Socio-economic factors like income, mobility, age, education and cost are crucial in the evolution of demand. Together with leisure, these are responsible for determining the growth of international tourism.
The most comprehensive list of factors influencing the growth of tourism, however, comes from Louis Erdi of the Swiss Federal University. The list includes;
(i) Greater affluence and more leisure for an increasing number of people particularly, in the developed countries.
(ii) The emancipation of the young, and the relatively higher wages they possess (when they have no family responsibilities), enabling them to travel.
Transport facilities, especially air, very much better and cheaper and there is a high rate of car ownership.
An enormous growth in international business, necessitating travel. Package tours allow people, not used to making their own arrangements, to travel with an easy mind and are good value because of bulk buying of transport and hotel accommodation.
Relief from adverse climatic conditions in the home country may be found abroad. Travel has become a status symbol. Conferences and business meeting are proliferating.
Better education has interested a large section of the public in cultural tourism. World exhibitions and trade fairs have becomes very popular.
Publicity has become more and more aggressive, whetting the appetite of even those most unwilling to travel.
Ideological pressure groups (Political, Cultural, Scientific, etc.) organise more and more annual conventions and conferences, etc.
Without people’s motivation to travel, there would be no tourist industry. The prospective traveler’s selection of a destination is sometimes likened to a trip to travel supermarket, where the shopper walks in and selects the destination from any one of the thousands of choice.
Although, there are hundreds of thousands circumscribed by a number of factors. These include time, attitude, family responsibilities, finance, education, physical health and well- being.
The basic question of motivation as applicable in different fields can similarly be applied to travel. Why do some people travel and not others? Why one particular member in a family takes to travel while, others do ‘not?
Why in a particular country or a region, more people engage in tourism activity than in another? The answers to all these questions have been explained in the preceding paragraphs.
Several studies concerting psychology and motivation for tourism have shown that individuals normally travel for more than one reason. Tourism is the outcome of a combination of motives or motivators.
Travel Motivators can be defined as those factors that create a person’s desire to travel. Motivators are the internal psychological influences affecting individual’s choices.
Motivations operate on individuals travel purchase choices within the framework already set by the determinants of demand.
Several attempts have been made to study as to why people wish to travel or become tourists. Mcintosh has stated that basic travel motivators may be grouped into following three broad categories.
These are related to physical relaxation and rest, sporting activities and specific medical treatment. The entire above are concerned with the individual’s bodily health and well-being.
These are related to a desire to visit and meet relatives, friends or forge new friendships or simply to escape from the routine of everyday life.
These are identified with the needs of personal esteem and personal development. These motivators also relate to travel for business or professional interests, for the purpose of education or pursuit of hobbies.
Motivations for travel cover a broad range of human behaviour and experiences. Breaking down and elaborating these will give reasons as to why more and more people engage in tourism. The breakdown of broad categories would include the following sub categories:
Getting away from the routine of everyday life is perhaps the most important motive of all in recent times. The individual desire and need for pure pleasure is very strong. An individual likes to have fun excitement and a good time whenever possible.
The significance of the pleasure factor is widely utilized by travel agents and tour operators who are astute psychologists when it comes to selling tours. Various brochures and folders particularly emphasise the pleasure aspect of holidays and travel.
Industrialisation and ubranisation has created great pressures on modern living. The stress and strain of modern city life has made it more necessary than ever before for people to get away from all this and relax in an atmosphere which is more peaceful and healthy.
Relaxation is very essential to keep the body and mind healthy. There may be various forms of relaxation and rest. To some, it is secured by a change in the environment. Others seek relaxation in seeing new places, meeting strangers and seeking new experiences.
The development of spas during the Roman Empire was the result of people’s desire to seek good health. The subsequent establishment of many sanatoria in Switzerland was the result of an awareness of the various benefits of good health. These sanatoria1 laid the foundations for future resort developments.
Many travel to spas, and clinics for curative baths and medical treatment. In some countries is given to spa treatment. In the Russian federation along the Black Sea coast and in the foothills of the Caucasus, there are numerous world-famous sanatoria where every year millions of Russian citizens and international tourists come and avail of the facilities.
There has been an increasing participation in a wide variety of sporting activities such as mountaineering, walking, skiing, sailing, fishing, sunbathing, trekking, surf-riding, etc. More and more people these days are taking holidays involving physical activities.
In recent years there has been a big increase in sporting holidays. The visitor; go to places primarily to indulge in a sporting activity to which all their energies are directed.
An increasing number of people are visiting different lands, especially those places having important historical or cultural associations with ancient past or those places holding special art festivals, music festivals, theatre and other cultural events of importance. Curiosity has been one of the major reasons for tourism.
There has always been curiosity in man about foreign lands, people and places. In the present day world, technological developments in the area of mass media have made it possible for people to read, see and hear about different places.
The increasing interest shown by many in architecture, act, music, literature, folklore, dance, paintings and sports, in other people’s culture or in archaeological and historical remains and monuments, is but another aspect of man’s curiosity to seek more knowledge.
This curiosity has been stimulated by pore education. International events like Olympic Games, Asian Games, national celebrations, exhibitions, special festivals, etc. attract thousands of tourists.
This includes visiting one’s relatives and friends, meeting new people and seeking new friendships. A large number of people make travel for interpersonal reasons. There is considerable travel by people wanting to visit friends and relatives.
A large number of Americans visit European countries in order to see their families or because, they feel they are visiting their homeland. Every year thousands of people visit India for ethnic reasons. Many friendships have been made as a result of holiday acquaintances.
Travel for spiritual reasons has been taking place since a long time. Visiting religious places has been one of the earliest motivators of travel. A large number of people have been making pilgrimages to religious or holy places.
This practice is widespread in many parts of the world. In the Christian world, for instance, a visit to Jerusalem or the Vatican is considered to a great act of faith.
In India there are many pilgrimage centres and holy places of all the major religions of the world where every year a large number of pilgrims from all over the world congregate.
This relates to ego needs and personal development. Many people undertake travel with a view to talk about it to their relives and friends. They like to impress them by relating their experiences in the various places visited.
They also travel because, they think it is fashionable to do so and, perhaps, show that they can afford to do it. ‘Foreign tour’ is a magic world and people like to mention it to their friends and other acquaintances.
Attending conventions and conferences related to the professions, industry or commerce or to some organisation to which the individual belongs has become very popular. The ‘convention travel’ has made great strides in recent times.
Many countries, in order to attract more tourists, have established grand convention complexes where all kinds of modern facilities are provided for business meetings, seminars and conventions.
Large hotels also provide facilities for conventions as a large number of peoples travel for business and professional reasons.
Conventions and conferences associated with education, commerce, industry, politics and various professions are increasingly being held in various parts of the world. Although, some topple travel strictly for business purposes, the majority link business travel with pleasure.
Tracing the history of travel over the centuries, it is quite evident that the main motives for travel have not changed much. These have remained the same in form. Only the scope and the intensity have changed. The principal motives continue to be the same.
While wanderlust in ancient times manifested itself in the exploration and search of the unknown, today it has the same purpose with a different angle. Similarly, sun lust in the past was associated with pleasure travel of the Romans; today it manifests itself in exotic holidays around the beaches and the holiday village.