North Europeans visit Mediterranean coasts searching for older resorts like Monte Carlo, Nice and Cannes on the Riviera and new resorts in Italy and Spain. Italy has built beautiful resorts in its southern parts of Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia along the Adriatic and Mediterranean coasts taking advantage of brilliant sunshine.
Many of the Mexican resorts, of the Pacific and California, Florida, and Hawaiian Islands in the United States are yet other example where weather has played a prominent part in attracting tourists.
Beautiful beaches of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and some other new destinations are yet more examples of what good weather can do. All these areas, in fact, capitalising on good weather, have become important tourist spots.
Destinations with attractive winter climates, winter warmth and sunshine are also important centres of tourist attraction. Many areas have become important winter holiday resorts attracting a large number of tourists.
Around these winter resorts, a variety of winter sport facilities have been installed to cater to the increasing needs of tourists. In countries with tropical climates, many upland cool areas have been developed as ‘hill station resorts’.
Climate then, is of particular significance to tourism and, there are many areas which, because of their beautiful, bracing climates, can be potential tourist areas.
2. Scenic Attractions:
Scenic attractions, like good weather, are very important factors in tourism. Scenery or the landscape consisting of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, forests, deserts, etc., are strong forces attracting people to visit them.
Breathtaking mountain scenery and the coastal stretches exert a strong fascination for the tourist. The magnificent mountain ranges provide an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
Tourists visiting the northern slopes of the Alps in Switzerland and Austria and the southern slopes in Italy and also the Himalayan mountain slopes of India and Nepal for the first time are charmed by their physical magnificence.
Great natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon in the United States, the Giants Causeway of Northern Ireland, the Niagara Falls, the Geysers of Iceland, the glaciers of the Alps, the forests of Africa, the mighty rivers, the lakes and the deserts are a source of great interest to many tourists and have become the basis of an expanding tourist industry.
Historical and Cultural interest characteristics exert a powerful attraction for many. Since many centuries these have had a profound influence on the traveler.
A large number of tourists are attracted every year by the great drawing power of Stratford-on Avon in England because of its associations with Shakespeare, or the city of Agra in India with its famous Taj Mahal or Pisa in Italy for its famous Leaning Tower.
Thousands of Americans and Canadians visit Europe because of its long historical heritage; besides, many view Europe as their original homeland and have a sentimental attachment to it.
Any foreign visitor to England must visit London not because it is the largest city in the country and the capital, but because of its historical associations and traditions and its many cultural attractions.
In a similar way the visitor in France includes Paris in his itinerary as he does Rome and Moscow in a visit to Italy and the Russia respectively. Many countries which are developing tourist industries are using the legacy of their historical past as their major tourist attractions.
In India, the world-famous caves of Ajanta and Eldora are an example. These caves are India’s oldest and most beautiful testimony of religious architecture and painting, and are man-made caves out of Rocky Mountains, conceived and executed some 2000 years ago.
Accessibility is a very crucial factor as it is a means by which a tourist can reach the area where attractions are located. Tourist attractions of whatever type would be of little importance if their locations are inaccessible by the normal means of transport.
It the tourist attractions are located at places where no transport can reach or where there are inadequate transport facilities, these become of little value. The tourist attractions which are located near to the tourist generating markets and are linked by a network of efficient roads and can be easily reached by air receive the maximum number of tourists.
The distance factor also plays an important role in determining a tourist’s choice of a destination. Longer distances cost much in the way of expenses on travel as compared to short distances. An example can be that of India. About two million and a half tourist arrivals for a country of the size of India may look rather unimpressive.
However, if one looks at certain factors like the country’s distance from the affluent tourist market of the world such as the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia, one may conclude that the long distance is rather one of the factors responsible for low arrivals.
It costs a visitor from these countries quite a substantial amount to visit India for a holiday. It has been stated earlier that Europe and North America continue to be the main generating and receiving areas for international tourism, accounting for as much as 70 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, of international tourist arrivals.
The intra-regional tourism (tourism between countries of the same region) has an appreciable influence on the distribution of world arrivals. Of the total international, tourist movements within Europe and North America, at least 75 per cent are intra-regional.
In the Americas the United States and Canada alone account for nearly 50 per cent of all international tourist traffic in the regions, where intra-regional international tourist movements are also predominant.
In Europe, intra-regional tourism accounts for over 70 per cent of international tourist movements. Easy accessibility thus is a key factor for the growth and development of tourist movements.
Facilities are a necessary aid to the tourist centre. For a seaside resort, facilities like swimming, boating, yachting, surf-riding and other facilities like dancing, recreation and amusements are important for every tourist centre.
Amenities can be of two types: natural, e.g., beaches, sea-bathing, possibilities of fishing, opportunities for climbing, trekking, viewing, etc., and manmade, e.g., various types of entertainments and facilities which cater to the special needs of the tourists.
Excellent sandy beaches, sheltered in sunshine with palm and coconut trees and offering good bathing conditions form very good tourist attractions.
Certain other natural amenities such as spacious waters for the purpose of sailing, or the opportunities for fishing and shooting are also very important.