Butler’s Tourism Lifecycle Model
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
1. Exploration - a small number of tourists visit the area. The area is unspoilt and few tourist facilities exist. 2. Involvement - local people start to provide some facilities for tourists. There starts to become a recognised tourist season. 3. Development - the host country starts to develop and advertise the area. The area becomes recognised as a tourist destination. 4. 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. 5. Stagnation - the facilities for the tourists may decline as they become old and run down. The numbers of tourists may decline too. 6. Rejuvenation - investment and modernisation may occur which leads to improvements and visitor numbers may increase again. 7. 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.
Application of Butler’s Tourism Lifecycle Model to Calafell & Sitges, Spain (MEDC)
Sitges and Calafell are approximately equal-sized settlements lying to the south west of Barcelona. Both rely on tourism as a major source of income and employment and the study aims to compare the relative success of tourism, in its various forms, by employing the Butler Model. 1. SITGES
Sitges - a brief history
Sitges is a town of approximately 25,000 people and is located about 30 km south of Barcelona. Originally occupied by the Romans on a defensive headland looking out to sea, Sitges’ port was used to trade products from the Penedès region and other places from the Roman Mediterranean. Despite its direct contact with the sea, the town had more peasant farmers than fishermen, with vineyards being the main economic activity. In the 18th century Catalonia obtained permission to trade directly with the West Indian Spanish colonies and by 1833 more than 27% of the Catalans trading with Cuba were Sitgetans. The fortunes made were invested in the purchase or repair of the town's old houses. Sitges, although located close to Barcelona, was still hard to access at the time, but began to develop as a summer resort for taking the waters. As early as 1879, there are records showing that baths were already being used as medicinal therapy and spa enthusiasts directly became beach enthusiasts. However, it was not until 1881, with the arrival of the railway line from Barcelona, that tourism in Sitges really began to develop. With the arrival of Santiago Rusiñol in 1891 - one of the architects of Modernism - Sitges became the cultural centre of the modernists. In 1909, Sitges was visited by Charles Deering, a North American millionaire who converted a street in the historic core into a palace, the Palau Maricel. This palace and Rusiñol’s residence helped launch Sitges to tourist fame. In 1918, the Terramar garden city and the Passeig Maritim or Esplanade were constructed. Atracción de Forasteros (Tourist Attraction Company) was created in 1928 and the Tourist Information Office in 1934. From then on, Sitges would become a European tourism standard setter.
Aerial view of Sitges' historic core
The Butler Model applied to Sitges
1. Sitges Discovery
Sitges was discovered early by people from the city of Barcelona. It later began to attract many artists and intellectuals such as Rusiñol. Many wealthy Catalans also built second homes in Sitges to escape a much polluted Barcelona. Much of the early wealth of Sitges was based on trade with the West Indies and Cuba...
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