Tourism is an ever growing industry. The first time the term tourism was mentioned was in 1800’s. At this time tourism and holidays was a pure luxury and only available for aristocrats. With time the attitude towards tourism and travel changed and because of rapid life style change and improvements in the world of employment after the Second World War travel and tourism became accessible to bigger populaces. Through increase in holidays allowance, decrease in working hours and increase in disposal income people started having more time and money to travel. And by the technological advancement flying became incremental affordable for everybody. So the general populace start being interested in tourism. They start travelling to destinations of their interest. But what are the destinations tourists choose and why do they choose some destinations over other? Why do some countries attract and appeal to tourists more than others? These questions will be discussed further in this assignment.
At first the terms ‘receiving’ and ‘generating’ countries will be defined in this assignment. Furthermore the world’s main tourism receiving countries will be discussed and why they attract the most tourism trips.
Attractions are what interest tourists and what motivates them to travel. So attractions are the most important components in the destination selection process but they are not the only one factor. Some receiving countries have more appealing and divers attractions than others. But is this it what makes some destinations more attractive than others? There are many factors which playing a role in the destination choice of tourists. This will be address in the following sections but at first the question what a receiving and generating country is has to be answered.
Receiving countries can be defined as countries which are the destination countries for tourists. Receiving countries are these countries in which the tourists are interested to visit. These countries receive and host the tourists and because they receive the tourist demand as well as they receive the expenditures of the tourists, they are called ‘receiving’ countries.
Typical examples for receiving countries are: France, USA, Spain, China, Italy and UK. In 2009 France received 74.2 million tourists and USA received 54.88 million. The same year 52.23 million tourists arrived in Spain and 50.88 arrived in China. Italy received 2009 43.24 million tourists and UK 28.2 million (UNWTO).
Generating countries can be defined as countries where the tourist demand is coming from. In other words these are the countries of origin where the tourists are travelling from. The tourist demand is coming from the generating countries. Generating countries have the expenditure for the tourism and pay the receiving countries for their service and the destinations are the receiving countries.
Typical examples for generating countries are: Germany, USA, UK, China, France and Italy. In 2009 Germans spend $81.2 billion on international tourism and tourists’ coming from the USA spend $73.2 billion. British spend the same year $50.3 billion on tourism and Chinese spend $43.7 billion. 2009 French generated $38.5 billion for receiving countries by tourism and Italian generated $27.9 billion (UNWTO).
Main tourism receiving countries and why these countries attract the most tourism trips
The main tourism receiving countries in the world are like stated above: France, USA, Spain, China, Italy and UK. These countries are the main receiving countries because they are more successful in attracting tourists than other countries. Attractions as well as transportation and accommodation form the major components for the tourism industry. These components are pivotal in the appeal of the destination to the tourists. Attractions are for most tourists the main reasons and motivations for visiting the receiving countries (Page & Connell, 2006). There are two types of attractions natural resources and ‘man-made’ features. Natural resources or attractions are natural occurrences e.g. national parks, wildlife, landscapes or natural phenomena as well as climate. ‘Man-made’ features or attractions are built, established or developed by human beings. Cultural attractions include historical architectures, archaeological sites, museums, galleries or religious features. Traditional attractions are folklore, animated culture and festivals and by events are meant sports activities like Olympics, World Cups and cultural events e. g. Carnivals in Rio, Bull Run in Pamplona or religious events like the crusade on Easter in Valencia (Cooper et al, 2008). Some examples of attractions of some of the main receiving countries are given below.
France is very cultural and historical country which offers very divers attractions to tourists. The attractions range from historical monuments and places over wildlife parks and theme parks to wine and dine cultural attractions. Some examples of typical French attractions are giving below:
Top historical monuments and places
1. The Louvre
2. The Eifel Tower
3. Notre Dame cathedral
4. Château de Versailles
5. Sacré Coeur basilica
Top theme parks:
1. Euro Disneyland
2. Parc Astérix
3. France Miniature
Top wildlife parks:
1. Parc de Thoiry
2. Planete Sauvage
3. Resérve Africaine de Sigean
USA is a very interesting big country with lots of natural resources as well as ‘man-made’ features. Tourists visit USA to see natural phenomena, historical landmarks, cities as well as entertainment and shopping venues. USA offers tourists very multifaceted attractions like:
Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Great Smoky Mountains, Waikiki Beach, Californian Beaches, Yellowstone National Park
Time square, Statue of Liberty, National Mall and Memorial Park Washington D. C., Las Vegas Stripe, Disneyland Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld Orlando
Spain is also a very historical country but it is mostly visited because of their beautiful natural resources e.g. coasts and beaches and its nice climate. Spain’s most visited natural resources are: Zoo de Madrid, Costa Blanca Beach, The Balearic Islands, Donana National Park, Parque del Buen Retiro and Sierra Navada Mountains, Park Guell. And spain’s most visited man-made attractions are: La Pedrera, Toledo, Prado Museum, Pamplona, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Flamenco, Port Aventura Salou, La Rambla (http://www.travour.com/tours-to-spain).
Italy attracts with its intriguing art, modern cities and beautiful country sides but particularly its rich cultural heritage attracts most tourists. Main tourists attractions in Italy are:
1.) The Coliseum
2.) Piazza Campidoglio
3.) The Roman Forums
4.) The Pantheon
5.) The Trevi Fountain
6.) The Grand Canal in Venice
7.) The Sistine Chapel
8.) St. Peter’s Basilica
9.) St. Peter’s Square
10.) The Vatican Gardens
Would-be travellers contemplate a destination
Social psychological set of factors
Special interestAll receiving countries offer very divers attractions which tourist can choose. But still some countries are more successful than others. Why? What factors, apart of attractions, playing a crucial role in the decision-making? Without doubt attractions are the major appeal to tourists but not the only factor for their choice.
Initial destination images and awareness set
1 2 3 4 5 6
Countries being contemplated
Destinations characteristics gleaned from
Information from experience
Information from promotions
Information from others and other sources
Money, time, other resources, social factors
1 2 3
still being considered
Active information search
Country 2 selected
Actual travelInformation search
(Pearce, 2005, p.105)
This model shows that there are far more factors then only attractions which are determinant for a tourist destination choice. The receiving country has only an direct influence on the external output by marketing the destinations well, making information available and accessible. Additionally the receiving country has to create an appealing and attractive image of the tourist destination and build a good awareness of the destination. For example, France created the image of being a romantic country, Spain created the image of sunny, relaxing but full of fun country. Italy created an historical and sultry country. The other factors which play a crucial role in the destination choice are individual and subjective which the receiving country has no direct influence on. A tourist decides for a destination according to their motives and interest as well as the individual constraints like money and time. Tourists have a specific imaginations and expectations of their holidays which they try to fulfil by their choices. However attractions are still the major factor which influences the tourist’s choice. So some receiving countries are more successful than other because they successfully create an appealing image and permanent awareness of the tourist destination and effective marketing.
The succession of a tourist destination depends on many factors but the most important factor is attraction. The receiving country has to be interesting and appealing to the tourist. A big diversity of attractions will pull more tourists with different interests and motives. But there are other factors which count in the tourist destination selection e.g. the individual input like interests, motives and personal characteristics and the individual constraints like money, time and social factors. So the choice is not only made on the background of the diversity of attraction offers but it is a very individual choice. Receiving countries have to put a lot of effort in creating interesting and appealing image and broad awareness. So a receiving country will be only more appealing to the majority of tourists when it meets all the factors they are looking for.
Word count: 1441 words
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