Why People Travel to Hawaii
Why People Travel
After reading and studying this chapter, you should be able to:
1. List reasons why people travel.
2. Describe the sociocultural impact of tourism.
3. Describe sustainable tourism and ecotourism.
4. Explain cultural, heritage, and nature tourism.
68 Chapter 3 Why People Travel
" There are many reasons
why people travel. It could be for
business or personal purposes.
Regardless, it provides the
traveler with an opportunity to
_ encounter somewhere or
something new and hopefully
Charles Street Cafe & Catering,
Have you ever been dying for a break? Have you ever caught jyeursel] day-
dreaming about where you would go if you only had the time, t ~ money, and
the opportunity? Are you curious about the world and want to explore it~ Well,
you are not alone! From the beginning of time, people all over the world have
felt the urge to get out there and explore, conquer, and find enlightenment.
Though hopefully a little more peaceful, the weary student heading off on spring
break, to Europe for the summer, or even for a semester abroad, is not too dif-
ferent from the adventurous Viking seeking greener pastures.
Fantasies aside, why do people travel? Today, there are many reasons (maybe
even some excuses) to take to the road. A trip away from home may be for a va-
cation, visiting friends and family, for work, to attend a conference or a sporting
event, even to visit a college campus, just to name a few. Regardless, under the
umbrella of travel and tourism, there are many occupations that are necessary to
meeting the needs and wants of people who are away from home. And this is
where you come into the picture!
However, different people have different reasons and motivations for traveling.
What type of traveler are YOU?
There are many reasons why people travel; however, they fall under two main
headings: travel for pleasure and travel for business. Research indicates that
when consumers are asked what they associate most with success and accom-
plishment, the number one response is travel for pleasure.
Among the reasons people travel for pleasure are the following:
1. Visiting friends and relatives
3. Enlightenment, education
4. Beauty, nature, and national parks
10. Fun of the trip
Eighty-two percent of domestic travel is pleasure travel (leisure, recreation,
holidays, and visiting friends and relatives-VFR). Approximately 670 million
person-trips are taken for pleasure, according to the United States Travel Data
Center's (USTDC) national travel survey.' Nearly half of all the pleasure travel-
ers visited friends and relatives.
When surveyed, people tend to list the following reasons for travel:
1. To experience new and different surroundings
2. To experience other cultures
3. To rest and relax
4. To visit friends and family
5. To view, or participate in, sporting/recreational activities
Travel is likely to increase in the coming years, which will have a significant
impact on tourism. Some reasons for the anticipated increases are as follows:
6. Longer life span. The average person in the United States now has a life
expectancy of about 75 years. In fact, in just a few years, baby boomers
will be retiring.
7. Flexible working hours. Today, many people work four la-hour days and
have longer weekends. Of course, many others, especially in the
hospitality and tourism industries, work on weekends and have leisure
time during the week.
8. Early retirement. Increasingly, people are being given the opportunity to
retire at age 55. This early retirement is generally granted to employees
with 30 years of service to their company or government agency.
9. Greater ease of travel. Today, it is easier to travel on holidays and weekends,
for both business and leisure purposes. Each mode of travel affords
increasing opportunities to take advantage of the additional leisure time.
10. Tendency to take shorter, more frequent trips. People now tend to take
shorter, but more frequent, mini vacations, rather than taking all
their vacation time at once. Europeans 'generally take much longer vacations
than North Americans. For them, four weeks is the normal vacation benefit
of new employees, and six weeks is typical after a few years.
11. Increase in the standard of living. More people in many developing
countries have increased their income and wish to travel. China, with its
/ newfound enterprise zones, is producing hundreds of thousands of
entrep -eneurs who will soon be traveling to foreign countries. Millions of
Ea§t,-Etifopean residents of the former Soviet Block countries now have the
cap~a~d~theright to travel. And finally, an additional 300 million
people from China and India will soon have passports.
Pleasure Travel 69
" People travel to get away
\11)'\\\ I:'ll:,~tla~ 'i\\I::\\\I:~ 'Na'\\\ \1)
come in to an establishment,
relax, and have fun, and create a
memorable experience. "
Gabriel Alves,A Taste of Maine,
South Portland, ME
The beaches of Quintana Roo-Cancun, Mexico, are a popular place for many
70 Chapter 3 Why People Travel
Different Places for Different People
Obviously, travelers select destinations for different reasons=climate, history or
culture, sports, entertainment, shopping facilities, and so forth. The major appeal of
England for Americans seems to be history and culture. American Express surveyed
people going to several destinations-Florida, California, Mexico, Hawaii, the Ba-
hamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Barbados. Almost half of the
respondents were professionals, generally middle-aged, and well educated. Many
were wealthy travelers who took frequent vacations outside the United States. These
respondents ranked the appeals of travel in descending order of importance:
1. Scenic beauty
2. Pleasant attitudes of local people
3. Suitable accommodations
4. Rest and relaxation
5. Airfare cost
6. Historical and cultural interests
8. Water sports
9. Entertainment (e.g., nightlife)
10. Shopping facilities
11. Sports (golfing and tennis)
Four basic considerations emerged as factors influencing travel: entertainment,
purchase opportunities, climate for comfort, and cost. Even within a group, of
course, different factors apply. One individual may select a destination primarily be-
cause of opportunities for challenging golf and tennis, another because of the
friendly local people, and another because the place offers rest and relaxation. Most
of the group would, however, be influ-
enced by airfare costs. Travelers often
have culturally based expectations for
the travel experience that mayor may
not be met by international travel.
Current research is focusing on the
impact of the traveler's culture on ex-
pectations for service, as well as ways
to assess customer expectations and
evaluate customer satisfaction. Service
providers in destination locations are
making efforts to meet the needs of
diverse populations of travelers.
Satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, with
the travel experience, of course, de-
pends on how it is viewed by the trav-
eler. A glorious sunset and majestic
Every year millions of visitors are attracted to our National
Parks-this photo is of snowcapped mountains in the Grand
Teton Range in Wyoming.
Business Travel 71
mountain may be seen as a great bore if an in-
dividual is highly gregarious and alone on the
trip. The best service in a restaurant with the
finest food and decor is meaningless if the
person is dyspeptic at the moment. One trav-
eler loves the rain, another despises it.
Mountains are one person's delight, heights
make another person dizzy. The anthropol-
ogist revels in the remote village; the city
dweller finds the same place dull. So much
depends on what the person expects of the
experience and how he or she actually
Travel is an experience, not a tangible
object. It results in psychic reward or pun-
ishment. It creates pleasant anticipation or
aversion, excitement and challenge, or fa-
tigue and disappointment. The anticipa-
tion, the experience, and the memory occur
in the mind, leaving no tangible evidence as
to why travel was undertaken and why the
same trip is experienced in so many differ-
ent ways by different people. Travel litera-
ture and films often falsify reality or are
shot so selectively that the actual environ-
ment is not recognizable by the visitor. The phony shot that makes the pool look
longer than it is, the colors that never exist in nature, the lavish buffet that
was rigged especially for the photograph, the glorious sunset that occurs once a
year-all of this creates expectations that cannot be realized, and leads to
In recent years, the amount of business travel has declined. The general economic
climate, terrorism, SARS, and businesses reducing their travel budgets have neg-
ativelyaffected business travel.
Yet a high percentage of the guests who check into midpriced and luxury hotels
around the world are traveling for business reasons. A good portion of business
travel is, however, mixed with pleasure. Counted as business travelers are those who
travel for business purposes such as meetings; all kinds of sales, including corporate,
regionalrproducr, and others; conventions; trade shows and expositions; and com-
binations-of more than one. In the United States, meetings and conventions alone
attract millions of people annually. Sometimes the distinction between business and
leisure ~l becomes blurred. If a convention attendee in Atlanta decides to stay
Business travel is fine if you can get an upgrade and fly in business
class where there is more room to stretch out.
72 Chapter 3 Why People Travel
on for.a few days after the conference, are
they to be considered, a business or leisure
travel.er? Business travelers, w~n compared
to leisure travelers, tend "to be younger,
spend more money, travel farther, and travel
in smaller groups, but they do not stay
Business travel, long the mainstay of air-
lines and hotels, will likely gradually de-
cline as a percentage of all travel, which
includes leisure travel. Leisure travel is fore-
cast to increase due to more people having
more disposable income. Many people now
have more leisure time and higher levels of
education, and the cost of travel has re-
mained constant, or dropped, compared to
inflation and other costs combined. These
factors indicate a bright future for the travel
An increasing number of business trav-
elers are able to make their own travel
arrangements online. For example, in the
middle of a client meeting Suzie Aust, a
meeting consultant, realizes that she has
forgotten to book the next day's flight. She pplls out her laptop, gets online, and
books the flight. Corporate America is worried about travelers like Suzie be-
cause they are often able to skirt corporate policies when making their own
reservations. Some companies use a product from Microsoft and American Ex-
press. Code-named Rome, the product will .allow companies to control their
own travelers by insisting that employees buy their own tickets through Amer-
ican Express. American and United Airlines are, each rolling out similar prod-
ucts. Ed Gilligan, president of corporate services for American Express,
estimates that American companies lose $15 billion a year due to deviations
from corporate policy. And the portion of that sum lost to online reservation
systems is "ramping up quickly," he says. About 1.8 million business travelers
are wired. Soon, almost all airline business travel will be ticketless.
Business travel has changed in recent years due to the increased security at air-
ports and other travel-related places. These security changes include enhanced
airport restrictions, time delays, more secure passports and documentation, the
"suspect" list, and the creation of new software for "recognition" technology,
from fingerprint to retina scanning. Add to this flights that are more fully
booked, less refreshments, and hardly enough time to grab a meal during plane
changes and we can see why some business travelers prefer not to travel unless
absolutely necessary, while others look forward to a trip to another city.
We all know about the increased security at airports, cruise line terminals, and
rail and bus stations. The traveling public has been very understanding because
they realize that the security measures are necessary for our safety.
Social and Cultural Impact of Tourism 73
A mariachi band being photographed in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Check Your Knowledge_~~~_~
1. What four basic considerations emerged as factors influencing travel?
2. What are the main reasons why people travel?
3. What are the reasons for the increase in travel?
Social and Cultural Impact
of Tourism .
From a social and cultural perspective, tourism can leave both positive and
negative impacts on communities. Undoubtedly, tourism has made significant
contributions to international understanding. World tourism organizations rec-
ognize that tourism is a means of enhancing international understanding, peace,
prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedom for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or
religion. Tourism is a very interesting sociocultural phenomenon. Seeing how
others live is an interest of many tourists, and the exchange of sociocultural
values and activities is rewarding.
Provided that the number of tourists is manageable and that they respect the host
community's sociocultural norms and values, tourism provides an opportunity for
a number of social interactions. A London pub or a New York cafe are examples of
good places for social interaction. Similarly, depending on the reason for the tourist
visit, myriad opportunities are available to interact both socially and culturally.
Even a visit to another part of the United States would be both socially and cultur-
ally stimulating. For example, New Orleans has a very diverse social and cultural
heritage. Over the years, the city has been occupied by Spanish, French, British, and
Americans. The food, music, dance, and so-
cial norms are unique to the area.
The competitiveness of international des-
tinations is based on such attributes as ser-
vice quality, as well as on value for the price,
safety, security, entertainment, weather, in-
frastructure, and natural environment.
Political stability is also important in deter-
mining the desirability of a destination for
international tourism. Imagine the feelings
of an employee in a developing country who
earns perhaps'$4.50 per day when he or she
sees wealthy t;;.wsr;-£!aunting money, jew-
elry, and a lifestyle nOtobtainable .
Just imagine what will happen when an-
other 300 milliofi'pwp-le-become tourists
y virtue of increasing standards of living
74 Chapter 3 Why People Travel
and more people obtaining passports. Currently, only 21. 7 .percent of the U.S.
population has passports. The population of Eastern Europe and the nouveau
riche of the Pacific Rim countries will substantially add to th-;Po'teNtial number
of tourists. So, it's no surprise that travel tourism is expected to double by 2015.
Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism
The increased number of tourists visiting destinations has heightened concern
for the environment, physical resources, and sociocultural degradation. The re-
sponse of tourism officials has been to propose that all tourism be sustainable.
The concept of sustainable tourism places a broad-based obligation on society-
especially those involved with tourism policy, planning, and development-and
on federal, state, and local governments to harmonize tourism and tourism
development by improving the quality of its environment and resources-
physical and sociocultural. Sustainable tourism includes infrastructure (roads,
water, sewage, communications and stores which meet the locals needs.)
Superstructure is facilities built to accommodate tourists such as airports, cruise
terminals, convention centers, hotels, restaurants, which should be appropriate
for the number of tourists visiting the area, otherwise if the area has too
many tourists the experience becomes unpleasant for all, including the host
Ecotourism is more focused on individual values; it is tourism with a con-
science, sharing many of the same aspirations of sustainable tourism-the
terms are often used interchangeably. The International Ecotourism Society
(TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves
the environment and improves the well-being of local people." This means that
those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow
Florida beaches are waiting for you.
1. Minimize impact.
2. Build environmental and cultural
awareness and respect.
3. Provide positive experiences for both
visitors and hosts.
4. Provide direct financial benefits for
5. Provide financial benefits and empow-
erment for local people.
6. Raise sensitivity to host countries'
political, environmental, and social
7. Support international human rights
and labor agreements.f
Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism 75
In 1950, a Belgian diamond cutter and water polo champion conceived the
first Club Med village, funded with army surplus tax money, on the little
Spanish island of Majorca. The goal of that first resort was to unite people
from diverse backgrounds,encourage them to share a good time,and offer
them a unique escape from the stress and the tension of the everyday
events of post-World War II Europe.The first adventurous vacationers to ex-
perience that new environment were mostly young couples or singles, liv-
ing together in a beautiful natural setting, enjoying the atmosphere of
camaraderie and no worries, playing sports, or just simply relaxing on a
warm, soft beach.
The following decade was a particularly profitable one, because of the
overall social climate that characterized the 1960s. The young generation,
generally speaking, was wrapped up in a whirl of ideals, such as peace,
communion, and the sharing of feelings and experiences, all in the frame-
work of a return to nature. The so-called flower child phenomenon saw the
young long for a return to primitive purity, innocence, and freedom of ex-
pression.lt is not surprising, then, that Club Med's clientele rose by 500 per-
cent in that decade. In fact, the features that characterized the resorts made
them just the right environment to meet the needs of this target market.
Club Med began its expansion throughout the Mediterranean coastlines
and islands,including Greece and Italy.Centers began to spring up on the coasts of Africa and the Middle East.
Today Club Med-short for Mediterranean-has more than 120 resorts and vacation villages around the
world, hosted by twenty-eight countries in the Mediterranean as well as in the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico, the
Bahamas, South Pacific,South America,Asia,and the United States.The little village in Majorca blossomed into
a colorful, joyful, sunny, colossal empire: Club Med is the world's largest vacation village organization and the
ninth largest hotel chain, with 93,000 beds and 20,000 employees. More than 9 million guests have come to
the villages since 1950.
Today's philosophy doesn't differ much from the original one. Club Med intends to provide a spectacular
natural setting in which its guests can enjoy life and its amenities, away from the troubles and the worries of
the everyday frantic rat race. The theme on the printed advertisements points straight to this: "Club Med: Life
as it should be." Sports, various entertaining activities, good food, real concern for guests' needs, and a care-
free lifestyle worked wonders. Imagine all of these amenities in the context of white sand beaches and a clear
blue sea that seems to stretch out indefinitely to meet a virtually cloudless sky at the horizon.
Club Med's original formula was copied by several other organizations in the travel and tourism industry.
The increased competition caused Club Med to revise its management strategies and develop a different
product in order to gain and hold market share. Changes in the industry were accompanied by social
changes. As the years went by, the baby boomers of the 1960s and 1970s grew up, got married, and began to
travel.with their families. The target market thus changed again, and the necessity to change along with the
market was promptly acknowledged.
The policy-Club Med's managers embraced was one of differentiation and flexibility. Through assiduous mar-
ket research, studies, and surveys, Club Med identified the continuously changing needs and characteristics
of both the market and the clientele. On the basis of their results, they were able to take effective action to
76 Chapter 3 Why People Travel
keep up with such evolution. Marketing strategies therefore were re-elaborated, and the product Club Med
offers was repackaged according to the demands of the guests, while still remaining faithful to the original
philosophy. The image of Club Med was also reconsidered in order to determine the most appropriate one at
Other significant changes included an entrance into the cruise business-Club Med I is a luxurious cruise
ship that offers the excitement of yachting (thanks to a retractable platform that allows activities such as
waterskiing, diving, etc.) together with the comforts of the cruise. Activities within the village were also im-
proved and upgraded, following the guests' requests for more in-depth sports teaching, more amenities in
the rooms, specialized restaurants, more security, and communication tools.
The clientele target was also widened: Club Med now attempts to attract guests other than the original
youth/couples. As a consequence, the individual villages were updated by specializing in a particular area. Al-
though all clubs offer the same basic services, some focus mainly on sports, some on tours and excursions,
some on convention and meeting facilities, some on entertainment, and so on. Guests now range from sports
enthusiasts to families (mini-clubs and baby-clubs were recently established), honeymooners, and corporate
clients. The new trend at the moment is that of finding ways to attract the older clientele.
Club Med also has had another innovative idea:Wild Card, which offers a bargain rate to vacationers who
don't mind gambling on which village they visit. Wild Card confirms participants on a one-week vacation at
one of Club Med's Villages in the Bahamas, Caribbean, or Mexico for $999 per person, double occupancy;this
is a savings of up to $500 over the weekly standard rate. Included is the price ofthe airfare from specified gate-
way cities. Wild Card presents a win-win situation. Club Med wins because!it can utilize vacant space on air
charters and accommodations; guests win because they get a great vacation at a bargain price.
To cope with the changes and implementations in the global structure of the villages, human resources staff
(Gas-gentle organizers, etc.) also have been selected and trained more thoroughly. Gas come from all over
the world; they must have some foreign language proficiency (to keep up with an extremely cosmopolitan
clientele},skills in sports or entertainment,and, most of all, be extremely enthusiastic and very people oriented.
In fact, the spirit of the village depends almost entirely on the creative ideas and contact generated by the staff.
Overall, Club Med has shown a very remarkable ability to reinvent itself according to the continuous evo-
lution of the market and society. The genuine commitment to excellence that has been demonstrated should
help Club Med retain its status as the ultimate destination resort organization.
Most ecotourism destinations can be found in developing countries with
vast natural surroundings and plentiful flora and fauna. Places like deserts,
tropical rain forests, coral reefs, and ice glaciers are prime locations. Also im-
portant in ecotourism is the presence of a culture that is unique to the visitor.
The focus of ecotourism is to provide tourists with new knowledge about a cer-
tain natural area and the culture that is found within, along with a little bit of
adventure. As for the natives, ecotourism is to help improve the local economy
and conservation efforts. All parties are to gain a new appreciation for nature
Thus far, ecotourism projects tend to be devel-
oped on a small scale. It is much easier to control
such sites, particularly because of limits that are
normally set on the community, the local tourism
business, and the tourists. Limitations may in-
clude strict control of the amount of water and
electricity being used, tougher recycling meas-
ures, regulating park and market hours, and,
more importantly, limiting the number of visitors
to a certain location at one time and limiting the
size of the business. Another reason ecotourism
projects are kept small is to allow more in-depth
tours and educational opportunities.
Generally, most of the more popular eco-
tourism destinations are located in under-
developed and developing countries. As
vacationers are becoming more adventurous
and are visiting remote, exotic places, they are
participating in activities that should affect
nature, host communities" and themselves in a
positive manner. It is because of the growing
interests of travelers that many developed
countries are following the trend. It is appar-
ent from Yellowstone National Park in the
United States to the Mayan Ruins of Tikal in
Guatemala; from the Amazon River in Brazil to the vast safari lands of Kenya;
from the snowcapped Himalayas in Nepal to the sultry jungles of Thailand;
and from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the massive ice glaciers in
Antarctica. There is no doubt that this is an attractive trend in many parts
of the world. Sustainable tourism, especially ecotourism, can be a main
source of worldwide promotion of
sustainable development geared to-
ward tourists and communities in
~ Check Your Knowledge
1. What is the competitiveness of
international destinations based
2. wn~he social and cultural
3. What does ecotourism focus on?