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Key Components in the Leisure and Recreation Industry

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 9 (2169 words)
Categories: Art,Industry,Theatre
Downloads: 21
Views: 565

Recreational activities fall into six key components, which in turn are divided into sectors. Some activities will fit into more than one category, and other activities are hard to put into any category, such as bridge clubs- are they a sport or a home based leisure activity ?

The main components are:

* Arts and Entertainment

* Home-based Leisure

* Countryside recreation

* Catering

* Heritage and visitor attractions

* Sports and physical recreation

Arts and Entertainment

This is a huge industry that includes many sectors, they are:

Arts

The arts, apart from commercial cinema and theatre is a precarious industry where losses are easily incurred due to high costs and a very fragmented market.

Sponsorship and grants play an important part in these. The public sector plays the most crucial part in funding arts. At the top is the Arts Council, which in 1999 gave out �188 million in grants. Much of this came from the National Lottery. Some of it was given out to Regional Arts Boards who then fund local projects.

Much of the grant aid is given directly to organisations or individuals.

The Arts Council is not the only national public sector organisation to be involved in the arts. One important group is The British Film Institute (BFI)

which is responsible for supporting film makers, and the promotion of the British film industry. Local authorities play an important role as well. They employ arts development officers who promote the arts locally and will support local artists. Some larger authorities employ established artists in residence, who work in the area promoting their art and creating commissioned pieces. Local Authorities are major providers of galleries and performance space such as town hall stages or community theatres or even parish halls. In some cases, such as the Lyric Theatre at Hammersmith, London is a part owner of a commercial theatre.

Voluntary sector groups also contribute to this sector. Many trusts exist to develop minority arts or provide for specialist audiences. For example, Wolf and Water in Devon is a drama trust dedicated to working with people with special needs.

Entertainment

Classified as entertainment are popular performing arts and spectacles. The voluntary sector is important here as nationwide participation in amateur dramatics and music is a popular pursuit. Public provision is also evident but has changed in recent years. Thirty years ago most town halls and civic entertainments programme of films, theatre and musicals. This has largely disappeared now and has been replaced by events programmes that are organised by various departments. For example, many sports centres will host travelling theatre and ballet companies such as the Royal Exchange Theatre Group, while arts officers will book in tourism exhibitions. In the streets and parks outside, groups are invited to put on events such as the hot-air balloon events in Bristol’s Parks.

It is the private sector that monopolises entertainment. There is a flourishing small-business sector that includes pub entertainments and single artists such as party and street entertainers, but the bulk of the market is contained within three areas: 1.cinemas 2. Theatre 3. Stadia/arenas

Cinema-was very popular in the first half of the 20th century. Then when colour televisions and video players appeared cinemas started to lose there appeal to the public. Cinema companies were not refurbishing their buildings, most of which were built in the 1930’s, and were finding profit by selling them off as bingo halls. Some survived by aiming at niche markets(e.g. Corner House in Manchester). These ‘art house’ cinemas show foreign films. The main market is for commercial English-language films. In the 1980s there was a major review of how films were presented. This resulted in multiplexes being invented. They are equipped with the following features:

* Modern luxurious buildings with high-quality projection and sound

* Multi screens to show move films than one

* Easy access often at out-of-town centres

* Good customer care

The closest multiplex cinema around is the Warner Brothers Village in Longwell Green. This complex has all the features shown above

Theatre-the London theatres are highly profitable with a city audience and a huge tourist market. Even then, they increasingly stick to a formula of musicals or familiar plays with big name actors. For example Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was shown at London’s Palindrome with Michael Ball starring in it. The package largely consists of touring West End shows, nostalgia and tribute bands, comedians and spectacles like circus and ice shows.

The main London Theatre companies are:

* Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

* Ambassador Theatre Group

* Really Useful Theatres

* SFX (Apollo)

Apollo leisure is the leading national chain

Arenas and Stadia- these are large multi-purpose buildings for very large audiences. Arenas(indoor) for example are likely to put on conferences and trade exhibitions as well as concerts, while stadia(outdoor) are designed especially for sport. An example of a stadia is Ashton Gate home to Bristol City Football Club. Many arenas are owned by Local Authorities or development corporations. Good examples of this are the various halls and centres in Birmingham ,including the National Arena.

Sports and physical recreation

These activities can be grouped as follows:

* Informal recreation(play, walking, gardening)

* Competitive sport (football, tennis, golf)

* Outdoor activities (sailing, climbing)

* Health and fitness (jogging, yoga)

Many activities can often be put into more than one category. For example, swimming in the sea is informal, swimming for a club is competitive, swimming in a conventional pool can be seen as health and fitness.

Each component has a different profile in the type of facilities and services it produces.

Informal physical recreation or exercise- this is the most popular activity nationally. Nobody knows the hours children spend playing or adults spend gardening. We pursue these activities because they are cheap, available and don’t require a lot of skill. The enjoyment we get from them often depends on the environment we do them in.

Competitive Sport-most people associate sport with the professional game. This means they are spectators, and it is the spectators money that underpins professional sport. Facilities were often run down to the extent that some were dangerous for crowds, e.g. Hillsborough 1989. Providers have found that profits increase when standards of customer care and corporate hospitality are improved. This has led to the building of a new generation of high-class stadia and race tracks and other facilities where the key services are:

* Presentation of the core event

* Merchandising

* Catering

* Safety and security

Amateur sport is geared around participation and voluntary clubs. As land and buildings are expensive, many clubs use facilities provided by Local Authorities. Many outdoor sports clubs have their own facilities although there is an even greater number of players who use recreation grounds. There are about 78,000 pitches in the country. Thirty years ago amateur sport was largely centred on outdoor team games.

Competitive sport means participation and developing skills and there is a sizeable industry for coaches and instructors. Despite its profile, competitive sport is on the decline and organisations like Sport England are concerned that as a nation we are losing our sporting skills and becoming less fit and healthy. For example, many governing bodies have big school-based programmes, and Local Authorities will run schemes in deprived areas where people cannot afford to play sport or go to health suites.

Outdoor Activities-there are over a thousand centres in the UK which specialise in providing outdoor adventure holidays. Facility provision is also essential for outdoor sports, meaning the upkeep of the environment, and this is regulated by the organisations under the Countryside Agency umbrella, such as the Forestry Commission, Local Authorities or National Trust. For most participants activity in the natural world is occasional, and more time will be spent in training in built facilities such as pools or climbing walls. Profitable areas such as skiing, sailing, private sector companies are the main providers.

Health and Fitness- there are now at least 2,500 private health and fitness clubs in the UK- it is a boom industry that many young people see as the exciting place to work in leisure. Private sector will increasingly dominate the market and eventually also manage and invest in public sector facilities on behalf of Local Authorities.

The central product of these clubs is the fitness room consisting of cardiovascular equipment and perhaps free weights, and frequently areas with small pools, jacuzzis and saunas..

Heritage and visitor attractions

The heritage industry concerns buildings and materials that have historical value. Thirty years ago these were largely stately homes, castles, ruins such as Stonehenge and battlefields. Heritage was often about how the rich and famous had lived or what they had collected, or about culture(e.g. Shakespeare). Now it has expanded to include a much wider interpretation of historical value.

Whether the attraction is a theme park or museum, the organisers will do their best to employ all the techniques of facility management to look after the customer and make the product interesting. In a theme park the excitement of the rides is a key feature and bringing new and more exciting rides brings in more customers. The difference between a visitor attraction and a heritage site is that the latter involves considerable work behind the scenes which the public never sees. The most popular tourist attractions are:

* Museums and galleries- British Museum

* Theme parks- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

* Historic houses and monuments- Tower of London

* Wildlife parks and zoos- London Zoo

Many heritage sites are owned by Trusts and limited companies that have been set up to manage individual sites, while many stately homes are owned and run by two big organisations:

* English Heritage- is the national body responsible for the management, promotion and conservation of 400 archaeological sites and the historic environment

* The National Trust- is a trust set up in 1895 to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty. Its sites include a range from Paul McCartney’s teenage home to stately homes like Waddesdon Manor

Museums-are not usually run by the private sector, largely because of high costs. Many museums started life as private collections which were later donated to the nation or the local community.

Libraries-apart from their lending their services which we will look at later, they are largely involved in the heritage sector. They have a back-room role of collecting important documents including maps, and making these available to the public. This is known as the records and archives service.

Catering

Leisure catering includes pubs and clubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaways. Its firmly placed in the private sector with some exceptions. A catering company provides a service according to the specification of the ‘client’ and often under the client’s name. Many leisure centres and theatres buy in service in this way.

The catering sector has various components that make eating out an enjoyable experience: the provision of food and drink; entertainment, such as jazz at Pizza Express, games; and security in the form of door staff. Eating out is an increasingly important and available leisure experience. The fast-food business is booming with a growth rate of 30 per cent. This growth is at the expense of takeaways and cafes, and especially of pubs and clubs. Fast food tends to be run by chains that can make economies of scale by producing the same product in each outlet. Many breweries have followed this trend and operate chains like Harvester restaurants within their pubs. In contrast cafes, restaurants and takeaways tend to be run and owned by family businesses.

Countryside recreation

The countryside is the natural, national playground and one which is used by walkers, ramblers and those involved in more active outdoor activities. A survey in 1998 by the National Centre for Social Research showed that 1,427 million day visits to the countryside were made and a further 241 million to the coast.

Like any leisure facility such usage will have an impact which in turn will lessen, and even threaten, the leisure experience itself. Organisations working in countryside recreation are therefore primarily stewards who maintain, manage and regulate the environment and also produce information and education. An important organisation funded by the Countryside Commission is the National Parks Authority. This is responsible for the regulation and interpretative service inside twelve National Parks, which are designated areas of significant natural beauty and wilderness. The Local Authority has a part to play in managing and regulating country parks. In many cases it also owns the land and will act as landlord to any tenants in the park, such as farmers.

Home-based leisure

This is cheap, easy and relaxing. The equipment most popularly used are: radios, videos, TV sets, gardening materials and home fitness machines is normally provided by the private sector. The main exceptions are the library lending services in the public sector. Except for broadcasting this component is retail based.

As the internet is more widely used, shopping for leisure on the net is likely to increase. Free services like Tesco mean more people are using the net.

Cite this essay

Key Components in the Leisure and Recreation Industry. (2017, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/key-components-in-the-leisure-and-recreation-industry-essay

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