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TOURISM SEASONALITY - AN OVERVIEW

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Abstract

Despite the fact of being the most prominent characteristic of tourism, tourism seasonality still remains a phenomenon. Almost all world destinations are facing seasonal concentration of tourist activities. The peaking of tourist demand in few hectic weeks or months is resulting in inefficient use of tourism facilities and pressure on the ecological and sociocultural carrying capacity. Strategies and policies to extend the main season and develop additional seasons are needed. The assumption is good understanding of tourism seasonality. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of present tourism seasonality research findings. The research examines 64 literature sources classifying findings into four categories, namely: definition, causes, implications and strategies. The paper concludes that considerable gaps in the literature, as well as, in the understanding of tourism seasonality exist. The study contributes to the theoretical and practical knowledge of tourism seasonality.
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Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
TOURISM SEASONALITY –
AN OVERVIEW
Goran Corluka1
University of Split, Department of Professional studies, Split, Croatia
Review
Manuscript Received July 7th 2018
Manuscript Accepted April 4th
ABSTRACT
Despite the fact of being the most prominent characteristic of tourism, tourism seasonality
still remains a phenomenon. Almost all world destinations are facing seasonal concentration
of tourist activities. The peaking of tourist demand in few hectic weeks or months is resulting
in inefficient use of tourism facilities and pressure on the ecological and sociocultural
carrying capacity. Strategies and policies to extend the main season and develop additional
seasons are needed. The assumption is good understanding of tourism seasonality. The aim
of this paper is to provide an overview of present tourism seasonality research findings. The
research examines 64 literature sources classifying findings into four categories, namely:
definition, causes, implications and strategies. The paper concludes that considerable gaps
in the literature, as well as, in the understanding of tourism seasonality exist. The study
contributes to the theoretical and practical knowledge of tourism seasonality.
Key words: tourism seasonality, causes, implications, strategies
JEL classication: L83
1 Address correspondence to Goran Corluka, PhD, Lecturer, Head of Business Trade Department, University
of Split, Department of Professional Studies, Kopilica 5, 21000 Split Croatia E-mail: goran.corluka@oss.unist.hr
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Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
INTRODUCTION
Seasonality is a universally recognized global tourism phenomenon (BarOn, 1975;
Baum & Hagan, 1997; Baum & Lundtorp, 2001). Generally, indicates uctuations
of demand or supply in the tourism industry, caused by temporary movement of
people due to factors such as climate conditions and public and school holidays
(BarOn, 1972; Allcock, 1989; Cooper et al., 2005). In terms of natural factors,
temporary movement takes place because every country has dierent climatic
patterns (BarOn, 1973). The climate pattern act as pull factor in the receiving area,
occurring in relation to a specic time of year, season, resulting in unevenness or
uctuation during the course of the year. Baum and Lundtrop (2001) highlight that
tourism as an integral part of global business is highly dependent on seasonal
changes in climatic conditions, economic activities as well as human behaviour
and the society in general. The majority of tourism destinations are characterised
with uctuations in tourism activities throughout the year (BarOn, 1973; Yacoumis,
1980; Higham and Hinch, 2002; Jang 2004), whereby those uctuations have a
systematic and recurring pattern. Seasonality, i.e. seasonal uctuations in tourism
volumes over the calendar year, must be dierentiated from longer-term business
cycles and short-term changes related to weekly and daily travel patterns. Kuznets
(1933) points out that the annual recurrence and the limited duration of the swing
(e.g. tourism peak season) distinguish seasonal variations clearly from other
changes in a time series, such as trend, cyclical and random movements. In case
of Mediterranean sun, sand and seas destinations seasonality generally exhibits
a dramatic tourism peak during the summer months. The tourist region has at
certain times more tourists and visitors than it is able to accommodate, while at
other times, there are too few tourists and visitors to the region. Manning and
Powers (1984) are concerned that facilities and services may be underutilised,
however, they also note the implications of facility overuse, suggesting that
destinations and operators can face continual ineciency as they grapple with
the peaks and troughs of demand. In particular, such uctuations in visitors and
revenues are almost universally viewed as a problem by the tourist industry, which
spends considerable time, money, and eort to modify these patterns through the
development and implementation of strategies designed to extend the ‘‘shoulder
seasons,’’ or to create ‘‘all season’’ destinations. Seasonality has become one
of the most distinctive and determinative features of global tourism industry.
Despite the fact that seasonality is one of the most prominent features of tourism,
paradoxically, it is also one of the least understood. The aim of this paper is to
provide an overview of current knowledge about tourism seasonality. The paper
23
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
attempts to contribute to tourism theory by aggregating the present knowledge
with a critical review. The research results should be of interest to both academic
researchers and tourism managers. The paper is divided into ve sections. The
next section looks briey at the denitions of seasonality used in present literature,
followed by a review of tourism seasonality causes. The third section is focused on
the identication of seasonality implications. The fourth section gives an overview
of proposed strategies to combat seasonality. The paper concludes with a brief
summary of its ndings.
METHODOLOGY
A desk research was conducted. The study depends on the current literature and
makes evaluation based on secondary data acquired form 64 published papers,
over a ve-year period of intensive topic research. A representative list of major
databases and search engines were used in an academic setting for nding and
accessing relevant articles. Some of the most must databases are: EconBiz,
EconLit, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science. An in-depth
review was undertaken providing an amalgamation of relevant ndings of tourism
seasonality structured in ve section: denition, causes, implication, strategies and
conclusion.
DEFINITION OF SEASONALITY
Although, the concept of seasonality may be perceived to be familiar to many,
however, there is no unique and precise denition of it. The most prominent
denition was provided by Hylleberg (1992). He denes seasonality as the
systematic, although not necessarily regular, intra-year movement caused by
changes in the weather, the calendar, and timing of decisions, directly or indirectly
through the production and consumption decisions made by the agents of the
economy. These decisions are inuenced by the endowments, the expectations
and the preferences of the agents, an d the production techniques available in
the economy. As a pioneer in seasonality, BarOn (1973) stated that seasonality
implies an incomplete and unbalanced utilisation of the means at the disposal
of the economy, and this is similar to the imbalance of the business cycle, where
the economy is either overheated or running under full potential at dierent
phases of the cycle. Furthermore, BarOn (1975) dened seasonality as the eects
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Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
occurring every year due to climate status, constraints of public holidays, special
attractions (e.g. festivals), or personal lifestyle. Manning and Powers (1984) dene
seasonality as the uneven distribution of use over time (peaking) becoming one
of the most pervasive problems with outdoor recreation and tourism, causing
inecient resource use, loss of prot potential, strain on social and ecological
carrying capacities, and administrative scheduling diculties. A regularly cited
denition was provided by Butler (1994) who denes the concept of tourism
seasonality as temporal imbalance in the phenomenon of tourism, which can be
expressed in the number of visitors, their expenditure, trac on dierent forms of
transportation, employment and admissions to attractions. Therefore, it implies
that the seasonality phenomena of tourism aect all aspects of supply-demand
activities including pricing, occupancy, human resource, supplies volume, oered
activities and available attractions. Following Cooper et al. (2005) seasonality
refers to the temporal uctuations of tourism on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual
basis. It should be noted that all these denitions stress out ‘the systematic intra-
year movement’ as one of the crucial elements of seasonality, suggesting that
seasonality can be described as some sort of visitor pattern that reoccur every
year. Most denitions and concepts of seasonality describe the phenomenon
only in general terms or relate to its causes. There is a lack of quantiable
denitions stating when tourism seasonality occurs, how tourism seasons can be
dierentiated, and how seasonality can be compared between dierent regions or
years, as well as dierent forms of tourism. An example of a quantiable denition
of the appearance of tourist seasons is given by Lim and McAleer (2001), who
dene tourist seasons as ‘months for which the corresponding average indices
exceed 1.0, which means that the seasonal factors increase tourist numbers above
the trend and cyclical components’.
Seasonality has been considered as a crucial problem for the tourism industry
and has been held responsible for creating many diculties faced by the industry
as problems in gaining access to capital, in obtaining and holding full time sta,
for low returns on investment causing subsequent high risk in operations and for
problems relating to peaking and overuse of facilities (Butler, 2001). Conversely,
it has also been blamed for the underutilization of these resources and facilities,
often preventing tourism being accepted as a viable economic activity in many
areas. Therefore, there have been considerable eorts made by both public and
private sector to attempt to reduce seasonality in destination areas.
25
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
In Allcock (1989) view, who dened tourism seasonality as the tendency of tourist
ows to become concentrated into relatively short periods of the year, the most
signicant aspect of seasonality is that it involves the concentration of tourist ows
in relatively short periods of the year. This annual peaking of tourism activity during
a few hectic weeks or months is likely to result in ineciency within the industry
and is a great burden on the physical and social resources of the destination area
and therefore an important contributor to the carrying capacity problem (Mitchell
and Murphy, 1991). It is important to know that he concept of tourism seasonality
is largely a temporal and spatial issue, meaning that certain regions are facing an
overuse of tourist facilities ate a certain part of year.
Annual business operation, with regard to the seasonal pattern, can be classied
into annual intervals, seasons. The following seasonal scenarios are possible. One
destination might have an annual business cycle with one peak season, two peak
seasons, non-peak season (Butler and Mao, 1997). The most regular example
is the one peak season. Most destinations are facing this pattern, especially
coastal leisure destinations with their peak in the summer months or winter snow
destinations with their peak in the winter months. A one peak season destination
is further classifying the annual business cycle into o season (January, February,
November and December), shoulder season (March, April, May, June, October)
and peak season (July, August, September). Empirical evaluation on the duration
of tourist season intervals and the intensity of business operation within each
interval was provided by Corluka, Mikinac and Milenovska (2016). The authors
classied tourist seasons as owing low season (January, February, November
and December), mid-season (March, April, May, October), high season (June, July,
August, September). Example of a two peak destination would be a destination
which managed to have beside a winter snow season an additional season in
the summer months, for example due to the promotion of mountain nature and
sport activity holidays. A non-seasonal pattern is unusual and meaning that the
distribution of tourist activities is constant with smaller irregularities over the year.
The non-seasonal pattern is mostly experienced in tropical destinations with small
irregularity in climate conditions over the year, or in city break destinations.
Hartmann (1986) emphasises the reliable recurrence of the tourist phenomenon in
the course of a year. BarOn (1975) is taken a similar view by explaining seasonality
as the eects occurring each year with more or less the same timing and magnitude.
Hartmann (1986) argues that the reliable and predictable recurrence of tourists has
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Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
formed the economic base for the development of the tourist industry and that
tourism. The pattern is usually remaining stable over many years. This predictability
of seasonality makes it possible for businesses, lenders and investors to anticipate
many of its impacts. With this understanding, seasonality has become a natural
tourism phenomenon, taken as grounded. This predictability of seasonality makes
it possible for businesses, lenders and investors to anticipate many of its impacts.
Seasonality is one of the most salient and signicant characteristic s of tourism.
Despite the wealth of research, there is a general feeling of leak of knowledge of
the phenomenon. Due to the insucient understanding, the managing possibilities
to combat or mitigate tourism seasonality are reduced. A good understanding of
seasonality in tourism is essential for the efcient operation of tourism facilities and
infrastructure. Further examination of tourism seasonality is need to ensure better
understanding of the phenomenon in case of causes of seasonality, quantication
of implications, as well as potential strategies to lower the pattern.
CAUSES OF SEASONALITY
Causes of seasonality are located in the generating and receiving area, pushing
and pulling tourist demand to behave seasonal. Hylleberg (1992) grouped the basic
causes of seasonality into three dierent categories: weather (e.g. temperature,
hours of sunshine), calendar eects (e.g. timing of religious festivals such as
Christmas, Easter, Eid or Vesak) and timing decisions (e.g. school vacations,
industry vacations, tax years, accounting periods, dates for dividend and bonus
payments, etc.). Seasonality occurs due to multiple reasons which can be caused
by natural and anthropogenic factors (Kolomiets, 2010). Therefore, seasonality
takes forms natural and institutionalized forms. The most applied classication of
seasonality classied causes into two categories, namely natural and institutional.
Further investigations added a third category called additional causes. This
approach of causes classication was accepted in further research. Seasonality
does not refer to occasional irregularities within tourism, but instead is concerned
with the seasonal patterns that are stable and well-established (Ferrante, Lo Magno
and De Cantis, 2018; Witt & Moutinho 1995). Hylleberg (1992) points out that some
causes are stable over long periods, some change at discrete intervals, some vary
continuously but predictably, while others are unpredictable.
27
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
Natural seasonality, as the name implies, is caused by natural phenomena as
a result of nature and its forces including parameters as sunlight, daylight, air
temperature, water temperature, snowfall, ice cover, rainfall, wind, humidity,
precipitation, cloudiness, visibility (Butler, 1994). Seasonality caused by natural
factors is related to regular temporal variations in natural phenomena, associated
with annual seasons (Allcock, 1989; Butler, 1994). Hartmann (1986), as well as
Koenig and Bischo (2005) emphasis that seasonal variations caused by natural
factors are predictable as they are relatively stable in a particular destination, and
recur with only small changes. Hartmann (1986) takes the view that these variations
mean that tourist regions have dierent seasonal potential and resources and thus
are perceived to have particular seasonal qualities. Natural causes are beyond
the control of decision-makers (Cuccia and Rizzo, 2011). Tourists have specic
preferences which makes it necessary to distinguish between dierent types of
tourism as bathing, skiing, hiking or surng (Bender, Schumacher and Stein, 2005).
Therefore, tourists seeking for sunlight and water sports will prefer a beach resort
with warm temperature, whereas tourists’ eager to enjoy snow scenery and skiing
will favour a ski resort with low temperatures and an abundance of snow (Butler
& Mao 1997). In Europe, for example, the Mediterranean is popular for beach
and summer tourism, while the Alps area is favourable destination for skiing in
winter (Duro and Turrion-Prats, 2019; BarOn, 1999; Shaw and Williams, 1998).
The beach destinations are popular during the attracting season and forgotten
in the rest of the year. While most of the skinning destination have managed
to encounter a second seasons in the summer moths attracting tourists with
outdoor recreational activities in natural settings. Higham and Hinch (2002) point
out that, even though climate is particularly important in attracting visitors, it is
often considered as a constraint to tourist development. Each region has dierent
climatic patterns. Natural seasonality especially aects remote and peripheral
destinations with big temperature dierences between the seasons. Seasonality
increases with the distance from the equator (Hartmann, 1986; Butler, 1994). The
traditional temporal patterns reect seasons in the Northern Hemisphere as the
most tourism developed countries are located there (Butler, 2000). Although, the
emerging Asian market is causing changes in the market structure. Destinations
with warm and cold climate are exposed to seasonal changes, due to dierent
oer of tourist products depending on climate and season. Problems caused by
natural seasonality are most dicult to overcome at high-latitude destinations,
particularly in the peripheral regions (Lundtorp et al., 1999), due to the fact that
the majority of outdoor tourism activities rely on natural ‘climate-dependent’
attractions and the extent of tourist activity is dependent on weather and climate
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Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
conditions (Smith, 1990). Destinations relying on predominantly outdoor facilities
are thus most likely to experience a pronounced inuence of natural seasonality on
their tourism businesses (Koenig and Bisho, 2005). Examples are coastal resorts.
and countryside attractions, where the actual pattern of tourist activities is strongly
weather dependent (Smith, 1990; Grant et al., 1997).
Institutional seasonality results from religious, cultural, social, ethnic and
organizational factors (BarOn, 1972; Hinch & Hickey, 1996). Variations in tourist
activities are caused by holidays and other events at specic times of the year.
Getz and Nilsson (2004) add business customs to institutional causes. The most
prominent institutional causes of seasonality are Christmas, summer vacations
of schools, universities and work places (BarOn, 1975). Institutional seasonality
reects the social norms and practices of a society (Hinch and Hickey, 1996),
therefor depend on social factors and policies concerning specic costumes and
legislated holidays. Institutionalised seasonality is more complex as it is based
on human behaviour and consumer decision-making (e.g. deciding on the timing
of holidays) (Lee et al., 2008). School and industrial holidays have the greatest
relevance for tourism seasonality (Rossello and Sanso, 2017). Butler (1994)
argues that the traditional long summer school holidays remain the largest single
impediment to reducing seasonality. Having long vacations in summer, a family
with school students is more likely to take a major trip in this season than other
seasons (Chung, 2009). The author remarks that the scheduling of school holidays
during the summer was originally based on the need for children and students to
assist with busy agricultural periods. Work holidays also inuence the acuteness
of the seasonal peaking of tourism activities, especially since the introduction
of paid holidays appeared and the closure of some industrial sectors for few
weeks during the summer months took place (Murphy, 1985). In the 20th century,
especially in the age of mass tourism, vacationing often depended on school,
industrial and public holidays (Bender, Schumacher and Stein, 2005). About half
of the population is creating their travel pattern in regard with school holidays.
Due to the mass movement during school vacations the federal states of Germany
and Austria staggered of the timing of school holidays over dierent regions, what
resulted, to a certain degree, with lower concentration of tourist activities. Beside
summer vacations of school and work places, one of the most common forms of
institutionalised seasonality is public holidays. Butler (1994) points out those public
holidays used to be single days, but these have been expanded into long weekends
and have become longer o work breaks, with an increasing importance for tourist
activities. Further, one of the most signicant factors in institutional seasonality
29
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
are big religious events like pilgrimages (Allcock, 1989; BarOn, 1993). Unlike the
natural seasonality, dates of institutionalized seasonality can be established more
precise, as it often corresponds with school or public holidays, religious events or
pilgrimage, celebration or conduction of various events and festivals (Kolomiets,
2010). Within institutionalized causes of seasonality some are with xed and some
with variable dates. For example, some public holidays, such as Easter or Eid,
have variable dates and therefore may cause diering eects on certain months
from year to year (BarOn, 1975). There are also certain events that recur regularly
over a period. This is the case for some festivals, celebrations or sports events
in specic destinations (e.g. the Olympic Games, UEFA EURO and FIFA World
Cup) contributing to seasonal concentration of tourist demand in particular years
(Frechtling, 2001).
Butler (1994) suggests that social pressure or fashion, the sporting season, and
tradition/inertia are signicant additional causes of seasonality in his article. More
specically, social pressure refers to participate in specic activities at certain
destinations at particular times of the year, mostly seen as imitation. This includes
socialising in some capitals at certain times, taking holiday s at spas or spending
the winter season at certain fashionable destinations (Koenig and Bisho, 2005).
Sporting season as an additional cause of tourism seasonality is regarded to
the hunting, skiing, surng or golf season, namely sport activities which can be
undertaken in certain conditions at a certain part of the year. These activities
require a combination of climatic and physical factors, along with the necessary
infrastructure. Inertia is also one of the seasonality factors, which means that some
travellers tend to take trips at a specic time of the year even though they no longer
have to (Higham and Hinch, 2002), for the reason they have always done so, and
old habits tend to die hard (Butler, 1994). The market segment senior citizen, or also
called the golden oldies are a given example of seasonal behaviour due to inertia
and tradition. They take their summer holiday in July and August, although aren’t
restricted to this particular period by work or school holidays. Calendar eects
have been identied by Frechtling (2001) as another important additional cause of
tourism seasonality. Such eects may, for instance, be due to the variability of the
number of days in a month or to the number of weekends in the month, quarter,
season or year (Koenig and Bisho, 2005). Leisure tourism is mostly concentrated
on weekends, the distribution of weekends and the interaction of weekends with
holidays crating the popular phenomenon long weekends can inuence tourist
behaviour. The supply side is also a potential cause of seasonality, such as cases
where constraints in labour availability and the alternative uses of facilities lead to
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Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
closures or altered target markets Getz and Nilsson (2004). Butler (1994) added
inertia at the supply side to the list of causes, referring to the tendency of business
operators to accept the status quo. In the case of family businesses, many owners
might actually prefer to close for part of the year, taking the peak season as given
circumstance to maximize the earnings and enjoying the fruits in the resto of
year. Goulding, Baum and Morrison (2004) put eorts to identify additional supply
side constraints as alternative use of touristic resources, activity opportunities,
physical attractions, licensing restrictions, tourism operating as secondary source
of income and trading patterns of other business. Further causes of seasonality
arising from supply side limitations are destination accessibility, accommodation
structure, wet-weather facilities and destination promotion.
Lundtorp et al. (1999) summarized all causes of seasonality, and categorized
them into pull and push factors. Seasonality takes place in both – receiving
and generating area and creating pull and push-factors, aecting tourist ows
(Kolomiets, 2010). In the generating area act institutional, calendar, inertia
and tradition, social pressure or fashion, and access as push factors of leisure
travellers, while in the receiving area climate, sporting seasons, events, alternative
use of touristic resources, activity opportunities, physical attractions, licensing
restrictions, tourism operating as secondary source of income and trading patterns
of other business, accessibility, accommodation structure, wet-weather facilities
and destination promotion indicate pull factors. The push and pull-factors create
tourism seasonality, they are not independent of one another, but they interact
when creating the seasonal character of destination.
In order to tackle tourism seasonality, it is important to realize where seasonality
is generated. Although considerable eorts within the tourism industry to modify
seasonal patterns, the understanding of fundamental causes of seasonality was
leaking (Hinch, Hickey et al., 2001). The tourism system was developed and modelled
with tourism seasonality as a standard characteristic of the industry. Higham and
Hinch (2001) highlighted that the organised mass tourism in destinations, as the
Mediterranean, have demand mainly motived with sun, sea and sand. Tourists
in order to choose destinations with the most favourable weather conditions that
allow them to enjoy the elements of their preference. Social framework in terms of
school holidays and paid holidays is organized in such a way that the big masses
of population that constitute the organised tourism are mainly directed during the
summer peak season, which is considered the time period where work permits
are given. At the same time the tourist supply has been created territorially and
31
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
functionally in such a way and with these specications that corresponds almost
exclusively in the needs and pleasures of leisure summer tourism. the lengthening
of tourist period is concerned.
Thus, the problem of tourist seasonality is real and becomes more intricate.
Confrontation of tourism seasonality presupposes awareness and mobilisation
from all involved institutions in order to plan the lengthening of the tourist season.
In coastal summer destinations climatic and institutional causes are considered as
the main driver of seasonal concentration. Case Croatia, most destinations suer
under extreme peaking of tourist demand, having more than 2/3 o their overnight
stays in July and August. Despite favourable climatic conditions for at least
four months, as well as, tourist demand trends indicate more frequent traveling,
change of market structure having young individuals living traveling without
family obligations till the age of 35 and the third age segment which is booming.
Concluding, the number of tourists depending on school holidays, as the major
cause of institutional seasonality is rapidly decreasing. The questing is, why does
those Croatian summer destinations suer under extreme seasonal concentration?
Global warming will have an eect on the natural tourism seasonality (Butler and
Mao, 1997), as well as the ageing of the population will change institutional tourism
seasonality because the elderly population is less constricted in the timing of their
holidays. The seasonal patterns will considerably change. Lundtorp et al. (1999)
point out that little research has been done about which is the more important, the
desire to travel at certain times of the year or the restrictions. This question should
be a subject of consideration. Further research of the real causes of seasonality
related to certain destination is needed. The common scheme of identied causes
is insucient in addressing the problem. Research has to be related to the type of
destination and participated forms of tourism. Focus has to be put on demand side
push factors motivating demand to behave seasonal, but as well on the supply side
identifying limitations causing seasonal attractiveness.
IMPLICATIONS OF SEASONALITY
Just as the causes of seasonality are diverse and complex, so are its impacts
(Koenig and Bischo, 2005). Not surprisingly, most researchers pointed out that a
seasonal pattern is an uncontrolled situation resulting in a number of negative eects
(Chung, 2009). With the growth of mass tourism, impacts of tourism seasonality
have become greater (Wall and Yan, 2003). In fact, the implications arising from
32
Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
seasonal concertation are progressive proportional to the growth of tourism. This is
due to the fact that the number of enterprises depending on tourism has increased
and tourism businesses have expanded in size, to satisfy the high season demand
and to maximize seasonal revenues, and thus the ability to adapt to changes in
demand has been reduced. Baum and Hagen (1999) point out that the impacts of
seasonality vary considerably with the location of the destination and the location
of the tourism enterprises within a destination, reecting in part the variety of
physical conditions and the nature of the attractions. Almost all destinations are
facing tourism seasonality, even London, a destination with all-weather attractions
and year-round events, for example, still records a summer peaking and a winter
low. There are few tourism destinations that are not aected adversely in some way
or another by the eects of seasonality (Fernandez-Morales, Cisneros-Martinez and
McCabe, 2016). Regarding WTO (1984) analysis the most specialised destinations
are usually the most seasonal and that tourist destinations supported by large urban
centres, due to a more diversied demand, experience a less pronounced degree
of seasonality. For example, a peripheral summer destination focused on bathing
tourism will have the most pronounced summer peaking, while the same prole of
destination close to an urban region will be abler to reduce the peaking. Although,
in general, the main concern about seasonality focuses on the eective planning
and use of resources during the o-peak period, the peak period which is taken as
granted also needs particular attention, because the facilities during the peak period
may become too crowded and this may cause difculties in terms of maintaining
service quality and satisfying tourists (Koc and Altinay, 2007). The majority of the
academic literature dealing with the issue of seasonality identies these systematic
demand uctuations as a problem, which has to be modied and reduced in eect
(Butler, 1994). Goeldner and Ritchie (2003) stress out seasonal patterns in demand
cannot be eliminated, they can be reduced. The implications have been explored
from both the supply-side (i.e. tourism operators, employees and residents of the
destination locale) and the demand-side (i.e. tourists) perspectives of seasonality
(Lee et al., 2008). Three major implications of tourism seasonality can be classied
as economic, environmental and seasonal employment (Koenig & Bischo, 2005;
Chung, 2009). As seasonal employment aects the economy, the employees and
the local community is therefore considered separately from the other impacts.
Findings indicate benets from running a business on a seasonal basis (Hartman
1986; Goulding, Baum & Morrison 2004). The implications of tourism seasonality
are the result of excessive use of resources in peak season and underutilization of
capacities in the o-season. Impacts are manifested at enterprise and destination
level.
33
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
The economic impacts of seasonality relate mostly to problems in the o-peak
periods, particularly the loss of prots due to the inecient use of resources and
facilities (Sutclie and Sinclair, 1980; Manning and Powers, 1984; Williams and
Shaw, 1991) and are manifested on an enterprise level. BarOn (1975) stated that
seasonality generates cost losses called “seasonal loss”. Economic problems are
related to the loss of prot due to the inecient use of resources. Murphy (1985)
states that businesses and the community need to attain sucient revenues from
a few hectic weeks in the summer in order to ensure success for the whole year.
Cash-ow discontinuities can arise due to seasonal attaining of revenues, forcing
owners to seek credit or alternative income sources. Tourist demand uctuations
may lead to a shortage of hotel rooms in the peak season, while tourism resources
always have high risk of under-utilization in the o-season (Sutclie and Sinclair,
1980; Butler, 1994; Jang, 2004; Koenig and Bischo, 2005; Chung, 2009).
Especially, seasonality aects physical facilities which have a greater portion of
xed cost than other service providers (Chung, 2009). The management question
is to close during the o-peak season or remain open to obtain sucient income
in order to cover the xed costs. Tourism is an industry of intangible products, in
case products are not sold on the day, they cannot be kept in a storage room for
the next month, whereas, if hotel rooms, ight tickets, or festival tickets are not
sold at a designated day, their economics value would be exactly zero (Cooper et
al., 2005; Goeldner and Ritchie, 2003). Another serious problem of seasonality is
low annual returns on capital (Butler, 1994; Cooper et al., 2005). Consequently, due
to low returns on capital it is dicult to attract investors or lenders (Mathieson and
Wall, 1982). Maintenance work on buildings is seen as a positive economic eects
of seasonality.
The impacts of seasonality on employment are mostly related to the o-peak
periods and are expressed on an enterprise level. The implications are in the main
seen as negative, aecting employer and employee. The most important issue in
relation to seasonal employment is the diculty in recruiting and retaining full-time
sta (Yacoumis, 1980). As there is a disproportion of job demand in an o and
peak season, prospective workers are likely to leave a destination in order to get
a stable job so that the population of employees at the location becomes smaller
(Chung, 2009), resulting in diculty of maintaining a certain economic status at a
destination (Szivas et al., 2003). As result of lack of employees the level of payment
at a specic job position will increase during a peak-season (Chung, 2009) and if
employees are recruited on a seasonal basis, companies repeatedly spend xed
costs for training the workers every peak season (Cooper et al., 2005). Both is
34
Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
contributing to higher operational costs. Seasonal work is often seen as less
‘meaningful’ and tends to attract those on the periphery of the labour market, who
are less educated, semiskilled or unskilled (Mill and Morrison, 1998; Mathieson and
Wall, 1982). Murphy (1985) emphasises that only little training is usually provided
for temporary employees, therefor sta relations and skills remain minimal. This
makes it particularly dicult to maintain product and quality standards (Baum,
1999). Positive aspect of seasonal employment is the opportunity of temporary
jobs to some people, such as students and housewives (Koenig and Bischo,
2005). Seasonal work provides an opportunity for employee recuperation during
o-season (Commons and Page, 2001).
Ecological impacts are related to the peak season period, largely synonymous
with the negative eects occurring due to the concentration of visitors during
the peak season at a destination. These include, for example, congested rural
lanes, wildlife disturbance, air pollution, sewage disposal problem, physical
erosion of footpaths and litter problems (Grant et al., 1997; Bender et al., 2005;
Chung 2009). Butler (1994) considers intensive visitation in fragile environments
as the main environmental problem of seasonality. Manning and Powers (1984)
emphasise the strain of tourism activities on the ecological carrying capacity of
a particular destination, due to the heavy usage during the peak season. Butler
(1994) specify that the intensity of the pressure on fragile environments caused
by overcrowding and overuse during the summer peak is often seen as one of the
main environmental problems of tourism seasonality. Hartmann (1986) states the
o-season, the lengthy ‘dead’ season, is the only chance for the ecological and the
social environment to recover fully.
Socio-cultural impacts are connected to the peak season period as a result of the
concentration of tourists during the peak season at a destination. Socio-cultural
impacts include not only the eects of seasonal uctuations on the host community
but also on the visitor (Koenig and Bischo, 2005). Negative implications for local
people arise from the dramatic increases in population during the summer months,
which place a strain on regular infrastructure and services (Murphy, 1985) and
include, for example, congestion, crowded streets, slower trac, lack of parking,
queues for services, higher prices of services, signicant increases in the costs of
community services, overcrowding at attraction sites, pressure on the infrastructure
(Chung, 2009; Koenig and Bischo, 2005; Common and Page, 2001; Krakover,
2000; Allcock, 1989). Mathieson and Wall (1982) draw attention to the link between
35
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
tourism and increased crime by cause of the increased number of people present
during the peak season. Manning and Powers (1984) point out the problem of the
social carrying capacity of the destination, which might result in resentment from
the local community towards all tourism activities. Positive aspect of seasonality
is manifested as the chance for residents to make full use of local amenities
and facilities in the o-peak periods (Murphy, 1985). The o-season allows the
community relief from stress, to have a normal life, helps preserve its identity and
provides them with a time for preparing for the next peak season (Butler, 2000).
Butler (1994) therefore, stresses out strategies to lengthen the main season or to
attract more visitors outside the season need the full support of host communities.
The concentration of visitor activities during the peak season produces similar
eects on the tourists themselves (Koenig and Bischo, 2005). Visitor enjoyment
and satisfaction might be reduced due to overcrowding at attraction sites, lack
of capacities during the peak demand periods, pressure on the infrastructure,
perceived price gouging in the peak season, with a negative impact on consumer
perceptions of value, lack of quality as a result of overcrowding (Jang, 2004;
Common and Page, 2001; Krakover, 2000). In contrast, in the o-peak season,
many facilities might be closed and the full range of services may not be available
(Butler, 1994).
Implications arising from seasonality are well established. Future research has
to focus on the quantication of implications. Information about the relation
between capacity of usage and degree of certain implication are requested, i.e.
the minimum/maximum number of tourists before the negative eects of tourism
activities overlap the positive.
STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS SEASONALITY
Seasonality is concerned with patterns that are stable and well-established rather
than occasional irregularities (Witt & Moutinho 1995). As there is an element
of predictability associated with seasonal uctuations of tourist demand, it is
possible for managers to anticipate impacts and to implement strategies to
adjust business operation to any negative eects (Getz & Nilsson 2004). McEnnif
(1992) points out that even though seasonality will never be totally eliminated,
there are numerous ways to even out the peaks and troughs. The prerequisite for
a successful strategy implementation is the matching of tourist market segment
needs and destination products. Calantone and Johar (1984) pointed out that there
36
Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
is a dierence in groups of tourism benets sought across tourist seasons. It is
necessary to understand tourists specic benets needs within each season and
fully satisfy them during the period when destination marketers want to attract
more tourists. Establishing alternative o-season marketing strategies, matching
seasonal motivation with tourism products and services oered, is needed to
increase the number of tourists in o-season (Spotts and Mahoney, 1993). BarOn
(1975) highlighted that tourism expansion often means an expansion of the main
season. Attention should be focused on the o-peak season and strategies to
spread tourism, as even as possible, throughout the year when overall tourist
numbers are relatively stable (Butler, 1994). Destinations with well-established
tourism industries are the most successful in their attempts to reduce seasonality
(Butler and Mao, 1997). Business’s response to seasonality might vary according
to the nature of seasonality and the potential to develop o-season tourism. The
private and social cost of tourism seasonality can be reduced only by common
strategies involving the public and private actors (Capo Parrilla, Font and Nadal,
2006). Cellini and Rizzo (2010) indicate mutual accusation from private and public
bodies. Private subjects complain about the lack of public initiatives aiming at
reducing seasonality of demand. On the other hand, public initiatives do not
consistent answers by part of private forms. The development of strategies has to
be related to the geographical, as specic spatial characteristics of location, and to
the socio-economic patterns of destinations. Remote and peripheral destinations
may encounter diculties when trying to develop an all-year season tourism
product (Allcok, 1989), due to the dependency on physical constrains and on
rigidity in supply patterns. The destinations ability to develop o-season tourism
is depending the ability of tourism enterprises and infrastructure to individually
overcome the problems associated with seasonal demand uctuations, further
the desire for collaboration between tourism enterprises and public bodies within
destination and tourism system.
There are many strategies that are used to address the eects of seasonality, at
both the enterprise and destination level. Lee et al. (2008) remark four general
strategies: pricing, diversifying the attraction, market diversication and facilitation
by the state. Witt and Moutinho (1995) had a similar view and state that the most
commonly advocated strategies are diversifying the product mix, diversifying the
market, price dierentials and state-initiated measures. Baum and Hagen (1997)
suggested four main forms of initiatives to counter seasonality: events and festivals;
market diversication; product diversication; and structural and environmental
responses. Butler (1994) indicated following approaches to counteract seasonality:
37
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
diversifying markets, dierential pricing and tax incentives on a temporal basis,
staggering on holidays, encouraging domestic tourism in o season, and providing
o-season activities such as festivals and conferences. Further, Butler (2001)
highlighted dierential pricing and taxation, new attractions and events and
market diversication as management strategies. Measuring seasonal uctuations
accurately, extending peak-seasons by developing a tourism product irrelevant to
seasonality, promoting a pricing dierentiation model, and multiple use schemes
are strategies suggested by Cooper et al. (2005) and Goeldner and Ritchie (2003).
Weaver and Oppermann (2000) identify six basic supply/demand matching
strategies: increase, reduce and redistribute demand, and increase, reduce and
redistribute supply. A specic and common strategy to reduce supply during the o
season can be the closure of part of the tourism enterprises in order to overcome
the problem of underutilization of resources and facilities (Cannas, 2012). Regarding
Weaver and Oppermann (2000), this radical measure for reducing costs is generally
employed when it is not possible to increase demand outside the peak season.
Attempts to combat seasonality, within the available literature, are directed to
product and market diversication. Diversied products should meet the need of
diversied markets. Product diversication means development of new products
for new market segments, while market diversication means new segments for
new or existing products. Promotion activities and facilitation by the state are
seen as supporting measures for successful implementation of develop strategies.
Product diversication measures have to meet diversied market needs. Eective
market diversication into shoulder and o-season periods must be accompanied
by the recognition that dierent seasons create demand for dierent products, with
alternative presentation, packaging and, indeed, pricing Baum and Hagen (1999).
Marketing activities are crucial in order to implement counter-seasonal strategies
successfully, as it is important that consumers are aware of the advantages, and
availability, of o-peak season holidays (Koenig and Bischo, 2005). Facilitation by
the state through investment in infrastructure such as transportation to increase
accessibility to the location does help make any location more attractive to visitors
Goulding, Baum and Morrison (2004). Further, stresses that product development
strategies must be placed within the context of the overall development strategy
so that the new products complement and support one another Butler (1994). A
recapitulation of strategies aimed to combat seasonality is given in Table 1.
38
Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
Table 1 Strategies to addressing tourism seasonality
Author Strategy Activity
Goulding, Baum and Mor-
rison, 2004; Baum and
Hagen, 1999; Baum, 1998;
Witt and Moutinho, 1995
Introduction or
development
of festivals and
events
Traditional or articially created events, fes-
tivals, special celebrations in order to boost
demand during o-peak seasons. Movement
of well-established events and festivals can
from main season and to shoulder or o-peak
periods.
Jang, 2004; Jerey and
Barden, 1999; Witt and
Moutinho, 1995
Diversifying into
niche products
Special interest weekends, getaway breaks,
health, sport and activity-based holidays, cul-
ture and heritage tourism, educational, rural or
ecological tours.
Jerey and Barden, 1999 Oering o-sea-
son holiday pack-
ages
Special occasion packages for accommo-
dation, restaurants, activities to encourage
greater visitation, repeat visitation or to
lengthen stay in order to sustain and expand
expenditure to compensate for low seasons.
Lundtorp et al., 1999 Business travel Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibi-
tions since business travellers are usually not
inuenced seasonal pattern.
Cooper et al., 2005;
Goeldner and Ritchie,
2003; Witt et al., 1991;
Sutclie and Sinclair, 1980;
BarOn, 1975
Multiple use
schemes
Ski resort used as trekking course or Mediter-
ranean beach resorts sell accommodation to
long-stay, generally elderly Northern European
visitors during the o-season.
Allock, 1994 Circuits’ attrac-
tions, twin attrac-
tions or two-cen-
tre holidays
Circular tours or shifting of stay - one week
spent at the seaside and one week in the
countryside.
Jang, 2004; Goeldner and
Ritchie, 2003; Commons
and Page, 2001; Weaver
and Oppermann, 2000;
Jerey and Barden, 1999;
Witt and Moutinho, 1995;
Allcock, 1989; BarOn,
1973
Special price
oers - seasonal
pricing
Discounted prices are oered during o-peak
seasons, while high price in peak seasons. In-
troduction of entrance fees to protected areas
39
Corluka G.Tourism seasonality – An overview
Jerey & Barden, 1999 Group booking
oers
Discounting packaged holiday activities. Align
with tour operators or travel agents to sell
product/service
Witt & Moutinho, 1995 Marketing cam-
paigns to attract
dierent markets
in dierent season
Awaken consumer awareness of the avail-
ability and advantages of o-peak season
holidays.
Goulding, Baum and Mor-
rison, 2004; Batchelor,
2000; Witt & Moutinho,
1995
Staggering of
holidays over a
longer period
Change in the UK school system from the
traditional three-term year to a ve-term year.
Goulding, Baum and Mor-
rison, 2004
Improved and
expanded regional
infrastructure
Roads, signage, amenities, air services, utility
infrastructure.
Goulding, Baum and Mor-
rison, 2004; Baum and
Hagen, 1997
Development of
local business
networks and
partnerships
Developing, marketing (e.g. branding) and
promotion of new attractions and venues.
Dierent strategies to combat seasonality were proposed. The literature is missing
empirical studies with evaluation of the outcomes of applied strategies. The accent
of future research has to be put on the empirical evaluation of proposed strategies.
Findings about the relation between type of destination and successful strategies
are essential. The key question is under what circumstances and to what extent
can strategies that are eective in one place be transferred to another.
continued Table 1
Author Strategy Activity
40
Journal of Business Paradigms Vol 4 No 1, 2019
CONCLUSION
As illustrated on the preceding pages tourism seasonality is a prominent topic
in the tourism industry and drew great attention in literature. However, in recent
years most papers analysing tourism seasonality have a secondary issue, relying
on previous ndings. The review clearly indicated the lack of theoretical framework
of tourism seasonality. The knowledge of tourism seasonality is based on practical
evidence, rather than being based on theoretical models. Empirical ndings, based
on scientic research methods are needed. The literature denes seasonality,
indicates causes and implications of seasonality and propose strategies to address
seasonality. Future research should focus on in-depth and longitudinal research to
underpin tentative nding which have emerged. Findings about quantication of
seasonal concentration, linking of causes of seasonality with demand and supply
prole, quantication of implications, as well as, linking of proposed strategies and
destination prole are essential for better understanding and managing tourism
seasonality.
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... The seasonality particularly affects tourism [35][36][37][38] as an integral part of the global economy, with a focus on combating seasonality and prolonging tourism season in order to achieve a sustainable and competitive tourism development. Butler [39] defines the concept of tourism seasonality as temporal imbalance, expressed by the number of visitors, their expenditure, various traffic possibilities, employment, and admissions to attractions. Seasonality in tourism is systematic, intra-year movements in economic time series which are often caused by non-economic phenomena [40], the temporal tourism fluctuations on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis [41], and could be defined as some kind of visitor pattern that repeats every year [37]. ...
... Seasonality in tourism is concerned with stable and well-established seasonal patterns [37,38,40]. It addresses the set of different causes such as: (i) nature reflected through the climate pattern (sunny days, snow falls, insolation, etc.) as important factors in the shaping of the touristic sites; (ii) institutional calendar (religious festival and holidays, pilgrimage travel, festival events, workers' holidays, students' and pupils' ferries, etc.); (iii) other pull factors, such as personal preferences, social pressure, sporting season, income specificity and bonus payment, etc. [37,39,40,[42][43][44]. As Ferrante et al. [38] refer, tourism seasonality appears to be a frequent research subject, which is not the case with the measurement of seasonality nor seasonal pattern classification. ...
... On the other hand, a wider picture that implies comparison with the results from the neighboring countries showed a similar seasonality pattern-low overall seasonality (e.g., Macedonia [51]; however, with high seasonal activation concentrated in particular areas, such as coastal area in Croatia [39], spa centers in urban areas in Hungary [49], and spa centers with an extended tourist season in Romania [100]. ...
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... About half of the population is creating their travel pattern in regard with school holidays. Due to the mass movement during school vacations the federal states of Germany and Austria staggered of the timing of school holidays over different regions, what resulted, to a certain degree, with lower concentration of tourist activities (Corluka, 2019). Institutional seasonality, unlike natural seasonality, is relatively easier to predict and manage. ...
... A good understanding of seasonality in tourism is essential for the efficient operation of tourism facilities and infrastructure. Further examination of tourism seasonality is need to ensure better understanding of the phenomenon in case of causes of seasonality, quantification of implications, as well as potential strategies to lower the pattern (Corluka, 2019). Although some positive effects resulting from tourist seasonality can be detected, basically the effects resulting from this phenomenon are negative. ...
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... The intensification of promotion in subsequent weeks of the service and an increasing awareness of the existence of the offer is expressed in generally few journeys undertaken during the early weekends and their increase over subsequent weeks. The Heritage Tram Line is a seasonal product (Cannas, 2012;Corluka, 2019;Cuccia, Rizzo, 2011;Hinch, Hickey, 1996), in order to increase its recognition and use to an appropriate level, promotion should be year-round and the basic features of the product, especially the service period, must be predictable and communicated in advance. ...
... Wyrazem intensyfikacji promocji w kolejnych tygodniach kursowania linii i wzrostu świadomości istnienia oferty, głównie wśród wrocławian, była na ogół niska frekwencja w pierwszych weekendach i jej wzrost wraz z obecnością oferty na rynku. Zabytkowa Linia Tramwajowa to produkt sezonowy (Cannas, 2012;Corluka, 2019;Cuccia, Rizzo, 2011;Hinch, Hickey, 1996). By był on rozpoznawalny i wykorzystany na odpowiednim poziomie, promocja musi być właściwie całoroczna, a podstawowe cechy produktu, szczególnie okres funkcjonowania, powinny być znane z wyprzedzeniem i przewidywalne. ...
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... It affects the optimal use of investment and infrastructure and can create a negative experience of crowding at destinations (Saetórsdóttir, Hall, & Stefánsson, 2019). Visits are also affected by seasonality variation (Corluka, 2019;Zainol & Au-Yong, 2016;Corluka, Mikinac, & Milenkovska, 2017;Geng, Innes, Wu, Wang, & Wang, 2021;Saetórsdóttir et al., 2019) and tourist preferences. ...
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... Second, this study includes a novel dynamic approach to tourist decision-making uncertainty cycles regarding their accommodation choices. The literature identifies these random cycles as seasonal flows; we will observe that a real data analysis allows us to identify seasonal behaviours that may be measured [43]. Finally, introducing a new concept of uncertainty allows us to put forward an econometric model that explains the flows in lodging decision-making. ...
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... Seasonality and tourist behavior have exacerbated the problem. Seasonality is responsible for amplifying unfavorable impacts at particular periods of the year, as shown in [49,50]. Visitor behavior has exacerbated unfavorable trends in many locations, and it is thought that locals are to blame for the bulk of vandalism and graffiti in a given area. ...
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... Thus, it might not necessarily be the answer to address the seasonality faced by islands. Furthermore, while seasonality is viewed as a challenge and often a problem affecting many tourism areas (Jolliffe and Farnsworth 2003), seasonality has also been considered a positive aspect to preserve the way of life of islands, to conserve the local natural environment (Jolliffe and Farnsworth 2006) and to ease stress from local operators (Cannas 2012;Corluka 2019). Therefore, these aspects and the views of host communities must also be taken into consideration. ...
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Due to their insularity and small economies, several islands have become reliant on tourism activity for the livelihood of their communities. Islands of the same archipelago have faced various challenges in terms of tourism growth and related impact. Primarily, tourism has been characterised by seasonality (the strong spatio-temporal concentration of tourists in a destination) especially in the most peripheral islands. In other cases, tourism has grown considerably resulting in overemphasis on mass tourism throughout part of the year. This is largely experienced due to Sand, Sun and Sea (3S) tourism. Fieldwork, including interviews with key stakeholders and ecotours off-season, was conducted in the Aegadian Archipelago, off the west coast of Sicily. Findings revealed that ecotourism not only is the preferred alternative form of tourism among stakeholders but is also possible and ideal as confirmed through the ecotours. This is because different ecotourism activities can be practised all year round, thus mitigating seasonality. In return, this can help ease the financial, social and environmental challenges associated with current tourism models improving the well-being of local communities. Marine ecotourism is considered as a means to give more value to marine protected areas and to make existing tourism activity in the peak season more sustainable.
... Tourism as an integral part of global business is highly dependent on seasonality, economic activities and human behavior and society in general (Corluka 2019). In its implementation, the built environment as a place to carry out an activity has a very close relationship with tourism. ...
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This study aims to determine the extent to which the impact of the event affects the creation of a temporary territorial transformation of the corridor structure. This research is qualitative research. The research variables are changes in soft space found in residential corridors, including the width of the road area on the sidewalk, and the garden of the residence. Sampling was carried out by means of before and after studies which emphasized the observation of literature study results and direct observation. The results showed that the significance of sidewalk changes can be seen during the day and at night where there is a change in function, as well as the crowd. Changes in the function of the sidewalk area and road buildings when there are activities are not merely spatial changes, but also affect the territorial structure, namely the occurrence of changes in depth sequences in the spatial strata.
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This study examines the effect of tourism source market structure on the volatility of tourism revenues in Turkey, using the number of tourists according to nationality and the data on international tourism revenues. The tourism source market structure was measured using the normalized Herfindahl–Hirschman index and the relative entropy index, which is based on the number of tourists visiting Turkey from 107 source markets. The volatility of tourism revenues and the effect of tourism source market structure on this volatility were assessed using the autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) method. The results show that both variables measuring tourism source market structure affect the volatility of tourism revenues. Accordingly, the concentration of the tourism source market increases the volatility of tourism revenues, whereas source market diversification decreases it.
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Tourism seasonality is generally seen as a problem for most of the main destinations in the world, particularly from the point of view of sustainability. Despite its importance, no reasonably homogeneous international measurement of seasonality is yet available on the global scale. Using the best World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data, the paper uses the coefficient of variation, over the period 2008–2013 and for the main destinations, as a measure of tourism seasonality. In addition to the descriptive results, the paper includes a mixed effects panel data model, which allows us to investigate some reasonable main global determinants of seasonality. The results may be summarized as follows. Firstly, the world seasonality shows an inverted U pattern. Secondly, the highest (and increasing) seasonality is concentrated in the Mediterranean countries. Lastly, in terms of empirical determinants, geographical location, and the income of the major markets of origin are globally significant variables.
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This paper will propose a general approach for the analysis and measurement of seasonality in tourism, based on an analysis of the pattern of seasonal swing, as a preliminary step for the assessment of seasonal amplitude. The seasonality of tourism demand across European countries will be analyzed and clusters of countries identified, which are based on a similarity of their seasonal pattern. After discussing the limitations of the most frequently used indices employed in the tourism literature, a new index for measuring seasonality in tourism will be suggested in order to measure seasonal amplitude. The latter takes into account the ordinal and cyclical structures of seasonal variations. The results demonstrate a strong connection between seasonal patterns and the spatial distribution throughout European countries, which may orient future policy actions for dealing with seasonality on a European level. Keywords: Seasonality index; Gini index; Seasonal variations; Seasonal pattern; Seasonal amplitude; Europe
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Annual seasonal variations in tourism demand have been a central theme in literature. However, annual seasonality is not the only time-based inequality in tourism flows that has important implications on policy-making decisions at destinations. Within the context of tourism, this study aims to make an in-depth analysis of intra-monthly and intra-weekly tourism demand using the entropy and relative redundancy measures as alternative seasonality indicators to the Gini coefficient in order to provide new tools to manage tourism and propose new action policies at these frequencies. In comparison with the Gini coefficient, the entropy measure is simpler to compute and it is easily decomposable. Using the case study of air arrivals and departures to and from the Balearic Islands, results show the appropriateness of entropy and relative redundancy as seasonal indicators but also as a new information tools for tourism seasonality analysis.
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This paper analyzes seasonality in the United Kingdom, specifically the English regions in relation to tourists' place of origin and main travel motivation. The method used is a decomposition of the Gini index, which provides relative marginal effects that facilitate the identification of market segments open to counter-seasonal marketing efforts. This method has been combined with a graphical multivariate technique (biplot), which groups segments according to their seasonality characteristics. Seasonal patterns associated with particular segments differ significantly when studied on a disaggregated basis. Therefore, an adequate level of disaggregation is essential in the design of counter-seasonal strategies. Although this study focuses on British destinations, this methodology could be used as a control and monitoring measure in the regional analysis of any destination, facilitating regular adjustment of regional tourism marketing campaigns to minimize seasonality effects, specifically by targeting the types of tourists less prone to seasonality.
Article
For all cold water resorts in peripheral areas, it is the 'dream' of the marketing department to expand the season but very few have succeeded. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the possibilities using the Danish Baltic Island of Bornholm as a case example. For the past three years, departing visitors have been surveyed as part of a research programme, 'Tourism in the peripheral areas of Europe', with the purpose of analysing tourism demand. Particular attention was given to visitors in the off-season. The sad conclusion is that the findings indicate no realistic possibilities for increasing the off-season market. The visitors in the off-season to Bornholm are mostly visiting friends and relatives, and repeat visitors with a special love for the island. The Bornholm tourism product is the nature, the atmosphere and the landscape. Even though the product is still there in autumn, winter and spring, the holidaymakers prefer to enjoy it in sunshine. Consequently, the tourism businesses, with hotels as an important exception, have adjusted to the short season. A strategy for broadening the season would imply dramatic changes in the operation of the tourist product out of season. Even then, it would be a very uncertain goal.
Chapter
Time series factor analysis separates two principal components of seasonality from the monthly occupancy time series of 279 English hotels over the period January 1992 to December 1994. The regional patterns of these two components, measuring the nature and intensity of seasonality and length of season, are presented, and their involvement in the occupancy profiles of individual hotels is explained using multiple regression models. The marketing implications of the results are discussed, incorporating the results of a structured interview survey of participating hoteliers.
Chapter
Seasonality is inextricably linked to tourism, since tourism flows to destinations and regions are conditioned by a complex array of factors that influence and impact upon visitor behaviour. One of the distinguishing features of tourism flows compared with migration flows, which are more permanent, is the transitory and seasonal nature of such movements. Tourist flows are significantly affected by the availability of leisure time, particularly holiday entitlements and especially the growth of the leisure society. In addition, a number of researchers have highlighted the formative influence of the “cycle of the seasons” (Bar-On, 1975; Patmore, 1983; Collier, 1994; Laws, 1995) as exemplified by Collier (1994) where “weather probably [is] the critical factor in the choice of holiday time and/or destination”. This point is further debated by Patmore (1983) as “one of the most unyielding of constraints is that imposed by climate, most obviously where outdoor activities are concerned. The rhythms of the seasons affect both the hours of daylight available and the extent to which temperatures are conducive to participant comfort outdoors”. In this respect, the combination of climate and institutionalized seasonality (i.e., holidays and events at specific times of the year such as Christmas and Easter) impact on the demand for tourism.
Chapter
Hinch and Jackson (2000) have argued that leisure constraints theory has value as a framework for understanding tourism seasonality. That paper reviewed the literature on seasonality in tourism and the evolution of leisure constraints research as part of its argument that leisure constraints theory holds much potential for gaining insight into the causes of seasonal variation in tourism. The logical follow-up to that argument is to test it through empirical analysis. This chapter uses a leisure constraints framework in an attempt to do just that. Empirical data were collected regarding the perceptions of visitors to Fort Edmonton Park — an historic park in Edmonton, Canada, in terms of their seasonal preferences related to visiting the attraction. The study is exploratory in nature and, while it provides important insights into the seasonal constraints from the visitors’ perspective, it is not claimed to be definitive. It does, however, contribute to our understanding of the way that leisure constraints theory can be used to understand seasonality in tourism.