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Introduction Tourism, as defined by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), comprises of the activities that people traveling to and staying in places outside of ones usual environment for more than 24 hours but not more than one consecutive year either for leisure, business, or other purposes. (Cited Wikipedia Tourism, 27 July 2011) Over the years, the general term Tourism can be further segmented into smaller forms like ecotourism, religious tourism, sports tourism, or medical tourism. The form of tourism we are looking into for this paper is known as Mass Tourism, which, peculiarly, does not have a widely referred to definition provided by any official tourism organizations including the UNWTO (Refer to Appendix 1). As such, with guidance of lecturer Mr. Andy Tanamas, the definition of Mass Tourism in this paper would be assumed as a large group of tourists being in the same destination for similar purposes, which may or may not be in a packaged tour.

In this age where people look for differentiation and uniqueness in mass production, we would discuss if Mass tourism as we see it today is here to stay even though an increasing number of tourists are looking for greater flexibility, individualization and choices. Taking for example, tourists that individually organize their own travel with respective service providers, like hotels and airlines, are typically known as Do-It-Yourself (DIY).

In my opinion, both forms have significant differences in the market they attract and are interconnected. As such, I agree that Mass Tourism is here to stay despite many changes and adaptations to the current market. In summary, this paper will attempt to distinguish, discuss, and evaluate the differences, pros and cons, and future prospects of Mass Tourism.

2. Discussion and Analysis


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2.1 Individual Motivation to Travel The most common motivators used to explain a persons desire to travel is the push and pull factors. Push factors refers to a persons reasons for travelling while pull factors, quoting Nielsen (2001, p.126, Appendix 2), are the lure... of foreign locations (or the appeal of media presentations) that draws peoples attention and stimulates them to investigate travel alternatives. With that explanation, it could also be said that push factors are internal while pull factors are external.

Under push factors, the most common motives for travel include Relaxation and Leisure, Visitation of Relatives and Friends, and Business Travels. For those travelling for relaxation and leisure, their personality traits, interests, needs play a huge part the decision to travel. McIntosh, Goeldner and Ritchie (1995) categorized tourists by their desires Physical, Cultural, Interpersonal, Status and Prestige Motivators (Refer to Appendix 3). For example, Cultural Motivators describes tourists who visit a country due to deep interests in the culture. Physical Motivators includes health tourists, or sports tourists who love activities and events like the Winter Olympics held in Vancouver in 2010 or World Cup. Interpersonal are those who visit overseas relatives and also tourists who travel for spiritual growth for religious reasons. The desire for further education overseas would very well be under Status and Prestige Motivators.

Cohens (1974) theory categorized tourists by their level of independence Organized Mass Tourist, Individual Mass Tourist, Explorer, and Drifter (Refer to Appendix 3 and 4). This helps in classifying who are those who prefer the Mass Tourism system, like packaged tours, and who are the ones that go for individualization on DIY trips. Plogs (1974) Psychocentric-Allocentric model, which on a whole categorized tourists personal traits, preferences and degree of comfort with their surroundings, can also be a relatively good reference to determine if the tourist prefer Mass Tourism or DIY trips.
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Demographic factors would also affect, to a large extent, tourists decisions to travel. In a German research (Cited The Impact of Demographic Change on Tourism, July 2009, p.13), it showed that those in the higher age group of over 60, demands for more packaged holidays focusing on culture, nature, and health outside of their home country. (Refer to Appendix 5). This greatly describes the demand for overseas packaged tours, or Mass Tourism, as aging population and decreasing birth rate is a serious issue in many developed countries, both locally in Singapore and globally. But research has also shown that people do not change their travel behavior just because they turn 60 or 65most cases, they stick to the holiday patterns acquired till the middle of their life (Lohmann & Danielsson 2004, cited Lohmann 2004, p.10). This is also true when we cross-reference with the table in Appendix 5 where the decrease and increase in demand for packaged holidays is not proportionate to the changes in population segmented by age group.

However Lohmann (2004, p.3) also states that: Consumer behavior is not a reaction on a single factor but on the whole set of influencing external factors. In addition it is driven by internal factors (e.g. motives, abilities etc.)... Thus pull factors would greatly affect travel decisions. These can refer to the media and print advertisements, tourists guides, and other information provided by the destination in an attempt to attract consumers. Budget of the consumer and prices offered by tour agencies or operators are also pull factors that would greatly affect tourists decisions and acts as motivations for travel.

Nielsen (2001, p.58) listed some potential concerns in regards to travel decisions including the foreignness of the destination, like language and cultural differences, exchange-rate fluctuations, visa requirements, hotel
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safety, terrorist threats, weather and natural disasters, hygiene and immunization worries. (Refer to Appendix 6) For example, it would be impractical to plan a trip to Japan just for a massive discount of a slash from SGD1,380 to SGD 398 offered by SIA during the period after the 8.9 earthquake in March even if it is extremely value for money. (Refer to Appendix 7) Uncertainty includes nuclear threats to health, and fears for safety due to aftershocks and possibility of tsunamis.

Information sources on travelling, personal or impersonal sources, and commercial or non-commercial sources, are pull factors too. (Refer to Appendix 8) Some examples of personal sources include relatives that had been to the place, or past personal experiences, while impersonal sources refer to destination guidebooks and brochures. Travel agencies and operators are also personal sources; however these are also under commercial sources as monetary gain is the basic motive for businesses. Magazines and newspapers reviews, on the other hand, are non-commercial but impersonal sources as experience differs accordingly to person.

In this age with advance technology, the Internet is another important source of information. It gives information providers, like airlines and hotels, a direct method to create awareness of the destination or services among tourists without going through other intermediaries as shown on the information flow on Appendix 6. Some of this information includes online booking of services, customer support, and also bed availability in the hotel. As such, there is no longer a need to go through the Central Reservation Systems (CRSs) that have been the traditional link between travel industry and customers via agents or middlemen. (Nielsen, 2001, p.132 and 133, Appendix 9)

With the combination of both push and pull factors, tourist would then decide on the destination and how to go about travelling. For example if looking at convenience where one seeks to visit as many attractions in a destination in
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a limited amount of time, some would go for package tours, which is Mass Tourism. Destinations that are highly commercialized and dependant on tourism, like Bali, is an alternate option of Mass Tourism where individualization of services, like customer service, is provided amongst the standard product or services, like in different hotels and destinations.

2.2 Economic Gains and Losses One major concern for tourists when deciding to travel is the budget. It also limits a persons decision on whether to go on a packaged tour or to plan a DIY trip. In the past, packaged tours are thought to be cheaper, or more value for money, and definitely more convenient. However, with technological advancements, consumers can go directly to the service providers and search for better airfare deals and hotel room prices with the Internet.

Airline prices are known to fluctuate throughout the years due to peak and non-peak periods. Furthermore, some airlines have loyalty programs where frequent flyers can earn Mileage points like the Kris Flyer membership of Singapore Airlines (SIA). As such, it might help tourists with airline loyalty programs save when going for leisure travels on their own expenses. However, when it comes to visiting mass tourism attractions and destinations like the Disneyland and other amusement parks, it might be more value for money as bulk purchases when going with tour groups enjoy group discounts. http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/ticket/grouppass/index.html, 2011) 28 (Cited July

On the destinations and countries perspective, mass tourism can bring about employment opportunities both directly, like tour guides, and indirectly, like manufacturers of souvenirs and roadside handicrafts. Here, we can look at the case of the Uluru or commonly known as the Ayers Rock in Australia.
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As a World Heritage Site, the government builds infrastructure to promote it as a main tourism site, and the Aborigines, Anangu who holds ownership of the rent receives an annual rent income (AUD$150,000 in 1999) and a 25% share of gate receipts (AUD$1,750,000 in 2000) by the government (Spilsbury, p.36-41). Thus, we see that mass tourism is an important source of income for host communities. Development around this mass tourism destination had also brought about a significant improvement in standard of living in both basic and economic needs.

On the other hand, if the community relies too much on mass tourism, it can become very damaging. Taking the most recent natural and nuclear disasters in Japan on March 2011, it had overall hindered Asias tourism receipts and growth. (Refer to Appendix 10) Political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa had caused a negative impact and growth, a decrease of 7% and 11% respectively, despite the rich cultural attractions and positive tourism development in Dubai. (Refer to Appendix 10) There are also tourism income inequalities if Mass Tourism becomes the main focus in the country. Tour guides and drivers in Bali can earn US$400 to US$500 per month as compared to better trained workforce like teachers who only earn US$100 to US$150. (Inskipp 2008, p.11)

2.3 Cultural and Other Impacts Mass Tourism both preserves and promotes culture in the community and countries. The culture of the Anangu in Australia get to keep their culture alive as tourists who visit the Uluru or Ayers Rock is educated and exposed to it during the climb. Understanding and respect for different cultures helps preservation of customs and ways of life as it attracts and is valued by tourists and the government. Several culture events are also created to showcase and educate ones traditions, like the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland. Many ancient cultural sites and monuments are also well-preserved and restoration works are funded for those that are damaged
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over the years. Some of these include famous attractions like the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal in India, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As infrastructure and amenities are built to accommodate tourists, the standard of living around these sites had greatly improved.

On the other hand, it becomes degrading as these cultures and traditions, and the locals are being viewed as if they are exhibitions. Religious and culture ceremonies being customized to entertain tourists render the purpose meaningless. Some cultures are also disregarded, for example, Anangu considered the climbing and photographing of certain parts of the Uluru would anger and disturb their ancestors, however tourists tend to not be aware or disregard such beliefs. This is a very good example of Mass Tourism causing damage when the number of tourists is over the carrying capacity of the destination.

Social and environmental problems are also another pressing concern when carrying capacity is exceeded. Crime rates are known to increase in destinations that attract mass tourists, especially when income inequality is a problem. Littering and pollution causes harm to the natural environment. Air pollution is especially serious in Mass Tourism areas due to heavy traffic. The energy usage of tourists in areas of accommodation is often high and in large hotels it becomes a huge wastage as guests do not show concern of the amount of water and electricity they consume. Forest loss due to increasing needs for land to build tourism facilities in turn increases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere harming the ozone layer. 3. Conclusion From various examples, we can see that Mass Tourism has a very wide definition. Locations like Bali, Maldives, and similar relaxation-focused destination are considered as a part of Mass Tourism together with countries like Europe and Asia that attracts groups of both individual and packaged tour tourists as both involve a huge mass of tourists visiting the destination for
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similar purposes. Mass Tourism also contributes to a huge part of the worlds and host communities economy, thus would continue to be promoted and supported by governments despite negative impacts on individual welfare. Culture, on the other hand, both suffers and benefits greatly due to Mass Tourism once the carrying capacity is over the optimum. Environmental problems are the most pressing concerns as its effects are spread globally.

In conclusion, it is hard to forecast and determine the demand for Mass Tourism with many factors playing a part in tourists decisions to travel. Governments, however, would still greatly promote Mass Tourism as tourism receipts are a very important economic source. Thus, Mass Tourism is here to stay as the pros have significantly benefit more than one party but improvements, however, is needed to negate the adverse impacts.

4. Recommendations Tourism sectors are heavily dependent on services, and mass tourism proves to be an even more challenge for service providers when facing the different expectations and requirements from individual tourists. Recognizing this importance, local tourism organizations, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), had launch a Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) in 2010 for ensure service excellence. (Refer to Appendix 11) This was implemented as a strategy to compete with direct sales from suppliers to consumers. It also further ensure the economic benefit of related industries and customers as the act as negotiators for good deals and meeting needs.

Sustainability is another area of improvement to ensure Mass Tourism continues without decline. Ecotourism, a form that enable tourist to appreciate and be educated on nature, is the result of increase awareness to protect the environment. Furthermore, hotels and major tourism industries are known to
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actively modify their operations to support green initiatives. One good example is Hilton Americas-Houston that had installed the AquaRecycle water recycling system for the hotels laundry services. (Refer to Appendix 12) Some hotels also revamp by using energy-saving light bulbs.

Cultural negative impacts, however, requires the support of tourists themselves. Before going for trips to a foreign land, it is respectful if one could research on the culture and avoid offending them. Being friendly and considerate, by not littering and polluting the environment is another way. This is an example of responsible tourism. Travel operators and agencies had also played their part in ensuring that there will be no culture conflicts by properly educating their tour guides, some even hiring locals in order to provide the best information, and in turn providing employment.

Cooperation, as we observe, is one major key to ensuring that all direct and indirect parties involved with the industry benefits from mass tourism.

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