Decline of Coastal Resorts as Holiday Destinations
Coastal resorts thrive on the ability of individuals to avail time and resource to travel to the locations and spend time enjoying the exotic and enticing climate and sandy beaches during favorable timings during the year. As a result, most destinations normally experience high and low periods owing to the difference in climatic seasons of the year. In the UK, the existence of coastal resorts as a destination for tourists and holiday goers is a longstanding phenomenon owing to the existence of extreme weather in the form of winters and summers.
Over the past years, the patronage of these resorts has significantly dropped. The lowered level of usage of such resorts has been attributed to by a catalogue of factors. Agarwal & Shaw (2007) asserted that the seaside resorts have been viewed as diminutive in potential and termed as residual by most newspapers. In the face of novel and more comprehensive holiday packages, seaside destinations lack the competitiveness that is primary to survival.
Cooper (1997) and Watson (2000) cited in Agarwal & Shaw (2007) noted the decline of number of visitors from 7 million in 1950 to just over 300,000 in 2005. These factors are borne out of actions and omissions of both the holiday-goers and the management structures of the holiday resorts as discussed hereunder.
Contemporary tourism culture entailed visits to exotic and novel destinations which could only be provided by nature (Hall & Page, 2006). As a result, the climatic conditions and characteristics of the coastal region earmarked it as a favorite destination for most holiday goers. As postulated by Walton (2000) the perceived health-giving characteristics and scenic beauty of the coastal topography attracts even the most unadventurous of all. Over the year, development in technology and advancement in the global scenario has enabled humans to change their demands and preferences.
Most people are attracted to scientifically engineered destinations in the form of spa which provide atmospheric conditions developed to resemble those of a coastal destination. Their all year availability has lessened the need to visit an overcrowded coastal destination during the summer season (Hall & Page 2006). Consequently, spas have a larger catalogue of services in addition to being safer and more secure.
The ability to afford a holiday at the coastal destination is based on the capacity to save and avail funds for the activity (Butler, 2006). The overall economic outlook of a country hugely determines the power of the citizens to afford such luxuries. However, recent years have witnessed a significant increase in unemployment and growth in populations. The reduced income levels have in turn contributed to the transiency of the residents as many of the young unemployed people search for jobs and a form of sustenance. Augmented house prices reduce the amount of disposable income available to the households for use in luxurious visits to the coastal resorts as well. For this reason, people have found better ways of spending their free time and most individuals will actually engage in income-generating activities rather than visit a holiday destination at the coast.
According to the Great Britain: Parliament (2006), in spite of the fact that reliance on rail transport has prevailed over the decades as the most appropriate mode of transport, the use of the car as a means of access overtook the extension of railways to the specific locations. The use of railway lines was appropriate owing to the even distribution of the population across the towns and countryside. However, urbanization and development has necessitates migration to towns in search of economic empowerment, leaving the countryside less populated. As a result, most holiday goers are located near towns which are more often far from the coastal regions. According to Walton (2000), over the years, amplification in the number of visitors has greatly compromised the availability of parking space and service facilities for car users. As a result, the local and central authorities have been blames for their inability to provide ample facilities to ease the transportation to and from the holiday destinations at the coast.
Hall & Page (2006) postulated that the changing social and cultural values of the British population have also affected the attractiveness of seaside destinations as a prime location for holiday goers. The expansive seaside provides a wide range of opportunities for holiday goers as well as people with ill-motives. Over the years, the prevalence of drug use among other undesirable activities in the coast has lessened the number of people of people wiling to make the coastal regions their choice for a holiday (Lück, 2008). Parents are wary of exposing their children to such evils, and worse still during the holiday.
The inability of the managers at the holiday resorts to innovate and stay ahead of competition has come under sharp focus. Beach resorts have offered the same catalogue of services over the years thus lessening the satisfaction of revisits and value for money as asserted by Butler (2006). On the other hand, holiday destinations of other sorts have increased their product catalogue and entered into strategic partnerships in order to improve the satisfaction emanating from visitation to their locations. As a result, the utility drawn from the coastal destinations has lessened significantly and has been overtaken by other options available in close proximity and at competitive prices.
Agarwal, S & Shaw, G. , 2007. Managing Coastal Tourism Resorts: A Global Perspective Volume 34 of Aspects of Tourism. New York: Multilingual Matters
Butler, R., 2006. The Tourism Area Life Cycle: Conceptual and theoretical issues
Volume 2 of The Tourism Area Life Cycle. New York: Channel View Publications
Great Britain: Parliament. 2006., Coastal Towns: Written Evidence Volume 2 Of Coastal Towns . London: The Stationery Office
Hall, C. M. & Page, S., 2006. The Geography of Tourism and Recreation: Environment, Place and Space Geography and Tourism. New York: Routledge
Lück, M., 2008. The Encyclopedia of Tourism and Recreation in Marine Environments
Cabi Series. Wallingford: CABI
Sharma, K. K., 2004. World Tourism Today. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons
Walton, J. K., 2000. The British Seaside: Holidays and Resorts in the Twentieth Century
Studies in Popular Culture . Manchester University Press
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