TOURISM OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Recent developments in Tourism on the 21st Century
Tourism is a significant economic factor of nations worldwide. Not only does this help contribute to overall economic gain, but this also enable countries to share their natural resources, gain international recognition and attract prospects for further business transactions. Despite the rise of previous tourism obstacles such as epidemic and terrorism attacks, countries from all over the world attempt to revive their tourism industry through extensive marketing and development. Indeed, the start of the 21st century witnessed various growing tourism trends that other nations followed and applied. Among these are the developments observed in global tourism’s latest visitor attractions. Thus, in this brief essay, the different tourism trends worldwide will be described. How these trends had affected the latest visitor attractions will also be discussed.
Sports in general have been an important aspect of global culture; it is in the conduction of sports where language and cultural barriers are replaced by the universal eagerness for such activities. Recently, several sports activities are being held in different countries, which in turn attracted a number of tourists. Diving, golf and yachting are some of the latest activities under sports tourism that are attracting a significant travel market portion, particularly in Europe, Unites States and Japan. The growing interest of foreign travelers for sports attractions is further stressed by the results of a statistical report where 62% of international tourism accounts for leisure and recreation. Twenty percent is the portion of international traveling due to various personal reasons like health treatment, family/friend visits or religious pilgrimages. The remaining 18% account for international tourism for business and leisure trips ( 2001).
Several examples of major sports activities had been and will be supported by millions of tourists worldwide. Motor City in Detroit for instance, became a tourist spotlight as it hosted the 2006 Super Bowl. In the same month, sports in Turin have been a major tourist generator for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Baseball is also among the major sports that call on a considerable amount of tourists; last March for example, the World Baseball Classics was held in Anaheim and San Diego. April also marked the opening of a new Busch Stadium in St. Louis, a modern ballpark for baseball fanatics. In July, tourists are expected to flock in Berlin for the World Cup finals ( 2006).
In Hawaii, sports tourism has also been considered as a major economic factor. This has been emphasized the statistical findings when the state hosted the NFL Pro Bowl. Based on the research done by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, 33,300 of the 49,000 spectators were visitors. The visitors who came specifically for the Pro Bowl event generated taxes of about $3.83 million; major increase in visitor spending has also been observed due to the enhanced attractions and activities in Oahu and other nearby islands. Compared to 2004 results, the average length of stay of the visitors has also increased ( 2005).
The Olympics is a major international sports event that has been considered as a prime tourist attraction as well. In UK, preparations are underway for the upcoming 2012 Olympics. has been chosen by the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership (CSWP) in order to identify the different opportunities that could result from the 2012 Olympics. With ’s business and sports expertise, he had noted that this event will bring about major business, tourism and sports benefits. Based from the previous Olympic events, increased tourism has been the most important opportunity brought about by such major international event. In order to optimize the effect of this opportunity, hosts typically make major preparations to meet the satisfaction of the tourists and foreign visitors. Hosts also consider its transportation systems and other tourist attractions near the Olympic site; thus, Clift noted how the selected Olympic area does not only have the excellent journey time to London, but it also has other tourist-friendly facilities such as the Ricoh Arena, National Equine Centre at Stoneleigh Park and Draycote Water. The preparation of these visitor attractions will be done along with the construction of the Olympic facilities. In general, Clift intended to deliver the best Coventry and Warwickshire has to offer through major Olympic developments for the tourists (, 2006).
Visitor attraction of the latest century is also becoming more and more patterned on environmental awareness and protection. Attractions that are characterized by these features are collectively known as eco-tourism. Sustainable tourism or eco-tourism basically pertains to attractions that include tropical rain forests, wild life and coral reefs ( 2005). As a growing trend, eco-tourism is often associated on a tourism type that is concentrated on environmental appreciation. Rather than concentrating on generating profit, the aim of tourism is to educate the tourists through informative displays, hands-on activities and educational seminars. The study done by the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) revealed that ecotourism comprises about 20% of the total international travel in Asia-Pacific and South African regions ( 2003).
The growing interest of the tourist to learn more about their environmental surroundings has been marked by the increased visitor attractions influenced by eco-tourism. One of which is Alaska; with the Alaskan natural landscape, the area provides a perfect opportunity for environmental tours. Some of the common eco-tourist attractions in Alaska include its black spruce forests and lava fields. Other than just being a site for fishing, Alaska now offers other visitor attractions such as hiking and wildlife viewing. Alaska indeed is not a site for beaches, theme parks or malls; however, it takes pride on providing enjoyable tourist visits through eating scrumptious foods and meeting locals. According to , Kenai National Wildlife Refuge supervisory park ranger, the number of visitors going to Alaska in order to see wildlife and natural areas are increasing constantly ( 2002).
The Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA) is among the major wildlife tour providers in Alaska. Initially, AWA serviced about 50 to 60 people for wildlife trips. However, AWA now serve 1,200 to 1,500 people annually for small group tours to various wildlife sites like the Inside Passage, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Denali National Park. Along with these tours, AWA provides complete tourist packages, which include hiking and rafting opportunities. Lodges for overnight accommodations are also available for tourists ( 2002).
In UK, ecotourism has also been a major aspect of the country’s tourism industry. In one article (, 2001), some eco-tourist sites in UK had been recognized by the British Airways. One of which was the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust’s Wetland Centre located in Barnes. This visitor attraction was founded by and highlighted the best elements of sustainable tourism. The site is made from 35-hectare wetland, which is then converted into four reservoirs that attract more than 140 species of wild birds. In Cumbria, the Upland Discovery Centre called Rheged has also been recognized as one of UK’s best eco-tourist sites. Tribe is a British travel company in Suffolk England which also promotes sustainable and responsible tourism. Its visitor attraction services include the provision of comprehensive destination information for the tourists. Its main aim is to increase the visitors’ environmental awareness through visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites. Exodus is also a UK-based tour operator that promotes both environmental protection and awareness (, 2001).
Technology is an important aspect of the 21st century. With the introduction of highly advanced information systems and technologies, people worldwide are now able to perform various tasks more efficiently in less time. Tourism however, was not spared from the influence of technology. Without a doubt, this latest visitor attraction overshadows any typical tourist experience on sports events or eco-tours. It was in 2001 when this tourism development was first launched. Boarding a Russian Rocket, , an American businessman, became the first space tourist of the world for a price of $20 million. With this astounding fee, it has been questioned whether such tourism development can last. NASA suggested that making space tourism an important segment of the industry is very likely in the coming years; by that time, the trip to space will offer other amenities such as space restaurants and hotels similar to typical tourist destinations ( & 2002).
Though space tourism had been introduced in this century and is likely to succeed in the future, there had been factors raised that seem to contradict such outlook. The price of this tourist attraction for one thing is something that cannot be supported by the general masses worldwide. In addition, it has been noted that the danger involved in this tourism trend is larger as compared to other dangerous tourist activities like sky diving or scuba diving. If the US manned space program will be considered, in 732 person flights, a total of 17 fatalities had been reported. This implies that 2,320 deaths for every 100,000 passengers are likely to occur in space tourism. Moreover, in 113 departures, two space shuttles had crashed, resulting to a failure level of 1.8% - an unacceptable value ( 2004). Nonetheless, the success of this tourism trend will possibly bring enrichment to the people’s knowledge of space.
From the trends identified, it is clear that these have caused significant impacts to present visitor attractions. Specifically, trends of the 21st century allowed the establishment of more educational tourist trips and destinations. Aside from increasing the tourists’ awareness on various sciences, visitor attractions of today enable people to learn more about culture and people. In addition, current tourist trends allowed the tourism developers and providers to integrate technology, resulting to new edge tourist attractions. In general, the tourism trends introduced and popularized in the 21st century led to major developments in visitor attractions worldwide. In turn, this gave new interesting and educational opportunities for both local and foreign travelers.
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