Do well in 'developing UK tourist destinations'

AC 1.2 - Describe characteristics of different types of tourists

Socio economic

Socio-economic is the term given to the combination of social and economic factors that may affect or contribute to a person’s choice of tourism destination.

The main factors you need to appreciate include

  • Availability of time – have I got enough holiday time?
  • Amount of disposable income – can I afford it?
  • Personal mobility – can I get there and if so what would be the best transport option?


Read the following scenarios, one is an example to guide you. Can you identify the socio-economic factors that might influence the person’s decision?

Work in pairs or small groups.

Scenario – example.

Mr and Mrs Williams are planning their holiday for the summer. They have three children and want to go away for a two week holiday. Mr Williams has recently had a promotion as manager at his workplace, and he gets to have a company car. They want to travel to France by car or hire a camper van, which would be great fun for the children.

Model answer.

There are a number of socio-economic factors that I can identify in the scenario.

  1. They have three children so it won’t be a cheap holiday, they will have to save and plan carefully for the holiday. 
  2. Mr Williams has had a promotion which means he will be earning more money, this will help a lot with the cost of the holiday.
  3. Going away for two weeks means Mr Williams will have to take time off from work. If he has already taken time off he might not have enough holiday time left, but if he hasn’t he should be ok.

Your turn

Read the scenarios and then try to make 3 observations about the socio-economic factors of each.

Scenario 1

David Atkins has been invited to his friend’s wedding in Cyprus. His friend wants David to stay for a week in a five star luxury hotel where the wedding will take place. David really wants to go but has recently been made redundant and is looking for a new job.

Scenario 2

Suzie Wan has just landed her first job! She is delighted as it’s her dream job in fashion, she will get to travel a lot with her work. Suzie’s friends are going to Marbella for a spa weekend, Thursday to Monday and have invited her to come along. Suzie doesn’t know how to ask her new boss for time off as she is new to the job, she’s also unsure about being able to afford the trip as this is her first job and has had no previous earnings.