Changes in demand

Demand for tourism as a whole or demand for individual tourist destinations rarely remains static. Demand for tourism and tourist destinations can change for many reasons. These can be put into; social, economic, political or environmental reasons.






  • Smaller families making tourism more affordable
  • Increase in leisure time (weekends and paid holidays)
  • An increase in life expectancy allowing more time to travel after retirement
  • New forms of tourism e.g. medical tourism or spas.
  • Major sporting events e.g. Football World cup in South Africa
  • Improving linguistic skills
  • Increase in world population
  • Increase in computer ownership and access to the internet
  • Increase in disposable income
  • Growth of new low cost airlines
  • The introduction of pensions making travel more affordable after retirement
  • Increase in advertising
  • Improvement in tourist infrastructure e.g. hotels
  • Weakening of currency in tourist destination making travel cheaper
  • Movement away from subsistence farming
  • Wider use of credit cards.
  • Increased car ownership
  • Simpler booking methods e.g. Expedia online
  • Single currency in Europe (the Euro)
  • Removal of visa restrictions
  • Government investment in tourist infrastructure
  • Greater political freedom e.g. Chinese citizens
  • Increased stability of area e.g Vietnam after the war the of the 1960s and 1970s
  • Creation of new national parks or the protection of certain areas.
  • Natural landforms being designated a UNESCO site.
  • Good reliable weather
  • Natural beauty e.g. Sahara Desert, Himalaya Mountains or Great Barrier Reef
  • Introduction of ecotourism and sustainable tourism


  • Terrorist attacks e.g. Bali bombings aimed at tourists
  • Ethnic tensions between locals and overseas visitors
  • Economic recession or loss of job
  • Increase in cost of travel. Rising oil prices are add fuel levies.
  • Weakening of domestic currency making international travel more expensive
  • Credit crunch making finance harder to access.
  • Political instability e.g. Libya
  • Introduction of visas, tourist tax, exit tax
  • Closing of borders e.g. Myanmar after failed 'Saffron Revolution' (now open again)
  • Natural disasters e.g. Thailand after 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
  • Environmental accidents e.g. Gulf of Mexico oil spill
  • Rising sea levels possible flooding tourist destinations e.g. Maldives
  • Outbreak of disease e.g. Swine flu
  • Worries about personal carbon footprint
Virgin Atlantic raises fuel levy - BBC article

India confident of tourism growth - BBC article

Another blow to fragile Bali tourism - BBC article

Thailand's tsunami hit tourism - BBC article

Brazil's sex tourism boom - BBC article

Butler's Tourism Model: The Butler Model is really a model to show a products life cycle. The model can be applied to any product. In tourism we usually apply it to a holiday destination.

1. Exploration: A new destination, with very few visitors. Usually adventurous travellers that have minimal impact.

2. Involvement: If the tourists like the new destination and the destination is happy to receive tourists, then there may be investment in tourist infrastructure and involvement by locals. Tourist numbers grow slowly.

3. Development: Tourism becomes big business with further investment and involvement by TNCs. Holidays become more organised with package holidays arriving.

4. Consolidation: The area becomes reliant on tourism. Advertising and marketing attempts to maintain and increase tourism levels. Facilities like beaches, swimming pools and golf courses may become the domain of tourists causing some local resentment.

5. Stagnation: There is some local opposition to tourists, there is no new investment, tourists become tired of the same destination and growth stops.

6. Rejuvenation: Tourism is relaunched through advertising, tourists arrival from new markets increase, new transport links are opened or the tourism become more sustainable with local involvement.

6. Decline: There is no relaunch, locals remove their support, TNCs leave and tourism begins to decline.


Plog Model

The Plog Model is similar to the Butler Life Cycle Model, but instead of focusing on the product, it actually focuses on the people using the product. In the case of tourism, the tourists.

The Plog Model divides tourists into five different groups. The groups are:

Venturers: These are often hardened travellers who are constantly trying to discover new destinations. They will travel independently and use local transport. Venturers are the people who discover a new destination that has tourism potential.

Near-venturers: Still adventurous travellers near-venturers are constantly listening to the latest recommendation from venturers and are quick to visit new destinations. Near-venturers will also largely travel independently, but will travel in greater volume than venturers.

Mid-centrics: The new destination is now fully known and publicised on the internet, in guide books, etc. The tourists now tend to travel in groups and on package holidays. The tourists will generally be take short breaks (weekend - fortnight) and expect developed tourist facilities. Venturers and near-venturers stop travelling to destinations when the mid-centric arrive.

Near dependables: The destination is well-established, but possibly overcrowded and unkempt. Many tourists stop going. The tourists who remain are ones that like consistency and don't like trying new things too readily.

Dependables: The destination declines further and the only people that carry on visiting are people who don't like change and want to know exactly what they are getting. Dependables may travel to the same destination for most of their lives.
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