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Tourist destinations, as the term itself suggests, is where tourists are interested to visit and attracted to. They are a major source of foreign exchange for a nation's economy. The tourism department of every nation takes care of their national heritage sites, historical monuments, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in an attractive manner, so that the visitors or tourists do not get disappointed. This report will be dealing with one of the major tourist destinations in the United Kingdom, The Peak District National Park. It is a destination where tourists love to visit for its natural beauty, flora- fauna, and activities that are provided to visitors at the location. This report will also be including evaluation and comparison of the Britain based national park with Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. It will be focusing on the scope of major tourist destinations in UK and other worldwide tourist attractions, and their cultural, social and physical features. Characteristics of Peak District and Khao Yai that affects creating tourist impressions will also be highlighted in this report. The report will also be throwing light on the issues that are affecting the popularity of both the destinations.
1.1 Visitor profiles and income generation of Peak District and Khao Yai
The activities regarding the economy in Peak District is vaster. Economy is most apparently dependent on farming, management of land, manufacturing, accommodation and retail sectors. Most of the business within the premises of the national park are directly or indirectly benefited to economy due to their beautiful location and connection with the landscape. The below-given data, inclusive of facts are figures that were found to be a result of Visitor Survey 2014 of the Peak District National Park (Vedeld and et.al., 2012).
People from all age groups are seen visiting the Peak District and they were recognized to be a broad representation of the British population. Almost half of the visitors were employed and 1% of all the visitors gave the statement that they were unemployed. 90% of the total visitors were identified as White British as in 2014. 8 in every 10 visitors visited in the day time. Half of all the visitors were interested in visiting the national park because of the beautiful scenery and because they have been to the place prior. One-third of recorded visitors stated that they have been visiting as they reside locally and they could have easy access to go in the Peak District. Almost 83% of visitors used to reach the area by car (Xiang and Pan, 2011). 7% of all the visitors were first-timers and rest have visited the place before. 98% of total visitors were positive about having a good time while at the national park. Between the years of 2009 and 2013, tourist impact of overall economy was increased by 19%. in 2013, it was noted that the total economic impact of the Peak District National Park and their areas of influence is £540 million (Usakli and Baloglu, 2011).
As per Department of National Parks in Thailand, which is the responsible body for the management of Khao Yai National Park, states that they have rise to the total number of 1.2 million visitors in the financial year of 2016. The current data of income generated by KYNP has not yet been disclosed by its management, but it can be definitely made sure that there has been a significant rise in the number of visitors at the national park. Numbers of visitors can give an estimate regarding the annual income of the location. A general ticket for entry is 400 baht which costs 9.107 British Pound.
1.2 Analysis of statistics to realize tourist destination trends
The statistics of visitors who have been visiting the Peak District National Park in last 16 years classified according to the months shows us that the visitors are more interested in visiting the location in month of August rather than any other months. There were a total number of 55,750 visitors in the month of August in 2016, and the numbers have always crossed 50,000 and sometimes touched 60,000 in years ranging from 2001 to 2015. Month with the least visitors is March and it has been low as 20,000 to the range of 30,000, but it has once touched 41,000 in the year of 2005. This clearly makes it visible that visitors are aware of the season in which they could enjoy the views and activities that are made available to them in best weather within their compounds. The visitors are more interested in spending their time and engaging their money in acquiring tourist services according to seasons in which they could best have the joy of certain tourist destinations. The trends of tourist destinations have been distributed in terms of seasons, or rather call it a range of months in which tourists could have their ultimate mind of having access to best of tourist destinations and services they are provided with at the locations of tourist attraction (Suggitt and et.al., 2011).
In the case of Khao Yai National Park, geographical area and weather conditions may be comfortable for visitors in months of November, December, January, and February, which is classified as winter season. This season is most appropriate for the visitors to enjoy their visit to KYNP as it will make them available clear and sunny sky with a temperature below 22 degree Celsius during daytime and falls down near to 10 degree Celsius in the night. Other seasons, inclusive of the rainy season from May to October and summer season from March to April will prove much humid for the visitors as the temperature will be above 27 degree Celsius in day and fall to 13 to 17 degree Celsius during the night. The tourists are interested to visit Khao Yai National Park and nearby locations in the winters more than any other seasons for the favorable climate and weather conditions in that particular geographical area (Rotherham, 2013). Seasons according to the economical and geographical climate are a subject to the trends in the tourism sector.
2.1 Cultural, social and physical features of Peak District and Khao Yai
The Peak District National Park is globally popular for being iconic in natural beauty. Culturally, they have been maintaining an evergreen relationship between people and the natural environment. The existence of this natural beauty being a national park is the result of pure influence of centuries of the intervention of human and their management. Human activities in the past and current era have been stretching to feel the elements of nature in these boundaries. Even though there has been development on the base of technologies and spontaneous lifestyles, and with those factors of development they have brought capabilities to enhance the environmental elements and appearances of natural landscapes (Robinson, Heitmann and Dieke, 2011). This part of the developing culture and society have been helping in creating a better physical presentation of the location.
Peak District also consider conservation and enhancement of the location's natural beauty as a part of wildlife and cultural heritage of the nation, and for some reason the geographical boundaries are well protected from manipulation and exploitation or any sources that could bring in any of them to the beautiful location. The soils are mandatory to be healthy as for replenishing natural systems and wildlife. The fertility and stability of soils within their physically available space are also ensured in a way that it would resist compaction and erosion up to a major level. They maintain the soils in such a way that it could support in diverse vegetation and proper amounts of organic matter as for proper storage of sufficient carbon. There are also rivers and streams in the geographical boundaries of Peak District National Park and they are also well protected from various pollutants and other elements that could be harmful for the conservation of components of nature (Pongkijvorasin and Chotiyaputta, 2013).
In the case of Khao Yai National Park of Thailand, where there is the existence of more than 800 species of fauna. It is spread over a geographical area of 615,500 hectares of totally protected land where KYNP is attached to Thap Lan National Park, Pang Sida National Park, Ta Phraya National Park and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary. The biodiversity found in that geographical area are given importance internationally and they conserve most of the globally threatened and endangered animals, of all, mammal, bird and reptile species (Pan and et.al., 2011). Siamese crocodile is one of those species that are critically endangered, but their conservation are done here in Khao Yai. Similarly, for endangered species named Asian Elephant, Tiger, Banteng and Leopard Cats are also present in the list of conserved species among other 19 vulnerable species within KYNP.
2.2 Comparison of Peak District's features with other tourist destinations
The Peak District national park is one of the most popular national parks not just in the United Kingdom, but also world-famous for special qualities they maintain in that particular ecosystem and its management. Peculiar specialties of the Peak District are several and can't be explained within a statement. Beauty of nature and natural heritage they have been maintaining to portray the landscapes and its character is one of their specialties. The sensible form of being in a remote area gives visitors a definite feeling of wildness. The unique biodiversity and the presence of multiple flora and fauna usually help visitors to realize the importance of wildlife (Lange and Hehl-Lange, 2010).
Availability of purely natural elements, that is, clean air, land, and water. Traceable factors of thousands of years old human influence that has been present in the landscape. Visible characters of distinct hamlets, towns, and villages are another important factor found in the Peak District. Specific features of landscapes such as trees, woodlands, field barns, stone walls, and hedgerows are also some of the natural beauty in the national park. Presence of historical buildings and their remains of parks and gardens of the royal era. They also provide cottage and craft industry products that are handcrafted within the boundaries of the national park. Peak District National Park also provides cycling facilities and other outdoor recreational activities such as mountain climbing as for the physical and emotional well being of the visitors. Even though the wide spread national park is in a wonderful location of natural beauty, surroundings outside those geographical boundaries also provide a view of natural scenic flow beyond the walls.
Other national parks in different areas in different countries are also replenished with many of those physical features of natural beauty and, diverse flora and fauna. Even though there are some other major national wildlife reservoirs and national parks where the visitors can have a view of the wide range of vulnerable species, but the presence of historical buildings and their remains are rarely found in any of them (Kozak and Baloglu, 2010). The presence of different species of animals and birds are also dependent on geographical classifications within various nations and their survival depends on climatic conditions and temperature of that particular location (Juutinen and et.al., 2011).
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3.1 Economical and Political characteristics of Peak District and Khao Yai
The Peak District National Park used to face potentially dramatic changes and challenges in the past era and still faces some of them. Once they used to be very much dependent on traditional industries those were on the path of decline. Some of those industries were agricultural, mining, quarrying, textiles and engineering which were seem with less chances of opportunities for employment. The fear of health scares are impacting to threaten the economy of agriculture in the traditional uplands were some of the economical harms they were afraid to face. The fundamental changes that were made in the economy at the global level where also a subject to manifest leading to a major reduction in government and subsidies provided by European agricultural bodies.
The alternatives they found to face these economical challenges is by creating solutions to manage the upland landscapes and to sustain the communities within their geographical area (Grenville, 2014). The latest technologies as apart of global innovation of politics and industries of services are also a part of representation within the economy of the Peak District National Park and within its geographical area, they had to perform against national targets. Tourism, being one of the most important economic providers for Peak District, but still, the performance of relative tourist activities failed to satisfy their economy in comparison to other national parks and other major areas of tourism. Within last 10 to 15 years, the Peak District National Park has been successful in coming over that poor branded area within their boundaries and they have also improved products that are made available with uniquely associated with special qualities of that area.
On the other side, Khao Yai National Park, being the first national park established in Thailand, where it is located almost 200 kilometers away from Bangkok in 1962. The political handling and administration of that national park are done by the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. Presently, after an era of political development and upgrades, Khao Yai now is a third-largest national park in the country. This national park is situated in the political boundaries of provinces of central and north-east Thailand. A seed for the protected area in the present era was sown by the system in Thailand in the form of the National Park Act of 1961 establishing KYNP as the nation's first national park.
3.2 Characteristics of Peak District that affects appeal to tourists
There are certain factors of particular locations that affect the tourist attraction and interests of tourists to get attracted towards them. The features that would affect the appeal of the tourists and their interests include the natural beauty they will be able to see in that area and the availabilities of various adventure sports and recreational activities. Peak District National Park provides facilities of countryside walks, scenic trails for cycling, some serious mountain climbing opportunities, etc. and tourists who are in search of adventures could never resist such chances of optimal enjoyment (Dey and Sarma, 2010). The tourists who are seeking to know about the history and architectural beauties will never miss locations like Haddon hall, Solomon's Temple, Eyam Hall & Craft Centre and Lumsdale Valley which are situated within the geographical boundaries of Peak District. Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl, and Wildlife Park and Peak Wildlife Park will be loved by the ones who are interested in animals, they could possibly be amazed seeing the most vulnerable species now on Earth along with the ones which are almost extinct too. Those beautiful sceneries of natural beauty and the widespread landscape are a subject to major tourist attraction for the national park.
4.1 Issues affecting the popularity of Peak District
There are various challenges faced by the Peak District National Park, even through they are one of the most popular national parks in the world, but these issues are not letting them to be popular among overall tourist destinations:
The management of Peak District is done in such a way that they have seen as a source of economic development rather than aiming to give the visitors the realization of enjoying appropriate sustainable tourist destination. The spectacular landscapes and a variety of other special qualities are there at the Peak District and they are the core assets of that tourist destination (Dallimer and et.al., 2010). Issues are realized to be caused when there is a need of balancing the engagement of people at a vaster lever with the location and this must be made possible without any exploitation or damage to natural resources in the area.
Peak District is identified for providing them a rural environment of high quality with surroundings of huge English conurbations. There is a heavy possible potential for the national park to extend to be one of the most distinctive and to emerge to be as one of those rural economies of high quality that sustains environmentally and economically for contribution to prepare a national park which could create benefits from the above-said qualities (Clark and Clarke, 2011).
Another major challenge for PDNP is the lack of trans[port options and facilities within the national park in order to meet their tourist purposes. There seems to no sufficient fund made available to Peak District and its management as for sustainable transport projects of infrastructure and the limited provision services of local public transport also acts as a major hurdle as for the aspiration of sustainable tourism and growth of the economy.
4.2 Peak District to focus on 'Responsible Tourism' to sustain its appeal
There have been many discussions on special qualities, social, cultural, environmental and other aspects regarding the Peak District National Park and also on the issues and challenges they have been facing in maintaining their popularity among all other tourist destinations. First of all, Peak District have to focus on coming over their drawbacks by solving their issues and fulfilling those aspects that are missing to cause those challenges. As in the above question, the issues faced by the national park were identified and hereby finding the possible solutions for those challenges. In the next annual budget of Peak District National Park, there must be appropriate fund initiated towards the development of sustainable transportation facilities within their boundaries and government should facilitate the local transport system too. The waste management system must be enhanced because the more visitors in the destination will lead to a lot of littering activities (Beritelli and Laesser, 2011). The carbon emission amount must be taken care of, so as to sustain the natural beauty and not to pollute such geographical landscapes. There is a need for bringing in better management as to bring balance between farming, production of food, management of land and its conservation.
In this project, we have discussed on Peak District National Park of UK as a tourist destination and have compared its features with Thailand's Khao Yai National Park. This report has dealt with visitor numbers and income generation of Peak District and has evaluated it with that of Khao Yai. The statistics of Peak District were also studied in this project, as to realize the recent trends and to estimate future trends in tourist destinations. The report has also focussed on the social, cultural, physical, economic and political characteristics of the PDNP and evaluated them to realize the effects they could possibly make on the appeal of tourists. The Peak District's improvable factors and recommendations for emphasizing on 'Responsible Tourism' are also included within a major part of this report.
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- Dey, B. and Sarma, M.K., 2010. Information source usage among motive-based segments of travelers to newly emerging tourist destinations. Tourism management.
- Grenville, J., 2014. Managing the historic rural landscape. Routledge.
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- Kozak, M. and Baloglu, S., 2010. Managing and marketing tourist destinations: Strategies to gain a competitive edge. Routledge.