Introduction to Travel Patterns and Destinations
Rural and Urban Destinations
Sun Resorts and Winter Resorts need to meet specific criteria in order to appeal to tourists. Conversely, resorts and attractions in rural areas appeal to tourists for a variety of reasons.
Scenery is one of the biggest attractions to rural resorts. Prior to the mid-18th century, nature was not regarded as a tourist attraction. In Europe, appreciating nature was viewed as uncivilised and tourists preferred to visit cities in order to appreciate culture.
This attitude changed however in the Romantic period (1800-1850). This period emphasised the intellectual, scientific and cultural importance of appreciating nature. This meant that tourists began to seek out areas of natural beauty. The influence of this period can still be felt today as most tourists feel it is important to appreciate nature during their vacation.
Scenery is the natural features of a landscape which can be enjoyed because of their appearance. Generally, people most enjoy views of landforms, water and vegetation. Many hotels are situated in areas of natural beauty. These rural hotels are usually seen as “getaways” in which to escape the pace of city life. “Destination spa” hotels are also located in these areas. These hotels offer luxury spa services in addition to the common amenities of a hotel. Some bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) are also located in rural areas.
Some scenery is so extraordinary that it may be the sole reason that a person visits a destination. For example, Mt Fuji in Japan has millions of visitors each year. As a result, dozens of hotels and business have been created to cater to these tourists.
Hotels and tourist attractions that are located in areas of natural beauty have a competitive edge over other hotels. Scenery is not something hotel owners can purchase but nonetheless it makes a hotel more appealing to tourists.
As well as enjoying the aesthetic beauty of nature, many people enjoy engaging in outdoor activities. Outdoor pursuits tend to be recreational activities which people can enjoy during their free time. However, some tourists like to engage in these pursuits for prolonged periods of time when on vacation. Furthermore, certain areas offer unparalleled conditions in which to enjoy these activities.
A prime example of such an activity is fishing. Countries like Scotland, Canada, Ireland and Norway have successfully sold the idea of fishing in unspoiled surroundings to tourists from other countries. Fishing destinations have been established in these countries and many hotels, restaurants and tours cater exclusively to fishing tourists. In these northern countries, tourists tend to fish in lakes and rivers. In the tropics and subtropics deep-sea fishing is popular with tourists. Divers and snorkelers also enjoy spear fishing in these areas.
Other outdoor activities which are popular with tourists include walking, hiking and hunting.
Many areas of natural beauty are also prime walking/hiking locations. For example, the Grand Canyon National Park provides excellent hiking conditions as well as incredible scenery. Hikers will often travel in groups and stay in lodges which cater to their needs.
Hunting vacations are usually focused around “big game hunting”. Hunters will travel to countries such as Argentina, Canada and New Zealand in order to hunt large game such as buffalo, elk and deer. These holidays are often package deals and tourists will stay on site. The appeal of these holidays lies in the fact that they offer unmatched conditions as well as professional equipment.
As in rural areas, tourist attractions in urban areas are based around the unique features of their location. Every city has a special character and atmosphere unto itself. In cities, attractions are built to allow people to enjoy the unique character which cities have to offer. The character of a city is defined by the architecture, cuisine, culture and the lifestyles of the people who live there.
From a tourist’s point of view there are three type of city; historic, modern and hybrid.
Historic cities are cities which have retained an old world character. Athens and Jerusalem are examples of such cities. These cities contain ancient ruins and classical architecture which highlight their ancient beginnings. Visitors to these cities can visit these ruins in order to understand the beginnings of modern society. Furthermore, the classical architecture is extremely noteworthy as it is absent from most cities.
Restaurants in these historic cities tend to be very traditional. They offer tourists a prime opportunity to experience authentic regional cuisine. Similarly, accommodation in historic cities is mostly traditional. Tourists enjoy staying in accommodation like this as it allows them to further experience the old-world character of the city.
Unsurprisingly the cultural attractions of historic cities are also traditional in nature. In these cities tourists can see examples of art that have existed for hundreds of years. For example, a visitor to Venice can view a performance of an opera written in the 18th century.
Modern cities are cities which have a contemporary character. New York and San Francisco are examples of modern cities. The architecture of these cities is contemporary and these cities are more likely to have a high skyline. Often these cities contain ground-breaking architecture such as the Time Warner Building in New York.
Restaurants in modern cities tend to focus on contemporary cuisine. Tourists that enjoy food will often travel to modern cities for “gastronomic vacations”. Naturally, most of the accommodation in modern cities is decorated with current trends in mind. Some hotels make their interior design their unique selling point and are referred to as “fashion hotels”.
In modern cities, tourists are likely to see cultural attractions that are experimental in nature. Contemporary dance performances and visual art exhibitions are common in these cities. Furthermore, modern museums, such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, showcase the artistry behind modern art forms of entertainment including film and videogames.
Hybrid cities are cities which have aspects of both modern and historic cities. For example, London’s financial district contains modern architecture as well as Roman ruins.
END OF UNIT:
Rural and Urban Destinations
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