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Seasonality in tourism: issues and implications

Butler, R. (2001) Seasonality in tourism: issues and implications. In: Seasonality in Tourism. Pergamon, pp. 5-22. ISBN 0080436749

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Abstract

Seasonality in tourism has traditionally been regarded as a major problem which needs to be overcome, but relatively little research has been conducted on the patterns or causes of this phenomenon. The paper begins with a discussion of the characteristics of seasonality and develops a methodology to study the phenomenon in more detail. Seasonality in parts of Scotland are analysed in order to test the approach suggested and to determine if the measures proposed are practical. Two basic questions are examined, whether seasonality in tourism in the study area has changed significantly over a thirty year period, and whether there are spatial dimensions to seasonality that can be detected in the study area. The paper concludes that the variation in seasonality over the time period studied is more complex than anticipated and results are not consistent throughout the area and the measures used. Evidence of spatial variation in seasonality was confirmed. The study concludes that while the measures and approach used would appear to have merit and applicability, further research is needed to produce definitive answers and to fully understand the process of seasonality in tourism.