The Cyclical Representation of the UK Conference Sector's Life Cycle: The Use of Refurbishments as Rejuvenation Triggers

This source preferred by Julie Whitfield

Authors: Whitfield, J.E.

Journal: Tourism Analysis

Volume: 14

Issue: 5

Pages: 559-572

ISSN: 1083-5423

DOI: 10.3727/108354209X12597959359059

The Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) model (Butler, 1980) is one of the most influential and frequently quoted tourism related lifecycle frameworks. Extensively applied and critiqued, it remains a cornerstone in tourism research. The model classifies the hypothetical temporal development of a destination into a series of stages, these being exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation and decline and/or rejuvenation, which when aggregated are represented diagrammatically as a S-shaped curve. This paper presents a theoretical extension of the TALC model, based on the decade in which UK conference venues initiated their conference product lifecycle, and the use of refurbishments as state changing triggers to rejuvenate the conference product lifecycle. This theoretical extension is applied to the four conference venue classifications that together constitute the UK conference sector, namely purpose-built venues, hotels, educational establishments and visitor attractions. Each of these venue types initiated its lifecycle at different times, with individual venues progressing through their lifecycle and either stagnating or rejuvenating through the use of refurbishment’s at differing times throughout the last 5 decades. Based on these findings, a linear model can be applied to the development of the UK conference sector. However, undertaking refurbishments, and thus the rejuvenation of the conference venues’ lifecycle, are occurring at differing times, and therefore this paper forwards the view that today a cyclical model is more appropriate to the UK conference sector.

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