Such signposting identifies a relatively small number of tourist nodes. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the tourist image creators in North America and Europe have mainly promoted beach and ski holidays as the objects of the tourist gaze.
As a result, most tourists are concentrated into a small number of areas. Eventually a diseconomy of scale arising from spatial polarization has led to the decline of particular resorts arid development of tourism urbanisation. Tourist cities have evolved during the late twentieth century as sites for consumption.
2. Segmented Markets:
Mass tourist destinations also tend to have segmented markets. To minimize costs, there is a historical tendency for high level of movements between adjoining places.
Thus in UK in the early twentieth century, Southend developed as the resort for East London Black pool as the resort for Lancashire and the Sleekness as the resort for the East Midlands. At the international level there are several examples of similar processes; German tourists dominate in Austria, while Japanese tourists dominate in South East Asia and North Americans in Mexico.
Dependency on particular market segments brings certain economic relationships. Destinations are more vulnerable to external influences. This is particularly pronounced with respect to international tourism. Fears of terrorism in Kashmir valley have led to dramatic fluctuations in the number of foreigners as well as domestic tourists. Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling has led to a drastic fall in the number of tourists there.
It took Portugal four years to recover the tourists number lost following the 1974 military coup. Economic conditions in external markets are also an important factor affecting the flow of tourists. The numbers of American tourists in the international market have also fluctuated from year to year as the dollar has fluctuated dramatically in value after the abandonment of fixed international exchange rates since the early seventies.
Mass tourism involves the movement of large number of tourists with relatively little surplus income. Price is the most important factor.
In other words, demand for tourism services is highly elastic with respect to price and income. Hence there is a strong downward pressure on prices for the tour companies.
Mass tourism is necessarily highly seasonal. The tourists purchase access to particular seasonal environments or ‘space-time packages’. The main objects of the mass tourist gaze snow or sunny beaches are temporal attractions. While snow exists in high mountain ranges all the year round, and some coastal areas are warm always, there are seasons in which conditions are optimum.
Very few destinations are able to develop year-round tourism.
6. Environmental Pressures:
Mass tourism by assembling large numbers of tourists in small areas creates intense environmental pressures.
There is a real threat to environmental balance. Infrastructures are required to cope with a large volume of tourists during the busy season but they will remain underutilized during the remaining part of the year. While coastal resorts had been popular in elite tourism in the nineteenth century, in the twentieth century they became the focus of mass tourism. There are many reasons for this the emergence of paid holidays, the arrival of mass transport through the railways and the desire to escape the harsh living conditions in industrial capitalism. The attraction was sea and sand and the contrast to home provided by the absence of industry. In the twentieth century, the arrival of mass car ownership modified this pattern. In North America improved accessibility reinforced the attraction of ‘the great outdoors’.
In Europe, while it gave some boost to rural tourism, it mainly led to a dispersion of tourism along the coast rather than away from the coast. International coast mass tourism has developed into a major industry. The beaches of Europe, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Black Sea have been attractive to mass tourists from many countries.