Geography- Tourism


There's been an increase in tourism over the last 60 years:

  • More disposable income
  • Companies give more paid holidays
  • Air travel has become cheaper and more accessible
  • Improvements in transport have made is quicker and easier to get to far off places
  • A wide variety of tourist destinations accross the world have been advertised more
  • Many countries have invested in infrastructure for tourism.

Popular resorts include cities, mountains and coasts. 

Cities such as London attract people because of the culture, entertainment and shopping.

Beaches such as ones in Thailand attract people because of activities like fishing, swimming and snorkelling.

Mountainous areas like the Alps attract people because of the scenery and the activities available like walking, climbing and skiing. 

Tourism is important to the economies of many countries because it provides jobs for local people which helps the economy to grow, it also increases the income of many businesses that supply the tourist industry like farms. In general, poorer countries tend to be more reliant on tourism.

Tourism also makes a large contribution to the UK economy

The UK attracts tourists because of its countryside, historic landmarks and castles and palaces. London is particularly popular because of its museums, theatres and shopping. 

Factors which affect the number of tourists visiting the UK:

  • Weather
  • World economy
  • Exchange rate
  • Terrorism and conflict
  • Major events

The Tourist Area Life Cycle Model

Exploration- small numbers of visitors are attracted to an area but they aren't any tourist facilities.

Involvement- local people begin providing facilities for tourists which attracts more visitors.

Development- more and more visitors come as more facilities are built and control over local tourism passes from locals to larger holiday companies.

Consolidation- tourism is still a big part of the economy but numbers begin to plateau. 

Stagnation- visitor numbers have peaked and facilites are no longer good, tourists have had a negative impact on the local environment and the area is less attractive to visit.

Decline- fewer visitors come as the area is less attractive and this leads to the decline of the area as tourist facilities close and become run down.


Rejuvination- if the area is rejuvenated then more visitors will come because they are attracted by the new facilities. 

UK decline case study- Blackpool

In Blackpool, growth was more or less continuous until the 60s, since then resorts have been in decline as people prefer to travel to the Mediterranean instead. Over a period of 9 years visitor numbers dropped by 6 million. 1000 hotels have ceased trading and 300 holiday flat premises have since closed, a long with many B and B's which had to drop their prices to as low a £10 a night. Average hotel occupancy rates fell as low as 25%.

Families are frightened off by the binge drinking culture of stag and hen parties. 
Beach erosion during winter storms
Beach and water pollution
Unemployment out of season
Over crowding and congestion on bank holidays
Unreliable summer weather
Cheap package holidays in…


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