1. INTRODUCTION This report seeks to firstly research the definition of a tourist. The report will further continue explore and define a specific alternative tourism with a specific type of segment suitable to the alternative tourism chosen. Academic sources such as books, journals, magazines, magazines and databases will be used to analyze and interpret the data researched. Finally, the report will include a conclusion briefly clarify the findings of the report and thus include issues and recommendations. 1 2. TOURIST CLASSIFICATION
World Tourism Organization (WTO) perceive a tourist as an individual who either travels domestically or internationally whose purpose is to travel to an destination alternative to his or her own home environment for a duration of at least one night whereas additionally the destination does not disburse for the costs of the individuals (World Tourism Organization, 1995, pg. 1,4,5). A tourist is seen in various different ways, an alternative insight of how a tourist is seen from different perspective is seen by Reisinger Y. & Turner L. W. 2002) who describes a tourist in to two different categories, mainly nominal and operational tourist. Whereas nominal is an individual who visits a region for pleasure i. e recreational and friends/families with a minimum length of stay for 24 hours. Operational tourist however is an individual who is overseas in a particular destination for a minimum of 24 hours and maximum 12 months whilst is culturally different momentarily (Reisinger Y. & Turner L. W. , 2002, pg. 37). This is further reinforced by Loannides D. & Debbage K. G. (1998) but with a slight difference where the time frames are excluded.
Reflecting on the both definitions there are issues within the specific determinants. Murphy P. E. & Murphy A. E (2004) argues that WTO’s definition does not consider the boundaries of “environment of their homes” and the “reimbursement of tourists trips”. Considering today’s globalization, vast people have the possibility to have several “homes” located in different parts of the world, what exactly is then considered as “home”? Furthermore, individuals who have their trips sponsored by organizations, such as the Olympic Games and their athletes, should the athletes in these occasions not be considered as tourists? Murphy P. E. & Murphy A. E, 2004, pg. 12) Alternatively, over the past decades the word “tourist” has had some major changes in its meaning parallel to the progression of the tourism industry. Bhatia A. K. (2006) perceives different ways of how dictionaries classify tourists which in 1800’s was referred to be “a person who travels for traveling, out of curiosity, and because he has nothing better to do”. Emphasizing the “curiosity” and “nothing better to do” contradicts Reisinger Y. & Turner L. W. 2002) and World Tourism Organization (1995) where the tourist is explained by these authors to have a purpose, which is occasionally pleasure; taking in to account the time frames and destinations rather than “nothing to do” (Bhatia A. K. , 2006, pg. 55). However, there have been some progressions on the term and it was not until the year 1937 where the League of Nations established a solid meaning to the word tourist, which was later on, verified by the United Nations for statistical purposes of vast various countries. A few explanations, which were mentioned, were the following; -? -? Person traveling for pleasure, for domestic reasons, for health etc. Person traveling for business purposes 2 -? -? Persons coming to establish a residence in the country Travelers passing through a country without stopping, even if the journey takes more than 24 hours” (Bhatia A. K. , 2006, pg. 56) Previous mentioned explanations above have been affiliating tourists to a behavior wise perspective. Although there are vast several of industries nowadays, naturally a view of perspective will eventually derive from these which are then recognized by Theobald W. F. (1998) and MacCannell D. (1999).
Theobald W. F. (1998) distinguishes by economical perspectives where he includes funds terms mentioning “a tourist is a person traveling outside of his/her normal routine – either normal living or normal working routine – who spends money” whereas MacCannell D. (1999) further emphasizes the economical terms by referring tourists as mainly middle-class individuals. By “routine” from Theobald W. F. (1998) perspective he takes in to account that individuals may actually have a second home in an alternative region which was mentioned before as an issue in World Tourism Organization (1995) viewpoint (Theobald W.
F. , 1998, pg. 25) (MacCannell D. , 1999, pg. 1). Moving on to the present modern era, vast strategies have been implemented by businesses to market segment tourists. Today, distinction between groups and individuals have been seen as “allocentric” and “psychocentric” and at the same time segmented based on their background of different types of lifestyles (Gartner W. C. & Lime D. W. , 2000, pg. 245). 3. GEOTOURISM In the 1990s, Geotourism was used in several terms of meanings. It was used and researched frequently in the United Kingdom but it was not until in 2002 where Jonathan B.
Tourtellot defined and introduced the Geotourism concept publicly in one of his articles within National Geographic Traveler Magazine (Edgell D. L. , 2006, pg. 7) (Burek C. V. & Prosser C. D. , 2008, pg. 37). Geotourism resembles characteristics of sustainable tourism but it is a concept that goes beyond sustainable in the sense of alternatively sustaining, geotourism essentially enhances the components of the specific destinations. The main component of this new type of concept consists of place, heritage, aesthetics, culture, environment and the well being of the inhabitants.
Geotourism benefits from; synergistic characteristics, where the geographical aspects of the location works together to create an experience, economical benefits of the location, where local products/services are emphasized and educational benefits for both natives and visitors (Wurzburger R. & Pattakos A. , 2010, pg. 46). Moreover, it does not only provide tourists an impeccable experience through the main components of geotourism but the idea is to enable individuals to gain knowledge and 3 nderstanding of geology and by doing so it increases the impact of geotourism and creates awareness of preservations of the essential characteristics described above (Bennett M. R. , 1996, pg. 207). Recognition on the importance of geotourism has been progressed over the past decade, hence National Geographic constructed a geotourism charter which detail describes and defines the requirements of characteristics of destinations to nations, states, provinces, international organizations etc. to follow in order to utilize a framework which promotes geotourism, this infamous charter is listed in Appendix 1.
The chart also creates a community with members that implement the stated strategies and principles to determine future goals of destinations (National Geographic, 2010). Distinguishing geotourism from the similarities of sustainable and ecotourism with an example, in a typical tourism where a tourist is in search for sightseeing, the tourist would most probably affiliate themselves with a typical tour bus taking them to the most notable sites. On the other hand, tourists within sustainable tourism would be in the same principle on a bus but with a vehicle driving on eco-friendly gas.
However, under geotourism, a tourist would stroll around, roam the side streets and explore the destination themselves which would not have usually been explored (Wurzburger R. & Pattakos A. , 2010, pg. 51-52). The next questions that goes in mind is who exactly are these people that follows this type of travel habits? The answer is, everyone, everyone in this world does this type of traveling occasionally but to be precise, there is a specific segment that is called the “The Geotourists” which will be further discussed in the next topic. 4. THE GEOTOURISTS
The geotourists are groups and individuals who are well aware of their surroundings. They intend to seek for distinctive and culturally authentic destinations which protect and preserve its place, heritage, aesthetics, culture, environment and the well-being of the inhabitants. The geotourists in general is a broad phrase, thus the geotourists is separated in to three groups. They all share the same similarities i. e. psychological, visions and goals but are demographically different, mainly Good Citizens, Geo-savvys and Urban Sophisticates (Wurzburger R. & Pattakos A. , 2010, pg. 46)(Bennett M.
R. , 1996, pg. 217-219). -? Good Citizens These individuals are well educated, consist of people who are more elderly of the three groups and the annual salaries is approximated to be $75,000 per household. Their perception of environmental and cultural importance is derived from their everyday life which makes them the perfect candidates as geotourists. They are the most potential individuals who would be willing to buy and pay more from organizations that donate to charities and protect properties. They also donate funds themselves to organizations preserving and protecting destinations.
National parks are no exception when it comes to good citizens, study shows that they support controlling access to national parks and preservation of 4 public lands (Chafe Z. , 2005, pg. 2-3)(Travel Industry Association of America, 2002, pg. 4)(Bennett M. R. , 1996, pg. 217-219) -? Geo-savvys Age wise, they are opposite to good citizens as they are young where the majority are under 35 years old. They well educated and are considered more adventurous which is seen where geo-savvys lives in large cities. How does geo-savvys then fit in as geotourists?
Studies show that geo-savvys prefer to explore educational, historical and cultural rich destinations and they are the ones that are the most environmental conscious which makes them sensitive to what company they travel with (Travel Industry Association of America, 2002, pg. 4)(Bennett M. R. , 1996, pg. 217-219). -? Urban sophisticates The urban sophisticates tend to have a very strong preference to social and cultural features of travel, similar to good citizens. They are highly educated, live in large urban areas and profession wise, majority of these individuals would hold an executive or managerial jobs.
Reflecting to their cultural preferences, their travel habits confirms this when the urban sophisticates seek destinations that offer high class accommodations and dining, authentic historical sites with cultural fine art attractions which means exploring extraordinary and appealing locations. They also choose to travel with companies that put emphasis on cultural aspects of destinations (Bennett M. R. , 1996, pg. 209-210) (Travel Industry Association of America, 2002, pg. 4). Summarizing the characteristics of a “geotourist” the table below illustrates a detailed description on geotourists socio-economic and trip variables.
Socio-economic variable Age Sex Education Occupational status Occupation Annual income Middle aged (25-50) Male/Female Well educated – University level Full-time Executive or Managerial jobs Approximated $75,000 Annually per household 5 Family composition Party composition Trip Variable Varies from single to families Usually with travel agencies – groups Season or trip period Trip duration Trip distance Purpose of trip Varies accordingly to destinations Depending on travel agencies/companies package deals N/A Place, heritage, aesthetics, culture, environment and the ell-being of the inhabitants Mode of transportation Expenditures Walking, eco-friendly transportations Donations, economic friendly companies and transportations, travel companies that show emphasis on preservation/enhancement of destinations, high class accommodations and dining, authentic historical sites with cultural fine art attractions, educational, historical, cultural activities, adventurous activities, national parks Type of accommodation High-class accommodations Having geotourists clarified, where do these people travel?
Which destinations suit the geotourists best? In the next section, one specific location based on the destination features and why it is ideal for geotourists will be further discussed. 5. JAPAN – NIKKO Nikko is a holy pilgrim town over a thousand years old which was established in 766 by a Buddhist named Shodo-shonin who built a hermitage on top of the mount Nikko (Dodd J. & Richmond S. , 2001, pg. 182). Additional with its well-protected temples located in a mountainous public park, Nikko has progressively gained a stronger importance over the past decades.
A Toshogu Shrine was built along with various other architectural masterpieces that are regarded today as part of Japan’s national treasures (The Rotarian, 1977, pg. 32). Additionally, in 1999, the mausoleums of Nikko, nearby buildings to the mausoleums and historical masterpieces were registered as a World Heritage Site that consists of in total nine national treasures, 103 buildings and 94 important cultural properties. The main reason to the registering of Nikko as a World Heritage Site was mainly due to the pieces of work was the masterpieces of Japan’s seventeenth century greatest artists and as Nikko was a vital political destination. Today, the mausoleums are the most expensive buildings in Japan (Young D. & Young M. , 2007, pg. 136-137). Nikko is also recognized for its natural beauty of waterfalls, hills, hot springs and general environment which are all well preserved especially with the 96-metre water fall and an indigo blue gem lake surrounded by maple-covered hills and mountains (The Rotarian, 1977, pg. 32). 6. GEOTOURISM AND GEOTOURISTS RELATION TO NIKKO
The growing awareness of geotourism has been recognized as the market of the geotourism is still in its growing process and far from its maturity. This is seen accordingly by Euromonitor International (2009) which confirm Japanese statistics in 2008 that geotourism related features such as national parks, natural environmental beauties and spas, have continuously still the largest part of visitors corresponding to 934 million visitors, totaling 67 % of the Japanese market, as seen underneath by the statistic table (Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 1). Table 2 ? 00 people 2003 Art galleries Casinos Circuses Historic buildings/sites Museums National parks/areas of natural beauty Theatres Theme/amusement parks Zoos/aquariums Other tourist attractions Total Source: Tourist Attractions Visitors by Sector: 2003-2008 2004 32. 4 37. 8 63. 9 908. 1 62. 3 111. 7 55. 9 91. 5 1,363. 6 2005 32. 2 38. 1 64. 3 914. 5 62. 3 106. 0 51. 9 100. 7 1,370. 1 2006 32. 0 38. 4 64. 6 920. 0 62. 6 112. 2 51. 6 91. 9 1,373. 3 2007 31. 8 38. 6 64. 9 930. 6 62. 9 111. 4 51. 9 92. 2 1,384. 3 2008 31. 6 38. 8 65. 1 933. 9 63. 2 110. 7 52. 2 93. 0 1,388. 4 32. 6 37. 7 63. 7 916. 7 62. 3 104. 6 55. 3 91. 9 1,364. Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 3 Geotourism components such as historical building and sites is expected to grow drastically with a 4% increase of visitors. Therefore, Nikko, which offers these national parks, natural environmental beauties, historical building and sites makes it an ideal destination for geotourists (Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 3). Additionally to geotourism, cultural aspects of geotourism has a very strong market in Japan with a leading destination market of visitors seeking activities such as enjoying nature and outdoor activities which Nikko possessess (Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. ). Moving on to in terms of domestic market, the Kanto region which Nikko belongs to, accounted for 25 % of the domestic trips in 2008 making it the largest recipient of visitors as seen in the statistical table next page. Despite the recent 7 economic slowdown, it is forecasted that the market is still yet to grow (Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 3). Table 1 ‘000 trips 2003 Chugoku Hokkaido Hokuriku Kanto Kinki Koshinetsu Kyushu Okinawa Shikoku Tohoku Tokai Other domestic tourism destinations Total Source: Domestic Trips by Destination: 2003-2008 2004 18,150. 22,980. 0 13,488. 2 89,652. 8 46,589. 0 23,138. 2 34,713. 4 11,989. 5 10,590. 8 28,937. 2 32,813. 0 333,043. 0 2005 17,177. 5 23,913. 7 12,462. 1 80,123. 6 43,448. 9 22,497. 2 33,600. 2 12,273. 0 10,104. 4 28,937. 2 52,275. 3 336,813. 0 2006 18,429. 1 25,596. 0 13,651. 2 83,786. 9 48,120. 5 23,945. 5 36,708. 1 12,627. 4 11,262. 3 28,937. 2 35,096. 0 338,160. 3 2007 18,182. 0 26,508. 4 13,594. 0 83,841. 3 47,579. 1 23,465. 6 38,063. 3 12,914. 3 11,147. 1 29,567. 0 34,988. 8 339,851. 1 2008 17,891. 1 27,091. 6 13,634. 8 83,740. 6 46,960. 23,090. 1 38,748. 5 13,043. 5 10,901. 9 29,044. 8 35,023. 8 339,17. 4 17,977. 2 22,638. 0 13,649. 4 91,163. 8 46,574. 4 23,391. 7 33,304. 8 11,651. 9 10,486. 7 28,937. 2 33,136. 8 332,912. 0 Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 3 Geotourists as described earlier are very conscious when it comes to economic friendly travel means. The type of travel means further emphasizes the potential market for geotourism in Japan – Nikko where studies shows that the second largest travel preference in Japan is by rail which operates mainly on electricity.
Hence, this diminishes the amount of pollution and has the potential to further attract additionally geotourists to Japan – Nikko (Euromonitor International, 2009, pg. 2). 8 Additionally to the potential success of geotourism, Nikko can be said to be the perfect destination for geotourists as Nikko includes all possible features which a geotourist is seeking for. National Geographic further highlights the importance of Nikko as a geotourism destination as according to a research with vast additional organizations, Nikko was rated the 4th finest geotourism destination in the world (Walljasper J. 2008, pg. 114). To demonstrate these ideal matches of Japan – Nikko and the geotourists traits as explained in previous sections, an illustration beneath is presented in order to gain a more comprehensible picture. Figure 1. 1 Geotourists Demand, Japan – Nikko Features 9 7. CONCLUSION Geotourism has immense potential but it should be recognized that individuals who choose this type of tourism are the ones who has the funds to donate and disburse additional funds with traveling in order to enhance and sustain destinations.
In addition, it is important to notice that the geotourists are well educated and are very well aware of their surroundings. Hence, geotourism would not be relevant for inhabitants in developing countries such as African countries that could be seen overall less educated than western countries. Geotourism locations are hard to enhance if there is no initiative done by the local governments and the importance of the locations is most probably effected by the local inhabitants, thus the attractiveness could be highly dependent by the perception of the local inhabitants.
The locations are also sensitive to the unpredictable and uncontrollable danger of natural disaster, which has the ability to demolish a location within an instance i. e. the tsunami disaster in Thailand. Additionally, the global environmental awareness of pollution related to global warming could be seen as a threat to geotourism as it could destroy the natural beauties of geotourism. Measures that could be taken in to account to solve these mentioned issues is the emergence of organizations which strive to protect and enhance vast destinations i. . Greenpeace. This however needs a huge amount of contribution and participation from both domestic and international governmental and non-governmental organizations. There is no specific solution to natural disasters but with technology it could facilitate and predict national disaster, only by then the possibility of minimizing damages could be achieved. The importance of creating awareness of geology through general education amongst citizens is also a means to facilitate the emphasis of importance with geotourism.
As the enhancement is partially dependent on local and national governments, this would mean initiatives taken by these governmental organizations would most probably be policy making. Policy making by governments has the ability to significantly protect and enhance geotourism purposes and objectives. However, this type of approach could be questioned as the amount of time needed to implement these manners of policies could progress over several years. In contrast, authorial states such as China has the ability to respond and implement policies efficiently with short amount of time.
This is seen where after the SARS incident, the government in Hong Kong forbid spitting and garbage disposal in public places which successfully transformed Hong Kong to a overall improved hygienic and preserved setting, not following this would however lead to a significant amount of fine (Laws E. & Prideaux B. , 2005, pg. 110). 10 8. REFERENCES Bennett M. R. (1996). Geology on your doorstep: the role of urban geology in earth heritage conservation. Bath: The Geological Society. Bhatia A. K. (2006). The Business of Tourism: Concepts and Strategies.
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