Critically Appraise Bath as a Tourist Destination.

Topics: Tourism, Bath, Somerset, Heritage tourism Pages: 7 (2209 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Critically appraise Bath as a tourist destination.

1. Investigate the image of Bath as a tourist destination (what types of tourism are present?)

In order to investigate the image of Bath as a tourist destination, the theory behind tourist destination images must be considered. So as to identify the different types of tourism that may be present in Bath and therefore create the destination image. For example Jenkins (1999) provides us with the most commonly cited definition of tourist destination image which is by Crompton (1979, p18) ‘The sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person has of a destination’. These ‘beliefs, ideas and impressions’ are all influenced by a number of factors that are illustrated by Stabler (1988) in Figure 1.

Stabler (1988) acknowledges that the factors are split into supply and demand factors. Demand factors include influences that a person acquires throughout life and this in turn creates an individual motivation. Supply factors are the outside influences that is created through the consumption of media and marketing, how other people wish us to view a destination.

Figure 2. by Gunn (1972) explores the demand factors in Figure 1. by analysing the timeline of the image and how it changes for each person according to the influences they receive.

This is also demonstrated by Balogu & McCleary (1999) in Figure 3, by exploring further factors that influence destination image.

Figure 3. A general framework of destination image formation.

All of these figures demonstrate how outside media/marketing factors, personal and psychological factors can influence a persons perception of a destination. (Ryan and Gu 2008) point out that the image itself is the beginning point of tourists expectation, which is eventually a determinant of tourists behaviour. The behaviour of the tourists and their motivations to visit a destination then determines what type of tourist they will be and what type of tourism will present at that destination.

Literary and film tourism represent a very obvious influence upon a tourist’s ‘organic image’, as shown in Figure 2. Beeton (2005, p54) emphasises this point by stating that ‘visual media are considered to be the most powerful image creators rather than marketing, especially when their effect is subtler, when they have not been primarily developed to achieve this goal’. Herbert (2001) also states that fictional characters and events often generate the strongest imagery, with regards to the literary element. The two types of tourism compliment each other well because they both play a role in representing a tourists personal taste, and therefore strongly influence upon the forming of a tourists ‘organic image’ through imagination or visual means. Busby and Klug (2001) also recognise that literary and movie-induced tourism interlink and use the example of a television programme (Langley Country, presenting the places which inspired Thomas Hardy) trace those places which are clearly connected to well known writers or novels.

These tourism types can be directly linked to Bath through the works of Jane Austen as a literary motivation and also the movies that have been filmed in Bath, demonstrated by Figure 4. as a film-induced motivation.

Figure 4. Baths Movie Map

The Royal Crescent is an appropriate example of Beeton’s (2005) point that the natural scenery, exciting/exotic locations, storyline themes and human relationships portrayed in the film are recognised motivators for people to visit certain locations.

The type of tourist that will also choose to visit Bath is demonstrated through the types of films that have been shot in Bath, several being Jane Austen’s novels turned into film; which also link the literary and film tourism elements together; and also pointed out by Herbert (2001) who says that ‘literary pilgrims in this sense are well educated tourists, versed in the classics and with cultural capital to...
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