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Elements of tourism - GSM Leisure Travel Limited

Elements of tourism, tourists and tourist destination; GSM Leisure Travel Limited

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………3

1.1Aim………….…………………………………………………………………………………4

2.0 Historical developments and current development in the tourism industry…………………..4

2.1 Types of tourism………………………………………………………………………………5

3.0 Reasons why tourists visit a particular destination……………………………………………6

3.1 Travel motivation; push and pull factors……………………………………………………...7

4.0 Tourist motivations and typologies……………………………………………………………8

5.0 Elements that should be considered in developing a new destination………………………...9

6.0 Tourism value chain………………………………………………………………………….11

7.0 Conclusion and recommendations…………………………………………………………...12 


1.0 Introduction

The value of the UK travel and tourism industry is projected to increase to $425.9 billion by 2020, which represents an increase of 30.2% compared to 2015(MarketLine 2016).  The industry is expected to experience steady growth between 2015 and 2020. A study conducted by MarketLine (2016) shows that the industry’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR), for the period between 2015 and 2020 is expected to be 5.4%. The projected growth has made the UK travel and tourism industry very attractive. This has led to a significant increase in the degree of rivalry within the industry because of the high profit potential.

Some of the factors that have contributed to the industry’s growth over the past few years and the expected growth in the future relate to low fuel costs experienced globally (MarketLine 2016).  The UK government is focused on strengthening the travel and tourism industry, which is underlined by the formulation of the UK tourism policy. The policy focuses a number of issues such as increasing consumption of tourism products amongst the UK citizens. The UK government is further committed to improving the sector’s productivity in order to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s travel and tourism sector (Kennell & Chaperon 2011).  As one of the firms in the UK travel and tourism industry such as GSM Leisure Travel Limited can gain competitiveness by integrating effective travel and tourism management practices. Amongst the issues that the firm should take into consideration include examining the types of tourism that the firm can exploit in the quest to achieve sustainability, destination management, and evaluation of tourism behavior and motivations.   Moreover, the firms should also integrate effective tourism supply chain management practices by partnering with different public, private, and voluntary organizations.  

1.1 Aim

In line with the above issues, this paper examines the different elements of tourism, tourists, and tourist destinations that GSM Leisure Travel Limited, a tour operator, should take into consideration in order to achieve sustainable competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry.

2.0 Historical developments and current developments in the tourism industry

Sharpley (2009), ‘tourism is the movement of people who choose to move away from their home areas to stay somewhere else for a period of time but not to live and find employment there’ (p. 179). Tourism is a critical driver in a country’s social and economic development. Marvell and Hayward (2005) assert that the travel and tourism industry stimulates economic growth by creating employment opportunities, exports, and investment.  Moreover, the travel and tourism industry is also critical in preserving cultural heritage and improving the country’s local infrastructure and local community infrastructure (Sharpley 2009). 

Traditionally, the travel and tourism industry was characterized by significant challenges as a result of transportation difficulties. However, growth and development in infrastructure and transport systems have made the travel and tourism industry effective. For example, the development of air travel has stimulated the growth of the global tourism industry.  Ritchie, Carr, and Cooper (2003) emphasize that improvement in the transport system has made it possible for individuals to access destinations that were traditionally inaccessible.  Similarly, technological development has also contributed to remarkable improvement in the growth and development of the travel and tourism industry.  Examples of such technologies include rail systems, aeroplanes, passenger ferries, and cars.  Conversely, the development of computer technologies has made it easy for individuals to make travel arrangements, for example by booking reservations online (Marvell & Hayward 2005). Ritchie, Carr and Cooper (2003) assert that tourism has become a global industry which is evidenced by the fact that tourist destinations receive millions of people from across the world annually. A report on Tourism Growth, Development and Impacts (2008) shows that ‘the World Travel Organization (WTO) estimates that there were approximately 842 million international travellers in 2006, which represents approximately 12% of the world’s total population’ (p.4).  This indicates that the global travel and tourism industry is characterized by a considerable potential for growth.

2.1 Types of tourism

The tourism industry has experienced significant transformation, which has been necessitated by different factors. Consumer behavior is one of the notable forces that have contributed to the transformation of the industry. For example, consumer behavior has led to the emergence of different types of tourism. Mass tourism is one of the notable types of tourism.  According to Pigram and Wahab (2005), mass tourism entails ‘a quantitative nation, based on the proportion of the population participating in tourism or on the volume of tourism activity’ (p.7). Therefore, mass tourism is characterized by ‘a collective’ consumption of tourism products in order to achieve a unique market opportunity. Thus, under the mass type of tourism, a large number of people participate in tourism.  Examples of mass tourism include tourists visiting crowded beaches, shopping malls, bars, and nightclubs. Thus, one of the notable features of mass tourism entails the large-scale and standardized production of tourist products and services (Bramwell 2004).   Additionally, the products offered under the mass type of tourism are inflexible and rigidly packaged (Pigram & Wahab 2005). On the basis of the projected growth in international travel and tourism industry, it is projected that mass tourism will experience considerable growth.  Thus, there is a high probability of firms in the travel industry such as tour operators benefiting by exploiting the opportunities associated with mass types of tourism.

In addition to mass tourism, firms in the travel and tourism industry can also enhance their growth by exploiting alternative or special interest tourism.  Ritchie, Carr, and Cooper (2003) assert that the World Tourism Organization defines special interest as ‘a specialized tourism involving group or individual tours by people who wish to develop certain interest sand visit sites and places connected with a specific subject’ (p. 28).  

One of the key features of special interest tourism is that the tourist is motivated to achieve durable benefits amongst them self-actualization, renewal of a sense of belonging, self-expression, and self-enrichment.  Examples of special interest tourism include rural tourism, conference tourism, adventure tourism, sports tourism, marine tourism, and cultural tourism (Bramwell 2004). Conversely, Reisinger and Dimanche (2010) identify health and wellness, cultural, nature-based,  wildlife, food and wine, space, photographic, educational, and experiential tourism as the most dominant types of special interest tourism.  Thus, in the quest to successfully exploit the market opportunities inherent in the travel and tourism industry, it is imperative for GSM Leisure Travel company to consider diversifying its product portfolio in order to achieve the customers’ experience. The firm can achieve this goal by entrenching mass and special interest types of tourism.  

3.0 Reasons why tourists visit a particular destination

According to Reisinger and Dimanche (2010), the changing values in consumer behavior with regard to tourism have led to a change in demand for tourism products. This aspect is underlined by the emergence of new types of tourism. Evans, Stonehouse, and Campbell (2012) assert that the demand for tourism varies across different tourism destinations.  In order to benefit from the changing demand for tourism, it is essential for firms in the tourism and travel industry to understand the factors that influence demand for tourism.  Reisinger and Dimanche (2010),  emphasize that in order to achieve sustainable competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry, firms in the industry must focus on enhancing the tourists’ level of satisfaction.   Thus, understanding tourists’ motivation for a particular destination is critical.  

Tourists’ motivation for travel destinations can be categorized into push factors and pull factors. The push factors arise from the tourists’ psychological forces while the pull factors arise from the characteristics of a particular tourism destination.   Understanding the push and pull factors can give GSM Leisure Travel Company critical insight into how to adjust its approach to tourism and destination management practices. For example, the firm can be able to entrench effective practices that will lead to the creation of purchase and post-purchase intention of its tourism destinations.

3.1 Travel motivation; push and pull factors

According to Nikjoo and Ketabi (2015), an individual’s decision to tour a particular destination is influenced by his or her needs.  With regard to push factors, individual tourists are motivated by the need to satisfy their intrinsic or intangible desires (Khoung & Ha 2014).  Push factors are critical in influencing an individual’s motivation to travel. Amongst the core push factors that create demand for tourism arise from diverse socio-psychological motives that include self-exploration, social interaction, prestige, relaxation, kinship enhancement, and escaping from normal daily life (Khoung & Ha 2014). Thus, push factors play a fundamental role in the determination of the choice of destination that an individual intends to tour. This underlines the importance of firms in the travel and tourism industry developing a comprehensive understanding of the psychological factors that motivate tourists to select a particular destination. By acting on this knowledge, GSM Leisure Travel will be in a position to improve its tourism products in order to align with the tourists’ demands.

In addition to push factors, the demand for travel and tourism is also influenced by pull factors. According to Khoung and Ha (2014), pull factors are comprised of the tangible resources that individual tourists perceive and expect to benefit from by travelling to a particular tourism destination. As one of the firms in the travel and tourism industry, GSM Leisure Travel Limited should consider push factors as one of the critical determinants of its success in the UK travel and tourism industry. The firm can achieve this goal by influencing the travellers’ expectations of its products. One of the approaches that the firm can achieve this outcome entails developing diverse tourism products in order to succeed in attracting tourists.

4.0 Tourist motivations and typologies

            The firm can achieve this goal by taking into consideration different tourist typologies, which according to Grzywacz and Zeglen (2003) entails ‘the descriptors of distinctive forms of tourist consumer behavior’ (p.5). Nikjoo and Ketabi (2015) assert that considering the tourists’ typologies is critical in determining the effectiveness with which firms in the tour and travel industry develop relevant tourism products and services. Consideration of tourism typologies enables firms in the industry to understand the tourists’ product preferences (Lubbe 2003).  Amongst the typologies that the firm’s management team should take into consideration in undertaking tourism management relates to the individual tourists’ internal factors such as interests and values, styles, perceptions, motives, and attitudes (Lubbe 2003).

Amongst the products that the firm should consider include food products, recreational facilities, and taking tourists to historic attraction destinations. By taking into account the different typologies in designing and planning its tour and travel products and services, GSM Leisure Travel Limited will succeed in strengthening and developing products that meet the customers’ travel and tourism needs. On the basis of this approach, the firm will succeed in targeting and attracting customers.  

5.0 Elements that should be considered in developing a new destination

To achieve sustainability in the UK travel and tourism industry, GSM Leisure Travel Limited should focus on strengthening its competitiveness. The firm can achieve this goal through the integration of effective strategic management practices. One of the issues that the firm’s management team should take into consideration entails the integration of the Ansoff theoretical model. Amongst the elements of the Ansoff matrix that the firm’s management team should take into consideration entails market development.  The firm can actualize market development by introducing its existing products into new markets. GSM Leisure Travel Limited can actualize its market development strategy by establishing new destinations within the UK travel and tourism industry. By adopting market development, the firm will be in a position to improve its market presence. This arises from the fact that the firm will improve the accessibility of its tourism products to different customers across the UK.

The firm should consider employing the 6A model in evaluating the attractiveness and competitiveness of the new destination. The model is comprised of six main elements that include access, attraction, amenities, accommodations, ancillary services, and assemblage (Ibragimov & Xurramov 2015).

Attractiveness; in actualizing market development strategy, the firm should ensure that it undertakes an extensive environmental analysis. The rationale of the analysis is to determine the attractiveness of the areas in which the firm intends to establish operations. Thus, the firm should examine whether the new destination has the capacity to enhance the firm’s future competitiveness. Amongst the issues that the firm should take into consideration entails the degree to which the new destinations are aligned with the different typologies that influence customers to select a tourist destination. 

Access; the firm should further evaluate the ease with which the new destination is accessible.  The accessibility of the new tourist destination can be evaluated on the basis of the transportation infrastructure. If the tourist destination is characterized by a well-established infrastructure system, the destination becomes considerably attractive.

Accommodation; the firm should ensure that selection of the tourist destination has adequate accommodation facilities such as lodging.

Amenities; the firm should further evaluate the availability of amenities that are likely to enhance the attractiveness of the new tourism destination. Amongst the amenities that the firm should take into consideration include shopping malls and restaurants. These elements play a fundamental role in ensuring that tourists have a constant supply of basic travel amenities.

Assemblage; this element entails entering into strategic partnerships with different stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry. As a tour operator, GSM Leisure Travel Limited should consider partnering with other tourism supply firms in the industry. Some of the stakeholders that the firm should consider entering into strategic partnerships with include tourist attraction facilities such as national parks. Additionally, GSM should also consider entering into strategic partnerships with private entities such as private entities in the travel and tourism industry, for example, private game reserves. This will play an essential role in improving the firm’s capacity to increase the level of satisfaction amongst tourists.

6.0 Tourism value chain

To achieve sustainable competitiveness in the tour and travel industry, GSM Leisure Travel Company should employ the tourism value chain. The significance of the tourism value chain is that it enhances the effectiveness with which firms in the tour and travel industry such as tour operators incorporate different stakeholders, policies, and activities that occur within the tourist’s country. The tourism value chain takes into consideration the level of demand for tourism products and services. The value chain further incorporates the respective components within the supply side of the tourist destination such as the supply of tourist products and the ground transportation system. In addition to this approach, the tourism value chain is also comprised of the Internet.

The significance of the Internet as one of the key components of the tourism value chain is underlined by the fact that it enhances connectivity, which is an essential element in the creation of a unique experience amongst the target customers. The Internet is also critical in enhancing the effectiveness with which firms in the travel and tourism industry undertake marketing activities. For example, firms within the industry can cost-effectively communicate with the target customers. The formulation of tourism policies and strategies further constitutes a critical element of the value chain. Firms within the industry should ensure that they formulate effective policies and strategies in order to achieve sustainability. The policies and strategies should focus on different marketing elements such as strategies to achieve success at both the national and international levels. Alternatively, the policies should further take into consideration the people dimension. The rationale of the people dimension is to enhance the effectiveness with which the firm develops a customer-focused approach in its operation. 

 

 

Figure 1; travel and tourism value chain

 

7.0 Conclusion and recommendations

The analysis reveals that the UK travel and tourism industry is projected to experience steady growth in the future. This has made the industry attractive to domestic and foreign investors hence increasing the degree of rivalry within the industry. The future growth of the UK travel and tourism industry will further be stimulated by the growth experienced in other sectors such as the transport and communication sectors. As one of the industry players, GSM Leisure Travel Limited can enhance its future competitiveness by entrenching effective travel and tourism management practices.  Some of the tourism and travel management issues that the firm should take into consideration are outlined herein.

  1. The firm should undertake comprehensive market research to determine the push and pull factors that influence the consumers’ choice of travel destination. This move will enable the firm to design tour and travel products and services that are aligned with the customers' needs.
  2. The firm should entrench a comprehensive value chain in order to increase its capacity to satisfy the target customers.
  3. The firm should entrench market development as one of its core destinations in theoretical models in achieving sustainability.  This will enable the firm to succeed in establishing new destinations. In undertaking market expansion in the UK, the firm should employ the 6A model. This will enable the firm to succeed in establishing a new destination.
  4. The firm should further consider diversifying its product portfolio by entrenching mass and special interest types of tourism.

 

References

Bramwell, B 2004, Coastal mass tourism; diversification and sustainable development in Southern Europe, Channel View Publishers, Clevedon.  

Evans, N , Stonehouse, G & Campbell, D 2012, Strategic management for travel and tourism, Routledge, New York.

Gryzywacz, R & Zeglen, P 2003, ‘ Typology of tourists and their satisfaction level’, Scientific Review of Physical Culture, vol. 6, no. 1.

Ibragimov, N & Xurramov, O 2015, ‘Types of competition in destination marketing and 6A model of competitiveness’,  Current Global Trends, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 22-26.

Kennell, J & Chaperon, S 2013, ‘Policy review; Analysis of the UK government’s 2011 tourism policy’, Cultural Trend, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 278-284.

Khoung, M & Ha, T 2014, ‘The influences of push and pull factors on the international leisure tourists return international to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; a mediating analysis of destination satisfaction’, International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, vol. 5, no. 6.

MarketLine: Travel and tourism in the United Kingdom 2016.(Online).

Nikjoo, A & Ketabi, M 2015, ‘The role of push and pull factors in the way tourists choose their destination’, An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality, vol. 3, n. 5, pp. 2-12.

Hayward, P 2005, Travel and tourism; AS level for AQA, Heinemann, Oxford.

Reisinger, Y & Dimanche, F 2010, International tourism, Routldege, New  York.

Ritchie, B, Carr, N & Cooper, C 2003, Managing educational tourism,  Channel View Book, Clevedon.

Sharpley, R 2009, Tourism development and the environment; beyond sustainability, Earthscan, London.

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