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In the current context, tourism is considered the world largest and most diverse business sector Chen and Zan, 2009, having tourists spending money on hotels, entertainment, food and recreation, these become an important source of income of tourism and thus affecting the social and economic of the country greatly. When measuring tourism, all types of visitors will have to be considered, not just those traditional tourists, both all including staying and day visitors/ tourists (Campbell, N.D.). In this paper, the author will discuss the different impacts of tourism in general and different models which help to interpret tourism impact perception.
Tourism is used as a pathway for development (Cornelissen, 2005) and gradually become a common development focus for many countries. Having to maintain sustainability and long term success of the tourism industry (Diedrich and Gracía-Buabes, 2009), countries will require to put in more effort toward their tourism development, using tourism, to sustain especially the country’s economy. Many of the countries are still in the process of changing and refocusing for the tourism growth (Parlett, Fletcher and Cooper, 1995).
There are advantages and disadvantages of tourism development. Having tourism, countries will be able to raise the standard of living, increasing competition by encouraging new competitor, positive effect in a long-run economic growth (Schubert, Brida and Risso, 2010), creating jobs in both small and large societies. For disadvantages, they would be seasonal fluctuations of exchanges rates, unstable income and employment, high elasticity of demand, high inflation (Cornelissen, 2005), all these factors would somehow affect the tourism in a particular country.
Although tourism is growing dramatically and should be of the greatest interest or concern, is not everyone would understand what the exact impacts of tourism would occur to the community (Kreag, N.D.). The range of impacts for tourism is broad, and these would in turn, influences areas beyond those which commonly associated to tourism (Kreag, N.D.).
Some of the impacts will be social, economic, cultural, environmental, socio-economic and etc., for those people who understand the potential impacts of tourism, they are able to associate this industry in a more positive way than those people who associate tourism only in term of economic impacts.
The following figure illustrates the different impacts of tourism in interests, where different groups would experience different impacts of tourism. The interests of each group could be completely separate, economic impact, social and cultural impact and environmental impact.
Figure 2.1. Interest in tourism impacts
Source: The impact of tourism (http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/tourism/pdfs/ImpactsTourism.pdf)
There are different frameworks which measure tourism, models such as Bulter’s Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC), Doxey’s Irridex, Social Exchange Theory, Social Disruption Theory, Early Warning System and etc. Three of the more commonly used indicators will be discussed next.
Bulter’s TALC model predicts tourism increase which eventually resulted in related tourism impacts. At the following figure (Figure 2.2), it shows the different stages, such as development stage, consolidation stage and stagnation stage of tourism. This model shows the period of time verse the number of tourists, where at the end of stagnation, there will be a tendency of becoming decline or rejuvenation depending on the tourism condition. The country economy therefore becomes largely dependent on tourism, and tourism declination can be shocking (Diedrich and Gracía-Buabes, 2009). In the following chapter, the author will continue to discuss where Hong Kong is laid in the model.
Figure 2.2. Bulter’s Model
Another framework would be Doxey’s Irridex model (Table 2.1), where it analyses the community attitudes toward the tourists through different stage. Different countries would feature at different position at the model, there may be a rising annoyance of the community due to the increases number of tourists (Rmchander, 2004). There are several factors which influence the attitude formed from the community toward the tourists, such as the types of visitors, the cultural difference between hosts and guest and also the length of visit.
Table 2.1. Doxey’s Irridex
Next, the Social Exchange Theory (SET) will be briefly discussed. SET is used to understand residents’ views on tourism impacts. It has a psychological and sociological perspective which describes the positive or negative view on tourism impacts (Yutyunyong, 2009). Having a high exchange rate of resources between the community and tourists, tourism impacts are viewed as positive by the community. But when the exchange rate of resources between them are low, tourism impact will be viewed as negative.
Social impact is the result of social tourism, which aims to benefit the community by contributing to the social and economic development of regions, indicating the changes in the quality of life of residents of tourists’ destination. It can be subjective and intangible (Haley, Snaith and Miller, 2005), it is up to individual to view the situation. With different demographic groups, different view of the tourism in that particular country can be obtained. Researches have been conducted related to the community’s perceptions of tourism development. Some researchers suggested that negative perceptions resulted from increased noise, traffic, crime, overflow of tourists. For positive perception would be having improvements of infrastructure, will result in increased employment opportunities and recreational opportunities.
Jobs are being created, more and more opportunities for the community, resulting better standard of living. With that, employment is considered one of the most readily available indicators to measure social impact. There implies, with tourism, there will be significant fluctuations with the country over time, and when the country is not developing tourism, there may be a possibility of having a sharp declines in employment, as there will be less job opportunity for residents of that particular country.
Social impact can be separated into two categories, one being social-cultural impact and the other being social-economic impact, For social-cultural impact, the culture would be commercialised, it helps to preserved local traditions, improve standards of living and result in growth of imports. But it brings a few negative effects to the country, such as losing the traditional culture of the country, number of country cultural spot increases, resulting in lack of originality, culture loses its meaning, reproduction of the country’s authentic products would become too common, growth of undesirable activities such as crime, drugs and prostitution, which will be discuss further in the next part. (www.esf.edu/for/kuehn/socialimpact_05.pdf).
Having different culture people together, the advantage is both parties can exchange experience of own culture, but for the bad, conflicts may arise with the different cultural background, as there is different kind of thinking between the parties. Cultural tourism may also cause bitterness growth by the community, of which competition between locals and tourists, having ownership to the use of facilities. Hence result in anger of community towards visitors (www.esf.edu/for/kuehn/socialimpact_05.pdf).
There are limited tools to measure socio-cultural impact. With those tools in place, the result obtain is not concrete. It is difficult to monitor and also to differentiate from the economic or social development. Ways being suggested to measure socio-cultural impact would be the followings, obtaining the ratio of tourists to locals, having the local perception of tourism, finding out the concentration of tourism in that particular destination and etc. (Smith, 2003).
With tourism in the country, these may bring negative image to the country too. Some of the by-products of tourism would be sex tourism and prostitution, crime and religion. Sex tourism and prostitution will start prior to the growth of mass tourism, where mass tourism is having a large amount of people visiting a particular destination at one goal. The process of the tourism created locations, which exhibit occupational stability and also environments, which attracts prostitutes and clients, affords employment for women, in return upgrade the country’s economic status. Eventually have them involved in prostitution to maintain the economic levels and this in general, loosening of morals.
For crimes, it is easier for the criminals to take action as during the high tourism seasons (Mathieson and Wall, 1992), as the population density increases. In the study in Miami, Floride, McPheters and Stronge (1974) suggested a close relation between tourist season and the crime season, as the study reflected that response of criminals to the increased availability of targets and congestion during the tourist season, since these factors increased the potential gains and reduced the probability of detection from the point of view of the criminal. Nowadays many who travel, their income level would be one of the factors which contribute to the increase of crime rate (Mathieson and Wall, 1992). The third factor, religion, having tourism implement, this encourage and motivate tourists to travel more to religious countries. For example, tourists could travel due to religious affiliations or curiosity to Jerusalem and Mecca, during Easter festival and the time of Passover, to experience the tradition celebration. With the influx of tourists, tourism becomes a source of revenue. Churches started to create guided tour, audio translator at a certain amount, and for some, upon leaving the churches, donation is required (Mathieson and Wall, 1992, 2006).
For social-economic impact, having tourism, it helps to improve standards of living, more jobs opportunities, facilities & infrastructure, land value changes. However, these will lead to the following problems, such as increased taxes, inflation, conflicts over land use between the residents and tourists, shifting from traditional employment, to having more seasonal and part time workers, change in political and economic system of the country may result in disagreement of new laws and eventually splits in unity. (www.esf.edu/for/kuehn/socialimpact_05.pdf)
Tourism is more appealing industry in economic growth compared to other avenues in developing countries. It provides tangible estimates of the economic interdependencies and a better understanding of importance of tourism contributing to region’s economic (Stynes, n.d.). The importance of tourism industry directly results from the information that it serves as a primary source for generating revenues, private sector growth, infrastructure development and employment for many countries. With the growth of the industry, it triggers the overall economic growth (Lee and Chang, 2008).
The Asia Pacific region has become a fast growing tourism destination and has exceeded the Americans to become the world second largest tourist-receiving region since 2001 (Lee and Chien, 2008). Recognising the relationship between economic growth and tourism expansion is important as it could provide suggestion for relevant policy decision (Styne, n.d.), such as consideration in regional, state and community planning and development. It usually analyse tourism activities which focused mostly on changes in sakes, employment in the region and average communities’ income. Even though there is no direct relationship between economic growth and tourism expansion could be found through past research, it provided an indication to reveal the effectiveness of tourism promotion approaches.
Economic impact can have direct and indirect effects or impacts on tourism. The total economic impact of tourism is the sum of direct, indirect and induced effects within a region. For direct effects, it is usually generated by companies that these focus on industry which directly affects one country’s tourism, directly influence the tourism expenditures. They are easy to measure. Some of the example would be number of visitors, expenditure of tourists (Campbell, n.d.) and etc, where supply goods and services directly linked to tourist (Tourism Satellite Account, 2002), lodging amusement, retail trade, transportation and restaurants. Having increase number of tourists staying overnight, the yield increase sales in hotel sector (Styne, n.d.).
For indirect or multipliers effects, they are result of activities which generated in companies of the economic system due to demand of tourism related companies (Tourism Satellite Account, 2002) are hard to measure, they these includes subsequent spending by suppliers, such as hotels purchase suppliers and use of local services, and investments (Campbell, n.d.). They affect many sectors of economy (Styne, n.d.). The economic impact of tourism industry would eventually linked to hotels to various degrees to many other economic sectors in the area or region, for example, change in jobs, sales and income in the linen supply industry, also the production changes because of various rounds of responding to hotel industries’ receipts. They also take note of the subsequent effects of tourism spending and show the wide range of division where they may benefits from tourism.
There are two main analyses for to measure the economic impact of tourism, Multiplier analysis and Input-output analysis (IO). Firstly, multiplier analysis helps to measure the impact of spending which contribute to the economy impact (Horwath International, 1981). For expenditure, direct expenditure, indirect expenditure and induced expenditure can be used. They cover the expenses made by tourists on goods and services related to tourist facilities, inter-business transaction from direct expenditure and additional spending from tourists or consumer’s personal income respectively.
The following are also multipliers which are basically linked, of measuring the extra business turnover created, income generated by an extra unit of tourist spending, ratio of the combination of direct and indirect employment created by tourism per unit of tourist expenditure, namely output multiplier, income multiplier and employment multiplier (Horwath International, 1981).
Secondly, for Input-output analysis, Wassily Leontief (1906-1999) developed this method to evaluate economic impacts of tourism, observing various economic sectors as a series of inputs and output, having tracing the flows of dollars (http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/encyclopedia/Inc-Int/Input-Output-Analysis.html). The IO model is centered on the idea of inter-industry transactions, Industries use the products of other industries to produce their own products. Outputs from one industry become inputs to another (Perlich, n.d.).
Changes in prices
Tourism can sometimes inflate the cost of housing and retail prices in the area, frequently on a seasonal basis
(Mathieson and Wall, 1992, 2006)***
Smith (2003) explained culture as a way of life with arts and learning. Cultural tourism defines as a genre of special interest tourism (Stebbins, 1996) which based on both the history and heritage of a certain place and its people (Smith, 2003). It is difficult to neglect the importance of culture. It is to experience various culture activities outside community where you belong to.
Although there is not a widely accepted definition of cultural tourism, but there are many authors who try to define (Wall and Mathieson, 20006). Definition of culture can be too narrow and too broad as mentioned by Eagleton (2000). it depends on the field of cultural tourism studies. Another definition given by Richard (2001a:7) would be cultural tourism is not just utilization of the cultural products of the past, but also the current culture. For Euroupean Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research (ATLAS) 1991, they gave a conceptual definition of cultural tourism, where it is the movement of people to cultural areas which are away from their place of residence (Smith, 2003).
Using culture to attract tourists while nurturing culture through the income generated by tourism (Picard, 1996), where culture consists of behaviour patterns, values, traditions and knowledge which have been passed down through generations. It can be considered as a process which covers the behaviours of a particular tourist group, or a product which represent a group or individual (Wall and Mathieson, 20006).
The difference between post tourist and cultural tourist would be for post tourist, they enjoy virtual experiences, little interest in finding out the difference between fantasy and reality, treat the commercial of tourist experience light-heartedly. While for cultural tourists, they actively seek difference, appreciate the authenticity in cultural experiences, interested in personal experience and earnestly interact with the destinations and inhabitants which they have.
Cultural tourism, an important part of special interest tourism, has become a growing market sector, where domestic and international tourism increases for the purpose of experiencing another culture (Vander Stoep, 1996). It is an important marketing tool to attract tourists who have special interests in that country’s heritage and the arts (Zeppel & Hall, 1992). As cultural tourism is coming up, it is regard as the one of the mainstream tourism industry, where heritage sites and arts activities are solely placed to respond to the growing tourists demand for personal inspirational travel experiences (Zeppel & Hall, 1992), where cultural tourism is based on both the history and heritage of the place.
The following would be some of the advantages of having cultural tourism in a country. Firstly, it helps the less known destination to rise up from their low profile status, which in turn, improves the standard of living for the locals. Secondly, from the government point of view, it is an economically attractive project, having to improve the country’s image and also furthering better international relations (Smith, 2003). Thirdly, the country would be more environmental and culturally sensitive from the project. Apart from advantages, there are a few disadvantages, for monitoring the heritage, care must be taken regularly to avoid destroy or damage or the protected area. The communities should also take part in preserving the heritage. Although the nature and size development should be strictly controlled, the attractions should not attempt to control entry or to price out uninvited tourists, which may result in unhappiness of tourists (Ibid.)
Followings are some of the generic categories of cultural tourism. Heritage tourism, it is tourism where it concern largely with the understanding and demonstration of the past. Tourists would tend to visit monuments, museums, castles, palaces, and religious sites. Art tourism, where arts are being delivered to the tourists through theatre, festivals, carnivals and literary sites. For urban and rural cultural tourism, tourists would visit areas such as historic sites, eco-museums, village, farm and agro-tourism and wine trails, to understand and experience the history and heritage of the country. Having knowledge about the local/ indigenous cultural tourism, tourists could visit the cultural centres, or watch the cultural performances by the local. Lastly will be contemporary cultural tourism, nowadays there are more and more tourists getting more actively involved in seeking various experience during their holiday, activities such as shopping, attending pop concerts, going for theme parks and attractions and industrial heritages sites. These encourage a development for non-traditional destinations, providing alternative activities for the tourists to choose from (Ibid.).
Tourists for different forms of cultural tourism, they would explore different places and experience different kind of authentic knowledge, other than those mentioned above. For places such as galleries for visual arts, architecture, religious sites such as temples, cathedrals and churches. Unique hands-on experiences with arts and craft like pottery and textiles, gastronomy such as food and wine tasting, learning of the country language or special interest activities such as photography and weaving.
Overall, having creating cultural tourism is considered to be positive development. Preserving the cultural heritage, it helps to improve the profile of the country, resulting attracting more interest investors and tourists. With this, three will be an increase in receipt of foreign exchange and income for destination, increase job opportunities for the locals, the population will in turn benefit and have a better standard of living (Ibid.).
Hong Kong returned to Chinese control on 1st July 1997 and become part of Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It situated on the southeast coast of China at the mouth of the Pearl River facing the South China Sea (Hong Kong Tourism Board, 2010). Although Hong Kong only has a land area of 1,104 km2, it has a population of approximated 7.06 million. In recent year, more hotels and tourist sites are being built to cope with the increase of tourists from all over the world.
The tourism industry is a major pillar of the economy for Hong Kong. According to Hong Kong Tourism Broad (HKTB) 2009 and 2010 reports, there are 173 hotels, with 60 104 rooms, by the end of June 2010. Comparing to the end of June 2009, there is an increase of about 15 hotels and 2500 rooms.
Having analysis the data collected, economic impact will directly impact the tourism of Hong Kong. According to Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), in January 2010, the hotel occupancy increase 8%, this illustrate that the economic is starting to pick up slowly. Research by the HKTB also shows that the visitors arrival numbers increased by 70% during 2002-2007 (Hong Kong Tourism Report Q2, 2010)
The table below summarises Hong Kong’s tourism performance in the first half of 2010 and 2009 full year –
vs. Jan-Jun 2009
Total visitor arrivals
– Overnight arrivals
– Same-day arrivals
Average hotel occupancy rate
Average achieved hotel room rate
Total Visitor Arrivals
29 590 654 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
– Overnight visitors
16 926 067 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
– Same-day visitors
12 664 587 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Average hotel occupancy rate
Average achieved hotel room rate
Average length of stay of overnight visitors
Overnight visitor per capita spending
Expenditure associated with inbound tourism
Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board
From the table, at the first half of year 2010, Hong Kong has approximated 16.9 million visitors from all over the world. This arrival figure also sets the highest half-yearly record. (Tourism Commission, 2010). If the tourist arrival number is to increase at the constant rate for the second half, the total visitor arrivals will be more than 2009 full year figure by about 3million. With the increase number of visitors to Hong Kong, the average hotel occupancy rate is therefore increased.
As mentioned in HKTB official website, the main source of visitors are from mainland China with approximate 10.5 million arrival for the first two quarters of year 2010, this account for about 62% of total arrivals. Having the total arrival figure being the highest half-yearly record, this is also the first time exceeded the 10 million marks for Mainland China tourists arrival. Overseas markets have also contributed to the increase. For short-haul market, countries such as Taiwan, 1.1 million of visitors were reported. There is a growth of 25.7% of visitors coming from Japan and South Korea. For long-haul market, due to the improvement of global economic situation, it is recorded to have a 10.9% growth compared to the same period in 2009. In particular, the European market and country like United State of America. Not forgetting the emerging market from Russia, India and Middle East, this result in more frequent flights between Hong Kong and the three markets.
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