How tourism influences urbanism
The growth of urban centers is attributed to many factors withtourism being one such factor. The influence of tourism on urbanchange is incredible leading to changes like improved infrastructure,rise of modern hotels, luxurious accommodation and improved culturalrelations. Fainstein and Jude (1) argue that travel unlike tourism isan old act. Mass tourism however according to them has a recentvintage originating from railroad excursions and cook tours in the19th century. Like many tourist firms today, Thomas cooks a founderof a travel agency began offering packages of organized visits slowlypaving way to millions of tourists who wanted to view the historicsites across Europe. Many tourism firms have adopted the tourismstrategy used by Thomas years ago, both locally and internationallytoday.
As the mode of transport improved from railroads, to roads, toplanes and currently online, so has tourism growth risen. As thetourism sector became an established department in most countries, itwas assigned roles to improve conditions for people coming to visitthe country. One of the ways through which the tourism sectorinfluences urbanism is through improving the infrastructure topromote a better outlook for tourists. The tourism sector hasundergone through massive changes in an effort to impress and maketheir marketing strategies more appealing to potential buyers who aretourists.
Holcomb (54) in his article marketing cities for tourism describeshow the city is a product to be sold on the market of tourism. Notourist wants to invest their money in a place that does not impressthem visually. Great amounts of resources have been invested incities, which make up urban settings with an aim of selling the cityto potential consumers. Marketing cities is a strategy that manystates have adopted as a way of promoting the multimillion-dollarindustry. Without tourism, it would have been impossible for mostgovernments and states to see the need to invest and restructuretheir cities into urban and appealing looks. Tourism hassignificantly influenced the outlook of many cities. Besidesimproving the outlook, the competition regionally, locally orinternationally to attract tourist is increasing at a rapid rate.Cities are outdoing each other in an effort to fill their hotels,stadiums, centers, museums and offering splendid packages to attractmore tourists on their side (Judd 23). There is a craze for elegantcities to look better while those being marketed are described inextraordinary gleam all in the name of appealing to tourists.
The city is a product of urbanization best described by Holcomb (55)in marketing cities of tourism. He describes a list ofundeniable brand names of cities that have been fortunate enough tosee their campaigning strategy pay off well. The names of thesecities stand out and are strongly associated to different tourismsectors. The name Paris strikes romance to any public mind while LasVegas describes the nightlife and pomp. Sydney and Indianapolis areassociated with sports while Kyoto and Venice strike the rich cultureexhibited in those cities. Global reputations for meeting venues andgreat business deal striking are associated with elegant cities likeNew York, London or Tokyo.
The uniqueness of each city is in what it offers tourists.Pittsburgh city for example was once a steel capital but today isdescribed as the most livable city in the US. It is also the greatestattraction amusement park built on the former steel site. Pittsburghis an example of a city urbanized and built to suite the tourismindustry. The influence of tourism on such a city led it to create aproduct that appeals to tourist consumers as in the amusement park.Mecca managed to make a smooth transition from an industrialwasteland to a tourist Mecca in 1980. The reputation of such citiesin magazines is livable because they managed to transform theirimages to suit tourism. The portrayal of the city matters as much asthe effectiveness of the product it offers for tourism. Even withtourist attractions, the reputation of an urban center or city canfluctuate if it does not have good marketing strategies and efforts.
To make the tourist sector relevant, marketing is a crucial aspect.Vision and tourism are considered the noblest senses according toUrry (72). The tourist sector greatly relies on sight as a strategyto market their product. Marketing makes a distinction from mereselling. While selling is an attempt to persuade the consumer to buywhat one has, marketing involves producing what the consumer wants.This is what the tourist industry focuses on delivering the productsthat the consumer wants. The city is a product that can be shaped tosuit the consumer (tourist) through various ways. While the tourismmarketer cannot develop the product from scratch since some factorslike geography, the tourism industry can market its products throughimplementing new infrastructure or building luxurious hotels andaccommodation hostels for tourists.
Part of marketing is also making the destination appealing to thetourist industry for purposes of making the city tourist friendly.Some of the ways through which tourism as a product is modified isthrough remodeling, redesigning and making the inhabitants modifiedto be more appealing. Image creation is one the ways through whichmarketers sell tourism making the product indistinguishable.Promotional strategies like producing guides for hotel locations,restaurants and transits and local attractions are importantpromotional strategies for travel agencies and visitors. Individualcities may at times have few resources to promote continuousmarketing programs. Urban marketing requires the involvement andsupport of the governmental to reach more customers especially on theinternational level.
Advertisement strategies like print, television and internetservices are another useful way of promoting tourism in urban cities.Press photo shoots which disseminate favorable media images of a cityalso gives an outward look of the urban city making the tourists moreattracted to cities. According to Urry (75), photography producesexceptional arrays of signs and images that constitute the visualculture of the late 20th century. Tourism is brought tolife through creative images that bring to life the pictorial view ofimages that attract tourists. He tourist gaze composes of urbanlandscape into a collage of frozen images which is perfectlyexpressed in photography (Fainstein and Judd 16). Sight is one of themost influential senses of promoting tourism. A tourist city attractsmany tourists from its appearance and how it well it packages itsimages.
Tourism promotes urbanism of cities in unique ways. The moviecrossing the bridge is a good example of how tourism influencesurbanism and the promotion of unique cultures. The film of the soundof Istanbul is a documentary that covers the Turkish music scene withits wide range of exotic jazz. The film also incorporates incendiaryhip-hop and romantic pop dance music that are performed in a regionaltwist. It displays the growth of tourism in the urban town of Turkey.The film is about Istanbul and its role in the center of European,Asian and Middle East. Cultural schisms help heal through pop whileelders wield the weapon of EU compliance. To understand their cultureone has to listen to their music. Their rich music attracts tourist’sas excitement spreads across the city’s musical buffet. Cultural,arts and heritage tourism are a great way of promoting tourism incities. Heritage tourism encourages cities to develop with a uniquetouch of their culture and attracts other people. The Chinese peoplefor example have managed for years to preserve their Kung-fu culturewhich is now a great attraction for tourists. Many people visit Chinato learn about the heritage culture of kung-fu for example as theyview Chinese artifacts’ and well preserved customs. Some even learntheir culture, language, eating habits and emulate their dressingstyle.
The influence of tourism on urban change is incredible leading tochanges like better roads, infrastructure, the rise of modern hotels,luxurious accommodation and improved cultural relations. Throughtourism, towns have grown to cities in an effort to appeal tocustomers and package their tourist services better. Many cities havedeveloped a unique urban outlook as they compete with other cities tobecome more competitive tourist attractions. Tourism can be bestpromoted through effective marketing strategies and the visualsenses. Creative marketing strategies like advertisement are a greatway of making tourism grows in cities. Besides, marketing andadvertising, music, the rich heritage and culture of cities is amajor attraction for tourists.
Crossing the Bridge: the sound of Istanbul, retrieved from, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41xOiGtekJs )
Fainstein, Susan and Judd, Dennis. Global forces, local strategiesand urban tourism, Yale University press, New Haven, London,1999.print
Holcomb, Briavel. Marketing cities for tourism, YaleUniversity press, new Haven and London, 1999
Judd,Dennis. TheTourist City.New Haven [u.a.: Yale Univ. Press, 1999. Print.
Urry, John. Sensing the city, Yale University press, New Havenand London