Exam-style Questions: Tourism

  1. a) What do you understand by the terms 'recreation' and 'tourism'?

    (4 marks)

    b) For a region or regions you have studied examine the effects of recreation and tourism on the human and physical environment.

    (10 marks)

    (Marks available: 14)


    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 1

    a) Approximate time to answer the question - 8 minutes.

    "The term tourism refers to the industry that provides for tourists such as the tour operators and the provision of hotels. It also refers to the process travel by a tourist."

    "Recreation is an activity that somebody chooses to do in his or her spare time for the purposes of health both mental and physical, pleasure, fun, intellectual stimulation or any combination of these. It differs from sport as it is not governed by a strict set of rules but sport can be recreation if it is pursued primarily for the reasons outlined above."

    b) Approximate time to answer the question - 20 minutes.

    You need to be careful to differentiate between the impacts of tourism and the impacts of recreation.

    To gain the highest marks you should have a balanced answer that examine impacts of recreation and tourism on the built and physical environment. You should also make specific references to places.

    Some factors you could discuss are outlined below...

    Impact of recreation on the built environment include:

    • The built environment can be conserved or enhanced as tourism is used to regenerate an area. In the Bristol dockside regeneration several listed buildings have been renovated and now form a vibrant part of the economy. Specifically related to recreation would be the Watershed media center or the new '@Bristol' interactive technology museum that are based in listed buildings.
    • The growth in the leisure industry has seen the development of many purpose built 'health clubs' such as those under the David Lloyd banner.

    Impact of recreation on the physical environment include:

    • Footpath erosion is a problem in all national parks these days as a result of the increase in walking and mountain biking. Problems are particularly bad in the Peak district and Snowdonia.
    • Scuba diving has led to the destruction in many areas of coral reef. As a consequence scuba diving in Australia is covered by strict legislation.
    • Many regions of the European Alps have faced major deforestation as new ski runs are made to provide for the increased demand. This has increased the frequency and impact of avalanches.

    Impact of tourism on the built environment include:

    • In areas of historic importance many buildings are suffering badly because of the increase in tourism. The physical numbers can erode away steps whilst the increase in corrosive fumes from cars and coaches can corrode buildings.
    • The vibrations from vehicles can also have an effect on the foundations of buildings. Both of these are occurring in many areas of historic Greece.
    • Tourism can have a beneficial effect on the built environment as entrance charges can pay for the maintenance or renovation of historic buildings. The National trust care for over 200 hundred historic buildings including entire villages using money from entrance fees and subscriptions. They are also helping to preserve over 600 miles of the UK's coastline.

    Impact of tourism on the physical environment include:

    • Again tourism can benefit a natural environment if the tourism is affectively managed. As mentioned above the National Trust has used entrance fees and subscriptions to manage and conserve over 600 miles of the UK's coast.
    • A less desirable impact is the deforestation and loss of natural habitat that occurs when a holiday complex is built. The large hotels on the Costa del Sol and Goa could be used as examples.
    • Hotel complexes demand a vast quantity of water for watering gardens, laundry, guests and swimming pools. This can have a disastrous effect by lowering the water table. This can effect crop growth or cause springs to dry up. Very often the locals are dependant on these springs for their water. This has occurred in Goa.

    (Marks available: 14)

  2. a) Identify two major changes in global tourism that have occurred in the past twenty-five years.

    (4 marks)

    b) Explain why these changes have occurred.

    (10 marks)

    (Marks available: 14)


    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 2

    a) There are several major changes that you could choose from including:

    • Increase in numbers of international and domestic tourists.
    • Greater diversity of destinations including more long haul destinations.
    • The growth of tourism in the developing world.
    • Greater diversification in holiday type to include activity based, culture based, safari type, educative, theme park holidays (Disney world).
    • Increase in the duration of holidays.

    b) Depending on your answers to 2a you should refer to several of the following factors:

    • More holidays: paid holidays increased
    • A smaller world: faster travel time increase tourism
    • Development: Governments promote tourism as it can benefit their economy
    • Elderly: Health care and pensions has meant that people are living longer
    • Society: Holidays are a normal part of Western society
    • Income: People are earning more than ever before and prices are relatively cheaper
    • Communication: TV travel programmes raise awareness whilst credit cards and ICT makes booking holidays easier

    You will be marked on your ability to identify relevant factors from the above options and relate them to your answer for '2a'. For a ten-mark question you should be fully explaining at least four factors.

    (Marks available: 14)

  3. a) For an area you have studied explain why it is in need of regeneration.

    (4 marks)

    b) How has tourism been utilised to regenerate the area mentioned in 3a?

    (4 marks)

    c) Evaluate the success of the regeneration programme you have discussed.

    (10 marks)

    (Marks available: 18)


    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 3

    For this question you need good case study knowledge. The case study on this site is the redevelopment of Bristol.

    a) You would have 10 minutes at most for this bit.

    Clearly state the reasons why the area is/ was rundown. For Bristol this would include:

    • Decline of the Docks as a result of new docks at Avonmouth and large ships no longer being able to navigate the Avon to get to Bristol docks.
    • Decline of industry in the city due to competition from oversea and the general movement to new out of town estates.
    • Planning blight as the council is unsure of how to redevelop the docks. This discourages investment.

    The consequence is an area with high unemployment derelict buildings and increasing social problems. An area in need of regeneration.

    b) You would have 10 minutes maximum for this as well. You'll need good knowledge of your case study so you can clearly explain what has been done to regenerate the area and importantly what part tourism has played. For Bristol your answer should include:

    • The area identified for redevelopment
    • The source of finance
    • How the environment was improved e.g. new well-lit walkways, using listed buildings to house attractions or for accommodation such as the YHA.
    • What tourist attractions were developed e.g. The SS Great Britain or IMAX theatre.

    c) 10 marks available so approximately 20 minutes of time.

    This is an evaluation question so you have to look at the good points and bad points. It is a good idea to quickly scribble down as many as you can think of on a piece of rough paper so that you can plan you answer.

    It is important to discuss good and bad, as this is what the examiner will be looking for.

    For Bristol you should discuss at least five of the following factors...

    Successes include:

    • Over £500 million pounds of inward investment
    • Over 3000 new jobs
    • A mixed commercial environment that includes café bars, restaurants, cinemas, shops
    • New developments for the arts
    • Sports facilities
    • An industrial museum and maritime heritage museum
    • Various festivals such as 'The Festival of the Sea'
    • The preservation and utilisation of listed buildings. For example the Watershed media centre that includes a cinema, studios, art gallery and café bar was formerly two warehouses
    • Residential developments providing much needed housing.
    • Over 750 000 visitors in 1998 expected to exceed 1 million in 2000
    • Rated as one of the best harbour-side redevelopments in the UK

    The scheme has successfully redeveloped what was a very rundown area. Development is ongoing as proposals are made for the redevelopment of other sites.

    On the whole the redevelopment has been very well received but there has been some criticism.


    • Concerns about how the area would fare during recession especially as it is so dependant on entertainment - one of the first things people would reduce if their incomes fell.
    • Some criticism of the Millennium Square in that it is feature less and has done nothing to improve traffic congestion.
    • New houses are very expensive - you could argue that the real need was for cheaper social housing.

    (Marks available: 18)

  4. a) What do you understand by the term sustainable tourism?

    (2 marks)

    b) State a case study example of sustainable tourism and justify your choice.

    (5 marks)

    c) How can tourism be used to improve the quality of life in developing world countries?

    (8 marks)

    (Marks available: 15)


    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 4

    a) 4 minutes for this. Simple definition, something like...

    "Sustainable tourism is the term that refers to tourism which utilizes resources (Coastlines, wildlife, Mountains, historic buildings) to benefit people today but through effective management also conserves those resources for future generations. It is often small scale with local people involved in the decision-making and management. Profits are invested back into the local community or natural environment."

    b) 5 marks - 10 minutes.

    Think about what we have just said sustainable tourism is and try and fit a case study to it. The one on this site that is very relevant is Operation Campfire.

    To justify your choice simply explain why it is an example of sustainable tourism. There are 5 marks available so 3 well explained points would be enough.

    3 factors you could expand on from operation campfire could be...

    (i) The fact that they only cull 5% of the wildlife so the resource is infinite and will therefore benefit future generations.

    (ii) Any profits from hunting licenses are injected back into the villages so local people are benefiting from the tourism. Profits are used to build hospitals and schools

    (iii) Local people are the decision makers so they can get optimum benefit from the resources.

    c) 8 marks - 16 minutes.

    To explain how tourism can improve the quality of life in the developing world you should refer to case studies when you can and discuss at least 4 of the following points:

    • A valuable source of foreign currency
    • Reduce levels of unemployment
    • Improves the infra-structure - better for industry
    • Can provide new training and education
    • Multiplier effect - encouraging supportive industries
    • Need to make sure you have local owners and employees to reduce leakage
    • Foreign currency can be invested in schools, hospitals, housing programmes etc.

    (Marks available: 15)