Study and revision resources

Placeholder image
Members area

Tourist Attractions

Tourism is one of the largest, fastest growing and most important industries in the world. It plays a role in distributing wealth between MEDC & LEDC countries and offers jobs/an income to millions of people with limited skills and education.

Tourist: Someone who travels somewhere for pleasure on short term basis.

Countries are able to develop tourism industries based on a variety of attractions such as:

Environmental such as beaches, rainforest, volcanoes, mountain ranges, endangered wildlife.

Cultural aspects such as dress/dance/cuisine/religion - many people visit Argentia for cultural experiences.

Historical sites which attract many tourists to European cities such as Rome, Athens, Paris and London.

Tropical beach tourist attraction
Figure 3.4.1: Isolated tropical beach

Growth in Tourism

Causes of the rapid increase in tourism

  • Rising disposable incomes: over the last 50 years people in developed countries have had increasing amounts of spare money to spend on holidays. This is now occuring in some NICs such as India, Brazil and China.
  • Rising populations: there are more people in the world and subseuquently more people to take holidays.
  • Holiday Allowance: people generally are entitled to more holidays from work, in Europe the standard is 4 weeks.
  • Cheaper & faster transport: the real cost of flying has fallen considerbly and it is affordable for many more people. transportation has also got much faster (flights, cars, trains) which has made destinations seem much closer.
igcse geography tourism tourism growth
Figure 3.4.2: Growth in air travel

Butlers tourism model

  • Exploration: initial discovery of a destination by a few more adventourous tourists. Likely to be very few tourist facilities.
  • Involvement: Local populations start to realise the potential of tourism and open hotels, restaurants etc.
  • Development: Large companies (hotel chains etc) start to invest in the destination & open large hotels & restaurants. This leads to rapid increases in the number of visiting tourists.
  • Consolidation: the destination is dominated by tourism at this point and the economy and is still growing. Services and supplies for the local population may suffer.
  • Stagnation: facilities and hotels age and become less attractive. Overcrowding and litter/pollution starts to put tourists off coming.
  • Decline or Rejuvenation: Destinations face declining arrivals if the resort continues to become run down & less attractive. This often leads to loss of jobs and increases in crime. Resorts may invest in regeneration and cleaning up the environment to attract new tourist again and revive the industry.
Butlers tourism management
Figure 3.4.3: Butlers tourism resort model

Tourism can bring many economic benefits to a country but often has cultural and environmental consequences.


  1. Study Figures 3.4.2 to 3.4.6.
  2. Describe the advantages that tourism may bring (think about the multiplier effect/knock on advantages).
  3. Describe the negative impacts that tourism could be causing in the photos.
cycle hire
Figure 3.4.4: Holiday bike rentals
tourism menu and events sign
Figure 3.4.5: Food and entertainment
Figure 3.4.4: Beach developments, Marbella
luxury craft, Costa Rica
Figure 3.4.5: Luxury boats, Costa Rica
safari jeeps
Figure 3.4.6: Safari Jeeps, Serengeti, Tanzania

Tourism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has sucessfully transitioned from an economy dominated by primary industry (bananas, coffee, pineapples) to one heavily dependent on the tourism sector.

It has gained a worldwide reputation among tourists for its stunning biodiversity - 5% of the world's total within 0.1% of its landmass - varied terrain and at least six distinct types of ecosystem. Around 1.5 million international tourists arrive each year

Abundant natural attractions, environmental protection, compact size, decent infrastructure and proximity to the United States have contributed to the rise of tourism in Costa Rica.


1) Draw/obtain a simple map locating Costa Rica.

2) Use this link to describe the main attractions.

3) Read this link, describe the benefits that tourism brings to Costa Ricas GDP and unemployment rates.

4) Describe the negative impacts that rapid tourism is having. Reuters article

Surf, Costa Rica
Figure 3.41: Breaking surf, Playa Jaco, Costa Rica
playa conchal, costa rica
Figure 3.42: Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Tropical rainforest, Costa Rica
Figure 3.43: Tropical Rainforest, Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Figure 3.44: Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Content for Accordion Panel 4

Revision Guides