(LO 1) Legoland, Denmark and the Sydney Opera House
LEGOLAND® Billund is Denmark's most famous and popular amusement park for families and children of all ages (Legoland Billund Resort, 2012). Legoland Billund opened on June 7, 1968 in Billund, Denmark. The park is located next to the original Lego factory which has been a primary economic driver for the entire community since Ole Kirk Christansen began manufacturing Legos mid-century. Because of the Lego factory providing many local jobs, the Lego brand and business had already been integrated into the local culture before the construction of the park. However, after the park was built it became an immediate success and serves as one of the top three attractions in Europe attracting close to two million visitors per year. Therefore, the Lego factory and the Legoland theme park are the primary drivers of economic activity for the entire community.
The attraction is composed of millions of Lego brand blocks that have been constructed to form images of many famous attractions from around the world. The Legoland Park is a family park however the focus is on children. The largest attraction at the park is a new rollercoaster ride, the Polar X-Plorer which boasts a five meter "free-fall." Accommodation options include the Hotel Legoland which consisted of a four star hotel that is themed similarly to the park to provide a comprehensive Lego experience. There are over fifty different attractions and activities that are offered at the park and the promotional literature cites the following (Legoland Billund Resort, 2012):
"Join us again this year to rediscover all your favourite, well-known LEGOLAND attractions. Explore fascinating Miniland, the incredible world built from millions of LEGO® bricks. Watch your children get their first driving licence at the Toyota Traffic School. Enjoy sharing the thrill of riding The Dragon roller coaster at the King's Castle. Take the submarine down to the sharks in Atlantis by SEA LIFE™. Bake campfire bread with Chief Longears, and pan for gold in the Wild West. Remember to bring both swimwear and an eyepatch, so you can join in the wet and wild sea battle in Pirate Lagoon. And be sure to keep your head cool and your trigger warm, when you embark on the awesome treasure hunt in THE TEMPLE. There are more than 50 exciting attractions and a series of amazing events waiting just for you. In LEGOLAND there is always speed, action and excitement for the whole family."
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera is an entirely different type of attraction than Legoland. The opera house first opened in 1973, and is considered one of the greatest architectural works of the 20th century; it is said to bring together multiple strands of creativity and innovation in both architectural form and structural design (UNESCO, 2013). The Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point, which reaches out into the harbour and consists of three groups of interlocking vaulted 'shells' which roof two main performance halls and a restaurant. These shell-structures are set upon a vast platform and are surrounded by terrace areas that function as pedestrian concourses. The Sydney Opera house (Australian Government, N.d.):
Was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon
Was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973
Presented, as its first performance, The Australian Opera's production of War and Peace by Prokofiev
Cost $AU 102,000,000 to build
Conducts 3000 events each year
Provides guided tours to 200,000 people each year
Has an annual audience of 2 million for its performances
Includes 1000 rooms
Is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide
Has 2194 pre-cast concrete sections as its roof
Has roof sections weighing up to 15 tons
Has roof sections held together by 350 km of tensioned steel cable
Has over 1 million tiles on the roof
Uses 6225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable
The Sydney Opera House has been estimated to attract over seven million visitors per year as well as contribute more than one billion dollars to the Australian economy through tourism, hospitality, travel, and other related activities while simultaneously supporting over twelve thousand jobs (Duscio, 2010).
The Sydney Opera House and Legoland are substantially different types of attractions. However, despite their differences, they both draw an international base of visitors that stimulate the local economies through a multiplier effect. Each visitor to these attractions not only spends money at the actual attraction but also at local business such as restaurants, retail stores, and at hotels. Therefore these attractions represent a significant addition to the entire local economy. It is estimated that the Sydney Opera House generates over a billion dollars a year for the local economy. Furthermore, each attraction also furthers the development of a local culture. For example, the Lego brand is so deeply embedded in the local culture that it is nearly impossible to describe the town without some mention of this attraction or the manufacturing facility and the same can be said about the Sydney Opera House.
Varieties of Tourist Attractions
There are a wide variety of tourist attractions that appeal to an even wider consumer base. A tourist attraction is anything that is of interest to a person in which they travel to see. These attractions can be interesting based on their natural beauty, historical significance, cultural value, amusement prospects, among others and many of these sites can fall under multiple classifications. For example, Westminster Abbey is both an event gathering place (church) as well as a historical building. There are also different niche areas within the broader varieties. For example, Cape Town South Africa has become a special interest tourism (SIT) site that caters to the gay community and attracts homosexuals from all over Africa as well as internationally (Hattingh, et al., 2011). Although this may not seem like an important demographic, couples who are members of this community often have double incomes and no children (DINK) and can have a substantial impact on the Cape Town economy which was estimated to be R26 million per night in 2009 which serves as another example of economic advantages that a healthy tourism industry can bring a community.
Different individuals have vastly different interests based on their preferences for tourism. There are a multitude of different rating systems that attempt to compare tourist attractions. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) publishes a list of World Heritage sites that consists of 962 different properties that are considered important to the world culture or natural heritage. Some of the top destinations in this list according to reviews on a popular website known as Trip Advisor were compiled into a top ten list of tourist attractions worldwide (Johnson, 2010). This list shows the diversity that is inherent in different attractions.
1. Taj Mahal, India
2. Petra / Wasi Muda, Jordan
3. Palmyra, Syria
4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
5. Abu Simbel, Egypt
6. Prambanan Temples, Indonesia
7. City of Venice, Italy
8. Siena, Italy
9. Easter Island, Chile
10. Trentino Dolomites, Italy
Motivations of Attraction Visitors
There are various models that have been proposed to attempt to explain the motivations of travelers. There are two important factors that comprise of an individual's motivation to travel to an attraction. The first is a push factor that that lies within an individual that drives them to want to seek an attraction and the pull factors are related to the characteristics of the attraction that pull individuals or families to them (Plangmarn, et al., 2012). Push factors are socio-psychological motives such as the desire for escape, novelty seeking, adventure seeking, dream fulfillment, rest relaxation, health and fitness, prestige, and socialization. Based on the push factor in which the individual bases their decision, pull factors will include the type of attraction, the proximity, the accommodations and many other factors.
The Legoland attraction is likely significantly different than the Sydney Opera House in terms of its pull potential. Legoland's target tourist is the nuclear family while the Sydney Opera House appeals to a wider demographic based on the shows or activities being performed there. One research study gather qualitative data from thirty five families who visited Legoland in Denmark and found that they were composed of "modern" or "nuclear" families who took their children to the attraction as an isolated leisure event. However the pull factors that are associated with the Sydney Opera House are more related to culture and the related items that are inherent in the Australian cultural icon. Whereas Legoland generally targets market segments for a single visit, the changing content and shows that the Sydney Opera House produces is more suitable for repeat visitors.
Visitors Effects on the Surrounding Areas
Tourism's economic effects are substantial for many areas in the world. For example, in Tanzania the tourism industry accounts for nearly twelve percent of the country's total gross domestic product (GDP) and tourism is a popular economic development strategy (Spencer & Rurangwa, 2012). The economic benefits of tourism are numerous, and include…