In this report I will compare and contrast key appeal factors of the world’s top receiving countries France, Spain, USA and China. Report will explain travellers motivations and identify tourist typology. Explain why accessibility is important in choosing destination. Compare geographical features of each country and contrast key appealing factors.
Motivation for travel is always different for everyone. Motivation is an instinct reason why person takes action to travel (Key Concepts in Tourism, L. Lomine, J. Edmunds, 2007). There is a range of motivations like cost, climate, distance, accessibility, package, opportunities ,type of transport, situation in the country wide range of this motivations is taken into consideration before choosing a destination (Tourism: A Modern Synthesis, 2001).
Plog’s tourist typologies identify two opposite types of tourists. “Allocentrics are tourists who seek adventure on their holidays and are prepared to take a risk. As such, they prefer holidays in more exotic locations and prefer to travel independently. Psychocentric tourists look rather inwardly and concentrate their thoughts on holiday they are not adventurous, but prefer locations that are similar to their home environment”, for example Costa del Sol in Spain was considered exotic, but in short period of time expand into a “mass” tourist destination, and attract allocentric tourists (Tourism: A Modern Synthesis, 2001 p;63). One aspect is that tourists and destinations change over the time.
Tourists usually travel away from home but without transport routes, tourists cannot reach their destinations. Indeed, the transport available is usually a factor in choosing a destination. (Appendix 1) shows that the most popular mode of transport by far for UK outbound tourists is air. Most long haul travel is by air for reasons of time and convenience (P. Lavery, 1989). Travelling by air give easy access to distanced countries for example USA generated air tourists as a number of 1,539,857 estimated in march 2009 (tinet.ita.doc.gov) or China 1610 million people travelled by air in 2007. (inet.ita.doc.gov).
Countries in European Union for example Spain and France create partnership and form a common market by eliminating trade barriers. France and Spain joined Euro zone known as Schgengen and removed border control and checkpoints between their countries. The removal of controls means that citizens can easily travel from one country to another. They have adopted EU currency Euro which makes easier for economic activity within EU. Only British tourists made 12.5 million visits to Spain in 2002, compared witch 12.1 million to France (news.bbc.co.uk).
Costal areas offer some of the most desirable resources for tourism on the globe. Sun, sand and sea provides an important commercial sector of the tourism industry. Costal areas seaside have great appeal to families. Visitors to a costal area or resort will be attracted by this sense of place and will be keen to seek out desired experiences, for example in Spain. Spain has many to offer from lovely beaches, beautiful cities to mountains. The key appeal factor in Spain is seaside for example The Canaries, the group of islands with tourism concentrated on the four largest. These are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The islands are mainly volcanic. Fuerteventura has wide, sandy beaches but those on Tenerife are less appealing consisting of black volcanic sand( Rough Guide to Spain, 2007).National statistics says The Canaries has lost 15% of tourists in 2009 compared to last year 9.2 million, that represents fall of 1.38 million. However France have something to offer, The French Riviera Beaches are known as expensive and glamorous. Corsica is a French island has a hundreds of beaches appealing to everyone. Regarding to WTO in 2008 922 millions international tourists visited French coast, with a growth of 1.9%,compared to 2007. Hawaii in USA has appealing factor of sea, sun and sand. A tropical island paradise of golden sand beaches, waterfalls and lush forests. Aloha State attract more than 6 million visitors a year. An isolated archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the islands have exotic landscape and luxurious hospitality offer a wealth of experiences from volcanic eruptions and world class surfing and beautiful beaches (Eyewitness Travel, USA, 2004)
Yellow Mountains is the most popular attractions in China. There are located in the south of Anhui province. The beauty and uniqueness of Yellow Mountain has become one of the great symbols of China (Lonely Planet, China 2009). However France is the UK’s favourite ski destination, The Alps are probably the most famous mountain in France, and Europe. The highest peak is Mont Blanc, visitors in winter 60.000 per day. Spanish Pyrenees also attract with wide range of activities from hiking, skiing to mountain biking. Traveller will enjoy stunning views and fresh air, regarding to statistics tourists spend 4.5 million euro in 2008. Rocky Mountains in USA, 3,000 miles in length from U.S State of New Mexico through western U.S to Canadian’s British Columbia. The Rockies include over hundred mountain ranges. The highest point in the Rockies is Mt. Elbert, it stands at 14,433 ft. Statistics says 2.7 million annual visitors came to Rocky Mountains in 2006 (nps.gov).
A second category of destination is the town or city. Urban tourism growing in cultural activities such as visits to museums, art galleries and theatres. Cities appeal to architecture, shopping and as a leisure activity (J.C Holloway, 2006). Urban areas offer concentration of facilities and attractions that are connectively located to meet visitors and resident needs. Diversity of urban areas size, function, location and history contributes to their uniqueness (Tourism: A Modern Synthesis, 2001).
Paris is one of the leading cities for short-break holidays, combining all benefits of short stay good shops and restaurants, outstanding architecture, quality hotels, fine museums( J.C Holloway, 2006). Paris gaining 23.5 million visitors yearly. Most famous attraction is Eiffel Tower which is the most recognizable monument in Europe, statistics for 2002 6.2 million visitors according to Paris Office of Tourism.
Low transatlantic prices made New York popular as short break destination, mainly for shopping as dollar dropped the value against pound and euro. New York City throbs with energy commercially, socially and culturally. World-class museums and wide variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options, is one of the most visited city centres in United States. Its most distinctive sight, however, is the Statue of Liberty the symbol of freedom for millions who made this city their home( S. Davey, 2004). In 2008 number of visitors reached 47 million (nycstatistics, 2010).
China’s best known urban tourists attraction is Hong Kong. City is a premier tourist destination in Asia. Above streets with people and traffic, sleek luxury boutiques and five-star hotels stand next to ageing tenement blocks and traditional Chinese shops. Hong Kong is the city that lives to eat, offering discerning diners beyond in inexpensive food markets, street stalls and restaurants. Statistics for January 2008 were 2,518,566 million people visited the city ( Lonely Planet, China, 2009).
Madrid capital city of Spain, located in the heart of the country. A cosmopolitan city, a business centre, home of the Spanish Royal Family. Great museums Prado, Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, state-of-the-art homes to fabulous arrays of modern Spanish painting including Picasso’s Guernica. Madrilenos one of the key attractions of capital city, sitting in the traditional cafes. Madrid is characterized by intense cultural and artistic activity and very lively nightlife( Rough Guides, Spain 2007). Regarding to WTO fact and figures in 2007 about 60 millions international tourists visited Madrid.
Third category of tourism, the countryside, offers different holiday experience. Rural areas have featured prominently in the development of tourism and leisure. For tourist countryside is authentic and offers opportunities such as hiking, fishing and horse riding. Rural tourism is based on nature tourism and agrotourism, although focused more on flora and fauna experience (L. Lomine and J. Edmunds, 2007). Many rural areas attract large number of tourists, for example Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Favourite destination to millions of visitors and great for families. Visitors can observe wildlife of grizzly bears, bison, wolves and elk. Experience all wonders of Yellowstone National Park, most popular geysers and hot springs, the world’s largest calderas with thermal features, petrified forests and waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping and fishing (yellowstonenationalpark.com,2007). National Park Service Public Use Statistics Office says 3,295,187 visitors in 2009 comparing to 1904 13,727.
The rural tourism development in China has become a new economic growth sector. Guizhou province, home to 17 ethnic minorities, have developed rural tourism. Situated in southwest China, mountains and hills where tourists could see unique surroundings, varied topography, great weather. China’s countryside getting more than 300 millions tourist every year regarding to China National Tourism Administration.
Andalucia in Spain is the southernmost part of the Iberian peninsula. Andalucia is an ideal region for camping, riding, walking and mountain bicycling. Mild climate and nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, with wide natural environment ( Rough Guide, Spain 2007). 17% land of Andalucia has been confirmed Nature Parks. Rural tourism industry offers eco-tourism (andalucia.com 2008). 8.1 million tourists visited Andalucia during the third quarter of 2009, 10.8% less than the same quarter in 2008. ( UNWTO)
French can be proud of their rural tourism in Ardeche south France. The Ardeche is a fast flowing river that has carved narrow gorges creating breathtaking canyon. Ardeche has a spectacular mountainous relief with great views and beautiful historical villages. Region has a loot to offer for rural tourists from marvellous scenery that you wont forget, caves and museums to gastronomy and sport activities( Lonely Planet, France 2009). Statistics saying 350000 people visited Ardeche River ( UNWTO).
Motivation factors are different for each tourist, diversity of ways to reach destination as well as appealing factors which convince tourists to travel. Costal tourism can be appealing with sea, sun and sand factor. Mountain with their uniqueness and differentiation from hiking to extreme sports. Urban tourism that appeals with concentrations of facilities and attractions. Rural tourism appealing with wildness and nature fascination.