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Activity 12

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a The scene in Figure 1.11 is one example of an Australian tourist location. If you had to work in an Australian tourist location, which would you prefer, and why?

b If you had to work in a tourist location any­where in the world other than Australia, which would you choose, and why? {Hint: The materials you gathered for Ac­tivity 1 on page 1 may help you.)

'Being a tourist' implies a deliberate intention to travel a short or long distance in order to visit and experience different places and environments. Al­though tourists are usually described as people trav­elling long distances and for extended periods of time, studies of tourism should not ignore short-distance and short-time travellers such as Melbourne residents who go skiing at Victoria's Mount Hotham for a weekend.

Difficulties are entailed in refining these descrip­tions of who tours. There is, for example, no real difference between people who spend a day on Vic­toria's Phillip Island in order to see the Fairy Pen­guins and those who stay overnight in a locality away from home with the same intention. The former are often called 'day-trippers' but they may enjoy the tourist experience just as much as the 'overnighter' in the same locality.

Reasons why people tour

Tourists list many and varied reasons for travelling, a few of which are listed as follows.

• To have relaxation and recreation

• To escape from a perceived boring everyday environment

• To have a change of environment or social set­ting - to see new places and/or new faces

• To have the prestige of boasting about the trip afterwards

• To have the opportunity of behaving in a less restrained way

• To see how other people live

• To seek adventure and excitement

• To seek their own cultural heritage

• To seek new food and wine or a variety of these Currently, because of the emphasis placed on

tourism as an industry, people who tour might be viewed as being consumers of tourist services and goods. This view, however, excludes a large number of people who are less wealthy and do not fit the official tourist-industry models but who nevertheless meet the broad criteria of being tourists.

Reasons why people do nottour

Not all people travel to experience different places and environments, however. The many reasons why people do not tour include the following.

●High costs of travel and accommodation

●Lack of information about things to see in other


●Lack of confidence to travel

●Lack of desire to see other places

●Lack of knowledge about potentially attractive

tourist destinations

●Lack of social or cultural motivation to travel

●Poor health

●Family ties - to, for example, young children

●Lack of free time - due to, for example, work or


Studies undertaken in Spain, France and Japan during the 1960s and 1970s revealed that whereas in Spain and France, 'lack of money' was the main impediment to holiday taking, in Japan it was only the fourth reason, after 'lack of free time', 'health' and 'couldn't leave home'.

The costs involved in international travel, and often even in national tourism, are too high for most Australians, let alone the world's huge numbers of poor people. Although there are apparently huge and growing numbers of tourists who are counted in the official statistics, they represent only a very small percentage of the world's people. These international tourists usually travel overseas more than once,


sometimes every year. -Nineteen-eighties statistics for international travel, including tourism, by Australian residents, revealed a gross propensity to travel -number of departures per total population of only about 8 per cent; however, because each overseas traveller made an average of about two trips per year, it is clear that only about 4 per cent of Australians travelled abroad each year. This does not mean that each Australian travelled overseas every twenty-five years - in fact, maintenance of the annual figure of 4 per cent was due to a small minority of people who travelled overseas relatively frequently.

Statistics for British residents taking holidays during the 1980s indicated that about 20 per cent took no holiday away from home. The British study showed that socioeconomic class or age significantly affected the types of holidays in which people were involved. For example, sixteen- to twenty-four-year-olds, who represented 17 per cent of the population, accounted for only 13 per cent of British holidays but for 20 per cent of holidays abroad. The opposite is true for the sixty-five-plus group, which represented 18 per cent of the population and accounted for 18 per cent of British holidays but for only 9 per cent of holidays abroad. Together, Britain's top two (out of six) social classes account for only 15 per cent of its population, but their members took 20 per cent of the local holi­days and 31 per cent of holidays abroad. Although similar patterns exist in most countries, we would have to examine studies or undertake research in order to establish the figures for a particular place.

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