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Autor: anton 09 December 2010

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Knowing Macau with Butler's Life Cycle Model

The following literature is suggesting that how a tourist destination can be analyzed with the help of Butler's Tourism Life Cycle Model. Butler (1980) introduced the concept of the model which clarifies and extends earlier work by, for example, Cristaller (1963), Noronha (1976) and Stansfield (1978). In doing so, Butler clearly links the development cycle of tourism destinations to that of products in the product life cycle model. This is one the best used management framework to know the evolution in a tourism destination as described by Baum (1998), the original Butler's model included:

• Recognition of dynamism within the tourism environment — at the time of its inception, constant change was not as widely recognized in tourism as it is today;

• A focus on a common process of development within tourism destinations, permitting description and modeling.

• Recognition of capacity or limits to growth in destinations, again a relatively new concept in tourism at the time but one imported from growing thinking in this area in the recreation literature.

• Identification of triggers in the environment which bring about changes to a destination.

• Recognition of the management implications of the model and, in this sense, the practical links to the product life cycle are evident.

• An argument for the need to view tourism planning in its long-term context.

• A spatial component which argues that there would be a series of spatial shifts as development stagnated, and

• Universal application, namely that the model was essentially true for all tourist destinations (Butler, 1980: 4–5).

Tourism, in many developed countries, has reached a point of maturity where resorts which flourished during earlier phases of development require urgent and critical assessment as to their future role within the sector. This re-assessment is to imperative for destinations in the UK and the USA (Cooper, 1992), now tourists are looking for new destinations and do suffering from boredom by knowing and visiting those destinations which are standing from decades. Macau, it is a new name in world’s recognized tourist destinations. As many tourists does not have any idea about this place (www.kvbc.com) and but rest knows this place as an Asia’s Las Vegas. Macao is a tiny special administrative region (SAR), a former Portuguese colony, not far ago returned to China (in 1999) under 'one country two systems' model. In fact this tiny piece of land under Chinese rule has become more prosperous and capitalist than during the time when it formally was part of the 'West'. In the years to come Macao may attract even more foreign capitals and people, and may even outshine Las Vegas as world prime place for gambling. Despite what is developing as competition in other Asian countries, as far as Macao remains the only place in China where gambling is allowed, this tiny region can look to the future with optimism. (www.ired.com). Previously, the Macau had just a handful of casinos all owned by the same man. But now, many are under construction and with names that will be very familiar to everyone in Las Vegas. The Chinese economy and gambling restrictions are few of responsible attributes to develop this place as an emerging and a major gambling playground for adults.

Minimum bets in the Chinese territory usually set at HK$100 (US$12.85), compared with a less than US$1 in some Vegas locations, allow Macau to take in far more per customer and per table than Las Vegas. It is considered as in no time Macau will earn and will far more recognize world wide then Las Vegas. (www.atimes.com)

Figure 1 Butler’s Tourism Life Cycle (Adapted from Baum, 1998)

As per Butler’s TALC model, a destination tends to develop through six stages of development (Refer Fig 1):

Exploration: The most tourists are small number of allocentrics and explorers (Cohen, 1972) who rely on individual travel arrangements and follow irregular visitation patterns (Butler, 1980). At this stage local stays confuse about their own activities and plan to what to do or no to do to please their guests. Being a part of Portuguese colony for so long and out of every Chinese jurisdiction Macau was developed as an independent state with legal gambling. The main developers just follow the foot steps which were taken during the development of Las Vegas. (www.atimes.com). As their were less facilities for patrons, so the frequency of guest were also less, but with the time and the involvement of local Chinese people and no restriction on gambling made the Macau more favorable.

Involvement: during the involvement stage, locals take active part in developing in their own region and all possible activities. Moreover, communities build or adapt facilities and organize events for tourists as they see the number of visitors increase and form a predictable tourist season (Butler, 1980). In Macau during the involvement stage there were coordination between local people, Chinese government and other business seeking multinational companies (hotels, banking institution, construction companies, etc). Then they got the seasons recognized and define it as an all day night entertainment place. The gambling industry in Macau is running from late 1950’s (McCartney, 2005)

Development: In the development stage, the number of tourist increases at an accelerated rate and may quickly equal or exceed the number of permanent local residents (Butler, 1980). This rapid growth is triggered when large tourism groups controlling tourism retail, lodging and transportation invest in emerging destinations (Butler, 1980). The Macau is still called to be under development age with all major constructions going all around the city, development of new and improved hotels, casinos, entertainment facilities and increasing number of patrons day by day and through out the year. The continues development and construction going on at a steady growth, seems that very soon Macau may generate more revenue then Las Vegas on everyday basis.

Consolidation: The consolidation stage marks a turning point in the rate of growth of the destinations. After the fast growth in popularity and visitation observed in the development stage, at this stage the number of visitors begins to approach its peak (Butler, 1980). By the time the destinations begin to understand that their fast growth has ended, most segments of the local economy are usually directly or indirectly dependent on tourism (Cooper, 1995) and

Macau is becoming the major revenue earning sector in the country’s economy with a very high cash flow and transactions everyday. It is perceive that Macau still has years to get on to this stage and overcome on its far situated competitors very easily. Because, western patrons spent a lot due to the currency exchange rate and high disposable income of Chinese making Macau a very strong and stable entertainment place.

Stagnation: After reaching stagnation, some destinations may fall into the decline stage. In this stage, the destinations lose visitors to newer, more fashionable destinations (Butler, 1980). Facilities owned by outside tourism companies are often sold to local investors who adapt them to non-tourism-related purposes (Cooper, 1995). Conversely, other destinations may effectively reposition themselves and enter a sustained stage of rejuvenation (Goncalves & Aguas, 1997). Chinese people are tend to own properties where as western companies has just invested their name and services with which they don’t have anything to loose over their. Macau is not a very big place and within a limited area of around 24 sq km. it has lot of scope before getting into stagnation stage.

Rejuvenation or Decline: Rejuvenation may be accomplished if destinations invest in appealing artificial attractions or if they identify previously untapped natural or cultural resources that may be appealing to emerging markets (Butler, 1980). After stagnation it depends on thinking of management of a company what they would like to do with the company when they get very much stagnated in the market. They have to choose to adapt the market by diversifying, re-establishing, other alternative strategy and structuring themselves to keep up in the market or get ready to hit with a decline. Due to the boredom from old places people tend to go to new places and try new things. Even the Macau investors should keep and eye and keep on putting new things so that their patrons does not get bore by using same old things and facilities again and again.

Conclusion:

Macau city is a booming city with all type of entertainment facilities available which one could ask for. Chinese people like to gamble but there was no place where East Asians could go for such entertainment due to the ban on gamble in China. Macau is entertaining local people with all international guest who like to try new thing and got bore of old gambling cities. That is why Macau is in very demand and growing with a very good pace of development. It may soon recognize as a better place then Las Vegas for adult playground.

References:-

Asia times online, viewed on 19th February 2008 <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/JB13Cb01.html>

Asia times online, viewed on 19th February 2008 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/JB24Cb39.html

International Real Estate Digest, viewed on 19th February 2008 <http://www.ired.com/news/mkt/macao.htm>

KVBC News 3, viewed on 19th February 2008, <http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=4593217>

Baum, T (1998). Taking the Exit Route: Extending the Tourism Area Life Cycle Model, Current Issues in Tourism, Vo.l1 No.2

Butler, R. W. (1980). The concept of a tourist area cycle of evolution; implications for management of resources, Canadian Geographer, 24(1), 5-12.

Cooper, C. (1992) The life cycle concept and strategic planning for coastal resorts. Built Environment 18 (1), 57–66.

Cooper, C. (1995) Strategic planning for sustainable tourism: The case of offshore islands in the UK. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 3(4), 191–209.

Cohen, E. (1972). Towards a sociology of international tourism. Social Research, 39(1), 164–182.

Cristaller, W. (1963) Some considerations of tourism location in Europe: The peripheral regions – underdeveloped countries – recreation area. Regional Science Association Papers 12, 103.

Goncalves, V. F. C. & Aguas, P. M. R. (1997). The concept of life cycle: an application to the tourist product. Journal of Travel Research, 36(2), 12–22.

McCartney, G. (2005). Casino Gambling in Macao: Through Legalisation to Liberalisation, Casino Industry in Asia Pacific: Development, Operation, and Impact. New York: Haworth Hospitality Press

Stansfield, C. (1978) Atlantic City and the resort cycle. Annals of Tourism Research 5, 238.

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