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Tourism Tourism Demand Notes

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Understanding Tourism Demand Introduction

Attempting to explain what demand means in simple terms is probably most clearly expressed by Pearce (1995) as the relationship between individuals motivation to travel and their ability to do so.

This means that a range of factors influence tourism in both the tourist generating and destination areas.

Based on Smith's (1995) observations, demand occurs at four different levels including: o o

Actual levels of participation


The unsatisfied component of participation


The amount of products that will be consumed at various prices

The desire for emotional and psychologically based experiences

Burkart and Medlik (1981) divided the influences on the tourism market into two components: o


Determinants - refer to the exogenous or external factors that shape the general demand for tourism within society or a specific population. Such factors tend to be common to all world regions although are likely to show a different emphasis in every country. Motivations - refer to the personal factors that directly affect the individual and are expressed as tourism desires and choices. Motivations can be influenced by internal and external aspects.

Extrinsic factors or determinants such as government policy, media communications, marketing, societal norms and pressures, knowledge, information on and images of destinations, technological change and wider socioeconomic determinants have an equally important role to play in shaping tourism destination demand.

The Elements of Tourism Demand

Aggregate/effective/actual demand o

The term demand is often used to specify actual or observed tourism participation and activity, this type of demand is known as effective or actual demand and refers to the aggregate number of tourists recorded in a given location or at a particular point in time.



It is most easily visualised by reference to tourism statistical sources where the total numbers of people are shown. Clearly tourism suppliers require demand for their products but too much effective demand poses the problem of exceeding the supply of products such as overbooking of airline seats,

Suppressed demand o o

Both refer to those who do not travel for some reason.


Those who might be classified as potential demand are more likely to become actual demand in the future when circumstances allow. It may well be that waiting for additional income or holiday entitlement is needed for that suppressed but potential demand to become actual or effective.


This can be subdivided into potential and deferred demand (Cooper; 1998).

With deferred demand the reasons for the suppression are down to problems on the supply side with perhaps accommodation shortages, transport difficulties or weather preventing people from travelling.

No demand o

There is a proportion of the population that does not participate in tourism. Reasons for this may be lack of money, an unwillingness or inability to find the time necessary or desire to enjoy holiday time at home rather than away from it.

Other aspects of demand o

Cooper (1998) referred to substitution of demand when demand for an activity is replaced by another form of activity.


Redirection of demand occurs when the geographical holiday location is changed.

Factors Influencing Demand in the Tourist Generating Area

There are numerous factors influencing demand from the tourist generating area which in simple terms can be grouped as: o o

Social determinants


Economic determinants

Political determinants

Economic determinants

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