Attractions for tourists

Tourism is an important contributor to many countries’ economies but it can have negative impacts unless it is properly managed, and the conflicting needs of interest groups are balanced. LEDCs in particular can become dependent on tourism, which is dangerous if the tourists suddenly stop coming.

Types of tourist attractions

People looking at paintings

The National Gallery in London

The human and physical resources found in a particular place often influence tourism to a particular destination. Human resources are tourist attractions that have been made by people, such as the Eiffel Tower in France.Physical resources are the attractions that have been made by nature such as beaches or lakes.

Popular tourist activities

Walkers in the Lake District

Walkers in the Lake District

  • According to a recent survey of British people travelling within the UK, the activity that people like to do the most while on holiday is walking. Walking allows people to enjoy the physical resources of the countryside such as hills, rivers and lakes.
  • The second most popular activity was visiting heritage sites. This includes historical buildings and sites of historic significance. These are human resources.
  • The third most popular activity wasswimming. People like to swim at the beach or in lakes (physical resources) or swimming pools (human resources).
  • Other popular activities were visiting art exhibitions, watching performing arts and visiting theme parks (all human resources).

Attractions in different countries

Types of man-made tourist attractions in the UK include:

  • art
  • architecture
  • cultural monuments
  • museums
  • local traditions
  • food and drink
  • music and drama
  • important historical or political sites

The table below shows that tourists in the UK are attracted to many different types of man-made tourist attractions.

Graph showing top 10 tourist attractions in the UK

Graph showing top 10 tourist attractions in the UK

Examples of tourist attractions abroad

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is an example of acultural monument and a place of architectural interest. As well as admiring it from ground level, tourists can go to the top and see a great view of Paris, including the River Seine (physical resource) and many beautiful buildings (human resources).

Guard Tower at Robben Island

Guard Tower at Robben Island

Robben Island in South Africa is an example of a historical or political site. Many people who visit South Africa go to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison. People are interested because Nelson Mandela’s struggle and sacrifice helped end Apartheid in South Africa.

Physical resources

Beach on Rawa Island, Malaysia

Beach on Rawa Island, Malaysia

Physical resources are the natural features of an area which might attract tourists, such as:

  • the physical landscape – such as beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers
  • ecosystems – such as rainforest or tropical grasslands
  • weather and climate – most tourists seem to like it warm and dry
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