The transport networks are the air, water and land routes, which various forms of transport travel along. Each network has starting and ending points, which are known as termini. Air travel has scheduled flights, which operate regularly according to published schedules or timetables e.g. Virgin Atlantic Airways fly five times a week to New York and three times a week to South Africa. Charter flights only operate when they are hired for a particular purpose. Tourists tend to take scheduled flights, as they are affordable, faster and convenient. Charter flights are expensive and need to be organised through companies.
Tourists often have a choice of transport routes when deciding how to travel to their destinations, these include; sea- (ferries and cruises), which tend to be slow but flexible as tourists can take their cars on the channel crossings. Road- (motorways, auto-bahns, major trunk roads and the channel tunnel) this is a flexible means of transport. Finally, rail- (high speed lines and scenic railways) this is a quick means of transport to a destination. The choice of transport and type of route taken is based on four factors; cost, convenience and availability, journey time and services provided by the transport carrier.
There is a variety of accommodation available for a tourist. It can range from five star hotel accommodations through to basic bed and breakfasts. The type of accommodation chosen by a tourist is usually dependent on his/her budget. Whilst on holiday a tourist will have a wide variety of catering facilities to choose from. He/she will choose a restaurant or takeaway that serves the food of his/her choice.
Accommodation and catering are organisations, which provide tourists with places to stay and to eat. In the UK there are many single outlets and multinational operators. Catering services operate separately from accommodation in some cases. Restaurants, pubs, fast-food outlets and cafes provide arrange of choices from quick snacks to haute cuisines. Some restaurants offer fixed priced menus or ‘a la carte’ menus, where customers pay for separate items. Pubs are popular as they provide cooked meals, hot snacks, salads and sandwiches with alcohol. Fast-food outlets are convenient and offer items such as hamburgers, pizzas, pasta and baked potatoes. Examples of fast-food outlets are Mc Donald’s and KFC. Tourists who are travelling either by plane or train e.g. Eurostar, are often offered catering, which is prepared and packaged meals.
Accommodation can be divided into serviced or self-catering. Full serviced means it includes meals and house keeping. Examples of places that offer serviced accommodation is hotels, motels, guest houses or lodges. Serviced accommodation can be divided in a number of ways including the number of bedrooms, small- (ten rooms or less), medium- (eleven-fifty rooms) and large- (more than fifty rooms).
Serviced establishments are awarded a rating, which indicates the range of facilities provided. The National Tourist Boards (NTBs) for England, Scotland and Wales have developed the Crown Classification System for hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and farmhouses. The number of crowns awarded represents the range of facilities and services provided. Self-catering accommodation means tourists are provided with accommodation but have to provide their own food, this type of accommodation is usually cheaper as fewer services are provided. Examples of self-catering are, apartments, camping sites, timeshare and chalets.
The tourist board inspectors’ check both serviced and self-catering accommodations and each of the establishments are graded for quality e.g. Travel Lodge is for budget accommodation while grand hotels e.g. The Ritz and The Hilton are classed as five star accommodations. Tourist development and promotion are the support services of the industry and will work together to provide a tourist with an informative and interesting holiday experience.
Tourist development and promotion comprises of tourism support, promotion services, Tourist Information Centres (TICs) and guiding services. Many local authorities have specific departments to support and develop tourism in different areas. This support includes marketing the area with the aid of brochures, distributing accommodation and entertainment guides and attending travel exhibitions to promote their areas. NTBs and Regional Tourist Boards (RTBs) work with local authorities to promote and develop local areas; this involves providing a wide range of services such as educational material, publicity guides and visitor guides. I will discuss each organisation that aids tourist development:
The British Tourist Authority (BTA) is an official government organisation formed in 1969 in conjunction with tourists’ boards for Scotland, Wales and England. Their role is to build the value of tourism to Britain by promoting tourism in Britain. The BTA advertises overseas, it also advises the government and businesses about tourism and carries out research. The BTA works with the Scottish, English, Welsh and Regional Tourist Boards to encourage inbound travel to the UK. It also works with the Department of Culture, Media and-Sport (DCMS), and liases with the British council and diplomatic staff to increase awareness as a travel destination.
NTBs are responsible for promoting domestic tourism in their respective areas. There are four main tourist boards, they are, the English Tourism Council (ETC), Scottish Tourist Board (STB), Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and Welsh Tourist Board (WTB). In Wales people refer to the WTB as Bwrdd Croeso Cymru. There are also separate tourist boards for the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. They have similar objectives, which include, advising the government on tourism matters, creating wealth and jobs, enhancing the image of their areas etc.