Introduction to the Development of Tourism
There are many things a person need to consider before deciding to take a holiday. This unit will explain the three most important factors in people’s decision to take a vacation. These factors are as follows:
People spend their time in one of three ways: at work, engaged in necessary tasks or at leisure.
Prior to the industrial revolution people lived in rural areas and worked on the land. The way in which they spent their free time was primarily influenced by the weather. During the industrial revolution, more and more people moved to the cities for work.
Factory owners insisted that employees work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Their only day off was the Sabbath day. People were so tired and paid so little that they had neither the energy nor the money to do much with their leisure time. Furthermore, people at this time still believed that one should not be overly active on the Sabbath day.
During the industrial revolution, holidays were infrequent and unpaid. It wasn’t until the rise of trade unions in the 1920s and 1930s that workers began to gain paid vacations. Today, the average workweek is less than 40 hours and paid vacation is standard. In the UK, 21 days of paid holiday are standard. In the United States, Germany and Sweden workers have up to 40 days of paid leisure time a year.
Today, time is considered a precious commodity and lack of time is one of the biggest barriers to taking a holiday. This is especially true in two income families as two work schedules must find an opening to travel. Furthermore, as both parents now work, vacationing is seen as an invaluable opportunity for the family to spend “quality time” together.
The second factor influencing people’s travel patterns is money. When workers were first given an annual vacation they were not paid. As a result, few could travel during their break. As paid vacations became the norm in the twentieth century, people could afford to travel during their holidays. The rise in the number of two-income families has ensured that money is less of an issue than ever before. That said, money is still a huge deciding factor in whether or people take a holiday.
The major financial considerations for people interested in taking a holiday are:
Financial Obligations: Everyone has financial obligations such as rent/mortgage, food and taxes. These obligations will not be a barrier to people travelling if they are living comfortably within their means. However, if a person has a large mortgage and/or debts they will spend the majority of their money on financial obligations. Naturally, the more money people use for financial obligations, the less they will have for spending on travel.
Surplus Income: Today there are more ways than ever for people to spend their surplus income. The biggest threat to tourism comes from consumer products. Unlike tourist activities, consumer products can be seen as an investment, providing the owner with pleasure time and time again.
Another threat comes from local activities. Potential tourists may choose to spend their holiday time enjoying leisure activities in their locality. In order to get people to travel, tourist workers must ensure that they are offering a unique and engaging experience. They must also ensure that they are marketing themselves effectively. Effective marketing ensures that people are aware of all the unique selling points of a destination.
Even if people have the time and money to travel they will not unless they have the motivation. People spend money on vacations for the same reasons they spend money on anything else: They feel that making the purchase will satisfy their needs and desires. Motivation occurs, when an individual is moved to satisfy a need.
In his hierarchy of human needs, Abraham Maslow identified the forces that control human desire. Maslow believed that we are first concerned with physiological needs such as the need for food and shelter.
When our basic needs are satisfied our focus turns to attaining higher-level, psychological needs. Such needs include the need for love and self-esteem.
The difference between a need and a desire is that we are aware of our desires; we may not be aware of the underlying needs we are seeking to satisfy. Too often, advertising focus on promoting a want without being aware of the underlying need. If the need can be established and promoted, the advertising will be more effective.
For example, a person may book an adventure sports holiday as they feel that new physical activities will help to satisfy their self-esteem needs. However, they will not realise that such a holiday can fulfil those needs unless they are made aware. Thus, any marketing material created for the holiday should show a person engaging in adventure sports and visibly feeling of self-esteem. Such an advertisement may transform the need into a desire.
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