The tourism industry has changed drastically in recent times, it is not just the preference of the tourists have changed but the way services are provided to the customers, supply, have also changed. The service providers sometimes make changes as per the demand of the customers and sometimes the changes are as result of innovation, up grading technology or change in the trend (Sigala, 2014).
Changes in the tourism in the last five years/factors affecting tourism demand
Trends in UK tourism: Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013
The table above shows the trend and change in the demographics since 2003, it is clear from the data that the inbound tourism in UK has increased. The value of visitor night has increased by 2 percent to euro 22.5 billion. VFR has been the main purpose of the visits to UK accounting to 40 percent, 37 percent for holiday and 24 percent people visited UK for business.
With growth of economies around the world, the disposable income of people has been increasing which is the main reason the number of tourists have been increasing. USA was found to have the maximum number of visitors to UK.
Major markets: Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
Recently the economy has faced a slowdown in UK, economy slow down has made the local tourist to make trips with their families and friends. These trips are of small budget, those consumers who wanted to increase their leisure time and so their mostly prefer to spend on the family occasions. This trend will continue even after the economic recovery (Kennell & Chaperon, 2013).
Increase in number of international visitors: (Kennell & Chaperon, 2013)
The political conditions of UK was good and had been encouraging tourists movements but in recent times the increased number of terrorist activities have led to a decline of flow of tourist movement in the region. Leytonstone knife attack in 2015 and the Assassination of of JO Cox a British member of parliament are some of the examples. The recent attacks in France has also affected the tourism in UK because if France can be targeted then there are chance of similar attacks in UK. Recent Brexit has reduced the flow of tourist movement within the Euro zone (Page, 2014).
Environmentalism movements have gained significant support from people as well as Government. This compels people to practice tourism in more sustainable manner. Environmental considerations are important for service providers and the consumers. Issues like pollution, global warming are important environmental concerns (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
Changing work patterns and workforce
Availability of cheap labor forces from other countries like china and India has increased the number of human resources to fulfill the demand for various tourism related services.
Globalization has encouraged business related trips and educational and professional tours. It has made the world a small village that is accessible for everyone having enough resources. (Konovalova & Vidishcheva, 2013).
One of the most major changes that occurred in recent times are online bookings, people can now avail hotels, car rentals, site seeing and flight bookings online. Online reservations have reduced the effort of the people as they can do reservations sitting at their home (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
Changes in supply
Tour operators- The tour operators have followed the trend and have been offering the services to the customers accordingly. They have been putting emphasis to the destinations and spots that are more preferred by the customers. Like the seaside resorts and rural tourism tour packages.
Accommodation- The hotels and resorts in order to increase their sales have been providing discounts to the customers. The service providers ensure their survival in the harsh competition because of the increased number of companies in hotel industry; they have been offering discounts to the customers so that the customers choose their hotel (Sigala, 2014).
Hotel room occupancy: (Kennell, J., & Chaperon, 2013)
Service providers make sure that sustainable tourism is maintained and none of the activities while providing services to the existing customers should compromise the needs of future generation customers. The tourism industry in UK is continuously working towards achieving sustainable tourism. They have been conserving the natural resources like, flora, fauna so that sustainable tourism can be achieved (Kennell & Chaperon, 2013).
With the number of tourists increasing it has become very important for the service providers to provide the best quality of the services. This is the reason the competition has increased because the companies are focused in quality of services they are providing their customers (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
Types of products
Types of products provided to the consumers depend upon a lot of factors like, season and preference of the travelers. Services today are more customized and concepts like boutique hotels have emerged (Medlik, 2016).
Thus, it can be concluded that the patter of UK tourism in terms of demand and supply have changed drastically and it has been affecting the tourists. The changes in the demand of tourism have brought a change in the supply as well. UK tourism has been seeing an increase in number of tourists who visit the country, that includes both domestic tourists as well as international tourists. The international tourists include VFR and there have been an increase in this category. Changes in supply are triggered by the changes in technology that has facilitated online bookings and reservations. It has made it easier for the people to look for additional services online. It can be said that it has motivated the people to travel more by providing services that makes their stay memorable.
Kennell, J., & Chaperon, S. (2013). Analysis of the UK Government's 2011 tourism policy. Cultural Trends, 22(3-4), 278-284.
Konovalova, A. A., & Vidishcheva, E. V. (2013). Elasticity of demand in tourism and hospitality. European Journal of Economic Studies, 4(2), 84-89.
Medlik, S. (Ed.). (2016). Managing tourism. Elsevier.
Mok, C., Sparks, B., & Kadampully, J. (2013). Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. Routledge.
Page, S. J. (2014). Tourism management. Routledge.
Sigala, M. (2014). Customer involvement in sustainable supply chain management: A research framework and implications in tourism. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 55(1), 76-88.