Popularity of Tourist Destinations Tourism SWOT

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Popularity of Tourist Destinations

Tourism can be defined as travel by people for leisure or business purposes to any destination outside their usual environment (MAS, 2009). The international tourism industry churns out billions of dollars every year. Many countries develop their infrastructure and other political activities around building up their tourism industry in order to attract foreign remittances (OROZCO, Manuel, 2005). Success of a country's tourism industry provides it with an influx of foreign currency, becoming the backbone for any economy. In a perfect world, tourism should increase globally year on year. However, this is not the case, as it is not a perfect world. In the previous few years, the tourism industry has experienced a decline in the numbers of tourists visiting other countries (UNWTO, 2010).

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There are several factors contributing to the decline in the tourism industry. These factors not only have to do with the prevailing global economic, political and social conditions but also the economic, political and social conditions prevailing in the destination/host country itself (KAREITHI, Samuel, 2003). These factors include political unrest, crime and violence, terrorism, natural disasters, changes in the climate, government regulations, economic and other social relations prevailing between countries, restrictions on the use of salt currency, issues of national security, and other cultural factors influence the movement of tourists from one destination country to another (INRO, TNO, 2002). Other than those, other factors such as the type of infrastructure, quality of culture and services offered by the host country.

TOPIC: SWOT on Popularity of Tourist Destinations Tourism Can Be Assignment

Let us discuss these factors in detail. The political, social, economic and cultural factors impact a lot on the tourism that the country attracts. If a country is facing general political unrest, with riots and rallies every other day, and other obstructions in daily lives, it will be highly unlikely that tourists will choose that spot for their vacations (COHEN, Jeffrey H., 2007). It is often the case, that during conditions of political unrest, threats to the security of lives of the citizens of the country arise. No tourist shall be in the favor of visiting a country where their lives are in danger even if it offers amazing cultural heritage and other infrastructure. The ambiance of stress and tension created by political unrest in a country will dissuade tourists to plan their trips to a country as the purpose of most vacations planned by tourists is to escape from the stress already prevailing in their lives (FLEMING, Carrie-Ann, 2010), and not to land them in further stress that may also involve life endangerment. An example of this may be the decreased tourist flow into Egypt. The country went through a major revolution that lasted for over a year and half stretching from January 25, 2011 to June, 2013 (WAHBA, Khaled, 2011). There was a power struggle between the people of the country and their dictator government. This led to a sharp decline in tourism in the region. Revenues from Egypt tour packages offered by the country's government fell by 24% from 2010 $3.6 billion in 2011 from a staggering $4.46 billion (FAYED, Shaimaa, 2012). Since tourism industry contributes around 11% to Egypt's GDP, the economic consequences of the drop in tourism for the host country are detrimental along with the riots and social unrest swarming the country (CNBC, 2011). During the revolution, there were several Egypt tour packages and other tourism policies launched by President Mubarak, consisting to increased services and discounted prices that however, failed to attract more tourists into the country due to the tussle between the government and the people of the country. The tourism rate in Egypt will only pickup once the revolution has subsided and the government has sorted out its issues with the people. Unless and until the government of Egypt gains the trust of travelers around the globe that they are a safe region to visit, the country will be faced with a decline in their tourism industry. Other regions of North Africa, such as Mali, have also suffered the same fate as Egypt with regard to their tourism industries. Military coups in 2011 in the country led to Mali's famed tourist destinations into becoming void of any tourists at all (TAYLOR, Alan, 2012). However, unlike Egypt, they do not have the same level of cultural heritage to offer, so it is unlikely that the tourism industry will ever be what is was before the political unrest began. Part of political unrest is the terrorist activities that take place in a country. Terrorism is on the rise all over the world with regions in the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia being the most affected (ALI, Shazad, 2010). Same goes for the tourism industry in the Middle Eastern countries such as Palestine, Jordan, Bahrain, Syria and others that are prone to civil unrest and terrorist attacks (STEINER, Christian, 2010). With the terrorism activities getting worse year on year, and the governments not taking any actions to reinvigorate their tourism industry, there is no going back for these countries any more. Even high levels of crime and violence lead to tourists being reluctant to visit certain countries. This includes countries such as Mexico, Pakistan and the Honduras. The Honduras house the murder capital of the world, the city of San Pedro Sula, with highest murder rate in the world. In 2011, 1,143 of San Pedro Sula's 719,447 total population numbers were murdered (MORAN, Lee, 2012). Such places drop of a tourist's radar like flies. Although most of Mexico's tourist locations are safe, while the quarantined dangerous areas are often avoided by tourists that do visit country, the increase in the gang wars and drug violence moving into the "safe areas" are fast discouraging tourists from choosing Mexico as a holiday destination. Political factors also include the different types of government regulations governing the inflow, activities and outflow of tourism into and out of a country. Many countries have developed policies in order to attract tourism, and hence, more foreign remittances into the country, whereas some countries discourage the movement of too much tourists into their countries for purposes of maintaining national security. For example, the United States of America has developed very strict policies regarding the issuance of visit visas to tourists from countries that are considered to be going through social and political distress in order to protect its national security (LUCE, Edward, 2007). Such measures deter tourists from travelling to such locations. There are other restrictions that the government can pile up on tourists to make them rethink their decision on travelling to a particular region or a country. Such restrictions include the stringent visa regulations, luxury taxes and other tax policies placed specifically on tourists visiting from abroad will discourage the international travelers from visiting places of even strong tourist infrastructure and other attractive cultural heritage.

Apart from political factors, there are economic factors too that affect the tourists coming in and going out of a country. The economic factors are fairly simple to understand and can be divided into macro- and micro- economic factors. The world has been undergoing through an economic recession post-2008 (VERICK, Sher and Islam, Iyanatul, 2010). People tend to generally spend less on luxuries such as vacations, and tend to focus on necessities. Hence, the control on spending leads to lowering of the tourism all over the world. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, tourism declined in the United Kingdom by 7% after the recession took its toll (ONS, 2009). There was also a decline in tourism-related industries, i.e., the industries set up for the provision of goods and services for tourists, in the years post the 2008-2009 recession. As a result, due to a drop in the infrastructure available in the UK for tourists of different sorts, there was a lower tourist turn out. Although UK being a very popular tourist destination will always be ravaged with tourists especially when it comes to the city of London, it has seen a decline in the tourists that travel all over the UK, and prefer staying in inns and pubs as a part of the culture of the country, due to the closure of such places due to drop in tourists that travel with a budget in the recession era. There has been a resorted decline in the spending per guest on hospitality services. This includes restaurants, hotels, gift and souvenir shops etc. Apart from tourists travelling in leisure, there has also been a drop in corporate tourists, i.e., those visiting other countries for business purposes, as businesses started cutting costs and reducing international travel, substituting its need with technology wherever possible (BRANCATELLI, Joe, 2013). As a result of the drop in tourism as a result of economic factors, there prices in tourism related industries fell, but failed to attract any customers. Another aspect of the macroeconomic factors is the fluctuations in the currency prices. Changes or diminution in the value of currencies can have a negative effect of tourism and travel (DEPARTMENT, Policy, 2001). If… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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