Tourism is a large growing sector in the world economy, and it accounts for 10% of the world's GDP. The contemporary world has witnessed a significant evolution of the tourism industry in the global marketplace. The demand for tourism services is anticipated to rise since more countries have attained the development stage where it is affordable to consume leisure services. Most of the countries have benefited from increasing demand by developing new hospitality sectors that generate a lot of foreign currency for the local economic growth. Tourism demand is an extended term that entails the factors that govern the level of demand, the altitudinal features of demand, various types of demands, together with the intention of making such demands. Bramwell, Higham, Lane, and Miller (2017) referred the term demand as an "a schedule of the amount of any product or service that people are willing and able to buy at each specific price in a set of possible prices during some specified period." The magnitude and scale of demand vary with the seasons and time, while the time demand for tourism services either changes or advances. Such changes might be prompted by what is known as "new tourist." These types of tourists come up with new sorts of demands and high expectation in the quality of the services that will value their money. In such as case, the new tourists introduce the different level of demand and standards. On the other hand, a crucial element that characterizes the significant increase of the tourist seasonality regarding its low and high tourism demand is known as low and the peak of seasons respectively. The following paper discusses improved technological and hospitality, together with the bilateral relationship as developments in international leisure tourism demand over the last twenty years.
The emerging growth of communication and information technology has developed international leisure tourism to align with the increasing tourism demands associated with the planning for the trips, access to significant information about holiday destinations and many more.
Buhalis and Law (2008) state that as the tourist demands also increase their taste and preference for destination increases, and therefore modern ways to ease tourism planning are welcomed. The world social and economic structure has witnessed some tremendous and significant transformation, thanks to the establishment of the information and communication technology (ICT). Between the early 2000s to the present, the ease to organize trips can be done by a click of a button or through phone calls. The increasing tourism demand in recent years has led to the companies to create websites and 24/7 telephone numbers to get most of the individuals who wish to make decisions and book for their trips. The booking process is comprehensive, and it includes the hotel reservations, air or train tickets, tickets for the events among other hospitality services; also the money can be paid online. Such development suits international tourism whereby the vocational trip can be organized while at home. HellloBC is an example of the tourism agency that is known for organizing trips though ICT process. Through the ICT platform, the organization has succeeded to attract more leisure tourist to easily access accommodation rates, festival activities, transportation option as well as trip ideas. Fascinating enough is that the website is compiled with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts that they use to reach their targeted tourists quickly. HelloBC takes the initiative to assist the tourists by planning their trips. The process involves looks into a booking agent system, giving special deals and discounts created in association with operators. Even though the site can process the value-added elements, it does not deal with the booking of accommodations; instead, it redirects the prospective client to the reservation system of a chosen provider.
Besides, ICT development has made strides in the media broadcast. In the contemporary world, people become aware of the upcoming tourism events and exciting tourist destinations. Tichaawa, Mhlanga, and Sicwebu, (2017) argue that, over the past twenty years, private and public tourist corporations make advertisement of the developed tourist destinations and events to attract and increase the demand of the tourist. The use of visual display brings the pictorial illustrations of the stunning and fascinating tourist destinations. In the past, most of the people only toured locally and neighboring countries, they lacked knowledge of the tourist destinations around the world. In the late 90s media was not used for broadcasting tourism advertisement. But in the early 2000's many tourism agencies and media collaborated in advertising and also introducing programs that feature tourism and tourism destinations. For example, The CNN has numerous advertisements that featured luxurious destinations for leisure tourism such as Dubai, Croatia, Malaysia, Russia, and many others. Also, there are advertisements for the airline companies such as Emirates, and Ethiopia Airways, which advertise their destinations and they emphasize the comfort of their airlines, hence making it convenient for individuals to make a decision promptly as compared to the early 90s and years behind. Also, specific channels like National Geo Wild, aired by Multi-Choice, is specialized at featuring the destinations where the tourists can go and see the wild animals that are rarely seen in the daily basis.
Improved Hospitality Services
Hospitality industry and tourism are intertwined, and both rely on the availability of disposable income alongside leisure time. As noted by Bramwell et al., (2017) international leisure tourism is dependent on the hospitality facilities such as lodging, food and beverages, recreation as well as tours and travels. Contrary to the times before the 90s, hospitality in tourism had not attracted the interest of many investors. In the present day, the hospitality industry is a growing sector in economic as it attracts many investors who are inspired with increase development in international leisure tourism demand. The hospitality industry is a wide category of the field within the service industry comprising of lodging, cruise line, traveling, theme parks, transportation, and event planning together with the additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality units such as hotels, restaurants or an amusement a park entail various groups like the facility maintenance and direct operations (human resources, servers, housekeepers, kitchen workers, porters, bartenders, marketing and management, etc.
Foremost, the developed transport system made most of the areas around the world more accessible and affordable. In addition, the times before the 90s, the numbers of air travels were limited and were used for formal duties only. However, from the late 90s, the trend changed, and air travels were adopted not only form formal purpose but also for the leisure ones. Additionally, there was a progressive improvement of the interiors and comfort of the cabin, also the air hostess are employed to serve the passengers and ensure their cozy travel (Carlisle, Kunc, Jones & Tiffin, 2013). The airline companies, on the other hand, increased the number of their destinations around the world and the number of flights per week, this made it convenient for the people to travel around the world and more people demanded different tourist destinations. Besides, the cruise line services increased and made it easy for people to spend leisure time enjoying the leisure of traveling around tourism destination using the cruise ship. In the last 20-years, the cruise ship has undergone through the various modification that can sustain the comfort of their passengers and to counter with the demand of tourism sector. Also, unlike the years before the 90s, the past years have witness tours & travel companies offering services to the foreign tourist by offering a tour guide and transport service to take them through different tourist attraction in the respective countries they tour (Carlisle et al., 2013).
The number of accommodation and quality has improved for the past twenty years, and due to the advanced technology the comfort of the accommodation has improved, and tourist can have a piece of mind. The increased number of accommodation facility and services has improved the tourist demand over the past twenty years. The accommodations have incorporated laundry, gym, massage spa, indoor games and so on.
Food and beverages
As international tourism demand entails tourism spending their vacation on places far from their homes or places of work, most of the tourists' expectation is to experience different cuisine different to the ones that they are used to take. The hospitality industry has developed to accommodate cuisine from different culture respective to the region and the people living around. This has made it fun and exciting for the tourists to travel internationally hence developing the tourist demand.
Improved Bilateral Relationship
Years before the 90s, the relationship between different countries was not taken into more consideration, countries had antagonistically positioned into allies and adversaries, and there was fear that third world war will erupt. However, from the 90s onwards, leaders from different countries interacted steadily and formed bilateral relationships where they could benefit from one another. Hanafiah, Harun and Jamaluddin (2010), adds that one of the common agenda discussed in most of the bilateral relationships formed is tourism growth. The agreement has led to the development of the international tourism demand and the improved ease to access many countries without fear of detention, deportation or risking of lives. Tourist can go to other parts of the world, be welcomed with the host and experience their culture without any restrictions (Adamou & Clerides, 2009). For example, United Arabs of Emirates is making some fruitful bilateral relationship to advertising their tourist destination; China is also doing the same. Such a reputation has made the most part of the world to be exploited by the foreign tourist, consequently leading to the development of international leisure tourism demand over the last twenty years
Irrefutably, we can agree that the international leisure tourism demand has been promoted with the tremendous development in various levels of tourism sectors for the past 20 years; although the development was not sudden but gradual. The taste of the people in tourism is changing as compared to the years before the 90's, and the desire to have lifetime experience is growing; hence the standards of tourism is not left behind. Developments such as technology changes, improved hospitality services together with bilateral relationship, are all entangled to one thing to fulfill the growth of the tourism demand. However, through the research there are some of the improvements that need to be made in terms of international security, the relevant agency and governments should look forward at maintaining the political fever in the countries as well as the countering the increasing security threats for the sake of the international tourism who arrive in their country. If those factors are overlooked in the future, they will cause a threat to the development of international leisure tourism demand.
Adamou, A., & Clerides, S. (2009). Tourism, development, and growth: international evidence and lessons for Cyprus. Cyprus Economic Policy Review, 3(2), 3-22.
Bramwell, B., Higham, J., Lane, B., & Miller, G. (2017). Twenty-five years of sustainable tourism and the...
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