Contemporary issues affecting tourism sector in UK 6
Contemporaryissues affecting tourism sector in UK
Tourism in the UK 3
Contemporary issues affecting the hospitality and tourism industry 5
Social impacts 5
Language, Culture, Values and beliefs 6
Health issues 7
Political issues 8
Political changes and stability 8
Terrorism and security 9
Economic instability 10
Escalating operating costs 10
Increase in costs of construction and renovations 10
Contemporaryissues affecting tourism sector in UK
Peopleget to know about the other parts of the world through travelling,reading about them or even watching movies, videos and documentaries. In one way or the other, in the course of our lives, we have comeacross some beautiful sceneries, cities and other interesting placesthat has made us develop an interest in visiting some of these places(Hall and Page, 2014 pp 65). This is simply because, we are not used to the kind of experiencesand by visiting the places, an individual will get the utmostsatisfaction and feel that he/she has accomplished something. Throughtourism, people are now able to visit different places that they wishto go and have some quality time. Tourism is basically the act oractivity of visiting and travelling to new places for leisure andvocational purposes. Tourism also includes the businesses ofproviding hotels, restaurant, entertainment, tour guides and otherservices that are aimed to facilitate the comfort of tourists(Mason, 2015 pp 45). Therefore, tourism incorporates all those activities involved inpromoting, facilitating and provision of various services to touristsand hence making up the tourism industry. There are several factorsthat impact the tourism industry either negatively or positively. Inthis paper, social, political and economic factors will be criticallyanalyzed and a discussion provided on how they influence thestructure of hospitality and tourism industry in the United Kingdom(UK).
Tourism in the UK
TheUnited Kingdom is made up of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland andEngland. It is an island that is located in the northwestern Europe.London is the capital city of the UK, the city is known for itsglobal influence in relation to finance and diverse culture. The UKis ranked as 8thbiggest tourist destination with an estimated 36.115 million peoplevisiting the country according to the 2015 reports(Nicolas, 2015 pp 1). Around USD 22.072 billion was spent by foreign tourists in the UK,which is an indication of the significance of tourism in the country. Since 2010, tourism has been one of the fastest growing economicsectors in the UK and has led to creation of millions of jobsdirectly and indirectly. The tourism sector in the UK has created9.6% (3.1 million jobs) of the total jobs created in the UK as per2013 statistics. It is anticipated that, by 2025, the UK tourismindustry will be worth around 257 billion pounds (Nicolas,2015 pp 1).The sector is expected to grow with a rate of 3.8% which is biggerthan that of the overall UK economy which is predicted to grow at arate of 3%. The manufacturing, construction and retail sectors havebeen known to be traditional economic driving sectors. However, thetourism sector has recently emerged to be an important driver to theflourishing UK economy. The impacts of tourism in the UK have beenamplified throughout the economy and not just spending, there areseveral start-up businesses that emerged due to the vibrant growth ofthe tourism sector. Inbound tourism is the fastest growing field inthe tourism sector. Domestic tourism has also been one of the reasonswhy the tourism sector in the UK has grown considerably(Mok, Sparks and Kadampully, 2013 pp 76).August is the busiest month in UK because of influx of domestictourists who take advantage of the summer breaks. London is the mostvisited place accounting for 54%, the rest of England 34%, Scotland8% and Wales 2%. The US, Germany and France are the top countrieswith the majority of the UK visitors and they account for about 30%of the total visits (Nicolas,2015 pp 1).Evidently, tourism in the UK plays a vital role in promoting economicdevelopment but there are still a number of contemporary issues thataffects the hospitality and tourism sector in the UK.
Contemporaryissues affecting the hospitality and tourism industry
Inthe recent years, the business world has changed because of manyenvironmental factors. This has led to the significant alteration intourism sector that is directly dependent on the social, politicaland economic factors. The players in the tourism industry have beentrying to adjust accordingly even though in some situations, they donot have control on what happens. The hoteliers and the investors arethe most affected by the tourism contemporary issues because, in mostcases, they depend on the tourists as the source of their revenues(Briassoulis and Van der Straaten, 2013 pp 32).The government in its own capacity has tried to enact, policies,regulations and rules that promotes the tourism sector so as to avoidthe shrinking of the industry. Sustainable development is one of thecritical elements that is affecting the tourism industry.Sustainability is a difficult task to achieve considering that someof the structures were established decades ago, hence huge costs willbe incurred to renovate or restructuring them again to meet the newsustainability requirements(Briassoulis and Van der Straaten, 2013 pp 34).In UK, the contemporary issues affecting the tourism sector will bediscussed in three broader categories as follows.
Generally,all aspects of the society are virtually social. The society is agroup of people who co-exist together in a structured manner or in anorganized way. The word social is usually used to refer to all theinteractions that different people have within a society setting. TheUK society refers to the people who live in the country, theirvalues, beliefs, cultures and other social characteristics that canbe used to describe the people of UK. The UK society and the societyin general impact the tourism and hospitality sector in variousdimensions(Stylidis, Biran and Szivas, 2014 pp 267).People have different objectives when they choose to visit the UK.Various visitors are attracted by the British culture and hospitalityof the English people. More interestingly, there are those people whotravel from different corners of the world to watch live footballmatches during the English premier league(Kim, Jun, Walke and Drane, 2015 pp 26).This shows the various dynamical social structures that are promotingtourism in the country. The following are some of the social aspectsthat have impacted tourism in different magnitudes in the UK(Gammon and Ramshaw, 2013 pp 56)
Language, Culture,Values and beliefs
Culture,values and beliefs refer to the social characteristics that definethe people of the United Kingdom. The Britons are known to be one ofthe kindest and most welcoming people in the world. Most importantly,UK is not known to discriminate people based on their color or wherethey come from. It is a country where all the kind of people live inharmony. People can easily get used to the UK without any possibleculture shocks(Shipway and Fyall, 2013 pp 65).Another important element that promotes tourism in the UK is the factthat it’s an English speaking nation. Notably, English is auniversal language that is understood by many people across theworld. Consequently, many people prefer to visit UK because of theease in communication. Language barrier is one of the main problemthat often faces the tourism sector. UK becomes a perfect touristdestination because language translators are not needed and hencereducing the costs incurred during the trips.
Justrecently, the Zika virus outbreak caused a lot of tension to most ofthe travelers, different countries through their health departmentsincreased the surveillance and health screening to all visitorsentering their countries. UK was not left behind in implementingmeasures that were objectively aimed at ensuring that, no singleindividual entered the country while infected with the virus(Page, 2014 pp 44).Zika virus was just an example of the health issues that affecttourism. Ebola is another virus that has been classified as a healththreat among many others. Health is a social aspect that impactsnegatively on tourism. If there is a particular disease outbreak inthe country, different countries will issue travel advisories totheir citizens not to visit the country with the disease outbreak.This will reduce the number of visitors significantly resulting toshrinking of the tourism industry. In UK, there is no case ofreported disease outbreak that may cause havoc due to tensioncreated. Contrary, medical tourism has been in the rise in UK(Hanefeld, Horsfall, Lunt and Smith, 2013 pp 39).People are visiting UK to seek medical attention because of thewell-developed medical facilitates.
Weall need food to survive, the types of food available in a particularcountry determines the kind of visitors the country receives. Many ofthe countries are known for the dishes that are predominantly common.In UK, there are several common dishes that are well prepared inaccordance with the English culture and traditions. People arefamiliar with the dishes an element that again makes UK, primetourist destination. It is very easy to adjust to the types of foodoffered in England. Also, so many other dishes are available in thecountry(Everett and Slocum, 2013 pp 790)
Politicalissues are factors affecting the structure of a country’sadministration. It involves all the aspects concerning the governmentand how the country is structured (Suntikul, 2013 pp 10). Thepolitical changes and variations can influence the country’stourism sector in the following ways.
Political changesand stability
Politicalchanges usually arise during government transitions. The incumbentgovernment may have differing opinions with the former government onvarious issues and hence leading to radical changes in the tourismstructures. The tourism industry is directly dependent on thegoodwill of the government and its agencies. If the government failsto implement the required policies and structures to promote tourism,the sector will decline in terms of productivity(Nunkoo and Gursoy, 2016 pp 18). Also, it is the primary function of the government to create andmaintain different infrastructural facilities such as transport,communication networks and provision of energy. If the facilities arenot available, the growth of tourism will greatly decrease. This isbecause the tourism stakeholders will not be able to access variouslocations, no effective communication and overall causing crisis inthe industry. The world was shocked last year when the Britons votedto leave the European Union. The political changes and tension causedby the vote slightly caused a change in the tourism sector. Theeffect of the vote will be felt when the country will completelyconclude all the arrangements terminating their existence in theEuropean Union. This is because tourists from the European countrieswill decline since, they will be required to follow so manybureaucratic procedures in order to visit the country. Also, thecosts of tourism in UK may increase due to the fact the Europeanvisitors will not be able to use the Euros but instead will have touse the sterling pounds.
Terrorismand security are some of the political aspects that have proven tocause crisis in the tourism sector(Saha and Yap, 2013 pp 9).Terrorism cases around the world have been increasing with the mostrecent ones happening in France, Belgium and Turkey. The July 5th2005 London bombing was a terrorist act that was carried out in theUK soil. Since then, the country has enhanced its securitymechanisms over a thousand people have been arrested and chargedwith terrorism related charges. Apart from that, the UK governmenthas banned a number of organizations that are believed to besupporting and initiating terrorism activities. Generally, thevisitors and players of the tourism industry want to operate inplaces where there are assured of their security. Kenya is one of theAfrican countries that receive many tourists each, the number ofvisitors significantly declined after the back to back terrorism actsthat were witnessed in the country. When such a scenario happens inthe UK, the same trend would be expected. The government has to doall it can to ensure that, the country borders are well protected andsecurity tightened around the clock to avoid terrorists’ attacks.
Theeconomic structure of a country impacts tourism in different ways,all sectors that facilitate economic growth needs money to funddifferent activities that will generate income (Vanhove,2012 p. 170).In economics, growth is realized when costs of production areminimized to the lowest levels and maximizing the output to themaximum. Higher profits will lead to more money being saved. Thesaved money can be used to establish investments that will alsobecame income generating projects. In tourism, the case is notdifferent money is needed to fund various activities that promotetourism(Wenming, 2013 pp 13).Economic instability influences the hospitality and tourism in thefollowing ways
Thereis general concern that economic instability causes crisis within thetourism industry. This due to the fact that, the costs of operationstend to increase sharply thus reducing the profits margins of thetour and hotel operators(Eugenio-Martin and Campos-Soria,2014 pp 60) During the economic crisis, the rate of inflation increases causingthe prices of goods and services to sky rocket. The end result is areduction on tourism levels due because many tourists are unable toafford the various tourism services(Tang and Abosedra, 2013, pp 460)
Increase in costsof construction and renovations
Tourismis a very sensitive industry, depending on the nature of tourism,some of the tourism aspects demand latest technologicalinstallations. The increasing costs of construction and renovationsare inhibiting the development of some of the tourism centers to meetthe modern technological advancements(Sharma, Motta, Choi and Altman, 2016 pp 27).Existingbrands that need to reorganization themselves find it difficult to doso due to the high costs involved. Economic instability in UK thatthat was heavily felt in 2008-09 during the world economic crisis.Since then, businesses have adjusted and business is usual as normal.
Tourismplays a vital role in the growth and development of the UK economyand it will continue to be an important economic sector that isprojected to worth 250 billion pounds in the next 10 years. Over theyears, the UK has been doing well in the sector with no notableincidences that could threaten the growth of the sector untilrecently, when the Britons decided to vote to leave the EuropeanUnion. The effects of leaving the trading blocs is felt by thetourism industry in almost all aspects. It is upon the stakeholdersto initiate necessary mitigation measures to ensure the sectorremains intact. Basically, UK is a prime tourist destination withseveral tourist attraction elements.
Briassoulis, H. and Van der Straaten, J. eds., 2013. Tourism and the environment: regional, economic, cultural and policy issues. NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Eugenio-Martin, J.L. and Campos-Soria, J.A., 2014. Economic crisis and tourism expenditure cutback decision. Annals of Tourism Research, 44, 53-73.
Everett, S. and Slocum, S.L., 2013. Food and tourism: An effective partnership? A UK-based review. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21(6), 789-809.
Gammon, S. and Ramshaw, G., 2013. Heritage, sport and tourism: Sporting pasts–tourist futures. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Hall, C.M. and Page, S.J., 2014. The geography of tourism and recreation: Environment, place and space. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Hanefeld, J., Horsfall, D., Lunt, N. and Smith, R., 2013. Medical tourism: a cost or benefit to the NHS?. PLoS One, 8(10), p.e70406.
Kim, W., Jun, H.M., Walker, M. and Drane, D., 2015. Evaluating the perceived social impacts of hosting large-scale sport tourism events: Scale development and validation. Tourism Management, 48, pp.21-32.
Mason, P., 2015. Tourism impacts, planning and management. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Mok, C., Sparks, B. and Kadampully, J., 2013. Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Nicolas Franqos, 21, July, 2015. The 4CI’s (Contemporary Issues) in the Hospitality Industry. Retrieved from: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4071106.html
Nunkoo, R. and Gursoy, D., 2016. Political trust and residents’ support for alternative and mass tourism: an improved structural model. Tourism Geographies, pp.1-22.
Page, S.J., 2014. Tourism management. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Saha, S. and Yap, G., 2013. The moderation effects of political instability and terrorism on tourism development: a cross-country panel analysis. Journal of Travel Research, p.0047287513496472.
Sharma, A., Da Motta, V.E., Choi, J.G. and Altman, N.S., 2016. Economic production in hospitality and tourism industry: how do we compare to other services?. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(5).7
Shipway, R. and Fyall, A. eds., 2013. International sports events: Impacts, experiences and identities. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge.
Stylidis, D., Biran, A., Sit, J. and Szivas, E.M., 2014. Residents` support for tourism development: The role of residents` place image and perceived tourism impacts. Tourism Management, 45, pp.260-274.
Suntikul, w. (2016). Tourism and political change. [Erscheinungsort nicht ermittelbar], Goodfellow Publishers Lim.
Tang, C.F. and Abosedra, S., 2014. The impacts of tourism, energy consumption and political instability on economic growth in the MENA countries. Energy Policy, 68, pp.458-464.
Vanhove, N. (2012). Economics of Tourism Destinations. Manitoba, Canada: Routledge
Wenming, L.I., 2013. An Evaluation on the E-Commerce Internet Marketing Function of 17 UK Local Municipal Governments` Official Tourism Websites. International Journal of Advancements in Computing Technology, 5(4).