Developing a suitable combination of these factors is at the heart of tourism planning. Attractions
Tourists are motivated to leave their normal place of residence (the origin market) and travel to destinations. What they are actually travelling to can be considered the attraction base of the destination area. A tourist attraction is a place of interest that tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities. Some examples include historical places, monuments, zoos, museums and art galleries, botanical gardens, buildings and structures (e.g. castles, libraries, former prisons, skyscrapers, bridges), national parks and forests, theme parks and carnivals, ethnic enclave communities, historic trains and cultural events. Many tourist attractions are also landmarks. Tourist attractions are also created to capitalise on unexplained phenomena such as a supposed UFO crash site near Roswell, New Mexico and the alleged Loch Ness monster sightings in Scotland. Ghost sightings also make tourist attractions.
Attractions also include the activities (another ‘A’) that can be undertaken at the destination. These may be physical, for example, diving and white water rafting or they may be passive, for example, sunbaking and relaxing on a beach. Access
Transport is needed to physically move tourists from where they live to where they are visiting. Globally, air transport dominates the movement of international visitors. In Australia roads and private motor vehicles serve as significant forms of access. Sealed roads offer greater opportunities for vehicle access. A healthy ground touring sector, either day or extended coach tours, is also required to serve the needs of tourists who prefer not to transport themselves. Accommodation
All destinations need accommodation nearby otherwise tourists will have nowhere to sleep. This seems basic enough but investors will only invest in accommodation infrastructure if there is sufficient economic return. Many areas of Australia are blessed with excellent attractions and are readily accessible but (for a whole range of reasons) lack tourist accommodation. In recent years the market has seen a proliferation of accommodation types from basic camping and backpacking facilities to mega-resorts. Successful accommodation development, more then ever before, depends on building the right type of facility to suit the needs of a profitable segment of the market. Amenities
Amenities are the services that are required to meet the needs of tourists while they are away from home. They include public toilets, signage, retail shopping, restaurants and cafes, visitor centres, telecommunications and emergency services. Because many of the amenities are government services delivered by local, state and national agencies, a high degree of co-operation is needed, particularly where tourist services may be seen to be competing with the needs of local residents. Awareness
Having the best attractions, access, accommodation and amenities in the world is totally useless if the awareness factor is missing. Awareness in this sense has three meanings. Firstly, the local population must have a positive attitude (another A) toward tourism. If the local community sees “tourists as terrorists” then this will have a negative impact. Secondly, those in the front line of tourism, that is, those who directly interface with tourists must have strong, positive attitudes towards tourists. This includes the shops, post offices, road houses and the many other businesses that come in contact with tourists, not just the hotels and restaurants. In all a local community must be made aware of the value of tourism. The third plank in the awareness platform is market awareness. The destination or more importantly, the destination’s image must be a strong, positive one and firmly implanted in the tourist’s mind
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Topic: 5 A’s of tourism
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