|Essay (Individual Work) 1,000 words|
|The essay is to be submitted on LMS via Turnitin|
|Grading Criteria and Feedback|
|See section below for detailed Grading Criteria.|
|Description of Task|
You are required to prepare a 1,000 word essay on the topic below:
“When strong seasonal variations are part of the normal annual tourism cycle of a destination, a large amount of economic and social disruption can occur if appropriate compensating measures are not taken by tourism managers” (Weaver and Lawton, 2014, p. 241)
Specific requirements for the Essay:
Seasonality in the sector of tourism is a characteristic which is certainly faced by every tourist country over the world. The number of visitors and tourists going to a tourist destination face immense fluctuations due to this aspect. Resultant, in peak and shoulder seasons, these tourist destinations have visitors and tourists beyond their accommodation capacity. While, the off season months face a tremendous fall in the number of the visitors and tourists to these destinations.
Due to seasonality issue, every tourist destination faces immense social and economic disruption. To compensate the disruption effective strategies are necessary to be taken by the tourism managers at these tourist destinations. The given report discusses the seasonality problem faced in the country of London and the kind of disruptions faced. Later on, the strategies that could be taken by the tourism managers as compensating measures are discussed.
Seasonality in London
London has both international and domestic tourism market. The seasonality is affecting the international tourism market and not the domestic market. The tourism sector for London is highly boosted in the July month as per past statistics. For the month of July the occupancy rates in the London’s hotels have been the highest. The month with lowest of occupancy had been January (Fernández-Morales, Cisneros-Martínez, and McCabe, 2016).
If the information is analysed quarter wise for London, the first quarter is entirely an off season. In terms of nights spent in London, number of trips and total spending, the first quarter is on the lower end. The seasonal trend is not even reached in second quarter, yet the tourism business goes better than quarter 1. Season is in the highest peak in quarter 3, when the number of visits in London as well as the spending both is considered. As far as quarter 4 is discussed, the peak trend however is not touched, yet the business goes well (Duro, and Turrión-Prats, 2019).
Problems caused due to seasonality in tourism
Multiple economic and social disruptions occur due to the seasonality issue in tourism. The problems of seasonality do not impact the tourist destination alone, but the tourists also. The problem is major because the peak season of tourism has demanded business expansion of tourism, while the off season calls for adaptation to demand fluctuations. These fluctuations are not easily adapted by these expanded tourist businesses (Vergori, 2017).
A major tourist destination like London is facing several economic impacts due to seasonality concern. There is a huge loss of profit to the tourism business managers because of severe fluctuations in demand. The revenues are seasonal, and in the off season a lack of revenue causes lost profitability (Coccossis, and Mexa, 2017). The capital invested by these tourist managers gets stuck in the business in the off season, which cannot be drawn back even. The fixed costs continue to occur even in the off season, which get no chances of recovery. The tourist capacity as created according to the peak season remains underutilized. Lack of tourism business leads to unemployment and brings instability in the labour market.
In seasonal months, the tourist traffic gets so high that the tourism managers are not able to tackle the traffic. Over capacity utilization in peak season brings harassment of the natural resources of the destination. Chances of pollution get high. The socio cultural impacts too are beyond control. The tourist attractions remain congested, with overcrowding on streets, congestion in traffic, parking problems, longer service queues, costlier community services, danger to cultural environment and etc. (Coccossis, and Mexa, 2017).
The tourists and visitors also get affected adversely. The level of entertainment is lowered owing to overcrowding, high priced services, lower alternative availability and etc. these problems kind of affect the tourists to think negatively about the tourist destination.
Compensating measures to be taken by tourist managers
The seasonality in the tourism sector does not come like a surprise every year. The ability to predict the seasonality is very much possible. Seasonality is a pattern wherein the months of off season are already known as a result of past years’ statistics. Planning to combat with seasonality is hence not difficult. Though seasonality cannot be eliminated fully, yet the problem can be controlled to some extent.
The three basic strategies which can help are:
1. Raising demand in the off season
This can be done by offering promotional or discount offers in the off season. The tourist managers must provide attractive and cheap offers to the tourists who wish to travel other than in peak season. Planning must be done in advance to decide upon the quantum of market to be attracted. Additional facilities in off season must be provided to off-set the characteristics hampering the tourism demand in that particular season (Terry, 2018). Educational tours, spa packages, unique accommodation, sporting and adventure must be differentiated to make them more attractive. Marketing tactics and campaigns must be prepared keeping in mind the set of market segment to be attracted. This calls for a great help from the state and local government as well.
2. Reducing peak season demands
The best way of doing this is making the peak season packages and other services expensive. Making utilities expensive shall automatically discourage people from spending on visiting tourist destination in peak season. The entrance fees levied on popular spots at tourist’s destination must be raised (Ladkin, 2018).
To prevent tourists from overcrowding at ecologically protected areas or at congested locations, the tourism packages must incorporate proper planning. The transport facilities must be efficiently managed. The involvement and corporation of people working at both public and private level is necessary to successfully incorporate and monitor the implemented strategies (Hung, Lin, and Hsueh, 2018).
Seasonality is controllable upto certain extent. It is important for the tourist managers to seek for right strategies to handle this. More than implementation of strategy, it is important for tourist managers to get things under the knowledge of government as well to seek their uninterrupted support. Before taking any step, the pros and cons of the same must be necessarily analysed to overcome any severity ahead.