Investigating Special Interest Tourism

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Investigating Special Interest Tourism

Investigating Special Interest Tourism


Special interest tourism is defined as travelling to a place outside the usual residential environment. This involves a stay of at least one night but no more than 1 year, with varying motivations, such as business, pleasure, visits to friends and relatives (VFR), and education. Tourism has long been of interest to geographers, given its spatial, temporal, and activity patterns and given its major economic and environmental impacts, ranging from the local to the global. Special interest tourism in UK comprises a wide range of experiences built around tourist visits under categories of sport tourism, business tourism, event tourism, study tourism, health and wellness tourism, culture tourism, and adventure tourism (Middleton, 2005; 36). Special interest tourism activities are either active or passive in nature, depending upon the involvement of a person in the tourism activities.

Westminster Sunday Telegraph always aims to provide Hospitality and Tourism theoretical knowledge to the citizens. This article explains the diverse concepts related to passive, active, and adventurous holidays. This article inter-relates the consumer choice and participation, environmental aspects that may affect the type of holiday, popularity, impacts, and future trends of special interest holidays in UK.

During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, a wave of change, redemption, and regeneration swept the tourism industry. The wave began in Western Europe, swept on to North America, over Australia and New Zealand, across to Japan and into Eastern Europe. Its broader impacts can be felt worldwide (Franklin, 2009; 57). This wave was called special interest tourism. It signalled a new era for the tourism industry. It also reflected a new phase in the changing and growing world of tourism development. The antecedents of modern tourism can be traced back to Thomas Cook in 1850s Britain. Under highly structured sector of many economies, it can be viewed as a creation of more recent times. Since the early 1950s the growth of tourism, both domestically in the developed countries and internationally, has been phenomenal in its scale, and remarkably resilient to periodic economic and political adversity. In product life cycle terms and taking a global perspective, special interest tourism might be categorized as having passed through the “introductory” phase into the “growth” phase. The number of international arrivals had risen from 5 million to 38 million in 2005 (Connell, 2006; 175). UK tourism ministry expects to have more than 90million tourist by the year 2015, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of 16.5% (Connell, 2006; 176).Types of Special Interest Tourism

There are different types of special interest tourism that are available to consumers in the UK. These types are classified under active tourism, passive tourism, and adventure tourism. In UK, the aim has traditionally been to make the tourist destination appealing to a mass audience. While mass tourism markets remain fundamental to the growth of UK's tourism industry, the diversity of tourist experiences and increasing competition between destinations has fuelled the need to target particular special interest visitors.

As tourists become more sophisticated, they increasingly seek tourist products that fulfil their ...
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