The understanding of tourism as a phenomenon requires a comprehensive examination of various influencing factors, whether positive or negative, and these factors encompass demographics, economics, politics, psychology, and social dynamics. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in shaping and impacting the world of tourism, collectively creating a well-organized and systematic process driven by human needs and economic forces.
When analyzing the tourism as a phenomenon, it is very important to recognize the factors that influence it either positively or perhaps negatively. Each factor has its own internal structure, a specific effect-reaction force that influences and shapes the phenomena under its influence. Some of the factors are favorable for tourism activities, while others can slow down or prevent their implementation.
The following factors play a decisive role in the development of the tourism phenomenon:
- demographic factors;
- economic factors;
- political factors;
- psychological factors;
- social factors.
People are an essential factor in the appearance and development of tourism. The main reason for the appearance of tourism is the desire for rest, physical and mental refreshment and getting to know each other. Demographic factors primarily affect the numerical growth of the population of Earth. The average age and the numerical growth of the young population are also significant factors.
Therefore the larger the population, the larger the number of people requiring tourism.
The increase in the average age led to an increase in the number of the elderly. This age, due to retirement, is the most suitable for travel. At this age, health also requires more attention. The number of tourists belonging to the young age group increases proportionally with the level of education of the children and the rise in the standard of living.
The economic factors have a great impact on tourism. First of all, those who have provided themselves with minimum living conditions travel. This presupposes the achievement of a standard of living where the individual is able to save money to satisfy other needs: rest, education, vacation.
Economic factors influence tourism indirectly and directly. The direct influence is manifested in the increase of labor productivity and household incomes.
Tourism appears in the life of an individual, a social group (the family), or a community when it has already crossed the critical threshold, which means the satisfaction of immediate needs (food, housing, clothing, education, health). Only with the rise of the general standard of living do the possibilities of mass tourism appear in developed countries.
A close relationship can be observed between the income of the people and the funds spent on recreation. We compare the income of the population to the prices. The relationship between prices and incomes determines the characteristics of tourism demand
Tourism demand varies widely depending on the value of incomes and prices. Small incomes – low prices and high incomes – high prices.
Income levels influence not only the form of tourism, the quality of service, but also the distance.
A developed economy presupposes the density of the infrastructure transport network, urban policing, increased comfort and social security. These factors indirectly and positively affect the development of tourism.
Political factors are also very important, because they influence the development of the tourism phenomenon by regulating travel.
Tourism is the result of international agreement and plays a significant role in deepening understanding and cooperation between nations, regardless of social and political differences.
The conflicts existing in different zones of the Earth, the resulting insecurity, through the damage caused to the infrastructure, disrupt the flow of tourism to a great extent, and result in the “loss of tourism” in the respective zones.
Psychological factors play an increasingly important role in holiday activities. Here, we consider the stress factors affecting the human psyche, which caused people to move away from their natural environment and which awakened the desire to learn about foreign landscapes. Also a psychological factor is the desire to refresh and preserve health, to escape from the grey everyday life. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the quality of the infrastructure and tourist advertising have a significant impact on the individual. In addition to economic and political factors, an individual’s decision is also greatly influenced by psychological influences.
Among the social factors, the leisure time of the individual holds great significance. The concept of leisure time emerges through the industrialization of the global economy. Extensive automation has led to increased work productivity, resulting in an expansion of leisure time, which individuals can allocate to various activities, such as travel.
Depending on the activity, leisure time can occur at any time: daily, on weekends, or during vacations. An exception exists for the elderly population, where leisure time (retirement) is shifted to the period after active work life. The duration of vacations varies from country to country, among different social groups, and by age. Income from vacations has created a mass phenomenon in tourism.
Medical research indicates that optimal rest is achieved during two to three-week vacations each year. This positively contributes to balancing tourism demand by reducing seasonality.
Depending on the length of leisure time, three main forms of tourism can be observed:
- Health tourism, during vacations and holidays, for longer durations and greater distances.
- Recreational tourism, on weekends, for shorter distances.
- Occasional tourism, during weekdays, typically in the city or nearby areas.
Among the social factors, an individual’s free time is of great importance. The concept of leisure appears through the industrialization of the world economy. Large-scale robotization led to an increase in work productivity, which resulted in an increase in free time, which the individual can use for other activities, e.g. you can use it for travel.
Depending on the activity, free time can be at any time: daily, on weekends, during vacations. The exception is the elderly, where free time (retirement) is calculated on the working time of the active population. The duration of vacations varies by country, social group, and age group. Paying vacations has created a mass phenomenon from tourism.
Medical research shows an optimal rest period of two to three weeks of annual leave. This has a positive effect on balancing tourism demand with the elimination of seasonality.
Depending on the length of free time, we can observe three main forms of tourism:
- health tourism, during vacations and vacations, for longer periods and longer distances
- leisure tourism, on weekends, for short distances,
- occasional tourism, during the week in the city or in the immediate vicinity.
The essence of the touristic phenomenon: The totality of the listed factors creates a causal group in which the tourism phenomenon appears and develops. This appears as a well-organized, systematized process, the backbone of which is formed by human needs (rest, healing, learning) that require economic factors to be satisfied.