Be better at 'the business of tourism'

AC 2.1 - The UK business environment

Social factors

Tourism organisations have no control over what happens in the country in which they are located.  They cannot control the rate of population growth, birth and death rates or the amount of immigration.  But they do have to react to changing social conditions in a country.  Over the last 20 years or so in the UK the main social changes have included:

  • A growing population
  • An ageing population
  • A more multi-cultural population
  • Changing family structure
  • Awareness of special needs
  • Changing attitudes towards gay and transgender sexuality

Activity 1

Research other attractions to see what their policy is regarding family membership.

  • Do different attractions have different rules?
  • What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of the policy shown above?

One of the most significant social changes is that of the ageing population of the UK.  People are living longer and taking part in a wide range of tourism activities, in many cases, until they are in their 80’s.  Tourism organisations have had to develop new products to meet this demand.  And just because a person is old it does not mean that they have special needs!

The table below is taken from government figures which show how long on average a man or a woman born in any year can expect to live.  The table also projects how this figure, called life expectancy, is expected to rise in the future.

Activity 2

Discuss ways in which older people are taking part in tourism activities.  You may have grandparents who still go on holiday regularly – what do they do and where do they go for their holidays?

Activity 3

Saga Holidays is a company specialising in holidays for people who are over 50 years of age.  Study the website of the organisation and write about 100 words outlining the ways in which the company provides holidays for people who are over 50.