Travel and leisure in Western Europe: A Collection of Case Histories

Richard Voase provides an interesting collection of case studies regarding Western European tourism advancement. The case studies are well organized within three thematic areas based on political, economic and socio-cultural contexts. The particular collection of stories communicates changes within tourism development and practices plus reflects how tourism development looks for for new ways of tourism thinking. Voase concludes that tourism experiences, for travelers, show signs of active making decisions with passive consumption. This point prompts the reader to think that tourists choose “canned” experiences that are creatively constructed, however accessed through extensive information search and decision-making.

The case research are authored by a variety of authors with strong local ties towards the place they write about which allows extraordinary insight into issues the travel and leisure industry faces in Europe and North America (although North America is not the focus of this book). This book can be used within a tourism development course to help learners identify current issues in travel and leisure (e. g., environmental challenges, sustainability, conservation approaches) and build upon definitions and theoretical models in tourism.

In his introduction, Voase delivers that the analysis or interpretation of the cases is based on political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environments. The analysis captures the multidimensionality of the travel and leisure product and the cultural and social factors that relate to current ideologies, which affect how tourism advances. Such ideologies are relating to common postmodernism approaches that seem to impact those consumer behaviors, which catch experiential consumption rather than production procedures of products or services.

The book consists of eleven chapters. The first four chapters are approached under the lenses of a political context analysis. The first chapter, by Meethan, presents the role of tourism marketing and public plan in the counties of Devon plus Cornwall, England. Meethan concludes that for these two counties “marketing had been one aspect of a wider integrated plan which aims to incorporate tourism more fully into the regional economy” and these programs would not have been possible without the funding from the European Union (EU). “The cases of Devon and Cornwall also demonstrate how new company forms emerge as a response to wider structural changes”.

Chapter 2, by Morpeth, focuses on the role of leisure and tourism as political instruments in Britain during the 1980s. Central and local governments utilized leisure and recreation policies being an extension of urban policy in order to balance the negative effects of unemployment and structural problems evident in the uk in the 1980s. Morpeth discusses the case of the city of Middlesbrough and the part of Thatcherism policies on the city, which focused on the generation of inner cities and the use of travel and leisure as a tool for regeneration.

Section 3, by Voase, discusses the influence of political, economic and social change in a mature visitor destination; the Isle of Thanet in southeast England. Voase proves that the process of policy, planning plus development of tourism in a mature location is not always straightforward. The antagonistic politics among the stakeholders involved in tourism development led to inconsistencies regarding the development of the destination. Chapter 4, by Robledo and Batle, focuses on Mallorca as a case study for replanting travel and leisure development for a mature destination making use of Butler’s (1980) product life cycle concept. As a mature destination, Mallorca needs a sustainable development strategy to survive later on. This acknowledgement led the Tourism Ministry of the Balearics Island Federal government to establish a tourism supply-side legislation to protect the environment. This plan however , because Robledo and Bade identified, is definitely an interesting case of struggle among different groups (i. e.
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, federal government, ecological groups, councils, hoteliers, construction industry) defending their interests within tourism development. Voase identifies these first four chapters having three common factors: the role plus interplay of local tiers associated with government in the formulation and execution of policy, the role associated with politics as a vehicle for the promotion and management of economic passions, and the powerful influence of socio-cultural factors. While these common aspects are not directly evident in the presented case studies, Voase fills that gap with his writings. These typical factors can stimulate further debate as to what is the role of politics in tourism and how policy can affect researchers and practitioners in the field.

The second part of the book focuses on the economic context of tourism and its use as a regeneration and wealth development tool. Chapter 5, by Lewis, focuses on two agri-environmental schemes, Tir Cymen and Tir Gofal, and how they affected recreational access within rural Wales. This chapter offers how these schemes caused numerous changes in the agricultural practices in Wales. These changes positively effected entertainment opportunities in Wale’s agricultural panorama and changed relationships between “rural and urban and new demands for rural access, all of which right now reflect the interdependence of environment health, local social and financial needs, and access to land regarding recreation”.

Chapter 6, by Lindroth and Soisalon-Soinimen, discusses how a historic tourist product was developed in Loviisa, Finland. The goal of the tourism development was to create an image of Loviisa as a historic tourist destination and also to create new products in alignment using the historic theme. Lindroth and Soisalon-Soinimen identified that without the support of the tourist office, as well as the National Plank of Antiquities, development would not have progressed significantly. Also, the European Union funding helped with training and expert help. The professionals and project leaders involved in the process shaped the project via their enthusiastic actions described in more detail in the case study.

Chapter 7, simply by Bohn and Elbe, describes the story of one man and how his eyesight for the municipality of Alvdalen, Sweden transformed the town into tourist location. The most important element in this story is that this man created a destination without being an expert in the field of tourism development. This individual used the current notion of relationship marketing to achieve successful development not knowing its full value as a marketing tool. This chapter underlines also the significance of cooperation among stakeholders involved in tourism. Voase identifies factors that these three cases share: the role individuals entrepreneur in developing the product, the consumption of natural resources, and tourism concentrating on past heritage.

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