“Special interest tourism can be defined as the provision of customized leisure and recreational experiences driven by the specific expressed interests of individual and group”. (Douglas.N, 2001)
In earlier days tourism word was termed as mass tourism.””Mass tourism was the logical outcome of key social, economic, political and technological influences after the Second World War. Post-war was peace and prosperity, paid holidays, charter flights and cheap oil lubricated the wheels of tourism change” (Po on – 1993, pg 4).
According to Poon( 1997) “new tourism is a phenomenon of large scale packaging of non-standardized leisure services at competitive prices to suit demands of tourists as well as the economic and socio-environmental needs of destinations”. Large scale packaging has been done by tour operators, airlines and multinational hotel groups who hold significant influence towards political economics of destinations and host communities all over the world.
Special Interest tourism as defined by world tourism organization “specialized tourism involves group or individual tours by people who wish to develop certain interest and visit sites and places connected with a specific subject. Generally speaking, the people concerned exercise the same profession or have a common hobby “Special interest tourism activity includes wide variety urban, regional, well-established and newly emerging contexts. New tourism is a phenomenon of large scale packaging of non-standardized leisure service at competitive price to suit demands of tourism as well as the economic and socio-environmental needs of destinations”. (Poon,1997)
Question 2: – How according to Douglas (2001), might this product be described as being complex?
Author has chosen Heritage tourism as a product of special interest tourism. “Heritage tourism is important for various reasons first of all it has a positive economic and social impact and helps the locals to preserve their historical monuments, museums, canals etc. And according to the study made travelers spend more money and stay more then other type of tourism” http://www.indialine.com
As per Douglas “special interest tourism is a complex phenomenon characterized by flexible delivery, market segmentation and advances in technology affecting management and distribution”. (Douglas-2001, pg3).
Douglas termed it as a complex phenomenon. It might because of its effect on the current market trend and scenario or it might because of its effect on the communities who deliver the special interest tourism products.
This complexity is directly linked with the communities who deliver SIT products. This complexity can be better understood by explaination by Douglas (2001) Douglas says – “The search for new experiences threatens current investment and provides alternative stresses on infrastructure like roads, transport systems, existing technology and accommodation, and access to sensitive natural locations. Both public and private sectors see problems with small-scale, personalized tourism traffic. ” (Douglas-200 1, pg 5).
“With increasing complexities in one’s life these days, people are perpetually looking for a medium through which they get some peace of mind. This is where another science, that of meditation and spirituality comes into the scene. Meditation and Yoga are synonymous with India and Indian spirituality. Meditation is one of the most important components of Yoga, which is a mind-body therapy involving a series of exercises”.
Question 3: – Identify the reason for the growth of your example of SIT. Link your discussion to factors such as trends in consumer behavior and tourism industry’s search for competitive advantage?
The reason for the growth of heritage tourism is nothing but it’s the changing trend in the consumers taste. From mass tourism it is very specific segment of the tourism who wants to explore the historical aspect of the monuments etc.
“Heritage tourism basically attracts consumers which are really willing to know country’s historical events, battles, monuments etc. The reason for the growth of heritage tourism is increased leisure activities, high consumers. Educational tours has been organized by various institutes to heritage attractions, to encourage their students to learn more about their country past instead of reading these historical buildings, monuments on books. Media promoting the growth of heritage tourism through televisions worldwide and encouraging more & more international tourists towards their country’s heritage attractions. India’s culture is like a rainbow of multiple facets which accommodates music, dance, performing arts, paintings and literature in itself which have gained recognition and fame from every comer of the world. “Foreign tourist arrivals in India have grown from 6.9 percent in 2000 to 13.2 percent in 2005 for heritage tourism” http://rwww.indiaenews.com,
The growth of heritage tourism is directly linked with the growth of Indian economy. From mass tourism now its been specific tourism. as there is development in the country its led to the flow of tourist. Interest towards heritage tourism is very basic. As india is a place where there are many thing has happened, it is national movement, other historical movements, monuments like Taj Mahal, Mythological importance- there was Ramayana and Mahabharat kind of mythological events happened In india that automatically attracts attention of modern people to see the monuments and places.
Questions 4: – Who has responsibility for providing this particular type of product or service and to whom? (Note the latter requires you to examine what is the typical consumer profile of your SIT product?)
It is the responsibility of the government and other intermediaries involved in tourism to make aware people about the site, places, monuments, and services and facilities at the place should be improved.
“The Indian tourism department looks after the publications & distribution of promotional literature on India, information brochures for the tourists with the collaboration of Travel agents, tour operators, network of hotels, airlines, media, newspaper etc. The Tour operator service is to providing information related to travel to domestic or international tourists and arranging travel itineraries, hotel bookings, travel arrangement and combining all this into complete package. Sometimes, they also suggest tailor made itineraries to suite their guest requirement. These tour operators also work in close contact with various travel agents to arrange all above services. Both tour operator and travel agent work together in providing above services to a traveler in India. “Tour Operators can be classified as Inbound Tour Operator and Outbound Tour Operator. Inbound Tour Operator provides services with in a country and Outbound Tour Operator arranges itineraries for travel outside a country” http://www.tourismdiary.com
“India receives largest number of overseas tourists from the United Kingdom, followed by United States, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia, Singapore etc as a Heritage tourist”. http://www.indiainbusiness.nic.in
So not nationally it is internationally attracts the people to come and visit the places of historical importance in India. So it is the national and international both segment that has to be explored , attracted, and invited by providing better facilities, and infrastructure, and security by the government of india, state government, and other intermediaries of heritage tourism and local people too.
Questions 5. Is there a link to sustainable development here? If so how?
Sustainability in tourism-special interest tourism and with special reference to heritage tourism in India is not a big issue. Author believes that it is the basic facilities and infrastructural development that will keep the interest of the tourists towards heritage tourism in India. This heritage product is such kind of product of special interest tourism that is being treated as basic of tourism. People generally moves out to see the heritage properties of the country first compared to other product of specialized tourism.
“Sustainable tourism is an essential meaningless construct if the external context, and its effect on sustainability, are not taken into account in the planning and management of destinations and business. ” (Weaver-2006, pg 22) The above statements by Douglas refer to potential threats, which can disrupt the growth of wine or food tourism to a large extent. Every business should take into account external forces like climate, politics, social unrest and war before planning and making strategies. But the nature of wine tourism is self-sustaining.”Wine-related tourism is therefore a significant factor in sustainable rural development, most obviously through the creation of jobs, the sale of local merchandise and the potential for creating linkages with other local business. ” (Douglas-2001, pg 320) “Viticulture also has the capacity to provide sustainable land use in previously uneconomic agricultural areas, while tourism can help support the viability of agricultural diversification and maximize the returns on existing viticulture. ” (Douglas2001, pg 322)