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: Knowing Macau With Butler's Life Cycle Model

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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 ( 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. ( 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. (

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. ( 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


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