Tourist attractions: evolution, analysis and prospects

Pearce, Phillip, Benckendorff, Pierce, and Johnstone, Suzanne (2001) Tourist attractions: evolution, analysis and prospects. In: Faulkner, Bill, Moscardo, Gianna, and Laws, Eric, (eds.) Tourism in the 21st Century: lessons from experience. Continuum, London, England, pp. 110-129.

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The attraction literature in tourism is dominated by the metaphor of magnetism. This image, reoccurring in tourism writing for at least one hundred and fifty years, sees key tourism sites as luring tourists to a specific point. Examples of the 'magnetic' power of key attractions to shape the travel experience are richly featured in travel writing from Mark Twain to John Steinbeck, and from Clive James to Umberto Eco. Visitors, according to this view, are much like iron filings drawn inexorably to a positive magnetic pole. Since such metaphors can overly structure (and limit) our creative thinking, perhaps it is time at the start of a new century to draw some new tourism attraction analogies. In itself this is not a novel suggestion. Leiper (1995) expressed dissatisfaction with the literal interpretation of the term attraction and has explicitly emphasized visitors' needs and the relative qualities of home and visited sites to explain travel flows. Additionally, a diversity of writers in problem-solving, scientific thinking and the creative reformulation of problems has suggested that periodically we need to refresh our metaphors and analogies to stimulate better analysis (Nadler et al., 1999; Gilovich, 1993; Langer, 1989).It is perhaps desirable to suggest that attractions in a region might be thought of as analogous to a dynamic matrix of force fields affecting bodies with varying degrees of susceptibility. Such an analogy directs attention to the competition between attractions in a finite area, addresses management and marketing influences which can shape the power of the fields and highlights audience receptivity and choice. Armed with this new analogy, the present chapter reviews tourist attraction development and classification and, through select examples, profiles empirical studies of attractions varying in their success. Further, the chapter will also consider some key concepts to understand attraction success better and note emerging trends from recent studies of attractions. The work reported here undertakes these reviews in order to establish the nature of the influences which have, are and are likely to work in the force fields of the attraction sector. In conclusion, the chapter will direct attention to emerging technologies and evolving management responses which are likely to produce new attraction products.

Item ID: 14352
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 0-8264-4827-5
Keywords: tourism
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 04:44
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150605 Tourism Resource Appraisal @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 100%
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