What is a tourist?

The growth of tourism:

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  • Which countries have seen the biggest growth in tourism? Why is this?

  • What has caused the massive growth in tourism over the last 70years?

Case Study: Lanzarote

A Unesco biosphere reserve, Lanzarote is an intriguing island with an extraordinary geology of 300 volcanic cones, at the same time ticking all the right good-time boxes. There are great beaches, interesting sights and plenty of restaurants and hotels. The landscape has a stark and otherworldly appearance, with the occasional bucolic, palm-filled valley juxtaposed with surreal, crinkly black lava fields.

Photo from The Dive Shop, Lazerote

Long associated with package tourists and pie-and-chips resorts, times are finally changing and there has been a marked increase in the number of independent travelers to the island. In response, the government has undertaken an island-wide initiative to signpost walking trails, and rural accommodation options have increased.

The island’s major sights have been aesthetically developed by the late César Manrique, a Lanzarote native and artist. He still has a considerable impact on the island via a cultural foundation that promotes Lanzarote’s conservation, culture and architectural integrity. (Lonely Planet)

Fact Box

13.3 million people visited Lanzarote in 2015, it’s likely the island will exceed 14 million visitors during 2016.

Aim: Describe and explain the growth of tourism in relation to the main attractions of the physical and human landscape

1) The Physical Attraction of Lanzarote.

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LANZAROTE from monso on Vimeo.

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2) The Human Landscape of Lanzarote

Photos of Rancho Texas Park, Lanzarote
This photo of Rancho Texas Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Rancho Texas Park, a themed water park and major tourist attraction. A water park on an island without any natural surface water.

Lanzerote Golf Course

Golf courses need a lot of water to keep the grass alive but are also popular with tourists.

There is now an underwater museum

Lanzerote underrwater museum.PNG

Volcanoes are a big attraction for tourists and on Lanzarote you can even have your food cooked over a volcanic vent.

El Diablo's Volcanic BBQ.jpg


3) The Impact of Tourism on Lanzarote:

Aim: Evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of tourism to receiving areas

The following two websites give statistics on the economic impact of tourism on Lanzarote. They are in Spanish so you may need to ask a friend or use a translation site to understand them.ón-e-impactos-del-desarrollo-tur%C3%ADstico-de-Lanzarote.pdf

What about the local people?


How will tourism affect the life of this fisherman and his family?


Could they afford any of these houses?

Tourism has an impact on the environment.

Building craze threatens to end Lanzarote’s biosphere status

4) Sustainable Tourism in Lanzarote: The Lanzarote Effect

Lanzarote has become the first destination in the World to obtain the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification (Source)

1) What is meant by the term, “Sustainable Tourism?”

2) Why do you think Lanzarote is promoting this form of tourism?

3) Click on the image below. Chose one of the holidays described on the site, describe the holiday and explain what makes it sustainable.

Think about whether it benefits the local community, whether it is environmentally friendly etc.

Responsible Travel Lanzarote.PNG

4) Using the links here and your own research, find some other examples of things that Lanzarote is doing to reduce the threat that tourism can have on the natural environment. Make sure you describe the threat and explain what is being done.

Exam Style Questions:

  • Suggest reasons why some people are worried about the continued growth of the tourist industry in areas such as Lanzarote. [4 Marks]

  • Tourism is important in many countries. How can it be developed so that it is sustainable? [5 Marks]

  • For a named area which you have studied, explain why the tourist industry is important. You should refer to the area’s physical and human attractions. [7 Marks]

  • For a named area you have studied, state an economic activity which takes place which threatens the natural environment and explain how these threats are being managed.(7 marks)

Alternative Case Study:

Tourism in an LEDC: Kenya

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  • Where is Kenya?

Describe the location of the country.

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  • Why visit Kenya?

There are many reasons to visit Kenya.


Follow this link to the Kenyan tourist board website. Think about both the physical and human attractions in the country.

Plan a trip to Kenya, what would you do? Where would you stay?

  • What benifits has tourism brought to Kenya?

Tourism facts and figures for 2010

Factors affecting tourism in Kenya:

Judith Tebbutt kidnapping puts Kenya’s tourism into decline

Briton’s kidnapping and the murder of her husband have devastated the region’s tourism industry

Advice from the British government on visiting Kenya: How will this affect tourism?

The Negative Impact of Tourism in Kenya

  • The huge numbers of visitors is damaging the coral reefs and safari parks. Vehicles in the parks are causing soil erosion, whilst boats and divers themselves can damage the fragile coral very easily.
  • The wildlife of the National Parks is constantly being disturbed by the throngs of tourists descending upon them to take their photos before heading off again.
  • The Masai and other farmers have found that their land is now part of a National Park and therefore cannot be farmed. This has caused them great problems, and pushed them into joining the tourist industry. Many people feel that by putting on “cultural shows” for the tourists they are actually destroying their own culture, as the visitors look upon it as some kind of freak show.
  • The massive tourist developments on the Indian Ocean coastline have caused an increase in house prices in the area, meaning that the locals are priced out of the market.
  • Much of the new infrastructure developments have been completed primarily for the tourists, and do not really benefit the local community as much as some other projects might have done.
  • A large percentage of the money earned by tourism in the country goes back to the tour operators and large hotel chains, which are based in countries like the United States and Great Britain.

(taken from

Eco-Tourism: Can Tourism in Kenya be sustainable?

Responsible travel.jpg

Here are a selection of holidays that claim to be sustainable. Pick one and describe how it aims to benifit the local community, protect the environment and local culture.