Tourism is considered as the main industry throughout the world. It has been indicated by The World Travel and Tourism Council (2001) that more than 10 percent of universal economic output are created by tourism. Also, tourism is seen as global phenomenon with inexplicably immense infrastructure. Its significance is evident from the reality that its effect thoroughly penetrates politics, society, culture and the economy as well. Tourism begins with the images of an esteemed visits to seaside spas, resorts and grand tours plus business enterprise activities.
Here, the paper is describing travel and tourism industry history and structure along with its influence on government, international agencies and economic policy. Moreover, the demand and supply effects on travel and tourism industry is discussed in the following content. At the end positive and negative impacts of tourism is being summarized. The overall attempt in the present research is made to explore tourism sector of LONDON because it is the most popular destination of tourist around the globe. The country is attracting 30 million of visitors from other nations every year. Here, people travel from all corner of the world to admire several impressive monuments of London, explore city’s rich vibrant culture and take in a theatrical presentation in the West End. Additionally, around 26 million of overnight visits are made every year in the London and these visits are mainly made by tourists resides in other parts of LONDON.
1.1 Key historical developments in the travel and tourism sector
The below is past and currents developments in the LONDON travel and tourism sector:
Post-war developments–Since the end of Second World War in the year 1945, the global travel and tourism sector had improved so much that it is taken as biggest or dominant sector around the globe. In the last 40 years the particular industry developments has been shaped in range of factors. Such aspects are divided into four categories (Ashley, 2000). These are:
- Modifying socio-economic situations;
- Product development
- Developing technology
- Changing needs of buyers
Modifying socio economic situations–This term is given to combination of both economic and social factors. Such aspects are add to the travel and tourism sector growth from the Second World War. The time for leisure activities has been greatly increased in past several years for the LONDON people. Now people in this nation take it very easy to enjoy holiday without any fear of short for money while they return to home. These paid holidays have enhanced demand for seaside hotels and resorts (Bramwelland Lane, 2000).
The right of four to five weeks of paid holidays has supported domestic tourism sector of LONDON by inspiring customers to take short breaks in addition to main holiday. Also, the overall length of working week has been largely reduced. The average week of working in the period of 1950’s was 50 hours in LONDON. The typical week of working in the country range from 37-40 hours. Various workers are now have good choice about their working week pattern. The increased number of retired individuals and unemployed in present times has seen for demanding leisure activities (Cooper, 2005). It has been an important factor in the development of organizations, such as SAGA that is specialize in selling holiday packages for people of above 50.
Disposable income – It is money that remain with the individuals after the payment of necessities like household bills and mortgage. This remaining amount is said to be disposable income. During the buoyant condition of economy, individuals are confident enough to spend on travelling. It has significant economic influence on the sector of travel and tourism, as result in fluctuations in the total amount people wish to spend on visiting different destinations. But the disposable income can fall and rise in the periods of economic recession and decline. The last recession of LONDON in 1990’s saw the decreased demand for overseas holidays. It was due to the fear of unemployment. Moreover, rates of exchange have always been an essential part in the patterns of taking holiday. Any increase in the pound value and decline in the currency of overseas would encourage outbound tourism (Goeldnerand Ritchie, 2006).
Developing technology – Transports has greatly improved in the past several years. Trains, ships and aircraft, etc. can carry many passengers quickly as well as safely to different destinations. Technological advances in the design of aircraft after the Second World War meant that airline became available as a mass transport since the period of 1970. Also, the rise in ownership of car has been the highest feature of single transport that has promoted enhanced demand for local tourists. A range of technological improvements in the transportation system have influences the travel and tourism industry development from 1950’s to these days (Gyr, 2010). There are various way to travel, which all have come a long way from the period they were invented. Additionally, there is up-to-date travel like Hovercraft and Euro tunnel that are quite cheap to do travelling. Moreover, package holidays have become cheaper and popular, which will definitely increase the demand for travel. Also, due to technical advancements travel is easier plus comfortable now and it doesn’t take up more time that again adds to overall demand (Kreag, 2001).
Product development–Always there are some developments of new products in the sector of travel and tourism for meeting demands of customers. This is mainly due to the ability of industry in introducing travel services and products for inbound, outbound and domestic tourists.
1.2 Structure of the travel and tourism sector
The travel and tourism industry structure includes six components. These are first tourist attraction, which is a location tourist’s visit, for instance Alton Towers or Blackpool beach. Secondly, an adequate transportation is required to arrive at specific destination, which can be car or train, etc. Third, accommodation should be available for all visits extending more than one day, like guest houses, caravans and hotels (KYRIAKIDIS and et.al., 2009). Then tour operators include such components into a package meeting requirements of customers and then finally refer to the travelling agent or can sold to customers directly. These travel agents sell holidays through brochures by earning a small commission for their services. At last, tourism and development situated everywhere, which ensure that visitors learn something by visiting any destination as well as they make extensive advertisement and promotion of tourism. The following is the travel and tourism structure of LONDON:
Attractions – These are either man made or natural in themselves. It is simple to think of natural attractions like Blackpool Beach or Lake District that has around six millions of visitors every year. Manmade attractions are specifically created for tourists. Alton Towers is constructed for families and is a well-known theme park. Several other renowned attractions of LONDON are Eden Project Legoland Windsor, Tower of London and London Eye (McCabe, Minnaertand Diekmann, 2011).
Transport – At least 25% of tourist’s expenses are incurred in this. With several manners of getting around it creates main role in the sector of tourism. For the reason to reach to their destination, it generally comprises two types of transport (Middleton and et.al.,2009). These are:
Rail network: It has been modernized extensively with various private organizations competing with one another, i.e. GNER, Eurostar and Virgin. Over five million of passengers every year travel with Eurostar by the channel tune. The journey by train has reduced somewhat, however few services are compensating their way. Moreover, coach travel every time has been a popular and essential type of transport enabling individuals to travel at less cost comprising abroad. Eurolines and National Express carry 12 million and more passengers in a year to around 1200 destinations (Novelli, 2005).
Air travel – It include flights flying to strict schedules. Also, this include planes with charter flights hired for some journeys at no preliminary set time. Around 75 percent of all package holidays use travelling by air.
Accommodation–It is generally very significant to the sector of travel and tourism. It includes campsites, travel inns, self-catering visits and caravans. Recently self-catering where one can supply their own meals and food has rapidly grown. Half-board provides tea and breakfast while full-board offers everything required by the customers (O'Mahonyand McMurray, 2008).
Tour operators–They develops holidays in the kind of package. A contract is negotiated with transport and accommodation providers. The bulk purchases lessens costs of overhead and holiday is presented to travel agents as a brochure. Then it is sold either through agent or directly. The tour operators are of four types. First, the mass market include First Choice, Thomson and Thomas Cook. They provides holiday packages to mountains and lakes. Next is special holidays that is especially design for holiday maker’s special interest, like 18-30 club. Third is domestic holidays that includes Health Spas, Butlins. Last is holidays for foreigners visiting the nation and are provided with guides to get knowledge about LONDON culture and history (Penrose, 2011).
Travel agents – These perform their job of brochures selling. The agents are the link in between public and tour operators. Generally, they cater for specialist holidays. There are various travelling agents with their agencies situated throughout the London. The most famous travelling agents are Lunn Poly, Thomson and Going Places. Furthermore, independent travel agents are family owned and small too. The most common one is call centres where clients can make booking on phone for their liked holiday packages (Pettinger, 2015).
Tourism development –Tourist boards provide information relations to region involved to potential tourists. Individuals can pop into information centre of tourist for getting literature or other things also related to the area. The information board of tourist is concerned with any type of promotion, like for information, advice and to conduct research. For instance, Blue Badge Guides provide specific and intensive training to tourists for visiting their respective regions (Reisingerand Turner, 2003).
2.1 Function of government, government sponsored bodies and international agencies in travel and tourism
Government engages in a significant role in the sector of tourism, as it is the main body to imply law, economic policy and nation’s security. The government involvement is in two manners, i.e. indirect and direct. The government core functions in the LONDON’s tourism industry are to promote the sector, raise international revenues, develop leisure environment for the industry, create business stability as well as build up secure atmosphere for both local people and tourists. Primarily, government takes key obligation for the infrastructure growth, in which it considers the development of LONDON tourism basic necessity. By creating and promoting its attractions to the tourists around the globe, the government provides good job opportunities to local people and as a consequence promotes their lifestyles. The regulations of government are very essential in safeguarding tourists plus improving their experience by creating secure and nice environment for them (Simm, 2015).
Government sponsored bodies like regional tourist board, national tourist board, Visit Britain and many more are especially for undertaking researches regarding tourism development by distinct aspects for its promotion and forming new trends. These sponsored bodies can provide accurate and precise information in relation to LONDON’s attractions and destinations to both international tourists and local visitors. Also, international agencies involved in travel and tourism sector development. UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) founded in the year 1974 and headquarter in Madrid is the core international organization, which collects statistical data related to international tourism. The information given by UNWTO are very beneficial in analysing tourism flow, trend and growth (Spenceley, 2012).
Besides above, the IATA (International Air Transport Association) was introduced in 1945 as a voluntary association with 80 percent of members from the global airlines sector. The core function of this association is to promote regular, economic and safe air transport. Also, some other international associations that take participation in the sector of tourism are WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), etc (Weaverand Oppermann, 2000).
2.2 Local and national economic policy influences on the travel and tourism sector
The system of setting government budget plus interest rates plus national ownership and labour market where government has interventions is referred to economic policy. Such economic policies are part of tourism industry success, as it create impacts on economic growth of country that consequently influences developments on the particular region’s amenities, facilities, lifestyle and economy (Agnew and et.al.,2006).
Many nations has suffered from the economic breakdown and in LONDON also GDP was declined by 9.8 percent in 2009. But by modifying local economic policies, the decreasing number of visitors were controlled by government of LONDON. One main economic aspect is exchange rate of pound that is quite strong in comparison to several other foreign currency, in which foreigners can expend more amount (Bastakis, Buhalis and Butler, 2004). Besides this, an issue that is required to be discussed in this relation is seasonality, since for this sectors holidays are very busiest period. Many of the economic policies concentrates on the sustainability of tourism development. An important element of this sustainability is economic viability. A significant role is played by government in the tourism sector success after knowing its significance. This sector is also influenced by positive modifications in the economic policies. The travel and tourism sector perform their activities through a series of governmental bodies and departments so that they can have complete potential of visitors economy (Berrittella and et.al.,2006).
2.3 The implications of political change on the travel and tourism sector in different countries
Tourism and travel sector greatly depends on nation’s political changes. Nobody will wish to visit a place with political instability, as such place would not able to provide secure and safe environment to spend holidays by tourists. There are many nations that are just avoid by tourists due to the reason of political situation although they have potential attractions or destinations that can be offered to tourists. One important example of this type of region is Burma, which is in the Junta General Than Shwe military monopoly. It is a developing nation of Asia. This particular region with temperate climate has good social and geographical features as well as can provide distinct destinations types. But the tension between nations like LONDON and USA and military government, there is no proper development in the Burma’s economic plus tourism sector (Blake, Sinclair and Sugiyarto, 2003).
In a different manner, at times the political alterations can lead to good outcomes into nation’s international tourism. For instance, during the period of election in LONDON, the currency value has decreased due to economic recession. But it offer a good opportunity for other countries people to visit London, as it would be cheaper for them in comparison to other time (Bohdanowicz, 2005).
It can be concluded from above report that tourism is a most rapidly growing sector in both developed and developing nations. The travel and tourism sector is also considered as a means of creating new job opportunities and lessening unemployment level in various regions. The tourism sector history is one of clumpy expansion, massive growth periods interrupted by stagnation and recession periods. Moreover, international tourism and travel is backbone of internationalization as well as develops the world in several manners, such as it enhances trade, promotes economic development, create more disposable income and advances development. Furthermore, communities are strengthen through the international tourism by bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds plus regions and promotes the goals of global understanding and peace. Such benefits hold a base for emerging, industrialized and developing nations plus give a main platform on which other sectors can be developed.
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