Situational and Environmental Variables that affects Tourist Behavior: Now, you can move onto situational and environmental variables which completely external and out of control of a tourist but will impact how they behave their behavior when they visit a destination. These are:
- Political situation and Terrorism: If a certain destination is politically unstable and threatened by terrorist activities, tourists will not be motivated to visit that destination. Tourists will avoid such destinations even if they are worth visiting and opt for safer places. Eg. The Pyramids of Egypt are very popular with the tourists but most tourists might avoid travel to Egypt as it remains politically instable most of the times.
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- Energy Prices: If energy prices go up, tourists will travel less both domestically and internationally. The reason is because with the rise in energy prices, aviation fuel prices will also increase, thus making airfares costly. As a result, many tourists will avoid using flights as a mode of transport in their travel plan. Also, the disposable income of tourists will be negatively impacted, hence making tourists travel lesser and lesser.
- Exchange and currency rates: Currency and exchange rates keep fluctuating but if the fluctuation is big, tourists will avoid travel to expensive destinations like USA, Australia and the European nations. They might prefer going to countries which are comparatively cheaper like a few South East Asian countries like India, Thailand, and Malaysia etc.
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- Public Health issue: In case of an epidemic, tourists might be instructed by their respective governments not to travel to certain locations. Tourists themselves might get scared and decide not to visit a destination because of health related issues in such destinations. E.g. recently there was Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the World Health Organisation had declared an international health emergency. Consequently, a lot of tourists avoided travel to West African destinations.
- Tourist crowding at a destination: If a destination experiences tourist crowding, it will reduce satisfaction as the viewing space at many places like monuments, parks, etc will be limited. It will also cause discomfort and tourists will be negatively impacted when visiting such a destination. They might not return the next day or dissuade others from coming to that destination.
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- Poor general environmental condition of a destination: If a certain destination is not well maintained, has littered and waste issues, it will not be very attractive to the tourists. It will decrease the natural quality of the environment and tourists will not be motivated to visit that destination again.
- Inadequate facilities: Lack of adequate facilities like ATMS, banks, etc can harm the growth of a tourist destination. Foreign travellers , especially, might expect basic facilities and if these are not found, will be quite disappointed with the destination and might not like to travel again to that destination.
- Connectivity issues: If a destination is not well connected by all /some modes of transport like air, road and rail, it will cause connectivity issues and tourists will not be motivated enough to visit that destination. So, it is important to give due importance to develop all modes of transport at a destination.
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- Hostile attitude of local community: The tourists will encounter local community when visiting a destination. Sometimes, the locals might not be happy with the influx of too many tourists and their negative impacts on the environment. If the locals show hostile attitude to the tourist, then the tourists might not be motivated to visit the destination the next time even if they find the destination very attractive.
Variables that affects Tourist Behavior