grand canyon tourism.jpg
shanty town mumbai india.jpg
london 2012.jpg
grand canyon tourism.jpg

Niche National Strategies

Niche national tourism strategies with a global sphere of influence, including adventure tourism, movie location tourism and heritage tourism


Niche National Strategies

Niche national tourism strategies with a global sphere of influence, including adventure tourism, movie location tourism and heritage tourism




adventure travel

Adventure travel is a type of tourism involving exploration or travel with perceived (and possibly actual) risk, and potentially requiring specialised skills and physical exertion. Adventure tourism has grown in recent decades, as tourists seek different kinds of vacations, but measurement of market size and growth is hampered by the lack of a clear operational definition. According to the U.S. based Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel may be any tourist activity, including two of the following three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature.

Adventure tourists may be motivated to achieve mental states characterised as rush or flow, resulting from stepping outside of their comfort zone. This may be from experiencing culture shock or through the performance of acts, that require significant effort and involve some degree of risk (real or perceived) and/or physical danger. This may include activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, mountain biking,canoeing, rafting, zip-lining, paragliding, and rock climbing. Some obscure forms of adventure travel include disaster and ghetto tourism. Other rising forms of adventure travel include social and jungle tourism.

Access to inexpensive consumer technology, with respect to Global Positioning Systems, flashpacking, social networking and photography, have increased the worldwide interest in adventure travel. The interest in independent adventure travel has also increased as more specialist travel websites emerge offering previously niche locations and sports.



the power of adventure tourism

adventure tourism is what tourism should be


CASE StUDY: adventure tourism in switzerland

Switzerland is the #1 ranked destination for adventure tourism in the developed world.


Read pp 21-22 of the pdf below and explain why.


growth of more remote tourist destinations



tourism in polar regions

In Antarctica, there has been a tremendous growth in tourism activities over the last decades. 

The number of ship-borne tourists increased by 344% in 13 years and land-based tourists by 917 % in 9 years.

By the early 1990’s, the number of tourists in Antarctica eclipsed the number of scientists conducting research there.

Reasons for growth:

  • improving transport technologies

  • growing popularity

  • increasing wealth and leisure time

  • a moderating climate

  • intensive tourism promotion




  1. Read pp 2-5

  2. Describe and explain the growth of polar tourism using data.

  3. Read pp 12-15

  4. In groups, outline the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts of polar tourism


Using examples, explain three reasons for the growth of tourism in more remote locations. [6 marks]

Award [1 mark] for each basic reason that is identified/stated, and a further [1 mark] for explanation of how this leads to growth of tourism in remote locations.

For example:

increasing popularity of niche tourism markets [1] such as adventure, heritage and movie location tourism [1]

internet tourist websites have raised awareness [1 mark] of remote locations where visitors can now go, such as Antarctica [1 mark]

improved accessibility to remote places [1 mark] has been helped by improvements in cruise ship designs [1 mark]

rising incomes in developed countries [1 mark] means people have the funds for “the trip of a lifetime”, such as Europeans travelling to see South America [1 mark]

over-development of some tourist areas [1 mark] has led to a desire to visit less crowded, more remote, areas such as The Maldives [1 mark].

exam practice

Examine the changes in the international tourism industry that have led to the development of different types of tourist activity and locations. (10 marks)


Responses are expected to acknowledge the overall global increase in tourist numbers and the associated increase in revenues. This increase in the overall industry has increased the saturation of existing locations, the decline of domestic tourist locations in the UK and Switzerland, and led to new types of tourism evolving (cultural weekend tourism in Basel, Adventure tourism in Switzerland) and more remote locations being developed (high mountain areas, north and south poles). Reference to models of tourism may be relevant here.

Ecotourism, adventure tourism, high value luxury tourism and back-packing are different types of tourism that may occur in remote locations. In addition, an increase in transport infrastructure and reduced flight costs has made new locations more financially viable. Global warming may be opening up some remote locations to tourism, such as Greenland and Svalbard. A recognition amongst governments of the development potential provided by tourism has increased investment thus increasing access. Increasing standards of living in emerging economies is leading to an increase in the volume of global tourists in recognised markets. This is compounded by mass media and marketing.

While examples are not a specific requirement of the question, those answers that provide supporting examples are likely to access the higher markbands. At band D, at least two changes are described and linked to different types of tourist activity. To access bands E and F a variety of changes are examined (e.g. may examine the most important change, or categorise the changes) and linked to different types of activity and new destinations. 





TNCs & Tourism

Describe the role of TNCs in expanding international tourism destinations and explain the costs and benefits for different stakeholders

TNCs & Tourism

Describe the role of TNCs in expanding international tourism destinations and explain the costs and benefits for different stakeholders

A Transnational Corporation (TNC) is a company that has its headquarters in a high income country (HIC) and which has business operations in multiple countries.

Which TNCs do you associate with travel and tourism? How do these companies bring positive and negative impacts to different people involved in tourism?



Research 2 different types of TNC involved in tourism. Find out 5 facts about them e.g. Headquarters, number of employees, annual turnover etc. and add these to your notes

e.g. Hilton Hotels, TripAdvisor,, AirBnb, Emirates etc.


Tourism stakeholders ( Source )

Tourism stakeholders (Source)


The increasing involvement of transnational corporations in the tourism industry is closely linked to wider changes influenced by globalisation.

TNC involvement in tourism can bring many benefits and costs to different people involved in the tourism industry (stakeholders).

  1. Using two different colours, add ideas for how TNCs can bring costs and benefits for different stakeholders to the worksheet

  2. Click the case study link and add further ideas to your worksheet




Plan an essay response for the following question. Structure your essay around different stakeholders.

“The increase of TNC involvement in tourism bring more costs than benefits to different stakeholders.” Discuss this statement with reference to examples [10 marks]

Suggested structure:

Body paragraph 1: “Globalisation has increased the number of large corporations involved in the tourism industry”

Body paragraph 2: “TNC involvement in tourism brings many benefits to different stakeholders”

Boday paragraph 3: “However, there are many costs involved with increasing TNC involvement in tourism”.

shanty town mumbai india.jpg

Tourism as a NATIONAL development strategy

Costs and benefits of tourism as a national development strategy, including economic and social/cultural effects

Tourism as a NATIONAL development strategy

Costs and benefits of tourism as a national development strategy, including economic and social/cultural effects

UNWTO Tourism Stories

Each year, 1 billion people travel internationally.

40% of these people go to developing countries, representing $300 billion flowing from rich to poor countries - 3 times larger than the global aid budget.

How could international tourism contribute to development? Add ideas and examples to the SDG wheel.



Tourism can contribute to development and the reduction of poverty in a number of ways. Economic benefits are generally the most important element, but there can be social, environmental and cultural benefits and costs.

Tourism contributes to poverty reduction by providing employment and diversified livelihood opportunities. This in turn provides additional income or contributes to a reduction in vulnerability of the poor by increasing the range of economic opportunities available to individuals and households.

Tourism also contributes to poverty alleviation through direct taxation and the generation of taxable economic growth; taxes can then be used to alleviate poverty through education, health and infrastructure development. It should not be forgotten that some tourism facilities also improve the recreational and leisure opportunities available for the poor themselves at the local level. (Source)

  • Tourism is a massive industry accounting for 9% of global GDP which has huge economic potential for developing countries.

  • In 2016, more than 1 billion people travelled internationally. 40% of those journeys ended up in a developing country.

  • Tourism represents $300 billion per year flowing from rich to poor countries (3 x bigger than the global aid budget).

  • Tourism flows therefore have a huge potential to lift low income countries (LICs) out of poverty.

  • Many small countries have benefitted enormously from tourism, however not all money trickles down to local people.



Write a paragraph summarising the potential of tourism for economic and social development




The category of Least Developed Country was first used by the United Nations in 1971 to encourage the international community to recognise these countries as structurally disadvantaged.

Since 1971 only Botswana has graduated from LDC status, and tourism played a very significant role in that process with the annual number of international tourism arrivals increasing by more than half a million visitors between 1985 and 1998.

Cape Verde, Maldives, Samoa and Vanuatu have all been considered for graduation since 1994 and in all four of them tourism has been the single most important factor explaining the socio-economic progress which would form the basis of their graduation. 

In the Maldives, annual visitor arrivals tripled between 1985 and 1998, in the same period the proportion of tourism exports to GNP increased from 75% to 89%, making the Maldives the LDC most dependent on international tourism.

International arrivals to other LDCs grew fast between 1995 and 1998. Angola and Chad experienced more than 75% growth. Cape Verde, The Gambia, Laos, Mali and Zambia all enjoyed growth above 20%. However, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Kiribati, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Central African Republic and Burundi, all saw reductions in international visitor arrivals. (Source)


Outline 2 examples of countries that have developed economically as a result of tourism. Include data and years.




Watch the video above and list costs and benefits of tourism. When finished, use colours to categorise these by cost vs benefit, social-economic-environmental etc.


Benefits of Tourism

  • Develops secondary industries to support tourism e.g agriculture, manufacturing, transport and services (The multiplier effect)

  • Tourism is labour intensive and employs a high number of people in different industries

  • Tourism depends on natural capital (wildlife, scenery and beaches) and culture, which are assets owned by the poor

  • Provides an industry in countries that have no exports

  • More jobs are filled by women


Mongolia diversifies economy with tourism

Political stability leads to tourism in Myanmar

Limitations of Tourism

  • High levels of foreign ownership lead to leakage of profits to foreign countries

  • Locals may be displaced from agricultural land and lose access to resources like beaches

  • Tourism is vulnerable to changes in the global economy, losing tourists in times of economic recession

  • International visitor arrivals are vulnerable to conflict, crime, political instability and natural disasters in tourism destinations

  • Tourism requires highly sophisticated marketing that might not always be funded by the government


Ebola damages Gambia’s tourism

Terrorism and its effects on tourism


The Impacts of Mass Tourism in Thailand


exam practice

Examine the view that tourism offers a guaranteed route towards economic development for low-income countries. (10 marks)



Answer invites debate around “guaranteed”, in addition to recognizing that there are positives and negatives in any case, which in itself makes the statement controversial.

Economic benefits can be discussed for individuals working in the tourist industry or for national income. Expect details of multiplier effects, foreign earnings. This must be balanced against financial losses (leakage of profits from foreign-owned ventures). Good answers should recognize that tourism is not a one-size-fits-all development strategy: it may not be the best strategy in some cases (and parallel strategies might exist).

[5-6 marks], there should be an understanding of how tourism may lead to economic development, and an awareness of the limitations of tourism to economic development.

[7-8 marks] the general truth of the statement should be explored, using exemplification.

[9-10 marks] A balanced evaluation of costs and limitations, and the truth of the statement is questioned.



london 2012.jpg

International Sporting Event

Examine the political, economic and cultural factors affecting the hosting of international sporting events, including Olympics and football World Cup events

International Sporting Event

Examine the political, economic and cultural factors affecting the hosting of international sporting events, including Olympics and football World Cup events




  1. Watch the videos above and read the Geo Active PDF

  2. Explain why Stratford was chosen for the London 2012 Olympics referring to:

    • Socio-economic factors

    • Transport links

    • Physical factors

  3. List the different costs and benefits of hosting the London 2012 Olympics

  4. Review your list. Which of these were:

    • short or long term?

    • affecting local or national citizens?

  5. To what extent did local people benefit from the London 2012 games?





  1. Watch the documentary above and read the Economist article

  2. Add costs and benefits to your list

  3. To what extent were these changes beneficial for local communities around Stratford, East London?




exam practice

“Local people do not benefit from hosting an international sporting event.” Discuss this statement. [10 marks]



Reasons to agree with the statement include:

  • Organisation of events is usually done at national or international level therefore some leakage can occur. Multinational investment and sponsorship prevents the needs of local people being met.

  • Likely increase in local problems – traffic, house prices etc.

  • Effects are short-term and interest in local issues decreases after event.

Reasons to disagree with the statement include:

  • Legacy of investment in infrastructure and amenities for use by the community

  • Employment provided

  • Inward investment

  • Requirements for sustainable development are more likely to be met.

While examples are not a specific requirement of the question, those answers that provide supporting examples are likely to access the higher markbands.

To access bands E and F, responses should present a balanced discussion that considers both reasons to agree and disagree with the statement and may realise that some benefits are not always clear cut and have a temporal aspect – short-term/long-term.

Marks should be allocated according to the markbands.

Examiners report

The benefits of international sporting events to anyone other than locals (such as major corporations, national economy, etc.) were often totally ignored. Answers were generally stronger on the benefits for the local people but often did not consider longer-term effects beyond the event itself.