Introduction to Travel Patterns and Destinations
As well as understanding the travel patterns of people, it is important to know the reasons that tourist attractions and facilities tend to be built in specific places. Sun resorts develop in areas that have a very warm climate. Most commonly, they are found in mediterranean and tropical climates. For example, the south coast of Spain has a mediterranean temperature with an annual average maximum temperature of 23 degrees Celsius/73 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures can reach 36℃/ 97℉ in August and will still reach 20℃/68℉ in November. January and February are the coldest months where midday temperatures will reach 16℃/60℉. Because sun resorts enjoy warm temperatures year round they also attract tourists during the winter months. Travel agents often package these holidays as “winter sun” breaks.
As well as climate, an attractive sun resort must have a nice beach upon which to enjoy the weather. Tourists prefer beaches that are sandy with few rocks and have a gentle slope into the sea.
Furthermore, the water must be pleasant to swim in. Beaches that have high waves can be used for surfing, which is extremely popular in California, Hawaii and Australia. These destinations are popular for packaged “surf holidays”.
A prime example of how seaside resorts developed can be found in modern Europe.
Europe has large urban areas in the north that experience cool and cloudy weather and relatively low populated areas in the south with warm, sunny weather. The creation of the EU led to free travel amongst member states and the deregulation of European airspace in 1993. These factors combined led to mass foreign tourism within Europe.
Every summer, millions of tourists from north European locations such as the UK and Germany travel to Spain, Italy and the south of France in search of sunshine. In recent years, Eastern European countries such as Croatia and Bulgaria are becoming increasingly popular amongst European tourists.
The growth of seaside resorts in areas with a very warm climate has led to the decline of seaside resorts in Northern Europe. These resorts would popular in high summer but would never have enjoyed temperatures as high as those in the south of Europe. For example, Brighton, in the south of England, would once have been popular amongst tourists from London.
A similar situation has occurred in the USA, where northern resorts can no longer compete with resorts in the south. For example, Atlantic City, New Jersey was one a thriving seaside resort. However, the introduction of cheap flights ensured that many tourists began travelling to Florida instead. Aware that it could not compete with the climate of the South, the city legalised gambling in an effort to maintain popularity.
It should be noted that seaside resorts tend to isolate tourists from the native population of an area. The focus of tourism around a beach tends to create “touristy” areas which do not reflect the character of the country at large. Furthermore, as corporations have begun to dominate the hotel and retail industries, less and less tourist money is being spent in local businesses.
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