1. Leisure Definitions

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Option E – Leisure, Sport & Tourism

1. Leisure


  • Discuss the difficulties in attempting to define leisure, recreation, tourism and sport.

  • Discuss the influence of accessibility, changes in technology and affluence upon the growth of these activities.

  • Leisure: any freely chosen activity or experience that takes place in non-work time

  • Recreation: a leisure-time activity undertaken voluntarily for enjoyment. Includes individual pursuits, organized outings and events, and non-paid sports.

  • Sport a physical activity involving a set of rules or customs. This activity may be competitive.

  • Tourism travel away from home for at least one night for the purpose of leisure. Excludes day-trippers.

  • Difficulty in attempting to define they overlap because participation may be simultaneous

The growth of these activities

  • Accessibility: Infrastructural improvements opening up pleasure periphery

  • Changes in technology:

    • Internet has facilitated research and booking operations.

    • Credit card has made payments much easier between customer and tour operator.

    • Wide-bodied jet planes, high speed trains and large cruise ships: widen economies of scale and time-space convergence

  • Affluence

    • Growing desire by wealthier population to escape pressures of urban living

    • More disposable income

    • More educated population are aware of cultures and environments: curiosity

    • More leisure time with shorter working hours and paid leave of skilled jobs

2. Leisure at the International scale: tourism

Changes in demand

  • Explain the long-term and short-term trends and patterns in international tourism.

Changes in supply

  • Explain the changes in location and development of different tourist activities.

  • Explain the growth of more remote tourist destinations.

Key patterns in international tourism

  • Tourist preference shifting toward Asia-Pacific region due to their rapid economic development: improved infrastructure, hygiene and knowledge of languages at acceptable level, whereas underdeveloped places relatively static.

  • According to Plog’s model, most people are of the mid-centric type: do not oppose adventure and so like new experiences, but will not visit bizarre and remote places

Plog’s Psychographic Profile
The Plog Model is similar to the Butler Life Cycle Model, but instead of focusing on the product, it actually focuses on the people using the product; and in the case of tourism, the tourists.
The Plog Model divides tourists into three different groups. The groups are:

  • Allocentrics:  hardened travellers. Discover new destinations, adventurous experiences. Independent travel, use local transport. Discover new destinations that has tourism potential. Above average income.

  • Mid-centrics: Majority of travellers. Seek well-known, established destinations. Travel in groups and on package holidays. Expect developed tourist facilities.

  • Psychocentrics: Same destination for most of their lives. Holiday destinations similar to home environment. Like the familiar, may be repeat visitors.

Explain the short-term and long-term trends in international tourism






  • Smaller families making tourism more affordable

  • Increase in leisure time (weekends and paid holidays)

  • An increase in life expectancy allowing more time to travel after retirement

  • New forms of tourism e.g. medical tourism or spas.

  • Major sporting events e.g. Football World cup in South Africa

  • Improving linguistic skills

  • Increase in world population

  • Increase in computer ownership and access to the internet

  • Increased leisure time (labour saving devices, shorter working week, flexible working hours)

  • Increase in disposable income

  • Growth of new low cost airlines

  • The introduction of pensions making travel more affordable after retirement

  • Increase in advertising

  • Improvement in tourist infrastructure e.g. hotels

  • Weakening of currency in tourist destination making travel cheaper

  • Movement away from subsistence farming

  • Wider use of credit cards.

  • Increased car ownership

  • Simpler booking methods e.g. Expedia online

  • Single currency in Europe (the Euro)

  • Removal of visa restrictions

  • Government investment in tourist infrastructure

  • Greater political freedom e.g. Chinese citizens

  • Increased stability of area e.g Vietnam after the war the of the 1960s and 1970s

  • Creation of new national parks or the protection of certain areas.

  • Natural landforms being designated a UNESCO site.

  • Good reliable weather

  • Natural beauty e.g. Sahara Desert, Himalaya Mountains or Great Barrier Reef

  • Introduction of ecotourism and sustainable tourism






  • Terrorist attacks e.g. Bali bombings 2002 aimed at tourists

  • Ethnic tensions between locals and overseas visitors

  • Economic recession or loss of jobs

  • Increased cost of travel. Rising oil prices are add fuel levies.

  • Weakening of domestic currency making international travel more expensive

  • Credit crunch making finance harder to access.

  • Political instability e.g. Libya

  • Introduction of visas, tourist tax, exit tax

  • Closing of borders e.g. Myanmar after failed 'Saffron Revolution' (now open again)

  • Natural disasters e.g. Thailand after 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

  • Environmental accidents e.g. Gulf of Mexico oil spill

  • Rising sea levels possible flooding tourist destinations e.g. Maldives

  • Outbreak of disease e.g. Swine flu

  • Worries about personal carbon footprint.

Butler’s tourism model

1. Exploration: A new destination, with very few visitors. Usually adventurous travellers that have minimal impact.
2. Involvement: If the tourists like the new destination and the destination is happy to receive tourists, then there may be investment in tourist infrastructure and involvement by locals. Tourist numbers grow slowly.
3. Development: Tourism becomes big business with further investment and involvement by TNCs. Holidays become more organised with package holidays arriving.
4. Consolidation: The area becomes reliant on tourism. Advertising and marketing attempts to maintain and increase tourism levels. Facilities like beaches, swimming pools and golf courses may become the domain of tourists causing some local resentment.
5. Stagnation: There is some local opposition to tourists, there is no new investment, tourists become tired of the same destination and growth stops.
6. Rejuvenation: Tourism is relaunched through advertising, tourists arrival from new markets increase, new transport links are opened or the tourism become more sustainable with local involvement.
6. Decline: There is no relaunch, locals remove their support, TNCs leave and tourism begins to decline.

3. Leisure at the international scale: Sport

International participation and success

Examine the social, cultural, economic and political factors affecting participation and success in two major international sports.

Case study of a contemporary international sports event

Analyse the geographic factors that influenced the choice of venue(s).

Examine the factors affecting the sphere of influence for participants and supporters.

Evaluate the short- and long-term geographic costs and benefits of hosting such an event at both the local and national level.

Factors affecting participation and success in golf/football

  • Football is global sport because traditionally played: spread with British Empire

  • Large government investment by Sports Minister in England for stadiums/equipment to develop football talent: football success is part of national identity

  • Football can be played in state-provided parks whereas golf courses are privately-owned and expensive.

  • More wealthy countries do better at golf because leisure time and affluence (membership in golf club) needed to hone talent.

  • Female success in golf is dominated by East-Asians as opposed to with males where it’s whites: cultural norm of male-domination not ingrained with introduction of golf.

London 2012 Olympics

Locational advantages





  • Accessibility:

  • five international airports in London.

  • Newham located very close to the London.

  • Good rail network.

  • Newham is connected by the underground, overground, mainline rail, Docklands light railway and Eurostar.

  • Many of the venues were already in existence e.g. Wembley, Lord's, Wimbledon and the O2 arena.

  • The government guaranteed to cover the cost of the Olympics.

  • The UK has a successful track record of hosting major sporting events, it hosted the European football championships in 1996 and the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

  • London is world city, so it is easy to attract sponsorship and advertising to the venue.

  • The Lower Lea Valley needed regeneration: hoped higher living standard for deprived area (high unemployment, low income, poor public health)

  • London and the UK has a tradition of sport. Lord's is the home of Cricket, Wimbledon the home of tennis and Twickenham the home of rugby. It also has many other famous sporting venues in the capital like the O2 arena, the Emirates and Wembley.

  • London championed the idea of leaving a legacy. They said that a poor area would be regenerated and venues would be left for future use.

  • They had the backing of celebrities, Lord Sebastian Coe (former Olympic champion) and David Beckham.

  • The bid team used local residents to show that it had the backing of the local population.

  • All venues will be used after the Olympics. They will either be made smaller or dismantled and moved to other parts of the country.

  • There are a large number of hotel rooms in and around London.

  • The bid had the support of the local and national government.

  • The then mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, put aside his difference with the then Prime Minister Tony Blair to fully support the London bid.

  • The current Prime Minister (David Cameron) and London Mayor (Boris Johnson) also strongly support the Olympics.

  • There were large brownfield sites in Newham that could be used to construct the Olympic Village on.

  • East London is built on a floodplain so the land is flat and easy to build on.

  • The East of London should be protected from flooding by the Thames Flood Barrier.

  • During July and August, London normally has a good climate for participating in and viewing sport (not too hot or cold, not much rainfall).

  • London and England are in Europe, so close to many of the Olympics potential athletes and spectators.

Problems with location?

  • London is already a developed city, so selecting London may have taken the opportunity of other cities like Istanbul or Havana to develop.

  • London is one of the world's most expensive cities to visit and live. Many potential spectators will be put off by the expense.

  • Some businesses had to be closed and relocated to make way for the Olympic village.

  • There have been questions marks, whether London's transport network can cope with the influx of visitors.

  • There is the risk that the Olympics might attract a terrorist attack. In fact the day after London won the Olympics, it experienced a major terrorist attack.







  • Local residents will have the opportunity to go and watch world class sport on their doorstep.

  • A new school/college has been built on the site of the Olympic Village. It will be the media centre during the games

  • Jobs will be created selling merchandise, tickets, food, etc at Olympic venues – positive multiplier effect.

  • Hotels and restaurants should see a massive increase in business on the lead up to and during the Olympics and Paralympics

  • Olympic merchandise will be sold across the world increasing revenue from the games

  • Sponsorship and advertising should cover a lot of the costs from the games.

  • Existing land owners can charge premium rent

  • The British government will be in the spotlight at the time and the Prime Minister at the time will get publicity from opening the Games.

  • There will be an increase in tax revenue during the games.

  • Cars will not be allowed into the Olympic Village so all spectators will be walking, cycling or using public transport. This should reduce air pollution in the area of the Olympic Village.

  • During the Olympics there will be road closures and increased traffic which will make it harder for Londoners to move around.

  • London may become a terrorist target and at the very least there will be increased disruption because of security checks.

  • Local residents affected by noise, dust and visual pollution of years of construction and heavy vehicle movement.

  • The cost of hotels, restaurants, taxis,etc. will probably increase during the Olympic Games.

  • Some businesses may have to close during the Olympics because of safety or accessibility problems (impossible to make deliveries)

  • inflation of land prices for first-time buyers (market exclusion)

  • The Government will have less money to spend on roads, schools, hospitals, etc. while it pays for the Olympic Games

  • There will be an increase in flights arriving into the UK which will cause an increase in air pollution. Also more energy will be used in hotel and venues.

  • The increased number of spectators and athletes will increase waste and litter which will have to be dealt with.






  • The venues will be available for the public to use decades into the future. Things like the velodrome, aquatics centre and white water centre should develop athletes in new disciplines.

  • The Olympic village's accommodation will be converted and used as affordable accommodation.

  • Equipment used in the Olympics will be given to charities for free.

  • Local residents may see the value of their houses increase with all the regeneration taking place.

  • The infrastructure improvements (especially public transport) will benefit Londoners and business for decades to come.

  • The image of London should be enhanced making business and individuals want to do business in London.

  • 12, 000 permanent jobs alone created (managing facilities and transport networks)

  • Boost for tourism industry in East London as higher standards and international recognition/improving image

  • If the games are successful then the government will be seen in a positive light and might have a better chance of re-election.

  • The UK should definitely improve its standing on the international circuit.

  • The improved public transport should mean that cars are removed from the roads and use public transport instead.

  • Areas of brownfield land around London have been cleared of pollutants left over from factories.

  • Previously covered rivers have been opened and cleaned. Areas of parkland have also been created.

  • Infrastructural/landscape regeneration: bridges, roads, railways to increase accessibility, dangerous overhead power lines moved underground, land remediation of brownfield sites from deindustrialization

  • It is estimated that Londoners will have an increased tax bill for the next ten years to pay for the Olympics (£6 billion)

  • Many of the jobs created will only be short-term (e.g. construction), so unemployment may rise after the games.

  • Displacement but relocation of 900 businesses (jobs), Britain’s largest church (Kingsway Int’l Christian Centre), residents and 500 trees

  • There may be an oversupply of hotel rooms after the games. London is in the processing of adding 15,000 hotel rooms for the Olympics.

  • The increased demand for facilities generated by the games may create inflation.

  • The government may be saddled with long term debt paying off the games.

  • More structures, hotels and accommodations will increase the country's carbon footprint.

  • The creation of impermeable surfaces may affect the hydrological cycle.

4. Leisure at the national/regional scale: Tourism

Case study of a national tourist industry

Examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism.

Case study of ecotourism

Evaluate the strategies designed to manage and sustain the tourist industry.

Tourism as a development strategy

Examine the importance of tourism as a development strategy for low-income countries.

Costa del Sol, Spain context

  • Initial primary attractions were climate, long coastline, and distinctive culture

  • Exemplary of post-1945 growth in tourism: became centre for package tours and uncontrolled development

How Spain case study relates to Butler’s Model

  • Stagnation stage: less growth because no longer fashionable (boring and mainstream/carrying capacity reached)

  • Decline/rejuvenation: attractiveness declines, international operators move out can occur – but attempts to modernize and invest e.g. attempts to clean up beaches (EU Blue Flag beaches), development of quality accommodation





  • Culture is diluted e.g. area swamped by characterless buildings

  • Perceptual carrying capacity reached due to overcommercialization: lack of open space, limited car parking, crowding of facilities such as bars and beaches, noise pollution

  • Many new recreational, sport and leisure facilities such as bars, discos, golf courses, retail services and restaurants for locals as well. Has four times more of these facilities than would be expected for a settlement of its size.

  • Increased crime rates: drugs, vandalism and mugging

  • Decline in tourism market during world recession because prices were too high and there were cheaper upmarket hotels elsewhere

  • Initially very rapid increase in employment (traditionally farming and fishing) in construction, cafes, hotels but

  • unemployment when tourism decreased (up to 70% employed in tourism at peak)

  • Pollution of sea and beaches

  • Farmland built on

  • Wildlife frightened away by development: migratory birds looking for nesting

  • Carrying capacity reached: water supply and sewerage – dumping into sea to toxic levels

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