Features of Tourist Destinations

What, then, are the factors which help a particular tourist destination to prosper? Basically there are three such factors, which are interrelated.

· The attractions of the destination, and how they have been promoted.
· The amenities or facilities offered by the destination, and their costs.
· The accessibility for tourists of the destination, which includes the type and range of travel opportunities offered. 

We now examine each factor separately briefly - and the explanations are expanded upon in later Modules.


An ‘attraction’ in this context is something which appeals to a particular tourist or to a prospective tourist. It is something which creates and arouses interest and a desire to see or to participate in; it is really an appeal to the senses or to the motivations for embarking on travel.

Some tourists, particularly after a package holiday or a cruise, complain of having been treated like “sheep”, or of the “regimentation” at holiday centres or villages (note that the once commonly used term “holiday camp” even implied regimentation, hence the decline in its usage). It is true that some people do like having everything organized for them - that is part of their enjoyment - whilst others do not.

But it must always be borne in mind by professionals who organise and market travel and tourism, that tourists have individual characters and temperaments, likes and dislikes, prejudices and preferences. As a general rule they want and expect a choice, and in no area is that more noticeable than with attractions; the attractions offered by a destination which appeal to one person might be disliked by another, to the extent of deterring a visit to that particular destination.

Of course, in many instances the destination which is selected might have to be a “compromise” between the different likes or preferences of, say, a husband and wife. They might eventually select a destination which has the most “plus” attractions and the least “minus” attractions, or one in which “minus” features are offset by an attractively low cost, and so on.

The choice of destinations made by parents who will be accompanied by a child (or more than one) might be strongly influenced by the activities or facilities offered - which will in effect be “attractions” - which will be suitable for youngsters; and those will in turn depend on their ages. For example, young children might need crèches (nurseries where babies and young children are cared for) or playgroups; some children might need supervised activities, such as swimming or athletics; whilst teenagers might need organized entertainment, recreational activities and amusements, such as discos.

The possible range of attractions at destinations is very large and varied, and that range is continually being widened. Nevertheless, it is possible to categorize attractions as falling into three main categories.

Site attractions - which might be countries or areas of countries or groups of countries, or geographical regions, islands, or cities or resorts. In effect, it is the destination itself which appeals to tourists.

Event attractions - which might be exhibitions, important sporting fixtures (such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup Football Final), international conferences, carnivals, festivals, religious ceremonies, and so on. Tourists opt to visit the destination because of what is taking place there at the time they propose to visit - or they will time their visits to coincide with the particular event.

Combined site and event attractions - many sporting and other events are likely to have greater and added appeal to tourists if they are held in locations which also have site attractions.

Natural attractions such as mountains (which may be individual peaks or ranges), volcanos, rivers, waterfalls, canals, lakes, deserts, glaciers, canyons, rolling countryside, beaches, game reserves, fjords, and so on; as well as climatic conditions, such as sun, blue skies, clean/fresh air, etc.

Man-made attractions such as holiday resorts and complexes, theme parks, zoos, wildlife parks and marine centers, historic or religious sites and buildings and other constructions (for example the Pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Panama Canal), or those of architectural interest, and so on.

Despite the distinction we have just shown you, there are many tourist destinations which depend for their success on a combination of both natural and man-made attractions. For example, expansive golden beaches might themselves be an attraction; but relatively few tourists might visit them unless and until resorts have been developed or there are other man-made attractions in the vicinity.

Attractions in general can be further subdivided into:-

Nodal attractions - this term refers to the situation in which the various attractions of a destination are located in fairly close proximity to one another. Tourists stay in one resort or city, for example, which provides all or most of the attractions and amenities they seek, although they might make short excursions out of the immediate vicinity. Obviously such destinations make them particularly suitable for inclusive tours.

Linear attractions - this term refers to the situation in which the attractions might be spread over a fairly wide geographical area, which might encompass more than one country, often with no one “centre” of attraction. Such destinations are most suitable for touring holidays, on foot or by bicycle, or by coach or in private or rental vehicles, for fly/drive holidays, and in some cases for cruises (perhaps by inland waterways - rivers and canals) or by railway.


Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.

buttons=(Accept !) days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !