The history of tourism in the UK provides an example - or model - of how a tourist industry might develop in any particular nation. The UK's national parks give a good case study for this topic.
Models of tourist development
Butler developed a model which shows how any tourist resort may grow. A resort may start off from being a small, low key, destination. He suggests that all resorts go through the same sort of process.
The seven stages of tourist development
A graph of Butler’s resort life cycle model
- Exploration - a small number of tourists visit the area. The area is unspoilt and few tourist facilities exist.
- Involvement - local people start to provide some facilities for tourists. There starts to become a recognised tourist season.
- Development - the host country starts to develop and advertise the area. The area becomes recognised as a tourist destination.
- Consolidation - the area continues to attract tourists. The growth in tourist numbers may not be a fast as before. Some tensions develop between the host and the tourists.
- Stagnation - the facilities for the tourists may decline as they become old and run down. The numbers of tourists may decline too.
- Rejuvenation - investment and modernisation may occur which leads to improvements and visitor numbers may increase again.
- Decline - if the resort is not rejuvenated (stage 6) then it will go into decline. People lose their jobs related to tourism. The image of the area suffers.
The Butler model is a generalisation, and so not all resorts will follow this process.