreign holidays continues to rise, there has been a fall in the number of package holidays in the recent years.

Of these journeys, 81% were made by air. Spain and France accounted for 38% of all destinations with 13.8 million and 11.1 million visits respectively.

Of the UK's population, 15% now fly abroad 3 or more times a year.

Spending in foreign visits reached a record £32.2 billion, a fourfold rise between 1985 and 2005 in real terms.

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UK tourism: Inbound and domestic

There were 30 million visits from overseas to the UK in 2005, double the amount in 1984 and an all-time high. 2/3 of these visits were people going on holiday.

Total spending by visitors reached £14.2 billion, the USA being the highest spender.

According to Visit Britain, total spending in 2005 was £85 billion; 80% of this was by UK residents.

The industry is highly seasonal with the vast majority of people visiting between April and September. July and August are by far the busiest months. Many hotels and tourist facilities are completely closed in the off season.

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UK tourism: Economic importance

Accounts for 3.5% of the UK's economy. Over 2 million jobs are directly and indirectly sustained by tourism activity. Directly, employment accounts for 1.4 million, about 5% of all jobs in the UK.

In London, tourism is the second largest and fastest growing sector. According to the Government Office for London, it accounts for 8% of its GDP and 13% of employment.

While those parts of Britain attractive to foreign tourists have done well from the industry, many seaside resorts are experiencing difficulty. The support given to the decline of coal and ship-mining industries was not given to the tourism decline.

The South west attracts more domestic visitors than any other region in the UK, London only overtakes it when overseas visitors are taken into account. In Cornwall, tourism accounts for 29% of employment. People are attracted by the high quality of natural environment, coast, Tate St Ives, The Eden Project and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Between 1992 and 2003, total visits increased from 3.4 million to 5.1 million and total tourist spending increased from £623 million to £1216 million.

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China tourism: Outbound

In 2005, 31 million Chinese travelled abroad, spending $15.2 billion.  According to the World Tourism Organisation, China will be the 4th largest source of outbound tourists at 100 million by 2020. However, at present, only 2% of China's population have travelled abroad. The reasons why the numbers of Chinese travelling abroad are:

  • rising disposable incomes
  • longer holidays
  • increasing interest in overseas travel
  • Relaxed political restrictions-Chinese government has now given 129 countries Approved destination status. A breakthrough came in 1983 when the government allowed people to participate in organised trips to visit friends and family in Hong Kong. Since the early 1990s individual countries have been given ADS by the Chinese government e.g. NZ in 1999.
  • advertising/promotions-by ADS countries anxious to secure their market share of Chinese tourists
  • Greater availability of travel products and services throughout China.
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China tourism: China as a destination

In 2006, there were 22 million foreign visitors (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), compared to 300,000 in 1978. UNWTO predicts that Chin will be the world's most visited destination by 2020.

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai were important boosts to tourism in China, which has the advantage of a wide variety of destination within the country. For example there are 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as:

  • the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing
  • the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian
  • 6700 km long Great Wall of China
  • the Yangtze River and TGD
  • giant pandas in the Wolong Nature Reserve
  • skyscrapers, shopping etc in Hong Kong.
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China tourism: the impact of employment and GDP

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that 16.6 million people, 2.1% of total employment are employed by travel and tourism. However, employment in the wider industry was estimated at 72 million.

Contribution to GDP is estimated at 2.5% for the industry and 12.2% for the wider travel and tourism economy. 70% comes from internal tourism, 1.5 billion trips were taken inside China in 2006.

In 2007, total tourism demand in China represented 6.2% of world market share.

In Beijing, tourism contributes to 8% of the city's GDP.

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China tourism: Tibet and Human rights

In 2006, the Free Tibet Campaign called for a tourist boycott of the new £2.3 billion Golmud-Lhasa railway. The highest passenger railway in the world now makes it possible to travel from Beijing to the Tibetan capital Lhasa in 48 hours. It is viewed by some as the completion of the 50 year long colonisation of Tibet.

The Chinese say the railway will bring big economic benefits to Tibet, the poorest part of the country. It will make Tibet more accessible not just for tourism but also for business in general.

Critics fear it will speed up the influx of ethnic Chinese and further undermine the fragile Tibetan culture.

Some Tibetan organisations have urged tourists to use the services of Tibetan businesses rather than those run by the Han Chinese who have been encouraged to settle in Tibet by the Chinese government since the invasion by China in 1950.

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China tourism: Sanya, Hainan Island

It is the second largest city on Hainan Island and a leading destination for domestic tourists and is becoming increasingly popular with foreign tourists.

The island is the most southernly point in China and because of its tropical climate and palm fringed beaches it is often referred to as 'China's Hawaii'. The island has been heavily promoted by the Chinese Government. In addition to its beaches, it boasts good quality golf courses, spectacular rainforest and mountain scenery and many points of cultural and historical interest. Tourism has spurred a huge investment in infrastructure on the island, which has brought about significant changed to the natural environment. 

The first charter flights from the UK started in 2007 with holidays offering 10 days on the beaches of Sanya and then 3 days in Beijing. Many of the major international hotel chains have now a presence in Sanya. These complained view Sanya as a strategic gateway into China's luxury tourism market.

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Doxey's Index of Irriation

1. Euphoria-enthusiasm for tourist development, mutual feeling of satisfaction, opportunities for local participation, flows of money and interesting contacts.

2. Apathy-Industry expands, Tourists take it for granted, more interest in profit making, personal contact becomes for formal.

3. Irritation-Industry nearing saturation point, expansion of facilities required, encroachment into local way of life.

4. Antagonism-Irritations become more overt, the tourist is seen as the harbinger of all that is bad, mutual politeness gives away to antagonism.

5. Final Level-Environment changed irreversibly, resources and type of tourist have changed, if destination is large enough to cope with ,*** tourism it will continue to thrive.

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