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Tourism theories and practices

"What Do Visitors Do And Why?" Critically Discuss

Tourism industry has emerged as one of the quickest growing industry and largest employers in today's world. This sheer vastness of the industry is recognized from the fact that the amounts of travelers worldwide are expected to be doubled to one billion plus by the end of 2010.

This article will discuss in simple the different ideas of travel and leisure which define vacationer behavior, their assignments, activities and motivations which in turn affect the industry.

Thesis declaration: Travellers and their way of thinking, their behavior and motivations are centrifugal to the concept of travel and leisure. Many scholars have tried out to determine the typology of the travelers, their classifications in order to understand the concept of tourism.

The essay will outline a few of the old theories and the present day day approach and just why there's a dependence on more research founded studies to exploit the of this industry.

Meaning Of Tourism-What Is Tourism

Michel Eyquem De Montaigne said, "A man should ever be ready booted to adopt his trip. "

Man because of his gregarious dynamics will travel in one place to another to fulfill his various needs whether it is social, psychological or physical. Traveling is thus characteristic to human society overall.

Travel and tourism was traditionally considered as a luxury item. But with the change of the century, classification of travel and tourism has evolved. Travel and leisure no longer means simple journeying or non permanent journeys and stays mainly for pleasure, leisure and or recreational purposes or an extravagance element. Twentieth century ushered in the paradigm transfer in the idea of tourism. In fact you won't be unjustified to state that there's been transition from the 19th and early on 20th century concept of tourism as a fitness in leisure and pleasure site to the idea of tourism as an exercise running a business, economics. It really is more of a consumer product; tourism industry is a captivating market where travel and leisure products can be sold now as any other consumer product, consumer here is the traveler. (Kamra, p 157)

According to reports presented by the statistics of the World Tourism Company (WTO) in 1994, travel and leisure contributed 12 % of the world's Gross Country wide Product. (Kamra, 12)

Tourism industry is one of the speediest growing industry employing vast sums of people worldwide, which talks about the reason why the analysis of the travel and leisure and tourism research is becoming so important in not only the academic field but also for the economy on the whole.

Modern day travel and leisure is a lot more than simple vacationing; it is pure economics, which depends upon theories of demand, and offer, which earns the question of sustainability. Travel and leisure is forget about synonymous to journeying.

Today tourism is just such as a normal consumer product which is motivated by market dynamics, demand resource, sold through shops. It no longer remains a luxury of top of the class but has become a mass product for the growing consumer market, in this case the growing visitor community.

In fact there has been a mixture of factors that have resulted in the proliferation of tourism industry. The leading being increased leisure, higher earnings of burgeoning middle class. One of the key drivers to growth in the approaching era would be the growing middle class.

The research of tourism ideas and procedures therefore would mainly revolve around the needs, motivations, role, experiences of the tourists. What do holidaymakers do and why?

The most standard classification of holidaymakers is on the basis of the needs of the traveler. This would mainly classify the complete tourist community into two groups-the traveler and the tourist.

While the ex - is mainly conceived as you who would essentially happen to be understand the area and thus would prefer to prefer longer travels and would plan it independently. The latter categorised, as a visitor in layman's version would be characterized as one with superficial interest. One who would indulge in shorter excursions and group trips or charters and would mainly depend on tour real estate agents. But this classification is very obscure.


Most of the travelers travel for change of environment because which new ideas of tourism like eco-tourism, rural tourism attended into existence. Ethnical attractions, education, getting understanding of new cultures might be other important motivations. For example fascination towards Buddhist culture has made Myanmar plus some parts of North East India a major hub for Buddhist visitors from all around the world. People from all around the world travel to these places to get go through the Buddhist spirit. There can be other motivations also like search for new experience, personal trips etc.

Some of the most prevalent ideas of destination development and classification of travellers Some scholars have attempted to classify the visitor based on their needs, which points out the reason for their travel. For example a holiday can be categorized as explorer, elite, offbeat, unconventional, mass or charter based on his/her demand.

While an explorer visitor group will want discovery, experience, exploration, a elite visitor might have a special personally customized customized trip to any amazing places. Or for example an offbeat vacationer might travel to get away from the crowds.

The classification corresponding to demand explains the main reason for travel. There may be a clean mass group also under the demand-based classification where in fact the tourist might like normal tour packages and holiday excursions to conventional places.

Thus classification on the basis of demand to a large extent establishes the needs and the activities of the tourists.

There may also be classification based on the meaning and necessity, where travellers might travel with regard to simple recreation, diversion, experiential, experimental reasons. There can be also motivational established classification. Understanding the purpose behind traveling might help to forecast consumer psyche.

An American researcher named Plog (Mason 26) help with his theory predicated on the psychology of vacationers and we were holding shared in 1973. Plog's theory was based on a research study conducted on NY residents and their attitudes to travel.

Plog's mentioned the tourist behavior and motivations based on the psychology of the travelers. Thus there are two types of travellers, the allo-centric and psycho-centric types of traveler. He argued that there are particular emotional types who do not like unfamiliar conditions or cultures, so when they select a holiday they'll seek the familiar areas than unfamiliar distant regions (these he termed psycho-centric).

Plog further added that we now have still some groups in society who'll anticipate to risk an even more uncertain holiday destination. These visitors will search for strange or unfamiliar and these he termed allo-centric.

While the psycho-centric would not travel definately not the neighborhood environment the allo-centric would travel long distances to new locations. He figured a lot of the tourists were neither completely psycho- centric nor completely allo-centric.

Rather the majority of the visitors were located in the guts point between your two extremes of psycho-centric and allo-centric. And that majority of the travelers would seek the familiar and like not to travel great ranges to make it happen.

An important point that emerged from the destination development of Plog's theory is that different tourists areas are attractive to different types of tourists based on the type of traveler they are simply, psycho or allo-centric and this majority of the vacationers will prefer to visit for short ranges than longer ones to look for vacations.

Thus it suggests that the tourist destinations in most of the developed countries which can be near major populace areas, occupied areas, markets, personal areas are likely to be developed and develop more quickly than those in the faraway remote areas.

However, in actual practice, sometimes this theory could also prove wrong. On the contrary many of the remote areas are now getting faster developed than those nearby the major people areas.

While Plog's theory was structured more on the psychological part of tourists, Erik Cohen's theory relate with the behavior of the travelers. Erik Cohen who developed a classification of travellers where there is a four key classification.

First was the planned mass tourists who travel in groupings, who prefer packaged vacation (travel, accommodation, food etc. ) usually established by a travel agent.

The second type was the average person mass tourists who use the same facilities as the arranged mass tourists, however the difference is situated only in decision making. This group makes more specific structured decisions about their activity and trip. There's also the explorers and the drifters.

While explorers would most often set up their own travels, meet and connect to the locals drifters avoid all connection with other tourists and leave with the locals. This classification of travelers lives much longer than the other groupings.

If both above mentioned vacationer theories which fundamentally explore the characteristics of human being behavioral aspects are put together then we would see that most Cohen's mass holiday and impartial mass holidaymakers would converge with Plog's psycho-centric tourists.

Later in the mid 1970s, Doxey proposed the Irritability Index or the Irridex. The Irridex was based on the relationship between your visitors and the locals.

The fundamental idea as it is obvious from the name of the index itself is the fact over a time period as the number of tourist upsurge in a specific area, a larger irritation and hatred would build-up amongst the local people towards the holidaymakers.

So, over the time as the locals gets more irritant with the site visitors and become hostile, the amount of visitors could actually decline or may not continue to develop at the same rate as recently.

But the challenge with most of these ideas was that the majority of them were not predicated on proper field research but on conversations.

Butler's Traveler Area Life Cycle (TALC) (Mason, 33) model on tourism which continues to be the most widely accepted and important theory deals with a particular vacation spot, his theory talks about how a vacation spot emerge as a traveler vacation spot after several stages.

Butler recommended a model in which a tourism destination advances over time as a result of several factors. Vacation spot is a very important element in travel and leisure. A vacation spot is identified most widely as a product is promoted to its consumers. And like all other products, holiday destinations also have a life routine. Butler suggested a model for tourism area life pattern in which he showed how a destination begins as a comparatively anonymous place and site visitors first come in small fractions because of insufficient gain access to, facilities and local knowledge (Miller and Galluci, 2004)

The key point in Butler's model was that planning and proper remedial action by the travelers can help arrest the decrease in resorts and tourism infrastructure.

One of the major challenges that the entire world Tourism Organization manufactured in its Global Forecasts for the entire year 2000 and above is the issue of sustainability, which pertains to the absorptive capacity of any economy regarding tourism.

This will not make reference to the physical capacity by itself but also to the capability of a particular area to provide travel and leisure infrastructure, pool in opportunities, manpower, and natural resources.

While manpower wouldn't normally be a constraint, other natural resources might be. The theory of sustainable tourism thus off later has emerged of greater relevance, which is essential to market environmental understanding and boost travel and leisure industry overall.

Sustainable tourism in a nutshell can be discussed as a means by which traveler progress is achieved as well as environment and earth's scarce resources are maintained.

Apart from the surroundings issue another getting rid of issue, which can emerge as an impediment is insufficient trained skilled workforce to provide value additions.

In conclusion it could be said that although several tourism theories have been put forth by several scholars to determine the jobs and activities, the characteristics of holidaymakers to boost the industry. There is a general lack of consciousness about these theories amidst the policy makers. Travel and leisure industry continues to be one particular sectors, which is regulated by government administration. There are huge varieties of conceptual and theoretical approaches to tourism, which have to be tested in reality. This apart there is a further need for more field studies and work of specialists in conducting the research, which will help achieve better theoretical orientation and request.

The tourism industry has been growing at a extraordinary rate going back fifty year especially, after the Second World Warfare. The recession has already established an impact on the industry, but the numbers of travellers worldwide are expected to be doubled to 1 billion plus by the finish of 2010.

Keeping in tune with the changing times consumer demands will also change, more classifications based on growing needs of vacationers might emerge.

What can be the cultural and public impact of travel and leisure development

Researchers have recognized a complete gamut of positive influences of travel and leisure development on societies. For example the direct results of travel and leisure development could be the modification of the internal structure of the city, increasing occupations of the local residents, social change, financial affluence, improvement of the grade of life through infrastructure development. In the same way the interaction between the host and traveler raises tolerance and communication skills etc.

On the social part the arts, crafts and culture of the neighborhood area might be revived. Analysts have also identified several disadvantages like deployment of natural resources, increased pressure on existing infrastructure, commodification of culture and its own negative effects etc (Beeton 2005a, p122)

Thus it can be seen in the article how vacationer behavioral needs, motivations, actions immediately and indirectly affect travel and leisure development in a place. Only right kind of practices can give the necessary boost to this industry, which together will contribute the greatest chunk in global trade.

Understanding the needs and motivations of the travelers will help improve travel and leisure industry manifolds. What is required is the right approach. Tourists' habit research in tourism must be based on motivations, typologies, destination choices and your choice process. While this is good some scholars criticize it as stereotypical and generalized which can not be the same the truth is. The gap between your theories and the truth can be bridged through research and continuous study of holiday behavior.


K Kamra 1997, "Tourism: Theory, Planning and Practice",

Second Release-2008

Peter Mason, "Travel and leisure Influences, Planning and Management"

(Online publication version), Second edition- 2008,

Mason, P. & Cheyne, J. (2000). " Residents' Attitudes to Proposed Travel and leisure Development, Annals of Tourism Research. "

Peter Mason, "Travel and leisure Impacts, Planning and Management" Second Edition

Abraham Pizam, Yoel Mansfeld, "Consumer behaviour in travel and travel and leisure" Softcover release published 2000

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