Mass tourism to honeypot sites

Mass tourism involves tens of thousands of people going to the same resort, or honeypot site, often at the same time of year. It is the most popular form of tourism as it is usually the cheapest way to holiday, and is often sold as a package deal.

Benidorm, Spain is a popular tourist destination
Benidorm, Spain is a popular tourist destination

Governments and local people often support mass tourism because it generates a lot of income for local areas. However, some view such tourism as unsustainable, because the effect of so many tourists in one area can lead to the destruction of the natural and cultural landscapes on which people depend to attract the tourists in the first place.

Advantages

  • Jobs are generated in many areas - in the construction, travel, food and other service-related industries.
  • It brings foreign exchange into the country.
  • The multiplier effect spreads wealth into the local community.
  • Roads, rail, electricity services, etc all need improving - local people also benefit from these infrastructure developments.
  • Provides local government with money to invest in schools, healthcare and social services.

Disadvantages

  • Multinational companies often control these holidays and much of the profit leaves the country.
  • Jobs can be seasonal and low paid. People can therefore find themselves out of work at the end of the season.
  • Tourists consume huge amounts of resources including food and water in areas where these are often scarce.
  • Land is lost from farming to tourist developments.
  • Fragile ecosystems, eg sand dunes, may be destroyed.
  • New roads, airports and increased traffic cause pollution and environmental damage.

Rural tourism

Rural tourism encourages the public to enjoy the countryside. It is a thriving industry in the UK, due largely to its 15 national parks, eg Snowdonia in Wales, the Cairngorms in Scotland and the Lake District in the north of England.

This type of tourism provides jobs and brings in revenue into the local area, but can also create issues such as traffic congestion, pollution and damage to natural landscapes (due to high numbers of tourists visiting).