Tourism Theories and Wet n Wild Water ParkTourism theory recognizes in most destinations, the tourist attractions belong to a hierarchy. According to the theory, the hierarchy should be organized in a manner in which tourists get attracted and travel to visit them, that is, what the degree of compulsion the tourists feel for the attraction site, activity or practice. The attractions should have demand generation capacities which define the number of tourists to be attracted.
If the demand generation capacity is high, then more tourists will be attracted by the activity or the attraction site. If it is low then not many people will be drawn to the site (McKercher and Du Cros 2002: 109).The highest ranked activity of a tourism attraction attracts people and the low ranked just plays the role of entertaining or engaging tourists but not to draw them from their various areas to the tourist attraction site. This theory indicates that attractions can be motivators to selection of a destination by people and therefore an intrinsic part of a trip or they can be just the activities tourists engage in, after reaching a destination (McKercher and Du Cros 2002: 109).
The hierarchy consist of primary, secondary and tertiary attractions.Another theory indicates that a tourist attraction should have three elements as a system. The three elements are; a central element or a nucleus, a human element or a tourist and an informative element or a marker (Hinch and Higham: 24). Leiper describes an attraction site as one that has to have all the three elements connected.
The human element consist of the people who travel from their respective homes due to leisure related factors motivation. The tourists therefore develop a behavior motivated by the tourist attraction. The central element is the site where the tourist will have their experience. For example if the tourist attractions are sporting attractions, then the attributes of the sporting activity constitute the center of attraction (Hinch and Higham: 25).
Leiper also indicates that tourist attractions play so many roles in tourists’ experience. He notes that this is through a combination of nuclei that a tourist would like to experience and the hierarchy that the different nuclei belong to. Some nuclei are more important than others in influencing decisions made by visitors to travel for that attraction activity or to the site. An attraction system would therefore have a major attraction activity and several others done when the tourists come to visit the most important nuclei (Hinch and Higham: 25).
The hierarchy according to Leiper, concurs with the previously discussed hierarchy that has primary, secondary and tertiary attractions. Primary attractions are those that influence tourist decisions to travel and are the main aim of traveling to the tourist attraction site. Secondary attractions are those that the tourists find at the site but do not influence their decisions to visit the tourist attraction site. Tertiary attractions are also known to the tourists on arrival and serve as entertainments (Hinch and Higham: 250).
The third element in a tourist attraction site is the marker which is what defines the nucleus of attraction. The markers can consciously or unconsciously be positioned as part of the attraction. An example is in sporting activity where advertisements are made showing other tourists involved in the sporting activities of the destination of attraction (Hinch and Higham: 26).Considering Wet n Wild Water Park as a tourist attraction, it conforms to the theories as mentioned.
The theories are almost similar except for the three elements in Leiper’s theory. Wet n Wild Water Park according to the hierarchy of attractions has three primary tourist attractions. The water park itself can also be considered a primary attraction since it is the motivator that makes people decide to travel to Australia to go and have some fun. Tourists know it is a water park and decide on going for the activities of water parks.
There are so many tourist attractions in the world and not all the attractions are visited by every tourist. People have choices and likes, and so if this Wet n Wild Water Park is one of the tourist attractions, and the people know what happens in a water park, then it is the reason why people decide to visit the place. The other attractions that are also primary are such as Buccaneer bay, white water mountains and Extreme H2° Zone. These are part of the water park and draw people to that destination (Llewellyn and Mylne 2008: 348; Llewellyn and Mylne 2004: 352).
Wet n Wild Water Park is an attraction site with water slides, wave pools and other gentle rides. These are the activities that are within the primary attractions (Uden 2005: 158). When a tourist makes a decision to go and visit an attraction site, he/she always have a vague idea about the center just like the one presented above. This general idea guides him/her to make the decision to visit a tourist attraction.
Within Wet n Wild Water Park, there are secondary attractions. These are what make this Wet n Wild Water Park be an attraction site. The secondary attractions contribute to the primary attraction. These though are not known to the tourists until they arrive at the destination and do not at all influence there decision to visit the water park.
They are under each primary attraction and are; Black hole, Mach 5, Tornado and Kamikaze under H2° Zone, River rapids, Terror Canyon and Terror Canyon II in White Water Mountain and several activities in the pirate themed play area for children in Buccaneer (Ashworth et al. 2004: 302).Tertiary are similar to secondary because they are not known before the tourist arrives at the water park, but act as entertainment to the tourists. They consist of activities that tourists engage in when they have arrived.
Wet n Wild Water park in Australia has several of tertiary tourist attractions, these include; rides, several children activities at the buccaneer, Calypso beach, activities at the Mammoth falls, speed coastering, surf riding and many others (Ashworth et al. 2004: 302). There are so many activities offered to the tourists after they arrive that are attractions but do not form part of the main attraction.According to Leiper, tourist attractions should have the tourists, the central element and the markers.
People would always want to visit wet n Wild Water parks at the Gold coast of Australia, therefore it has the tourists. The central elements are the activities that constitute an attraction. For example the central elements in Wet n Wild Water Park are, H2° Zone which has what defines it as an attraction, the white water mountain, river rapids, Terror Canyons and many others. These central elements belong to different hierarchy as has been discussed.
They are the attributes of Wet and Wild Water Park.The last element of Leiper’s theory is the markers which he referred to as the advertisements that make people know the activities of a specific tourist attraction. These in Wet n Wild Water parks are advertisements about what fun families have together in rides, water slides, children activities and so many other activities that tourist engage in (Australia’s Wettest and Wildest Water Parks; Uden 2005: 158). Wet n Wild Water park is for sure a tourist attraction that conforms to the two theories of attraction.
There may be other theories that this Wet n Wild Water Park may conform to. BibliographyAshworth, S., Smitz, P., Bain, B.
and Bedford, N., 2004, Wet n Wild Water Park at The Gold Coast of Australia, North America, Lonely Planet.Australia’s Wettest and Wildest Water Parks. Retrieved on 23rd, October, 2008, from:;;http://travelaustralia.
Hinch, T. and Higham, J. E. S.
, 2004, Sport Tourism Development, Clevedon, Channel View Publications.Llewellyn, M. and Mylne, L., 2008, Australia for Dummies, Australia, For Dummies.
Llewellyn, M. and Mylne, L., 2004. Frommer’s Australia 2005, Australia, For Dummies.
McKercher, B. and Du Cros, H., 2002, Cultural Tourism: The Partnership Between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management, North America, Haworth Press.Uden, T., 2005, BUG Australia 2005: The Backpackers Ultimate Guide, Australia, BUG Backpackers Guide.