Successes and failures of London as a tourist destination
Over the years London has become one of the top visited capitals in the world and that itself is a success. It makes about 15million per annum (Visit London, 2006a). London attracts visitors from every part of the word. It has managed to be able to host any kind of customer. More than 70% of customers visiting the UK use London as their gateway to other places they may want to go (Visit London, 2006b), being very well linked with the rest of England is a great benefit. (Cooper C, 2008, tourism principals and practice, fourth edition, Pearson education, England, p501) Never the less London has achieved this because it has focused and shown care about tourism. London has created many types of council such as the first visitors’ council for tourism and many non-profit organizations that help with sustaining tourism. (Lane B, 2004, tourism collaboration and partnership: politics, practice and sustainability, channel view publications, England, p189). However the growth of tourism and the overpopulation have also created problems for the capital and its people which we will look at in this essay. London is a capital of mixed cultures; therefore people have come to know how they need to treat each traveller. It is suitable for younger ages, families’, elderly couples, etc. there is something there for everyone.
It offers a wide verity of products within small distances. (London, official guide, 2011, time out publications, p 5-10) London has a privilege of understanding what customers need and that is one of the reasons all its attractions are so famous. A perfect destination has to be easily accessible, easy to get around and not hard to find what u wants. London attracts tourists for a verity of reasons such as food, shopping leisure (attractions) etc. (Page S, 2006, Tourism a modern synthesis, Thomson learning, p48). London has been dealing with tourist for a number of years and therefore has come to understand what captivates them. As a capital it can have something that captivates any age and personality. London imports products from all over the world, people that can afford it visit London especially to go shopping. London is considered to be one of the most visited places for shopping after the USA. It also has a very good way of advertising and promoting its products. (Page S, 2006, Tourism a modern synthesis, Thomson learning, p48) what is special is that at the same time it has a lot of history and culture to offer. Many capitals can offer thing such as shopping, food etc. but not many have so much history and interesting culture to offer.
London has many historic site, monuments and museums of all kinds. London is very well mapped, and uses a verity of languages for instructions and tours. For e.g. many attractions have headphone where customers can listen to guide walking through the attraction. Most of these places will offer this in more than five languages. (Hampton court leaflet). Trains and buses are very easy to use and there are maps of the tubes all over London. (London, the official guide, 2010, time out publications,) It is very important for a destination to be well mapped as this effects the visitors stay hugely. If travellers can get around easily than they will see all that is worth seeing and make the most of their holiday. However transport can be very expensive but we will come back to that. London has also managed to become more tourism friendly. It offers a wide range of attractions that can be visited for free and there are many hostels based around London. (www.visitbritain.com/en/freelondon, visit Britain copyright 2010) As mentioned before maps and guides are translated to many languages.
London has also become safer. Areas of London such as Suffolk where dangerous areas and with not a lot of interest but over the last twenty five years they have managed to become safe and in the centre of attention. As mentioned before London has worked with tourists for many years and accepts all cultures, for e.g. depending on the visitor religion thy can where what they would in their country, there are all types of churches for religious reasons. It is very easy to find specific dietary needs such as vegetarians or halal meat. London is also visited by many because of its sexuality acceptance. Someone gay wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. There are many places within London made for homosexuals, such as bars, restaurants etc. reasons like this make London easy to visit and exiting. (www.visitlondon.com/attractions/shopping-luxury-shopping-london) As much as London has become popular and attracts many tourists it has influenced the local resident’s type of life a lot. With tourists coming in the country the demand on products and leisure has grown very much making the expense of the products go up. This is making the local residence living more expensive. It is also harder for them to get to the attraction or get hold of the products they want because of the huge demand from tourists.
Big numbers of tourist also influence everyday activities such as the roads been too crowded or the public transport being too busy. (Lane B, 2004, tourism collaboration and partnership: politics, practice and sustainability, channel view publications, p184). The capital has also aloud so much to be built for tourist because of the comfort of the income that has managed to disturb local residence and make them feel uncomfortable at their home ground. (Wood P, 1992, London problems of change, Harlow Longman, selected text fragments) This is something that many destinations have failed to prevent. The income generated from tourism in some destinations such as London is so big and grows so fast that people don’t realising what is happening to their land. It is very important to sustain tourism, there is no need for many things to be built. Destinations should be visited for what they are and not because of what people are trying to build to make it look bigger and better. Another failure is the expense of products in general and especially for transport. Nowadays most travellers are working class people and many of the make sacrifices so that they can go on holiday. They cannot afford the prices within central London that is why the people are going back to carrying pack lunches etc.
London is one of the most expensive capitals in the world for transport. If prices of transport in London where reasonable, areas around London would benefit as well. People wouldn’t mind travelling to a place that interests them. Now people go in to London for a day and don’t travel to the surrounding areas because of the expense of transport. (Lane B, 2004, tourism collaboration and partnership: politics, practice and sustainability, channel view publications, p184-9) Some things that can’t really be changed but can only try and be prevented are the weather and the violence. Many customers will choose not to visit London because of the weather. Over the years England has become famous for the uncertain and student weather changes. Weather is very important for most tourists and especially nowadays that when people take their holiday the majority want to visit a place with nice beaches and lots of sun. They will also have second thoughts because of the crime rates in London. Especially during the summer season when the roads are very crowded and dangerous.
This happens in many capitals but it is still a cause for loosing tourism. London being very crowded mixed cultural and in the middle of attention also makes it a terrorist target which is also a reason why many people would not visit London. These where some of London’s the success and failures, there are many more. What we can see is that London as a destination is balanced to a right level. Failures don’t take over and that is very important. As history was always written not just by the locals but from peoples visits to parts of the word it is very important that a destination gives a good impression to its visitors and at the same time maintain a good way of life for the local people. Only then a destination can be successful. It is very important for destinations to understand that if they start forgetting to look after the residence in tourist attracting areas, the locals themselves will turn against tourism.
(Cooper C, 2008, tourism principals and practice, fourth edition, Pearson education, England, p501) (Lane B, 2004, tourism collaboration and partnership: politics, practice and sustainability, channel view publications, p189). (London, official guide, 2011, time out publications, p 5-10) (London, the official guide, 2010, time out publications)
(Page S, 2006, Tourism a modern synthesis, Thomson learning, p48) (Visit London, 2006a)
(Visit London, 2006b)
(Wood P, 1992, London problems of change, Harlow Longman, selected text fragments) (www.visitlondon.com/attractions/shopping-luxury-shopping-london) (www.visitbritain.com/en/freelondon, visit Britain copyright 2010
Successes and failures of London as a tourist destination