Richard Voase offers an interesting collection of case studies related to the development of tourism in Western Europe. The case studies are well organized into three subject areas based on political, economic and socio-cultural contexts. The collection of stories communicates changes in tourism development and practices and reflects how tourism development seeks new ways of thinking about tourism. Voase concludes that tourist experiences, by travelers, show signs of active decision-making with passive consumption. This point leads the reader to think that tourists choose “canned” experiences that are creatively constructed, but accessed through extensive information search and decision-making.
The case studies are written by a variety of authors with strong local ties to where they are writing about, allowing extraordinary insight into the issues facing the tourism industry in Europe and North America (though North America is not). is the central theme of this book). This book can be used in a tourism development course to help students identify current issues in tourism (eg environmental challenges, sustainability, conservation approaches) and build on theoretical definitions and models in tourism.
In his introduction, Voase conveys that the analysis or interpretation of the cases is based on political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environments. The analysis captures the multidimensionality of the tourism product and the cultural and social factors that are related to current ideologies, which influence the evolution of tourism. Such ideologies are related to prevailing postmodernist approaches that seem to affect those consumer behaviors, which capture experiential consumption rather than product or service production processes.
The book consists of eleven chapters. The first four chapters are approached through the lens of an analysis of the political context. The first chapter, from Meethan, presents the role of tourism marketing and public policy in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, England. Meethan concludes that for these two countries “marketing was one aspect of a broader integrated policy that aims to incorporate tourism more fully into the regional economy” and these programs would not have been possible without funding from the European Union (EU). . “The Devon and Cornwall cases also demonstrate how new organizational forms emerge in response to broader structural changes.”
Chapter 2 by Morpeth focuses on the role of leisure and tourism as political instruments in Britain during the 1980s. Central and local governments used leisure and recreation policies as an extension of urban policy to balance the negative effects of unemployment and the structural problems evident in England in the 1980s. Morpeth analyzes the case of the city of Middlesbrough and the role of Thatcherism policies in the city, which focused on the generation of urban centers and the use of tourism as a tool for regeneration.
Chapter 3, by Voase, analyzes the influence of political, economic and social change in a mature tourist destination; the island of Thanet in southeastern England. Voase concludes that the process of policy formulation, planning and tourism development in a mature destination is not always straightforward. The antagonistic politics between the actors involved in tourism development generated inconsistencies in the development of the destination. Chapter 4, by Robledo and Batle, focuses on Mallorca as a case study for replanting the tourist development of a mature destination using Butler’s (1980) product life cycle concept. As a mature destination, Mallorca needs a sustainable development strategy to survive in the future. This recognition led the Tourism Department of the Balearic Government to establish a regulation of tourist offer to protect the environment. However, this plan, as identified by Robledo and Bade, is an interesting case of struggle between different groups (i.e. government, environmental groups, city councils, hoteliers, construction industry) that defend their interests in tourism development. Voase identifies these first four chapters that have three common factors: the role and interaction of local levels of government in the formulation and implementation of policies, the role of politics as a vehicle for the promotion and management of economic interests, and the powerful influence of social policies. -cultural factors. While these common factors are not directly evident in the case studies presented, Voase fills that gap with her writing. These common factors may stimulate further discussion about what the role of politics is in tourism and how politics can affect researchers and practitioners in the field.
The second part of the book focuses on the economic context of tourism and its use as a tool for regeneration and wealth creation. Chapter 5 by Lewis focuses on two agri-environmental schemes, Tir Cymen and Tir Gofal, and how they affected recreational access in rural Wales. This chapter presents how these schemes brought about many changes in agricultural practices in Wales. These changes positively affected recreational opportunities in the agricultural landscape of Wale and changed the relationships between “rural and urban and the new demands for rural access, all of which now reflect the interdependence of environmental health, social and economic needs. premises and access to land for recreation “.
Chapter 6, by Lindroth and Soisalon-Soinimen, looks at how a historic tourism product developed in Loviisa, Finland. The objective of the tourism development was to create an image of Loviisa as a historical tourist destination and to create new products aligned with the historical theme. Lindroth and Soisalon-Soinimen identified that without the support of the tourist office, as well as the National Council of Antiquities, development would not have progressed significantly. In addition, funding from the European Union assisted with training and expert assistance. The professionals and project leaders involved in the process shaped the project through their enthusiastic actions described in detail in the case study.
Chapter 7, by Bohn and Elbe, describes the story of one man and how his vision of the municipality of Alvdalen, Sweden, transformed the city into a tourist destination. The most important element of this story is that this man created a destination without being an expert in the field of tourism development. He used the current notion of relationship marketing to achieve successful development without knowing its full value as a marketing tool. This chapter also underlines the importance of cooperation between stakeholders involved in tourism. Voase identifies factors shared by these three cases: the role of the individual entrepreneur in product development, the consumption of natural resources, and tourism focused on past heritage.
The third part of the book focuses on the sociocultural context of tourism in four case studies. Chapter 8 by Finn looks at the change in European football from an amateur sport to a spectator sport. Finn identifies current approaches to sports marketing, which construct a product or experience in which the identity of the fans does not fit with current “civilized” consumption processes and instead the identity of the viewers fits those images and procedures promoted by sports marketing professionals inside and outside of football. stadiums.
Chapter 9, by Baron-Yelles, focuses on tourism and nature-based tourism policy and how the ‘Grand Site National at La Point du Raz’ underwent changes in tourism provisioning services and infrastructure to adapt to the demands of tourists. The reader may observe trade-offs between natural resources and the provision of tourism experiences. This case study also shows how a destination responded to stakeholder views on coastal conservation, public access, and permitted levels of visitation.
Chapter 10, by Lohmann and Mundt, focuses on the maturing of markets for cultural tourism in Germany. The chapter looks at how tourism shapes culture through the exchange of experiences between travelers and residents in a destination. Travel and tourism are discussed as components of culture. Lohmann and Mundt conclude that travel has become an important part of people’s lives and, in turn, they are exposed to other cultures, which can affect their own.
Chapter 11, by East and Luger, focuses on youth culture and tourism development in the Austrian mountains. East and Luger share interesting insights about young people’s reactions and behavioral adjustments towards tourists. They report that young people who engage in tourism through family businesses tend to be more respectful of tourists. Young people in rural mountain areas were found to be interested in urban experiences.
Voase concludes that these four final cases have three underlying themes. The first issue is that the consumer experience is staged or produced. This theme recalls MacCannell’s (1976) notion of front and back realities. The front stage is the presentation of a destination to the visitors, while the back stage is the real or more real nature of a destination. The second issue is that marketing and commodification are not synonymous. The third theme is that environments are often manipulated to influence people. Voase explains how sports environments have changed and caused spectators to change as well.
In general, this book is useful for professionals and academics because it provides case studies offered by people with close connections to the tourism industry, thus providing an insider’s point of view. Voase, both as a resort tourism marketing professional and as an academic, effectively brings together case studies that focus on Western European tourism and communicates concepts that change the principles of tourism from “old” to “new”. His presentations of each case collection (ie, economic, political, and sociocultural) are revealing. Voase, however, does not analyze the introduction of the euro in January 2002. This is a major change in the economic structure of all EU member countries and their socio-cultural development. The interconnection of EU countries through the common currency could create a feeling of a larger community, potentially affecting tourism through the cultural, social, political and economic aspects of EU member countries.
Finally, the final piece of Voase is revealing. Their findings identify demographic, environmental and consumer trends that will influence tourism in Western Europe during the 21st century. It concludes that the aging population, global warming and the active and passive consumer segments are elements of a “new” tourism. All three trends will potentially affect future research in the field of tourism development and marketing. Both academics and professionals should be aware of these trends. Voase, as a professional and academic, makes a significant contribution through these thematic case studies and the identification of the main tourism themes and trends in Western Europe.