The developement of the Travel & Tourism indutry
H.Hales Travel & Tourism
The development of the Industry
Task: Assess the impact of key historical & current development on the UK travel & tourism industry
Socio – Economic change
The start to the industry was in 1938 when the government had plans to bring in a Holiday with Pay Act; this was to give all workers in the UK one week’s holiday with pay each year by law. Before this law, paid holiday pretty much didn’t exist, there were a few exceptions with the upper class lawyers, doctors etc, where they would get one or two weeks paid holiday but that was about it, and this new law was to give every worker a right to have a break from their jobs. Also before this the vast majority of workers would work all year round as they would not be able to afford to take a week or two off.
After the Act was introduced the effect was that all workers were able to take a holiday. This then led to the growth and development of many seaside resorts around the UK, which were seemingly popular holiday destinations. As in 1938 there weren’t many that could afford cars, the most popular method of transport was by train, busses were available also but the trains were more popular as you would be able to comfortably get your whole family on them. In 1938, the popular seaside destinations included places like Brighton, Blackpool, Scarborough, Hastings, Bournemouth etc. There was also a new attraction where people could spend there holiday, it was called Billy Butlins Holiday Camp which was just outside of Skegness, here you would pay your weeks holiday pay and you could take your whole family, they provided entertainment, accommodation, catering, activities etc. However due to the Second World War it wasn’t until the 50’s and 60’s that his business started to get popular.
During the year 1935 to 1945 there was a serious downfall in the travel & tourism industry due to the Second World War, almost no one went on a holiday during these years. After the end of the Second World War the industry started to kick off again, with seaside resorts being rebuilt and people were back taking holidays, increasing the employment and visitor numbers. In the 1950’s the government introduced a new Act which allowed all employees to take two week’s holiday each year, and also to the decline of workers in the industrial industry it led to the majority of people working shorter hours which also led to workers taking more holiday. The 50’s was like a big turnaround in the travel & tourism industry as you had workers being allowed to take two weeks holiday each year, also people working shorter hours which would have helped the industry, but the 50’s was also the generation where car’s and other vehicles became more popular and more affordable. This would have helped the industry a great deal, as it meant people would be able to drive to the destinations they want, with their families and all there luggage in the comfort of their own car. The majority of people would much rather travel in their own vehicle, rather than having to worry about the business and problems with public transport. This was also good for the country as cars dramatically increased the number in domestic tourism.
Technology – Developments
Through the years the technology in the Travel & Tourism industry has changed for the better and for the worse of the industry, there are various different developments in the industry that have helped it grow significantly over the years.
A key development was introduced in the 60’s that significantly helped the growth of the industry, it was booking systems. Now customers would be able to phone in to book their holidays. This did not have the biggest impact but it was more what it led to that had the impact, this was the birth of Global Distribution Systems and Computer Reservation Systems, these allowed Travel Agents to book into a global system to check for flight, at first this was used for airlines but eventually led to the Travel Agents and was used as a sales channel. One of the main CRS was called Galileo; it was founded in 1971 by United Airlines, and this company got bigger and bigger through the years, in 2002 this company had a 26.4% share of the worldwide CRS airline bookings.
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The next development was teletext and ceefax, when this was introduced it allowed people to access teletext or ceefax via their televisions in their own homes to browse all the holidays on their. It was a good feature as it had hundreds of late deals and bargain holidays on their, and the fact that people could sit in their own home browse it then if they see one their interested in they ring up the number that would have been provided. Teletext and ceefax is pretty much the same thing and that the only difference being that they were on different channels, teletext being available on the ITV channel and ceefax on the BBC channels.
Probably the biggest impact on the Travel & Tourism industry was the introduction and growth of the internet. With the internet now available it meant that Travel Agents, Tour operators etc could all have their own websites for the customer to view, they could also put their site on the search engines to bring in more business. It also now means that everyone can sit at home (providing they have a computer and internet access) and browse the search engines, or type in a site they know to try and find the holiday of their choice. The internet also gives people more options, for example they might want to research on a particular destination, or read reviews about a place / site / attraction etc. The internet does allow people to browse, book, research in their own homes, also generally speaking the internet is cheaper than Travel Agents, however there are a few negatives to consider like for example someone might not be aware of the difference between a secure and insecure site meaning that they could put their credit details onto the internet not knowing where they can end up. Also researching and trying to find the right holiday can take a long time when you could just pop down to a travel agency and they could sort it out a lot quicker for you. Finally not that it effects the customer but it does with the industry, is the fact that the internet has taken a lot of the business away from the travel agencies forcing a few to close down.
Decline of Seaside Resorts
In the UK, it wasn’t until the development of the railway system that seaside resorts began to develop. This would have been due to the fact that there was no transport good enough to get around the country; motor vehicles were non existent at this time. Then when the railway system was developed this gave people a new way to get around and see parts of the country that they had never seen before, this then led to the seaside resorts being developed so that they could cater for the new tourists. Up until about the 80’s seaside resorts grew and grew rapidly, with people having more disposable income, more holiday allowance each year, easier more efficient ways of getting from point A to point B. The resorts that were developed up in the North West and North East coasts would have catered mainly for people from the Northern industrial towns, the seaside resorts along the South and South East coast like Eastbourne, Hastings, Margate and Ramsgate would have catered mainly for holiday makers from London. Billy Butlin also helped in the growth of the seaside resorts as his holiday camps were seemingly popular and they were all based at or near seaside destinations. Over the last century the peak time in the growth of the seaside resorts would have been during the 50’s and the 60’s, which would have been because people had more money and more holiday but having holidays in other countries at this time was almost unheard off.
The decline in British seaside resorts started when people started visiting other countries, and the introduction of the package holiday. People wanted to see the world more by visiting other countries, and the fact that other countries had better facilities, nice and more predictable weather also helped in the decline of seaside resorts. There are also other factors that led to the decline of the seaside resorts, one of them being that people started to have three or four holidays a year, people had a lot more money to spend leading to the demand of more luxury holidays, city tourism also became much more popular e.g. people from the UK would go to Paris or Berlin and find it more exciting than visiting the same seaside resorts each year. The worst years for Britain in the decline of the seaside resorts was the 80’s and 90’s, these years you could argue was the start of long haul tourism, when people started to go places like Australia, USA, Caribbean etc. Places like Florida were developed and quickly became a favourite destination for families, mainly as they had some of the biggest attraction in the world, like Disneyland and many other theme parks.
The Package Holiday
Vladimir Reitz developed the package holiday back in 1950, he put together the first mass holiday abroad with flights from Gatwick airport to Corsica. This was a big development for the industry as it was something that the people of the UK had never seen before; virtually nobody had flown to a different country for their holiday. It was also the start to what now is massively popular, with the majority of people going on holiday with all the accommodation, flights, ancillary services put into one. However it wasn’t until the late 50’s the package holiday became affordable, and gave many more people in the UK the opportunity to have their holidays abroad.
However during the 70’s the package holiday suffered a major blow, it was on the 15th August 1974, when at the time the second largest tour operator which was Horizon & Clarkson’s went bankrupt. Because of this and estimated 50,000 tourists were left stranded on their holiday with no flight back, and 100,000 others lost their holidays that they booked with the company before it crashed. This is not such a problem to worry about know, as the majority or tour operators and travel agencies are protected by trade organisations, such as AITO and ABTA who provide financial support should anything go wrong.
Other factors that have come into play and been beneficial to the growth of the package holiday, for example the internet. The internet has only recently came in and now more a less every household in the UK has access to a computer and the internet. It has helped the industry massively as most good travel agencies & tour operators have their own website, which allows people to sit at home do their own individual research on where they would like to go and then book it in the comfort of their own home.
The first method of transport that allowed people to travel about to seaside resorts etc. was the railway; this was arguably the start to the industry. Before railway’s came in people didn’t really have much holidays each year firstly, and also the fact that if people did have holiday there was not any efficient ways to travel around particularly long distances. This obviously put people of travelling longer distances, so when it was developed the impact on the industry would have been quite big. Shortly after people started having more paid holiday each year, and therefore if they wanted to spend there holiday at Billy Butlins or to visit a Seaside resort down south they would have most likely got the train.
When the motor vehicle was developed and became affordable, this also had a massive impact on the industry, people could now travel with their families, luggage and whatever else in the comfort of the own cars. They were preferred to trains mainly due to the fact that in peak seasons the trains would have been particularly busy, also trying to take your whole family on the trains can prove quite a hassle, also quite expensive. By this time, one of the biggest developments the industry has seen was passenger planes. It was the start to citizens of the UK being able to visit other countries, as you can imagine the impact on the industry was huge, particularly due to the fact that people had more disposable income and more paid holiday each year. Then in the 80’s flying by air became even more popular, with people now being able to go to long haul destinations like Australia. Also helping the technology in the industry was the development of the Concorde passenger plane, this was introduced in 1976 and was able to fly from London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaul in Paris to New York or Washington in the United States. The reason it had a big impact on the industry was because it could fly to New York in half the time that any other airline could do. It was particularly popular with businessmen and the upper class, it was popular with businessmen as both London and New York are two major cities on this planet with a lot of business being done between the two and the fact that it could get to its destination much quicker. It was also popular mainly with the upper class as it was very expensive, it was much cheaper to fly with another airline meaning that, that was what most people done as they couldn’t afford to fly Concorde.
There are many different issues that are currently affecting the industry, in a good and a bad way. An important current development is the way airlines work nowadays; there are various budget airlines that you can get a holiday for next to nothing on. A typical budget airline is Ryanair; they are a low cost airline from who you can mainly only book over the internet now, as they can cut the prices more because they are selling direct to the customer, they also offer many promotions and much advertising to bring in more customers equalling more profit. This would have certainly helped the industry as it means more people will go on holiday as it is cheaper and more affordable. As Ryanair is so cheap now they try to make sure their profits out of any extras that people might like, for example in flight meals they will charge you, which on some other airlines you would get for free, also they have lower luggage weights than most other airlines so that if you go over that weight they can charge you.
The internet is also a key development for the industry, now with the internet getting more and more popular each day with more people getting regular access to the internet, this is likely to make more people inclined to book their holidays over the internet. On the internet now people can use search engines to do all the research they need, the internet also has visual images of the destinations, hotels, attractions etc. You can also book all of your ancillary services over the internet like car hire or travel insurance. Another factor that is making the internet more popular every day is that fact that people can pay with their debit / credit cards which is done instantly.
Air transport has developed massively over the past 50 years, to start with passenger planes were very basic, wouldn’t have carried many passengers, the customer wouldn’t have much choice over the destination and flights would have been very expensive. There was the development of the Concorde in 1976 which helped massively in helping the industry develop, it was able to fly from London Heathrow to New York in half the time that any other plane was able to do. It did have some downsides being, the fact that it was very expensive suiting mainly the upper class or the businessmen, they were very expensive to run and in 2003 a Concorde crashed as it was coming into land in France which would not have given of a good image and was arguably the end to the Concorde as it shut down later that year.
There are other factors that are helping the industry; they are known as the grey market. For example, people now are having early retirement which is helping the industry as it means that these retired people are more likely to take more holidays, now to claim your state pension you can retire at 65, however there are a lot more richer people out their who can afford to retire early, or have been part of some sort of pension scheme that they have been chipping into throughout there working lives. People expected lifetime is much higher than it has ever been, particularly in the UK due to health care improving, there being better technology to help with illnesses, and probably just the fact that the standard of living much better. This helps the industry as the longer you stay alive, the more holidays you are likely to take. The older generation are probably key to the industry, as they are more likely to have more disposable income than someone in their 20’s, there children have probably grown up and left home which probably leaves them with big houses that they wish to sell as a house of that size is not needed anymore. This then leaves them with lots of money, on which they could spend on a week on a luxury cruise in the Caribbean.
The biggest downsides to the current developments of the industry are probably natural disasters and wars / terrorism. Natural disasters really do affect parts of the industry, more so the destination. Places like Florida, one of the biggest cities for tourism in the world, yet each year in August it is a place prone to hurricanes and tornados, a couple of years ago there was a disastrous hurricane, hurricane Katrina during the time of this the state would have received very little tourism. One of the biggest natural disasters of the last ten years was the tsunami in Asia; it wiped out whole towns and left the place in ruins. Wars / Terrorism also play a big part on the industry, as if there is a terrorist attack people don’t feel safe and if people don’t feel safe they are more likely to choose a different destination. A few examples of places that have been affected are New York September the 11th, Bali where 202 people were killed from three bombs, Kenya, London 7/7 where 52 people were killed and a further 700 were injured. There are also destinations that people would not consider going to because they have history of wars and violence, for example Northern Ireland or places like Iraq and Israel.