GCSE Leisure and Tourism

External influences on the leisure and tourism industry

External influences are things which leisure and tourism organisations cannot control.

External influences include: 

  • Extreme weather
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorism
  • The credit crunch
  • Price of oil

Extreme weather 


Extreme weather events such as snow and high winds can disrupt air travel. This can mean that flights can be delayed or cancelled. Trains can also be cancelled along with car travel.


Natural disasters 


Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and volcano eruptions can also cause disruption to travel. They can also cause attractions to be closed. Natural disasters occurring in poorer countries can mean that they take years to recover, damaging and reducing the number of tourists they receive.



Terrorist acts are intended to be harmful and violent. After the 2001 terrorist attacks on the USA tourist numbers fell with people choosing not to travel there. Airport security increases after terrorism events which can indirectly cause disruption to travel as people take longer to board flights. More information about airport security can be found here

Credit crunch


The credit crunch is the name given to the downturn in the global economy, causing recessions in many developed countries, including the UK. It is linked to financial problems being experienced by banks. People have less money to spend on leisure and travel during a recession and companies have less money to spend on improving their businesses.

This can mean that people do not have money to spend on holidays a frequently, less money to spend on visiting attractions such as theme parks, and instead choose to spend a lot of their leisure time at home. More information about people’s use of leisure time can be found here

The price of oil



In 2008 the price of oil increased significantly. This caused 30 airlines worldwide to shut down.

Ryanair spends £1.2 billion on aviation (Aeroplane fuel) fuel every year. During years where the price of oil is high, airlines often stop flying on routes which are not as popular as others or introduce new ways to make money – EasyJet started charging its customers if they wanted to board the plane first.

The price of oil also affects the cost of transporting goods. All inclusive holidays which include food and drink can go up in price if the cost of transporting food over long distances is high.