“Tourism may be further defined as the movement of people away from their normal place of residence” (J. Christopher Halloway, 1998)
This definition describes tourism as an action to see something new or different from daily life. The tourism industry is constantly growing and the economics of some countries are mainly based on it. Tourism can be seen in association with a lot of different factors like visitors attractions and hospitality.
This essay will deal with the multi-disciplinary nature of tourism as well as the Travel and Transport and especially on the railways industry. Furthermore will it focus on the history and the current practice in the railway industry.
Tourism is multi-disciplinary. One of its’ natures are Visitors attractions. J. Christophe Holloway and Neil Taylor described Visitor Attractions as followed.
“So we must accept that no clear definition exists for the term. It is easiest just to accept that any site that appeals to people sufficiently to encourage them to travel there in order to visit it should be judged a `visitor attraction`.” (J. Christopher Holloway and Neil Taylor,2006)
They can be categorized by factors like being built with a touristic purpose or being built with no touristic background. Examples of attractions which had during their construction no touristic purpose are The Eiffel Tower in the Paris and the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. These attractions attract in our modern world millions of tourist to Paris or Copenhagen. These examples are the best proves that attractions can be build without a touristic hidden thought.
The tourists visiting a attraction need an accommodation in case they are not day-tripper. The accommodation sector can be divided in the non-profit and the profit sector. The non-profit includes the visiting friends and relatives, which are still very important for tourism even though they are not spending any money on accommodation as tourists will still spend money throughout their stay in the area of interest. This category also includes hostels which do not try to make a profit.
The second sector has to make a profit to survive. This sectors comprises B&B, hotels and camping’s.
Transportation is also part of the tourism because it brings the tourists to attractions and accommodation. The most common transportation method is nowadays the plane. Other ways which are to consider are the coach or the train. The train was over the last decades suffering with falling numbers of passengers but seems now to be on the right track. Water-borne transport can be seen as a form of transportation which includes ferries or as a place of relaxation also on ocean liners which is getting more and more popular in the recent years.
Travel trading changed in the last few years. Travel agencies are used to be the place where every tourist has to book his holiday. In our modern society, a lot of people are using the internet for bookings. They leave the local travel agent out and book their holiday directly by the tour operator or by the coach company online. The travel agents reacted by creating online platforms as Expedia.co.uk which are in direct competition to tour operators.
Every holiday booking saves the workplace of several employees working in the travel industry. The money spend, has also an effect on the local economy as an the travel destination. An example, which illustrates this, is a holiday booked over the internet in the UK. One the hand, the tour operator or the online travel agency benefits in their UK head office. On the other hand, the local population at the destination profits from it. This example shows that people all over are making profit from holiday or a travel booked.
The historic development of the travel and transport sector is quite impressive. It all started when people from Egyptian were travelling to visit other cities, their culture and architecture. Unfortunately was the end of the Roman Empire at the same time the end of travel in his earliest form. People had to wait till the 16th century before starting travelling again(?). People at that time had tree possibilities to travel. One of them was walking, which was dedicated to poor people. The second one was riding a horse which was for richer people. Last but not least, carrier wagon’s or a litter were the other possibilities to travel. In the 19th century was a big change for the travel and transport industry as it resulted in a revolution for this industry. In the early part of the century, the invention of the railway had a great impact on travelling. The time of travel was reduced massively and people were able to travel in less “than 10 days from London to Edinburgh”(Quote). The first railway segment was opened in the UK in 1825 between Stockton and Darlington, from then on a lot of different train routes were opened in the upcoming years all over the world. The last great line was opened 1903 in Russia between Moscow and Vladivostok. The number of passenger was growing. The railway was much more comfortable and faster than the ordinary travel by road or on canal. Their success was created in a short period of time because of its reliability and was soon the most important method of transport. Thomas Cook was involved in the success of the train due to his usage of the railway as a way to bring tourists to their holiday destinations. Later, in the early 19th century the private railway companies were not able to handle the enormous costs. Most of the companies were in serious financial trouble. The only solution to save these companies was the involvement of the governments. Most of the countries in Western Europe were so dependent from their national railways companies that they were not able to afford the bankruptcies of these companies. The trouble for the railways companies was not over after their nationalization. The development of new transport possibilities after the Second World War like the plane brought the railway industry in new trouble. In the 1960ties more and more people were using coaches and their private car to go on holiday. The railway industry had no appropriated answer to these new ways of travel and followed their same old strategy.
Nowadays, the railway industry changed a lot . At the end of the 20th century most of the railways services all over Europe were denationalized. The private owners made them more competitive. The denationalization was indeed good for the industry but mainly for the customer because prices get more competitive. Today’s marketing concepts like party trains from London to the French Alps and discounts for people over 55 are used to attract people and to persuade them to travel with trains. A major trend can be seen all over the world to use high speed trains like the TGV and the ICE in Europe and the Shinkasen in Japan.
The railway industry is catching up with new features to make the journey more comfortable for their passengers. In today’s world passengers are able to obtain WIFI connections and audio entertainment services. These features are currently spreading in different forms of transport but are not available on all routes when it comes to for exapmle WIFI connection in trains. Nevertheless will WIFI be the norm in a few years time as well as video screens in the backseat with possibilities to game or to watch videos during your travel.
The railway stations are not only placse of leaving and arriving trains but they are getting more and more places which have shops in it. (Mintal ,2008) One of the examples to illustrate this statement can be found in Scotland more preciously in Aberdeen. The shopping Centre gives the possibility to go from the centre itself to the railway station. Another example is the “Hauptbahnhof” in Berlin where you can find all sort of shops. The railway industry is getting more and more innovative to attract and to persuade more people to see trains as an alternative to coaches, planes or cars.
Another trend, which is getting more and more popular, is the nostalgia of the trains. Alone in the UK there are several old trains running regularly as the Scotsman. The travel time varies from only a few hours to several days like The Ghan in Australia which is travelling between Melbourne and Sydney. These trains are normally extremely luxurious and are targeting old people.
There are three major trends in the future. One trend is to have high-speed trains which have a lot of multimedia features. Another future ambition is to operate trains on historical routes with all desirable luxury amenities. Currently the most recent trend is to convert normal railway stations to a sort of shopping centres.
The travel industry changed over the last years. They changed with new possibilities as the world wide web. The travel industry is in a permanent change to be up-to-date and to come up with new ideas. The railway industry, which suffered over the last four decades due to mismanagement and falling passenger numbers, also changed. Their denationalization had a positive effect on the whole industry which can be seen every day. As it was already mentioned earlier on, the industry is getting more innovative to catch up their arrears to other industries like the airline industry and the coach industry.
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