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To what extent does tourism in Majorca fit the Butler model?

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To what extent does tourism in Majorca fit the Butler modelimage00.jpg

The purpose of the Butler Model is to look at the way that tourist resorts, grow and develop. The tourist industry, like all industry, is dynamic and constantly changing. Therefore, the Butler Model is a way of studying tourist resorts and seeing how they change over time and in relation to the changing demands of the tourist industry. These changes can then be compared to the predictions as shown on the model.                                                                                                                                                    Discovery Stage-A settlement is 'explored' or 'discovered' by a small number of people who later tell others about their experience. In time other people visit and local people seize upon the new economic opportunities provided by these visitors and provide services to meet the needs of these visitors or tourists.                                                                                                                                                  Involvement and Development Stage-More tourists arrive having heard about the place by word of mouth, articles in Travel Supplements in papers such as The Sunday Times, brochures or tourist guides. The extra tourists attracted by the publicity and people willing to visit somewhere new will lead to the building of new hotels, restaurants, shops and services to cater for the influx of people.                                                                                                                Consolidation Stage-As more people visit the resort, the facilities are now fully utilised. At this stage mass tourism replaces what was once the original economic function of the settlement. This may cause some resentment with people in the town who have not benefited from the new industry or from the loss of distinct identity that the settlement held before. It may appear that the local culture is being diminished by a more international and non-unique culture compared to what may have existed before.                                                                                                                                                                Stagnation Stage-Popularity may be short lived. People may become bored with the resort once its initial appeal had waned. Little of the original natural environment will remain and negative comments about what it used to be like may lead people to find somewhere new to discover. The effect of falling tourism if a resort goes out of fashion leads to economic decline and the under-utilisation of tourist infrastructure. The eventual closure of some of the businesses will lead to a rise in unemployment.                                                                                                                                  Decline or Rejuvenation-The tourist resort then has two options; either go into decline or rejuvenate and develop more sustainable strategies based upon lower visitor numbers.

Majorca/Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Island with a population as of 1st January 2010 of 869,067. The capitol city of Palma (pop. 404,6810) is a tourist hotspot. The island itself has received 8,802,115 tourists in 2005.  image01.jpg

In the 1960s Majorca entered the Growth stage of the butler model with around 0.4 million tourists from the visiting the island. The majority of employment on the island being fishing and agriculture. At this time the environment was clean featuring unspoilt beaches, little visual pollution and an unpolluted sea. The island did not have a good infrastructure i.e. Poor roads and public services and not many tourist accommodations (few hotels with the odd holiday cottage)

The Involvement and Development stages arrived in the 1970s, there was a rapid increase in tourism which was encouraged by the government with 3 million tourists from the arriving on the island. Package holidays were introduced making the trip cheaper. Employment shifted from Agriculture to Development related work i.e. Construction work, jobs in hotels, cafes and shops. This led to large hotels, apartment blocks and villas which were constructed without proper planning. This led to some road improvements, but severe congestion. Farmland was built upon and animals removed from their natural habitats as well as the pollution of the beaches and ocean.

In the 1980s Majorca hit the Consolidation stage of the butler model. The tourist numbers skyrockets to 7.5 million over extending resources like water which now has to be imported. Up to 70% of the populace works in the tourist industry. Congestion builds further as crime and litter increases. There are now so many hotels they block out the mountains. Culture and even more farmland lost. Tourism almost complete taking up the economy and locals are growing resentful of the tourists.

The Stagnation stage began in the 1990s with 7 million tourist visiting. Tourism begins to decline, global recession preventing people going to the island due to budget. Unemployment rates above 30% as tourism declines. Older hotels begin to look rundown and only high-class hotels get approval to be built. Bars and cafes close due to lack of patronage, and a new airport terminal is built to allow easier access to the island. Beginnings of attempts to clean up beaches and sea, new public parks, gardens and nature reserves opened to try to attract some eco-tourists.

 If the trend of the 90s had continued I would expect Majorca to be struggling at the present day. Calvia, a community in the south of Majorca, has created ‘Calvia: local agenda 21’ which is a sustainable strategy for tourism. The agenda seeks to: preserve cultural and natural heritage, to improve public transport, improve the quality of live for Mallorcans and the sustainable management of resources. It does this by encouraging eco and agro-tourism in Majorca. Agro-tourism-The concept of agro-tourism is a direct expansion of ecotourism, which encourages visitors to experience agricultural life at first hand.

I believe that if the rest of Majorca follows Calvias’s

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The author has outlined the features of the model and has explained how Majorca appears to fit it very well. What they have not done is consider any evidence that suggests Majorca does not fit the model (which the question suggests). The answer could also have been improved by including a graph to show tourism numbers in Majorca since the 1960s, to illustrate its similarities to the model.

Marked by teacher Nigel Fisher 16/02/2012

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