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In order to help me with the study of Swanage and Studland I must carry out a number of research tasks. During my day in Swanage, I used a number of different techniques for gathering data, in order to help me answer the hypothesis. However to further my answer I will collate data from another different coastal resort in order to make connections and compare the data I collected. I will also use secondary data. This is data that has already been collected by someone else. I will be using this type of data to obtain statistical evidence concerning Swanage in general as a tourist destination and tourism in the UK. I will use secondary data sources such as libraries, textbooks and online sources.

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Primary data

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The term primary is used to describe the data that I will collect during my visit to Swanage. Primary data is data that is collected from a first class source. I was able to complete tasks investigating Swanage and the people in Swanage to enable me to obtain evidence concerning Swanage as a popular tourism resort.

The Sphere of Influence

The sphere of influence is also referred to as the ‘catchment area’. It is the term used to describe the area around a town or city that influences people to visit. People will from the edge of the sphere of influence to the town for many different reasons. A few examples are to shop, work or socialise in that particular place. In order to find out exactly how far people will travel to reach and spend time in Swanage I used two different fieldwork methods. Firstly the car park survey, and secondly the questionnaire.

The date of my visit was the 13th of June and the weather was glorious. There was only minimal cirrus cloud in the sky which meant the cloud cover rated as ?. We started our day in the National Trust resort on the beach by the National Trust shop in Studland. To aid me in answering the hypothesis, I had to collect data. The first method and task was to complete was a Quadrat survey, the purpose of completing the quadrat survey was to determine which locations had different natural materials in, therefore building up a picture of another reason that may contribute to the tourism popularity of a particular area.

For example, if the beach has pebbles it should in theory be less busy, than that of a beach with golden sand. In our own time I worked hard and managed to complete three more methods of data collection, the first of which was a couple of car park surveys. The method for this task was to record the last two letters of the number plates of each car in the car parks. We carried this out to decipher where they originate from, this will build up a picture of the range that people will travel to reach to Swanage, the sphere of influence, and the reasons that they are likely to do so.

The second task I managed to complete was the Pedestrian count. The way in which we completed this task was to sit at one location for an approximate time of ten minutes ad to record the sex and estimated age of each of the pedestrians that passed within the time. This task was needed to build up a picture of the age of the visitors of Swanage and therefore tell us to whom the factors of Swanage appeal. This is important because then we can link which factors detailed below in my brainstorm attract each age group, and eliminate the factors we would have associated with the age groups we did not see.

The third and final task I completed on Knoll Beach was the questionnaire. I managed to pose the questionnaire to 7 people ad we had a ready set questionnaire to ask that we formed in class time. These questionnaires were formed to find answers about the reasons people visit Swanage, where they live, to again build up a picture of the distance some people will travel, how they travelled there, what accommodation the people were staying in. We also asked the visitors what had attracted them to the area. This meant we could relate which factors appealed to which age groups.

After half-an hour completing tasks on Knoll beach in Studland we walked along the carefully maintained National Trust footpaths to Old Harry Rocks. At this location we took pictures and field sketched the famous chalk coastal features, the arches, the caves, the stacks and stumps. After about ten minutes at the rocks we walked back to the beach and the coach and there was about a five to ten minute drive to Swanage. The resort of Swanage was a lot busier, in terms of tourists. I think that there were many more tourists in this resort because there were a lot of shops in the area as well as a large beach.

On Swanage’s wide and long beach I completed another quadrat survey, and an environmental survey. There were about 10 disciplines to rate the four different locations on. The ten disciplines were Beach width, Sand/stone beach, Shelter, Wave Height, Litter, Pollution, Glass, Crowding, Seaweed and Safety. Beach width is important because, in terms of tourism more people can fit on the beach, improving tourism in one respect, but the busier it is the resort is the more people will be put off by the crowds.

In terms of coastal erosion, the best defence against destructive waves is a wide sandy beach as the energy used up to travel up the beach towards the town or cliffs will slow them greatly if not prevent the waves from reaching the other end of the beach and the sea wall. Sand or stone beach is also very important in both terms of tourism and also erosion of the coastline. For tourism, a sandy beach is in general more appealing than a pebble beach. This is because sand is easier to walk on with bare feet so people can enjoy themselves more. In terms of coastal erosion, the best protection against coastal erosion and destructive waves is a wide sandy beach, this beach takes all the energy out of the wave as it has to travel up the beach much further.

Shelter too is a very important aspect, though more to do with tourism than coastal erosion. Too much or not enough shelter can affect the tourism of an area. With too much the area may become cold as the wind is pushed in between the sheltered areas and also block the sun, therefore creating cold shade. Not enough shelter will mean that people can’t stay too long, as they cannot escape the sun’s heat, they will travel to somewhere with more shelter and shade. Wave Height is more important for coastal erosion than tourism, but is also important for tourism. The higher the waves the more chance there is of them being destructive waves and they will have picked up more speed over a longer snatch. However wave height can also have a major affect on tourism. Take, for example, Newquay, some hail it as “the surfing capital of the UK”, due to this reputation of having the highest waves in Britain, its tourism market booms. It rakes in hundreds of thousands of surfers and water-sports enthusiasts each year.

The reason surfers visit the resort of Newquay is because the resort offers something that no other resort in the UK can offer – the highest waves. The next three fields of rating are all tied into one. Pollution, Litter and Glass are important to the reputation and attractiveness of a beach or resort. All the locations rated very highly in these three sections. This did not mean that there was very frequent litter and glass or that there was a very high amount of pollution. It meant that the area was very clean. This makes the area seem much more attractive to potential visitors, and that could influence tourists to visit the area over another area due to cleanliness.

Crowding is another area that is very important to the tourism and reputation of an area. It has both positive and negative effects on the tourism of an area. If an area is too crowded, tourists may feel one of two things; the first is negative, it is that they will feel that the resort is too commercialised and they will be sharing a small beach with too many people. The second thought that the tourist may have, is positive, and it is that ‘if all these people are flocking to this resort, then it must be good.’

This will have a positive effect on tourism, as the people in this frame of mind will visit that area and inspire more people with that way of thinking. The next factor links in with the three attractiveness fields as little of this will score a five but also attract more tourists. Seaweed can put off tourists because, primarily it is usually very smelly, and also most people do not wear shoes on the beach and it is not very desirable to walk on the seaweed. I don’t think seaweed has an adverse effect on slowing the waves so in terms of coastal conservation seaweed doesn’t have an effect.

Safety can also have an effect on tourism because if a tourist doesn’t feel safe, if there is a danger of a rockslide, for example, most would avoid the area. This can affect tourism as some may not travel if there is reputation for rockslides in the area. Another more recent example is where coastal erosion has threatened a block of flats above the cliffs in nearby Lulworth coves, should this have been a hotel, tourists may have been deterred from staying in this hotel as their safety is threatened.

I think that factors that have attracted more people to Swanage than Studland are:

> More shopping facilities. There are large chain stores such as Boots, New Look and Safeway.

> More facilities, such as hotels, restaurants and a theatre.

> A wider and 100% sandy beach with no seaweed and rocks as Studland has.

> Swanage has built up a bigger reputation as a seaside resort for over one hundred years.

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Kylie Garcia

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