The role of sun, sand and beaches in the development and growth of tourism activity around the world is undeniable. Although coastal tourism in its origins was regarded as exclusive to elite tourists, its democratization in the second half of the twentieth century contributed to its expansion, especially in southern Europe, which became a symbol of mass tourism. Since then, statistics have displayed the importance of sun-and-beach tourism as the largest segment of world tourism, showing high rates of growth to date.
In this way, one of the characteristics of destinations in the maturity stage is the saturation of its principal attractions. In this stage where beach saturation problems arise the satisfaction of tourists decrease as well as hazarding the natural environment. Therefore, destinations have to take initiatives in order to avoid satisfaction decrease and a possible option is the reallocation of tourists.
Accommodation areas and beach attractions.
Source: Own elaboration
To illustrate the relevance of intra-destination movements in the promotion of the destination rejuvenation Bujosa et al. (2015) study the intra-destination movements of tourists arriving to Mallorca, the largest island in the Balearic archipelago. They estimate a negative binomial model (NBM) to see the effect of origin zones (zones where tourists are hosted) and beach attractions over tourists’ distribution. They divide the factors that affect the beach visitation rate in push and pull factors. On the one hand, push factors are the characteristics of the zones and of the individuals lodged on that zones and on the other hand pull factors are the characteristics of the beaches that make them desirable for tourists. The results of the NBM estimation are presented in Table 1:
Analysing the signs of the coefficients of the variables of Table 1 we can see how origin zones (zones where tourists are hosted) and beaches can be modified in order to reallocate tourist’ visits.
In this way, the presence of high quality accommodation at an origin zone reduces the number of beach trips to that zone. In addition, a beach with parasols for rent attracts more visits than a beach that has not this service.
Summarizing, reducing the number of services at beaches with higher density and increasing the quality of the origin zones the saturation will be reduced.
At IT Travel services we have experience handling panel data and estimating complex econometric models. In this way, we have used count data models to estimate the demand function of a discrete variable, for example the demand for hotel rooms. As in the example it can also be used to analyse the number of visits to a tourist attraction.
Pere Josep Pons