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The Tourism Industry Is A Complex System

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 2764 words Published: 1st May 2017

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The tourism industry is a complex system where its necessary to look at all different sectors which are influencing each other, to get a clear understanding how this system works. A helpful tool to use already models and theories, apply them on different example and evaluate them. The individual as a potential customer has to be analysed and categorised, which is ensuing a better understanding of tourist behaviour. Furthermore it helps to recognize their decision making progress for a destination, as well as getting knowledge about their needs and expectation. This essay will show the usage of these models and theories on example of the Dominican Republic.

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Tourism can be defined as a combination of services and activities for people who travel to places outside of their familiar surroundings. The definition of a tourist is wide-ranging, because the purpose of travel ranges from holidays, business trips, and visits to friends and relatives to various other reasons such as study, religion, shopping and so on. More than an industry, it is rather like a system that sells packaged holidays, activities, attractions, accommodations, and entertainment. It is offering the opportunity to break away from normal life and enjoy leisure time in different locations. Tourism normally does not provide just one single product; mostly it is a bundling of various products to satisfy the demand of the tourist. For example, someone going on holiday to London would not merely consume one product from one supplier. It is more likely that he is utilizing a package of services. He might arrive by plane, go by bus/train to his hotel, dine in a restaurant, and take a sightseeing tour. Due to the fact that nearly every tourism product is interlinked, there is no owner or manager with complete control of his own destiny (Gunn A.C. 2002, p.243). Additionally, other industries, such as the oil industry, are linked to the tourism industry. In recent years tourism become a part of daily life because people have more leisure time than they used to have 50 years ago and the view of the work-life balance has changed.

Another important point to mention is that the tourism industry is one of the largest in the world and is creating millions of temporary and permanent jobs. In 2006 the travel and tourism industry’s percentage of the world gross domestic product was 10,3%, with a turnover of US$6,477.2 billion. The industry supported 234 million jobs, 8.7% of total world employment (Cooper, et al 2006: 3). This data represents the global importance and significance to the world economy.

Tourism does not include just the supply of hotels, beaches and travel agencies but also economical, environmental and socio-cultural impacts. These three areas are always commingling and conflicting. There are people whom are simply interested in making a profit, other people wanting to protect the environment, and yet another group of people concerned with the social and cultural impacts of a tourist region. All three groups must achieve a balance to enable sustainable tourism. This idea is shown on the following graphic:

3. Tourist typology and their implementation to tourism models

Stanley C. Plog

One approach to understand tourist behaviour is to identify different types of people, whereupon they can be categorised into a series of organised psychographic types. In 1973 Stanley C. Plog created a model for the American population showing how personal motivation influences the decision for a vacation destination. He divided tourists into four types: allocentric, near-allocentric, mid-centric, and near-psychocentric/psychocentric. The allocentric type views travelling as an opportunity to discover foreign cultures and prefers exotic destinations. They are self confident and open for new experiences. The near-allocentric type is sporty, seeks challenges and views the journey as a chance to test a new lifestyle. The mid-centric type looks for relaxation and pleasure in a well-known environment. They want to escape from the daily routine and enjoy comfortable accommodation. The near-psychocentric and psychocentric types are focused on themselves and are scared to discover something new. These people tend to look for a safe place to holiday. Their choice of destination will be a place they know and where they are not that far away from their home city (Johnson & Thomas, 1992: 19).

Plog considered that there are just a few ‘psychocentric’ or ‘allocentric’ types because the majority of tourists are mid-centric.

However, Plog’s model is hard to apply in reality. For example the Dominion Republic has a lot of organised mass tourism and it is possible to organize a journey by yourself as well. Every tourist is an individual, so they cannot be generalized. One trip can have a completely different occasion and characteristic than the other one (Cooper, 2008: 48).

Cohen’s tourist typology

Another model which classifies tourists is Cohen’s tourist typology. He divides tourists into the organised mass tourist, the individual mass tourist, the explorer and the drifter. Cohen explains that organised mass tourists are typically purchasing a ready-made package tour where they have no or just a little contact with the local people and stay most of the time inside a resort. This is similar to Plog’s ‘psychocentrics` type. In Cohen’s theory most of the tourists are individual mass tourists. They are similar to the organised mass tourists, but they have more flexibility and scope for personal choice. They want to have contact to the local people. This category is comparable to Plog’s ‘midcentric’ tourists and most tourists fall into this category. The third tourist type is the explorer, who organises the trip by himself and looks for something special, something away from the typical interests of a mass tourist. However, he is still interested in comfortable accommodations. The last type, the drifter, is completely independent, wants to live with local people and wants to take part in the native culture. Cohen’s last two tourists’ theories, the explorer and the drifter, which are also the minority in this industry, are similar to Plog’s ‘allocentric’ tourists.

(Cooper et al, p.51).

5. Demand for the creation of tourist typologies and their practice on the example of the Dominican Republic

The reason why we need these typologies for different tourists is to help and to be able to develop tourism destinations. Expectations and needs from tourists on a perfect holiday can be identified, so the desired service can be supplied. As soon as we know the different motivations for individuals travelling to a particular destination, a specific tourist type is going to be targeted. This means that in example of the Dom. Rep. the organised mass tourists in the majority, which are looking for a safe holiday, we know their behaviour and know how to plan for them. Most of the resorts in Dom.Rep. are designed for this clientele and have been developed very fast during the last 20 years to satisfy the demand from tourists. At the first stage resorts were build for explorer or drifter, and since the creation of package tourism, a lot of individual mass tourists came to this area. With the creation of ‘all-inclusive’, there is no need for tourists to leave the hotel. Because of investigating the different desire of tourists and define them, it was possible to develop this area (National and regional tourism planning 1994, p.147).

6. Doxey’s Index: The socio-cultural impact of tourism

The Doxey’s Index describes the relationship between visitors and the visited. He developed a five stage model which describes the first step as the upcoming ´euphoria´ when a small number of tourists arrive thus stimulating the economy and a large number of new jobs are created.

The next steps are ‘apathy’ and ‘annoyance’. At this stage local people get first used to tourists in their familiar surroundings, and afterwards annoyed, because too many people are visiting the destination.

‘Antagonism’ and ‘acceptance’ are the last steps in this theory. Native people start to avoid tourists and at the last step they accept them. ‘Acceptance’ means, that they accept tourists in their usual life and forget how the area was before tourists arrived (Cooper et al, p.47).

Top priority should be always building better relationships between residents and visitors, which improves social life for both sides. In Punta Cana, where the proportion of tourists is high to the number of residents, cultural problems occur because of different society expectations (National and regional tourism planning 1994, p.147). While Punta Cana has grown within twenty years, the local community did not have enough time to adjust to the high number of tourists.

The three models of Plog, Cohen and Doxey are coextensive whith each other because when the first visitors (drifter) arrive at a destination, local people are euphoric. These tourists (‘allocentric’) are not scared to discover new areas. In the ‘midcentric’ are the ‘explorer’ and the ‘individual mass tourists’. At this stage the community becomes ‘apathetic’ and ‘annoyed’. The last step is the ‘organized mass tourist’ who belongs to the ‘psychocentric’ and native people start to ‘accept’ them. The relationship between the models is linear (Cooper et al, p.47).

7. Butler’s Tourism Area Lifecycle (TALC)

The Tourism Area Lifecycle(TALC) is a well-known model Butler created to illustrate the dynamic of a tourist -destination or -product through different stages. The graph describes a characteristic function due to the natural interrelation between the exposure and intensity of tourism. It shows the evolutional process where every tourism product is going through, which can help manager to find a way out in case of a crisis or new developed destinations to establish themselves.

Butler’ first stage is ‘exploration’, where small number of visitors arrive in an undeveloped area. These people been identified as Plog’s ‘allocentric’ or Cohen’s ‘explorer’ type. After their trip they are responsible for ‘Involvement’, because they tell others about place they been to (Ryan 2003, p.269). A following rise of the curve during the development stage is logical, because more tourists can be carried. Butler says that the number of tourists decrease until the carrying capacity is reached, this is the consolidation stage. New development has to happen again to rejuvenate, otherwise it would come to a decline of visitors (Butler 2006). While developing new strategies is important to investigate the existing facts and concentrate on the potentials the destination is already providing. At this point it is necessary to make a decision. To develop this place, to leave the place how it is and increase the price or let it decline. ‘Decline’ is the next stage of Butler’s TALC. This happens if too many tourists are arriving at a destination at the same time and the capacity is too low. Visitor are disappointed and the number of tourists will therefore start to fall. An option to avoid decline is ‘Rejuvenation’. That means that the area has to be developed for example with new hotels and beaches.

8. The 5A’s model

The 5As model was helpful to rejuvenate the Dominican Republic when it had been reached the stagnation point. A new development of ‘Attractions’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Activities’, ‘Amenities’ and ‘Accommodation’ were necessary to bring facilities up to the level demanded by international tourists. When the carrying capacity was reached, an essential element in the tourism take-off was government investment in the infrastructure of tourism zones. Over $76 million went into the Puerto Plata region between 1974 and 1982. New hotels and transportation networks were built, to get electric power and satisfy water supply. Infrastructure was one of the main important things which had to be developed and when the airport in Punta Cana was built, a lot of new different tourists begun to visit this area. (http://kiskeya-alternative.org/publica/afuller/rd-tourism.html#ecsoc)

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Today the Dominion Republic is one of the most visited countries and popular for family holidays. This destination fits perfect in Butler’s TALC because at first it was an undeveloped place and started to grow, decisions by the policy had to be done for example to rejuvenate the place, to let the area how it is or to let it decline. The Dominican government decided for rejuvenation because of the high potential of this area. With new roads, attractions, airports and hotels the resort development strategy was successful (National and regional tourism planning, 1994, p.147).

9. Multiplier effect

In tourism “the multiplier effect” is used to illustrate how many times money spent by a tourist circulates through a country’s economy. In other words when a new tourist destination is created, the local economy benefits as new jobs are being created and tourist bring additional trade to local businesses. The most common example is when a new hotel is being built it does not only create jobs directly in the hotel, but also indirectly in other sectors of the economy. The hotel has to buy food from local farmers, who then spend some of this money, for example, on domestic expenses. When tourists spend money for local products the demand for those products increases, which also increases secondary employment.

However the multiplier effect continues until there is a “leakage” out of the economy through imports, which is the purchase of goods from other countries.

The most common example would be a Third World country, such as Dominican Republic, much of the money spent by tourist end up leaving the country’s economy via foreign-owned airlines, hotels, imported drinks and food, etc. A typical luxurious four star hotel would be more likely to import most of its goods and services; if that means that better quality would be provided which would ensure better customer satisfaction.


10. Conclusion

Models could be helpful to develop a successful tourism destination and understand the different motivations of tourists. When the policy changes the supply for example to develop an area for package tourism, the demand will also change. That means that the supply has to meet the demand side when at the descriptive side the object and services changing. Plog’s, Cohen’s and Doxey’s models are descriptive because they just describe a situation but Butler’s model is descriptive and prescriptive. TALC explains what is happening in an area and makes diagnose. After this diagnose the problem becomes clear and it is easier to make a decision for solving this problem. It is always necessary to find out how much potential a place has to make substantial development it in the right way. For this fact tourism models are helpful.

11. References

Cooper, C, Fletcher, J, Fyall, A, Gilbert, D and Wanhill, S (2008) Tourism Principles and Practice (4thedn), Prentice Hall, Essex

Gunn, C.A (2002) Tourism Planning (4th edn), Routledge, London

Howie, F. (2003 a,b), Managing the Tourist Destination: A Practical Guide (1st edn), Cengage Learning EMEA

Johnson & Thomas (1992), Choice and Demand in Tourism, Mansell Publishing Limited

National and regional tourism planning (1994) Methodologies and Case Studies (World Tourism Organization) (1st edn), Routledge, London

Ryan, C (2003), Recreational Tourism and Impacts (1st edn), Channel View Publications, Clevedon

Dominican Republic tourism, Tourism Development in the Dominican Republic:

Growth, Costs, Benefits and Choices, avaible from http://kiskeya-alternative.org/publica/afuller/rd-tourism.html#ecsoc (accessed on 11.12.2009)


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