Monday March 10
Week 9 – Spatial and Temporal Characteristics
Tourism as Business
• Should tourism be defined as a business?
• Since tourism’s final product is the experience itself, the consumer must be
involved in creating the experience: how does this affect tourism as a business?
o You can lay the template, create the opportunity, etc…, but it’s down to the
experience of the individual tourist as to whether the business becomes
• What sectors of the economy can be directly affected by tourism as an economic
o The most inequitable aspect of tourism is that not everywhere is blessed
with natural scenery, has cultural heritage, etc…
o Some places build entertainment as a business model (If you build it will
• Every place has a tourism strategy (even places like St. Thomas)
Tourism’s Economic Significance
• What actions can assist tourism in addressing income inequalities?
• Why might tourism be an effective means for wealth redistribution at a national
level but not so at a regional scale?
o Income isn’t distributed equally in tourism (who it employs, where the
• Can income redistribution be achieved without government intervention?
o ie. will redistribution of wealth to poorer areas result from market forces
o Governments promote addressing issues of income, employment,
development, etc…, but what leads to addressing these issues is the
private sector (not government)
• What these questions do not explore is the axiomatic constructs framing these
o Is wealth distribution a problem? Why?
o Is wealth equality a desirable goal? Why?
o Is government intervention desirable in the tourist sector? Why?
There are some popular tourist areas that have government
engagement, and some that have no government engagement.
o Example: A railway company wants to tear down a bridge (it is a liability),
but people wanted to keep it, giving the reason that could be a tourist
attraction (there is a bridge like it in New York and Paris). The problem is
that the reason why people go see those bridges is because there is
already something in that city drawing them there.
• What aspects of tourism result in greater local and regional economic benefits?
Effects of Tourism • Tourism has both an effect and an affect on the landscape, the host community,
and on visitors.
o The host community is changed by your presence (there is no tourism that
does not alter the landscape), and the place also has an effect on the
• These changes can be environmental, social, and/or cultural.
• The effects of tourism are based on:
How many people come in?
How often does the cruise ship come in? Does the tourism
business revolve around a particular season/event?
How long are people staying?
You can predict what services, etc… you may need based on how
many tourists you expect to get
How easy it is to resolve certain issues
What are potential conflicts between the tourists and hosts?
eg. in Algonquin they have some lakes for boaters, and some lakes
for canoes (they zone different lakes for different uses)
Preserving the natural environment, cleanliness
eg. How do you influx large cruise ships and maintain the
Do people think tourists are a benefit to the local community? What
are their attitude towards tourists?
Carrying Capacity: What is the ability of an area to absorb the number of people?
• Current Capacity
o Local factors
o External factors
• Planning Process
o Management of development
• Carrying Capacity o Parameters
o In a business sense, there is no way of predicting carrying capacity
because it is unpredictable.
eg. at a ski hill if the weather is bad you may not want to go and
wait in lines in the cold, but on the other hand there may not be
many people there because of the weather (and you don’t have to
wait in lines anyway)
Urban vs. Rural Impacts
• Types of cities:
Atlantic City, Orlando, Vegas
o Tourist historic
Paris, London, Washington
Cities that used to have a different economic function, and some of
the things they were renowned for have changed
Chicago, downtown Cleveland (used to be a steel center, is now a
ball park, rock and roll hall of fame), Baltimore, distillery district in
• The Tourist Bubble
o There is a zone in a city that tourism is catered to
o The restaurants and stores are different
o They are not places where the locals go, but where the tourists go
o It is a protected area where tourists are catered to, and buffered from the
rest of the city life
o Illegal activities tend to be on the barrier of the tourist bubble (prostitution,
Niches such as the “Rhubarb Capital of America”
Ball or soccer tournaments
o For budding scientists
eg. science museums
o Holy places
eg. cathedrals, churches
These are seen by tourists more as cultural architecture than
Often in these places they need tourists because they bring money
and help them operate, but at the same time they may have
hostility towards tourists using their sacred places
o A dose of culture eg. art galleries, music
• Compare and contrast tourism in the USA to other places
o The majority of tourism in the U.S. is domestic, not international
22% of the people who go to L.A. are international tourists
California is a year-round destination (there is no off-season or
$104 billion tourism business (but tourism isn’t even one of the top
5 businesses – it contributes 5% of the state’s GDP)
The #1 visitor destination in Texas
A lot of people who visit Dallas are going from there to somewhere
The majority of tourism is domestic (over 240 billion a year)
In Texas, the state promotes tourism as a way to offset the effects
of oil and gas
• In California, there is no government involvement in tourism
(except with environmental regulation)
Colorado’s economy is based around oil & gas, and ranching
(tourism is the 3 major business to even out the other sectors)
The entire economy of Colorado is the tourism economy of Texas
Denver is big on conventions (you can get out in the mountains or
go skiing while at the convention)
More people go to Colorado in the summer and fall than in the
• People walk in the mountains
o Las Vegas
39 million people visit Vegas (many are international)
It is a purpose-based destination resort
Vegas is the exception to the US rule – it is an economy build
People go to Vegas for 3-4 days (short bursts of time as opposed to
More money is spent on gambling than food (they often give free
food and alcohol with discounted hotel rates to keep you in the
• They make their money on gambling, so they give tourists
deals to draw them in