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Geography 2144G - Week 9.docx

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Western University
Geography 2144A/B
L.Graham Smith

Geography 2144G 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 profitable • What sectors of the economy can be directly affected by tourism as an economic activity? 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 they come?) • 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 money goes) • Can income redistribution be achieved without government intervention? o ie. will redistribution of wealth to poorer areas result from market forces alone? 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 questions: 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 tourist • These changes can be environmental, social, and/or cultural. • The effects of tourism are based on: o Scale  How many people come in? o Frequency  How often does the cruise ship come in? Does the tourism business revolve around a particular season/event? o Duration  How long are people staying? o Probability  You can predict what services, etc… you may need based on how many tourists you expect to get o Tractability  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) o Mitigation  Preserving the natural environment, cleanliness  eg. How do you influx large cruise ships and maintain the environment? o Perception  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 o Technology • Impacts o Society o Culure o Environment o Economy o Tourists • Carrying Capacity o Parameters o Standards 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: o Resorts  Atlantic City, Orlando, Vegas o Tourist historic  Paris, London, Washington o Converted  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 Toronto • 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, drugs) • Rural o Attractions  Niches such as the “Rhubarb Capital of America” o Amenities  Ball or soccer tournaments • Spaces o For budding scientists  eg. science museums o Holy places  eg. cathedrals, churches  These are seen by tourists more as cultural architecture than sacred places  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 o L.A.  22% of the people who go to L.A. are international tourists  California is a year-round destination (there is no off-season or quiet period)  $104 billion tourism business (but tourism isn’t even one of the top 5 businesses – it contributes 5% of the state’s GDP) o Dallas  The #1 visitor destination in Texas  A lot of people who visit Dallas are going from there to somewhere else  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) o Denver  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 winter • 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 around tourism  People go to Vegas for 3-4 days (short bursts of time as opposed to 7-10 days)  More money is spent on gambling than food (they often give free food and alcohol with discounted hotel rates to keep you in the casino) • They make their money on gambling, so they give tourists deals to draw them in o Orlando  A purpose-buil
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