A tourist attraction is a place or an event where tourists visit or attend, typically it is for leisure purposes. They can travel all the way just to visit a natural or built attraction.
The appeal of these attractions depends on other components of the travel and tourism industry, such as transport links, accommodation, catering facilities, information services and other local or regional attractions.
There are also many different types of attractions, which some of them are listed down below:
Natural attractions are not man-made.
It is biological or geographical features that may have an appeal to the tourism market for some reason. There are a lot of different and interesting attractions across the whole globe, and these attractions will never be the same as they have been shaped by unique natural forces.
Natural attractions include caves, mountains, rivers, beaches, oceans, polar regions, deserts, woodlands, etc.
Tourist may visit natural attractions for many reasons, such as:
to experience outdoor adventures in a natural place.
to escape from the stressful city life.
to explore different landscapes with friends or family.
Heritage tourism is the act of travelling to experience the places, artefacts and activities that historically represent the stories and people of the past. Places, where you can experience cultural or historical activities, are called heritage attractions.
In conclusion, any heritage site is actually buildings and areas that are historically significant. heritage sites in the UK can range from Giants causeway and causeway coast to Durham castle and cathedral.
Purpose-built attractions are services provided to entertain visitors in places purposely designed and built to attract tourists into that area. Tourist attractions make people automatically think about theme parks as they designed to be fun and enjoyable. In the UK, for example, there are many purpose-built attractions such as the London Eye, Thorpe Park or SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium.
An event basically can be described as a public assembly for the purpose of celebration, education, marketing or reunion. Events can even be classified on the basis of their size, type and context.
There are many different types of events, including music concerts or festivals, theatre, comedy, heritage events and sports such as the Wimbledon Championships. Some travel and tourism organisations provide services for these types of events such as ticketing, packages and transport services.
A tour operator essentially controls books and devises the whole trip. They also are in charge of creating a package holiday by combining some travel and tourism components such as accommodation (hotels), transport (airport transfers to resorts or hotels) and attractions (activities and tours). A package holiday created by tour operators may not include all of these, the list is just an example.
Transfers to and from the destinations (e.g coaches that take travellers from the airport to their resort and then takes them back to the airport when the trip has ended).
A resort representative (e.g holiday reps may be needed in order to give the travellers all the information about the resort as well as the activities available around the place).
Liaison with the accommodation provider (e.g communication or connections between travel and tourism organisations can make customer life easier as a liaison will provide a close working relationship between travel and tourism organisations and customers will be able to find everything they need in one place).
Ongoing support, guidance and advice throughout the duration of the holiday (e.g as mentioned before, holiday reps are there to provide information and help out customers that may need extra attention. Welcome meetings also take place in order to guide, advise and inform customers.)
Excursions and additional services (e.g the resort may have connections with a car hire company which provides easy and fast service to customers).
Collection from accommodation and transport to the point of departure (e.g coach services may be available in order to take customers from the airport to the resort then back to the airport when the trip ends).
There are two main categories of tour operators:
A mass-market tour operator is a person or company who widely creates package tours for travellers. They buy in large quantities that in end will cost them less, then they arrange for transport to and from destination, accommodation, activities and any extra services that might be needed. An example of a mass-market tour operator is TUI.
A specialist tour operator is a person or smaller, more specialist in a certain area company. When booking with this type of tour operator the traveller will usually receive a more personal service from operators who have a real passion for that one destination. In addition to this, these tour operators are experts on their destination and can give detailed advice which a mass-market operator may not be able to. Several of the operator either grew up in or have since moved to their destination of choice, meaning they know it far more intimately than a mass-market travel company.
Apart from this, specialist operators also tend to care more about people and the environment which can lead to them taking actions in order to minimise the negative impact of their holiday.
An example of a specialist tour operator is British Tours.
The difference between a tour operator and a travel agent is that a tour operator makes the package and can sell it directly to the customer, now a travel agent is purely an agent who sells the packages created by tour operators to the customer.
Travel agents are able to offer customers a wide range of choice by selling products from their preferred business partners.
There are also many different types of travel agents, the main ones are:
Retail travel agents are a company agent who advises people when they are travelling about the different currency exchange, hotels and give them information about the place and what there is to do there.
Business travel agents are specialist in travel arrangements for business people, including designing itineraries and booking flights and accommodation. Also, they mostly focus on short notice trips where the timing of the flight is a lot more important than the price of the flight for the tourist. An example of this is CT Business Travel.
Call centre travel agents are agents from a company which sells products over the phone and they must reach a certain number of sales they make per day. An example of a call centre travel agent is the Flight Centre.
An online agent sells holidays over the internet and gives them information about the place and accommodation, per example: agents can provide information about the holiday package to a customer via email. An example is Expedia which are online travel agents.
All countries (that experience tourism) have their own tourist boards that try to encourage tourists to visit through advertising, promotion and events.
Tourism development and promotion are moved in a very easy and controlled way by public sector bodies such as tourist boards (tourist boards are made to provide info on their websites; however, in popular tourist areas, there are often found in tourist information centres, which act as information and advice for visitors of that one area.) and local councils.
In the UK, there are national and regional tourist boards which are aimed to develop and promote to both domestic and overseas tourists. Vist Wales, for example, is the national tourist board that uses public money to invest in tourism facilities in the country and promote Wales as a holiday destination to the UK and overseas visitors.
The development and promotion of tourism in the UK are mostly undertaken by organisations in the public sector such as Visit Britain and the public sector plays a very important role as it brings much-needed income to many parts of the country, it also creates job for local people and can help to regenerate areas and improve the quality of life.
Another example of the role of Vist Britain is its campaign to persuade high spending tourists to come to the UK.
Trade associations are set up to represent the interests of companies operating in certain industry sectors to make sure that the voice of the sector is heard. Many trade associations have codes of conduct which lay down the minimum standards under which member companies are expected to conduct their everyday business with customers and suppliers. It is also an act of information point for businesses in the industry as it sets out the minimum levels of service required by their members. For example, in the UK there are over 100 different trade associations that are directly related to the travel and tourism industry such as ABTA, the Tourism Alliance, UKInbound and AITO. They provide advice and support for their members and lobby central, local and European government to get a better deal for their member companies on issues such as taxation, regulations and funding.
Some trade associations can also be regulatory bodies. This means that checks have been made on their members to ensure they comply with the UK and European regulations.
Members of the travel and tourism regulatory bodies are required to guarantee that they give accurate descriptions of their holidays and offer choice, quality and high level of customer service. If members do not meet basic minimum standards, the trade associations approval can be removed.
There are also government regulatory bodies, for example, trading standards.
Ancillary services refer to all the extras that tourists may need when going on holiday or any other type of trips. Many travel agents offer ancillary services to their customers and make a good commission on these products that they sell to them.
For example with travel insurance, if your luggage is lost at the airport, the travel insurance would cover that and help to secure you along the way of finding your luggage.
As for car hire, you would need to have a valid drivers licence to drive over in a different country, so if you are going somewhere, where you would need to travel to far distant places a car hire would be reasonable and very useful, then you would have to pay for the insurance on that car, to use it abroad.
Some examples of ancillary services are car hire which can be booked by Hertz organisations, theatre ticket booking which can be booked online through ticket master and travel insurance which can be booked by marks and spencer travel insurance or can also be bought directly through the travel agents.