- What opportunities and barriers exist for group tourism in developing Asian nations?
Opportunities for group tourism in Asia include modification of cumbersome immigration procedures and visa controls to allow for ease of movement of tourists. Countries such as Cambodia, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, and Laos among others have opened up for group tourism through reduced visa fees from their embassies abroad. These countries also provides for a variety of attraction sites and features such as beaches, rainforests, wildlife, museums, varied night life, world heritage sites all suitable for group visits at reduced rates (Singh, 14). Improved communication and transport infrastructure also opens up more tourist sites for visits by group tourism.
Some of the barriers include concerns over safety and security of tourists in Asian countries. There have been reports of kidnappings and robberies targeted at tourists. Inadequate infrastructure in transport and communication limits the enjoyment of some unique tourist attraction features (Singh, 15). Political instability in countries in Vietnam and Cambodia have also posed challenges to the growth of tourism in some key regions.
- What are the advantages and limitations of group tourism?
The advantages of group tourism include reduced discounts on visits to tourist attraction sites. Groups are also likely to have more fun by engaging in more activities such as group games (beach volleyball, water sports, among others). Groups of tourists are also able to give each other security and fend off things like robbery attacks and kidnappings.
The limitations of group tourism include reduced privacy for those who may be seeking privacy during their vacation. Depending on the size of the group, logistics and movements to attraction sites may be difficult, eat into the time of the tourists and limit the fun. Disagreements and conflicts arising in group tourism my render the tourism experience a nightmare.
- What are the likely growth sectors of travelers on group tours to Asia (age, gender, education, income)? What does this mean for popular destinations such as Thailand? What does this mean for the smaller and newer tourism destinations in Cambodia and Vietnam?
Many Asian countries have a variety of tourist attraction features-beaches, cuisines, palaces, vibrant night life and culture, varied flora and fauna among many others. This variety appeals to tourists of diverse ages, gender, economic capabilities among other factors. For instance the vibrant light life of Thailand’s Bangkok city would appeal to youths while the more reserved adults can sample Thailand’s ancient palaces, temples and museums.
Thailand has a vibrant tourism industry with the country having received more than 22 million tourists in 2012 (Singh, 14). The country has many tourists attraction features and attracts droves of group tourists each year. Thailand is trendsetter on the importance of tourism to a country not only in Asia but in other developing countries around the world.
The Cambodian and Vietnamese tourism sectors are still small and unexploited after decades of political insecurity in those countries. The countries have enormous tourist attraction sites such as sandy beaches, palaces, wonderful flora and fauna among other exotic tourist attraction features. These places however face the challenges of infrastructure, insecurity, policy development and implementation to support tourism among others (Singh, 16). These issues render these countries less competitive as compared to their economically endowed and stable regional neighbors such as Japan, Asia and India. The small markets in Cambodia and Vietnam present a viable opportunity for group tourism since they have improved immigration regulations and have a lot more tourist attraction features at reduced prices as compared to other better established Asian countries.
Singh Shalini, Domestic Tourism in Asia: Diversity and Divergence Routledge, 2012. Print