How Sociological, Psychological, Economic or Anthropological Theory Can Be Applied to Business TourismIntroductionBusiness tourism has been in the increase across the globe. This type of tourism involves conferences, exhibitions, business meetings, training events, or people travelling to various parts of the world to conduct various business transactions (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2001). Whenever such types of tourists visit a country there are many economic, social, psychological and anthropological impacts that are felt. When one travels to a new destination language is a major determinant of the interactions between the new people. Communication as a social aspect is effected when the tourist are able to understand the language being used in the different destinations around the globe.
In the theory of Familiarity versus Novelty, it is explained that whenever people visit a new destination hey try to be familiar to their new surrounding by looking for foods and beverages that they are accustomed to (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2001). When a tourist feels at home, there is likelihood of visiting such destinations again. Unless a tourist understands the environment and gets familiar with the way of life in the new destinations then there will be no need to get out of the novelty of their places of origin to visit destinations where people have different cultures and language.
Tourism affects the individuals who travel and results in a lot of changes in behavior. To be able to adapt to the new environment, a traveler must decide the extent of changes expected from the new environment and how that might differ with the home environment. The presence of tourists in a particular country affects the way of living of the local people.
The level of impact in the local people depends on some factors such as wealth difference, appearance and the behavior of the tourists. The lives of people from a particular country may be affected if there is large number of tourists visiting. They may influence the mode of dressing, eating habits, and sexual habits. At some point the level of crime might go up but this largely depends on the security of the destination country or city (Bhatia, 2007). There are cities in the world where tourist attracts attention from muggers who eventually attack them robbing them of their valuables. Tourism has for a long time been associated with the rise in prostitution in the most famous tourist destinations such as Casablanca or Brazil Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009).
Call girls from such tourist destinations have tendencies of assuming that tourists have a lot of money to spend on leisure. Likewise, most of the tourists and especially men search for call girls for entertainment purposes. When many tourist of the same decent, visit a country or a town they are likely to influence the culture of the local people.
This mainly happens with the youth and the adolescent who are always eager to mimic the tourists’ way of life either in the mode of dressing or in the use of language. This theory has been observed in some towns in Africa such as Malindi in Kenya where the locals have adopted the Italian language due to the high influx of tourist from Italy. Some local communities are displaced by tourism policies. Many of the governments from such countries value tourists more than their own citizens due to the positive impacts attributed to tourism in such countries (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009).
In 2007, Maasais from the East African region had their livelihoods destroyed when they were denied access to pastoral land that was located in a tourist attraction site. In 2006, there were more than two million tourists who visited Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat temples. As a result the locals were displaced to pave way for tourism investments. In 2007 beaches, forests, and lakes were allocated to private developers affecting the lives of local residents (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009).
The disregard to the poor resulted into many of them being arrested and jailed without any compensation. According to the statistics provided by the International Labour Organization there are more than 18 million under age children working in the tourism industry in the year 2007. Not many people can understand the association between tourism and business despite tourism being of the biggest drives of the world economy. To be precise the travel and tourism sector is the world’s largest sector that generates jobs.
In more than 28 States of America, tourism is the third largest sector in the provision of employment to the American citizens. District of Columbia is reported to have had more than 8 million jobs created annually by the tourism sector. Studies by economists have indicated that tourism plays a major role in improving the America’s economy. In 1999, tourists’ spending in US had reached $ 520 million billion dollars. This represented a 5.7% of the nation’s GDP. In San Diego alone the impact created by tourism is rampant.
In 2001, The 15.3 million tourists pumped around $ 5.5 billion into the local economy making the tourism sector to be the third largest contributor to the GDP in San Diego after manufacturing and military. The rates at San Diego are relatively low compared to other tourist destinations in America. In some states such as New York, Chicago, and Washington D. C., the rates of hotels and other charges directed to the visitors are relatively high. San Diego is also characterized as a destination for business tourists.
It has state of the art premier conference halls and seminar facilities which have been attracting corporate clients for business meetings. Its fine weather and beautiful surrounding improves to the recipe of being considered one of the world’s favorite business destinations (Mason, 2003). The San Diego Convention Center was expanded at a cost of $ 220 million to double its capacity for meeting space. This increased its capacity to hold mega business meetings that were not possible previously. The new improved convention center is expected to generate an income of around $1.6 billion yearly in business and convention meetings.
This money will be a big boost to the San Diego’s economy. By the year 2001, the earnings from the tourism industry had reached $5.3 billion from a total of 15.4 million tourists (Michael & Lew, 2009). Some of the economic indicators around San Diego include California and other surrounding states. These states have a very strong economic progress especially in the leisure and corporate sector. The occupancy rates were also on the surge in the year 2000 where even the room rates went up due to the high demand from the business tourists.
Tourism affects the environment in various which are either negative or positive. Since tourism growth requires erection of infrastructures such as roads and buildings many forests have been cleared to pave way for the construction of buildings such as hotels, resorts and conference centers. Destruction of forests has a lot of impact on the wildlife as it forms the natural habitat for wild animals and some of the most significant indigenous trees. It is through de-forestation that moat of the river sources have dried out leading to regrettable environmental degradation such as soil erosion and global warming. Beaches have also been affected by tourism.
The beaches that used to be clean and attractive are nowadays very few because they have been polluted by tourists. The many resorts that are built along the beaches end up releasing waste products into the oceans and this has led to the decrease of aquatic plants and animals (Newsome & Dowling, 2002). This happens mostly when such hotels lack proper sewage systems prompting them to discharge the wastes into the ocean.
If the disposal of waste is not managed properly it can lead to serious health problems that might be fatal to human beings. The Pattaya Beach Resort in Thailand is one of the hotels that have contributed to the pollution of the ocean water in the past. Another form of environmental pollution that can occur due to tourism is air pollution. This is caused by the cars that are used by tourists as many countries lack workable policies on regulation of carbon emissions into the environment.
Scientists have described carbon emissions into the atmosphere as one of the causes of global warming as it affects the o-zone layer. In addition to air pollution, tourist cars may also cause noise pollution an extreme of which may also cause health problems. The construction of hotels is also a tedious process that releases a lot of dust into the atmosphere. Tourism may also affect the environment positively. This can be achieved by appropriate use of funds collected from tourist activities such as collection from parks and game reserves may be used for the preservation of forests and other forms of ecosystem.
This can only be achieved if effective management policies are put in place. Other funds that are charged by governments indirectly to tourism activities may also be channeled towards the conservation of natural resources (Lindberg & Engeldrum, 1998). According to a report that was done in 1999, the Seychelles government was introducing some US $ 90 tax for all the tourists who entered the country. The revenue collected was directed towards the preservation of the environment.
Many of the visitors support this initiative and it yielded positive results. Environmental impacts assessments conducted by tourist centers may be of great importance towards the efforts in the conservation of the natural resources. This however requires early planning in order to assess the negative impacts that tourism activities can cause to the environment (Michael & Lew, 2009). Measures are suggested on how to curb the impacts and preserve the environment. Production techniques that do not have adverse effects on the environment are encouraged as a long –term solution for the problem of environmental degradation. The need to maintain the natural sites of attraction ensured that such sites are preserved to maintain a continuous flow of tourists (Mason, 2003).
Tourism also affects the politics of the destination country by influencing the local leaders to embrace change that is brought by tourism. Laws for governing the tourism industry are enacted and politicians and other leaders have to ensure that such rules are adhered to by the stakeholders. A stable political system promotes tourism in any country while political instability keeps tourists away. When the political leaders realize that tourism in a specific region is bringing considerable amount of revenue, they strive to ensure that all tourist attractions are preserved and are contained in the countries’ constitutions.
Good tourism conditions are also used by some political leaders as a way of soliciting for votes by pretending that they have played a role in promoting tourism. Theories and ConceptsBusiness tourism represents about 5 per of the world trade. This has led to many cities and places in the world being transformed so as to attract tourists and investors in the tourism sector.
The literature on business tourism illustrates the concepts of business tourism. This is done in relation to the push and pulls factors where the push factors are the socio-psychological elements of tourist motives (Bhatia, 2007). The pull factors describe the tourist destinations and the features that attract tourist to such destinations. The tourist’s intention to travel to a specific place can be explained from a psychological concept. When an individual intends to travel the driving force remains to be a satisfaction of some needs that can be individual based or society-based.
This can actually be related to the Maslow’s hierarchical theory of needs and how it can be applied to the tourism and recreational concept. According to Maslow theory, the actions of an individual are determined by needs which create the intention for the action. Business tourism can either be categorized as social, esteem or self actualization need depending on the motive of the traveler involved. The Maslow’s theory continues to demonstrate that an individuals need to engage in business tourism may be guided by the desire to satisfy more than one need (Bhatia, 2007).
For instance, the desire of a tourist to visit a certain area and leave the other may be determined by the ability of the destination to satisfy other needs that are associated with tourists and human beings in general. Such needs may include religious or even to some extent sexual needs. Generally tourist destinations and the impacts created by tourism may be explained in view of psychological, social, economic, and cultural impacts created by such activities. The notion of some tourist destinations such as Rio de Jenairo presenting sexual opportunities may be explained in the social and cultural perspectives other than satisfaction of psychological needs.
According to Poser (2008), the socio-psychological tourist motives can be categorized into prestige, relaxation, and exploration (Poser, 2008). Some social theorists argue that the motive of travelling from one place to another as a form of tourism is not necessarily driven by the desire to satisfy needs, but the needs may be as consequences of social transformations. Some concepts explain tourist destinations to the ones with feature of a ‘non-home’.
Business tourist may tend to choose a destination because of its historic background or due its cultural alienation (Bhatia, 2007). The more a destination is similar to their places of origin, the less attractive it becomes to tourist of a certain origin. Some of the unique tourist destination sites include theme parks and heritage sites. Their relationship with tourist can only through interactions as this is the only way they can be viewed to be attractive or worth visiting. According to MacCannell’s evolutionary approach to sight sacralisation, travel destinations may also be mechanically produced through the use of brochures and postcards as a way of attracting the attention of potential tourists.
Tourist attractions may also be categorized into primary, secondary, or tertiary nuclei. The nuclei could be physical features that attract tourists to a destination. In the primary nuclei tourist seek to visit places that have different environment from the one they are used to. The theory of tourist motivation tries to explain the purpose of travelling or what actually attracts the tourist to a certain venue. It addresses both the extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.
People who stay in cities are mostly motivated to travel to areas where they will experience nature without the interference of the daily technological aspects. They prefer visiting wilderness and non-artificial sites (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). According to Gray’s motivation theory, tourists travel due to the desire of moving from known to unknown or wanderlust as it is referred. The travel destination must also provide a tourist with facilities that may not exist in their places of origin ‘sunlust’. The wanderlust-sunlust form of tourist motivation may however not be very applicable to the business tourists.
Take for instance a business tourist who wants to travel from Europe to Africa for a business conference. In this case the destination country must have the facilities for hosting international conferencing and this may imply the tourists travelling to a known destination. The expectancy theory that is used to describe tourist motivation combines both the push and pull factors and the main reason for travelling. This theory is however quite difficult to interpret in the context of business tourism as a way of determining the individual behavior of the tourist involved in business.
Work motivation theory by Vroom, suggest that an individual behavior of travelling is guided by the fact the attractiveness of a destination is determined by the expected outcome such as relaxation or spiritual gain. For a tourist to decide to take part in business tourist the intrinsic motivation towards achieving the objective may be the desire to gain knowledge concerning the world trade in addition to recovering from any psychological stress. The value of a need is what triggers a tourist to consider a destination worth visiting. It is the theory of reasoned action that makes tourists visit places that will not threatened personal safety.
This theory holds that any change in belief may in the end result to change in behavior if the attitudes remain constant. Social pressure or what others think of us may also be very influential in determining the intention of engaging in any action or behavior. The dynamic nature of tourism in the world is caused by the fact that tourism is a major income activity in the world (Page, 2009).
This is especially in the poor communities where tourism thrives as it improves their livelihoods. Many of the destination countries need strong structures for the management of the tourism revenue and to ensure it benefits the local communities. ReferencesAjzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs. Bhatia, A. 2007. The Business of Tourism: Concepts and Strategies. Boston: Sterling Publishers. Goeldner, C., & Ritchie, J. (2009). Tourism: Principles, Practices, philosophies. London: John Wiley and Sons. Lindberg, K., & Engeldrum, D.
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