1.0 IntroductionPoon (1994) suggests a change in tourism demand; identifying a shift from old tourism, characterised by ‘mass, standardized, and rigidly packaged holidays’, towards a ‘flexibility, segmented and more authentic new tourism experience’. This report aims to analyse the extent to which Poon’s theory relates to the changing nature of tourism in the Costa Brava.2.
0 The demand for tourismSpain first became a major destination for ‘mass tourism’ between the 1960’s and 70’s, following the industry boom and by the 1990s Germany, UK and Spain accounted for over three quarters of visitors (Buswell, 1996). In 2000, Spain was the third most visited country in the world, attracting more than 48,500,000 visitors per annum (WTO 2000).New technological advancements in the airline industry, cheap oil, standardisation of product and use of economies of scale drove down the price of holidays even further, and Spain was able to capitalise on the increased desire for sun-lust tourism. As Gomez and Sinclair (in Barke et al.
, 1996, p.67) illustrate: ‘between 1951 and 1990 most tourists visited the country during the summer months to take advantage of the sun and the beaches’.Both Reynolds (1993) and Urry (1995) also acknowledge the decline in physically orientated holidays and the rise of culturally orientated choices. Richard’s (1996) assertion that cultural tourism is a growing market, and Shackley’s (1998) claim that ‘throughout the world heritage tourism is experiencing a period of rapid growth’ serve to reinforce Poon’s theory of a ‘new tourist’.
Prat (1996) also suggests the demand for tourism in Costa Brava is partially evolving...
toward Poon’s new tourism, by highlighting the changing demographics, and motivators of visitors to the region: ‘Tourism in the Costa Brava is primarily family tourism, nevertheless, recent years have shown an increase in the presence of young single people, and tendencies towards more personalised and individualistic tourism forms, such as interest in the quality of the natural environment and appreciation for cultural differences’.3.0 Supply Issues’In its early stages (1908-1958) tourist promotion and the development of the Costa Brava was perfectly integrated with the landscape, the economy and the lifestyle of the region’ (Prat, 1996). However, in the post war period that followed, the political and economic circumstances of Spain and Europe pulled the Costa Brava toward a dizzying tourist growth and sustainable tourism principles were forgotten. Tourist development was characterised by property speculation, insufficient investment in infrastructure and the predominance of tour operators.
Supply escalated, and by the late 1970s the majority of buildings in Lloret de Mar were hotels, shops and restaurants, even local farmland was used to develop hotels.Some resorts on the Costa Brava, such as Tossa de Mar, remain largely unspoilt despite the increasing demand outlined in section 2.0; others however, including Blanes and Lloret de Mar are intensely developed, Lloret de Mar, one of the major towns on the Costa Brava housed 60,000 bed spaces in 1996 (Prat, 1996) and has since increased. At present, the supply of tourist facilities in the Costa Brava is primarily two and three star hotels, apartments, campsites, farms and country houses. The International airport, and a number of tourist attractions, such as four theme park
and sixteen golf courses serve the area, which has been designed to appeal to all demographic sectors of the population (Turisme de Catalunya).There are numerous supply issues in the Costa Brava that need to be addressed in order to maintain tourist levels.
Perhaps, the most pressing at present is the extent of oversupply; of the total 46,000km of Mediterranean coastline, 25,000 km is urbanized and development has already exceeded a critical limit. (WWF, 2002), illustrating Poon’s theory that old tourism held no ‘limits to growth’. As a result, the heritage and natural beauty in many areas of the Costa Brava have been destroyed, eliminating aspects attracting new tourists to the resort, therefore potentially decreasing future demand.Current supply and infrastructure is the personification of the ‘standardized mass tourism of the 1960s and 1970s.
‘ (Poon, 1994) – the majority of accommodation is of poor quality, and consequently remains cheap. The rapid development of the Costa Brava as a tourist destination, and the changing demand highlighted in section 2.0, has resulted in existing supply being poorly positioned, a factor that must be addressed to ensure the Costa Brava does not fail to capitalise on the transition toward Poon’s ‘new’ tourism; however it should be noted that Spain is still heavily dependant what Poon refers to as old tourism and this must also be accounted for in future planning and development.4.0 The Impacts of TourismThe rapid growth of tourism throughout the Costa Brava has created both positive and negative impacts that can be roughly divided into three categories: economic, social and cultural, and environmental.
This section shall outline the positive impacts that stem from tourism, whilst the negative impacts will be discussed in section 6.0 as it is felt that they are directly relevant to the key problems and issues.4.1 Positive Impacts:The development of tourism in the Costa Brava has led to considerable financial benefits for the local community; employment opportunities have arisen, and the recent increase in demand for Poon’s notion of new tourism is reducing seasonality, therefore creating greater job security. The development of tourism and the growing population within urbanised areas has resulted in the swift improvement of infrastructure including the Gerona-Costa Brava airport in 1967. Increased tourism has also prompted investment in the region, thus improving the local standard of living.
Demand for more ‘culturally orientated’ holidays (Reynolds, 1993) has led to the preservation of certain historic sites and traditional villages such as those in Tossa de Mar, so far this has been relatively trivial, however an increase in interest toward such features may promote the further conservation. (Prat, 1996).5.0 The Marketing of Tourism:As consumer-buying power increases, consumers are becoming more demanding. This combined with the rapid increase in easily accessible tourist destinations, and deregulation and concentration in the industry has led to a greater need for improved marketing and the promotion of the Costa Brava. The increased scope in objectives and motivations of tourist visitors to the Costa Brava has meant it is imperative to promote the right combination of elements to the right market.
Uncovering consumer interests, patterns of demand and buyer behaviour through the use of market
- Cultural Tourism
- Business Cycle
- Business Law
- Business Model
- Business Operations
- Business Software
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Family Business
- International Business
- Leadership and Management
- Multinational companies
- Multinational Corporation
- Richard Branson
- Small Business
- Target Corporation
- Wall Street
- Word Processor
- Business Travel
- Kids travel
- specialty travel
- traveling with kids
- World Tourism Organization
- African American
- Civil Society