Department of Management

Charter Tourism 2021

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

The term “charter” originates from the Latin word chartula, denoting a contract or to hire means of transportation. In the tourism industry, charter tours have come to signify package trips consisting of pre-arranged services, including transport, accommodation, and often meals and options for associated activities. By offering package tours at competitive prices, guaranteeing customer safety, and reducing the individual’s need to organize the holiday, charter agencies have opened up a growing number of destinations for the average tourist.
Charter agencies generally hire planes from different airlines on a temporal basis, but may also use bus, trains, or ships for transportation. Charter tourism has been particularly popular in Scandinavian counties where individuals seek to avoid long, cold, and dark winters to visit the warmer “South”. In East Asia, charter or package tourism is also popular.
Since the 1960s, charter tourism has become an important factor in the expansion of international markets. However, the first organized charter trips took place in England in the 1840s. Those rail excursions were organized by Thomas Cook and quickly became a success. Hence, he understood that this could be profitable on a larger scale, which gradually led to new international destinations being introduced. In the 1950s, organized charter flights started to depart from Scandinavia and England. Spain is the most popular destination for charter tourism (Andrew 2011). Other countries such as Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, and Thailand have also experienced increasing popularity in different periods.
A long-term threat to charter tourism is changing consumer identity and behavior among tourists, reflecting a more individualized consumption of goods and services. It has been argued that many tourists are now seeking more individualized or customized forms of vacation instead of traveling with budget airlines and booking their own accommodation (Jacobsen 2000; Lauring 2013). Charter tourism has also received a derogatory reputation of being “sun and sand tourism” on “playa del anywhere”, indicating a shallowness of holiday interest of this type of tourists.
Despite historical crises in charter tourism and the fact that type of travel has varied among different regions, its overall impact on today’s tourism has been substantial (Lauring 2011). Therefore it is surprising that this important sector has generally remained under-researched. The lack of cutting-edge research in this area due to absence of knowledge on recent changes in consumer demands, is unfortunate. Hence, future research may focus on the role of changing consumer patterns for charter tourism in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Tourism
EditorsJafar Jafari, Honggen Xiao
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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