3.3 The development of international tourism

p.418 in the book


We are going to use Benidorm as the MEDC tourism case study for this part of the unit: resources can be found on the Benidorm tourism study resources pages of this GeogBlog (see dropdown menus). The structure of the case study follows the progress of the resort through the stages of the Butler Model (1980).

The Galapagos Islands are the case study for LEDC tourism.  See separate page on the drop down menu.

The rest of this page consists of notes on the Butler TALC.

From Butler’s intro to Ch.4 of The Tourism Area Life Cycle

One of the key features of the TALC model is the element of rejuvenation which means appropriate intervention can save a resort from inevitable decline.  It was never felt that renewal, rejuvenation or revisioning could ever solve all of the problems which mature destinations were likely to face but it was felt that those in charge of destinations should be able to identify strategies and actions which would allow the resort to maintain elements of its attractiveness and add new features in order to continue to attract tourists, recognizing that the market segment(s) thus attracted may be different to the original or traditional market segment(s) on which the destination first developed.”

C.Cooper: The anatomy of the rejuvenation stage of the TALC

Repositioning in the marketplace: Benidorm moved away from mass-market low-spend tourists and toward high-spend special interest visitors. This has been achieved through a committed programme of resort renewal with both public and private finances and initiatives designed to preserve the best aspects of the resort while gradually introducing significant quality improvements.

Mass tourism in Europe to purpose built destinations (coastal, mountain) HAS EVOLVED OVER THE PAST 150 YEARS IN TWO WAVES:

  1. Northern European coastal resorts (England, France, Germany) from early 19th century – gaining mass appeal with the growth of the railways in the 1850s.
  2. Jet travel in the 1960s provided low-cost fast travel to Mediterranean destinations.

The second wave modeled their resorts on the northern resorts they replaced.  Resorts from both cycles focused on the provision of low-cost, value accommodation and facilities with the coastal strip as the main attraction.

A third wave built on long-haul flights to resorts such as the Caribbean, Dubai and Thailand meet the need for new more exotic destinations.

New resources for tourism might be seen in the Terra Mitica, Terra Natura, Aqualandia parks; golfing facilities, upmarket restaurants and hotels, plus the additional development of environmental projects (walking, climbing, mountainbiking, sailing, scuba, etc) and the cultural developments such as museums and archaeological exploration.



“It’s fast become a buzz word in the travel world, and a phrase to be bandied about like a badge of honor. Of course, like other buzz words that have come and gone in ecologically sensitive circles, “organic,” “fair trade,” and “sustainable” come to mind, it’s definition is somewhat fluid, which leaves room for a lot of artistic license where marketing is concerned. Where that leaves the consumer is, often, confused.” (see below)


  1. As an introduction to this important topic please read this online article: http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/15-11/ecotourism-does-it-matter.html  (Accessed 6/1/16)
  2. Summarise the writer’s argument in support of ecotourism.
  3. What might be the down-side of ecotourism that the writer does not evaluate in this article?  How might this kind of tourism have a damaging effect on the environment?  What might be the arguments against the supposed economic benefits to LEDCs?
  4. In order to develop your arguments for the above, please do your own research using Google Advanced search.  Put in words such as “ecotourism” “LEDC” etc. and search phrases such as “employment opportunities” “tour companies” etc.  See what you can find to balance the arguments of the writer in the original article above.



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