The Leisure and Recreation Industry
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The leisure and recreation industry is an industry, which has grown
and affected the economy in a big way. The industry is one of the
fastest growing industries in the UK.
The leisure and recreation is defined in many ways for example leisure
is referred to the time spent outside employment and other essential
activities such as sleeping. Recreation, where as referred to the type
of activities undertaken during leisure time?
The leisure and recreation industry can be described as a whole range
of activities taken in people's free time.
The central distinctions between the different types of leisure
Active - this is when an activity is more demanding (for example
playing a sport walking)
Passive - this is when an activity undertaken is not a physical
activity (for example reading, listening to music)
Home based leisure is when a leisure activity is undertaken at home
and non home-based leisure is when an activity involves leaving the
home e.g. going to the cinema.
The development of the leisure and recreation industry
In this industry society has seen technological developments along
side the changing consumer needs over the past forty years to produce
today's huge consumer needs demands for leisure and recreation
products and services. However in the 1940's people were restricted to
what was available due to the war so people just undertook home based
leisure activities such as reading play games listening to the radio
at this time all of these activities where very popular, after the war
the leisure industry began to develop. Another factor that took a toll
on the industry was that people were restricted to what they could do
in their leisure time.
- Not many people had personal transport
- Cleaning the house took longer which consumed up more time
- People were limited to holidays and free time
- Not many people could afford to spend their income on leisure
However 50 years later there have been some major changes in the way
we live which has
Led up to a massive industry the main factors that has led up to the
build of the industry are,
· Technological developments (home entertainment, computers)
· Demographic changes (ageing and population)
· Increase in disposable income
· Changing fashions and trends
· Increase in leisure time
· Improvement mobility (car ownership public transport)
[IMAGE]Over the past decades society has seen so many technological
developments. With the changes accelerating this has led to some
massive changes in the leisure and recreation industry as well.
Nowadays there are so many choices on how people spend their leisure
time for example the creation of the computer and the Internet.
However back in the 1960's there was no such thing as a computer or
the Internet. More often the internet his being used, in people lives
making it easier to do such things as paying the bill doing the weekly
shop you can do this in the comfort of your own home also with other
things available such as buying loans online book a holiday and much
more. Communication is nowadays a big way of communicating e.g. email,
text messages, msnger. Overall the Internet has a big impact on the
way in which people live. As you can see from the graph the use and
number of people using the Internet is rising.
With all these technical developments it has affected the way we do
things nowadays. A main example is the time saved through technology
e.g. transport; technology has effect the amount of time we spend on
leisure activities. Another big change is the major development, which
has been seen through television. Back in the 1970's there was only
four channels which where BBC1 and 2, ITV and channel4. Now you can
have a wide selection on what you watch through the creation of cable
With the help of so many technical developments this has help the
growth of the leisure and recreation industry. However overall this
has become a positive outcome as it has led into a large proportion of
jobs being created and in the long fall technology has changed the
industry for the better.
Demography is the study of the structure of the population; this study
can be made up of many things such as statistics, which include
related data to birth, death, gender and age.
A major demographic turn around is the role of woman today. Back in
the 1960/70's the woman's role was mainly stay at home and bring up
the kids while the men generated the income. However this soon changed
nowadays woman undertake activities which would had seen as not
suitable or inappropriate drinking in fancy wine bars, taking part in
sports. The average age for first marriages in England and Wales in
2003 was 31 for men and 29 for women. This compares with 26 and 23 for
men and women respectively 40 years earlier.
Nowadays this is totally different now there are more woman single
this can be down to a list of reasons woman who are not married, woman
who have had a divorce, woman who enjoy there lifestyles and are not
ready for a relationship. Over the past few decades' people have
tended to marry later in life. The average age for first marriages in
England and Wales in 2003 was 31 for men and 29 for women. This
compares with 26 and 23 for men and women respectively 40 years
earlier. These demographic issues affect the leisure industry e.g. a
single woman with no kids may socialise more go to the gym and they
can undertake these activities whenever they want. Also the amount of
people the industry has to be able to cater for effects the type of
activity we undertake. Over the past 50 years the population has risen
in 2003 the UK was home to 59.6 million people. This was an 18 per
cent increase from 50.3 million in 1951, and a 3.2 per cent increase
over the last decade (1993 to 2003). (General household survey)
Also a recent demography change was the baby booms this boom took
place during the millennium. With more and more baby booms this means
that leisure providers can be ready to accommodate for this age group
e.g. a soft play area.
Changing fashions and trends
The culture within a society dictates how we spend our leisure time.
With a society there is a culture which effects are leisure patterns.
However to keep up this leisure providers try to understand and
anticipate these trends. The changing trends tend to appear in every
Due to the post war consumer philosophy this was to keep things simple
save before you buy, also in this decade society seen a major increase
in house owner ship.
The 1960's saw the mass products goods with an emphasis on style and
fashion, the youth culture began to dominate, start of consumer
spending and a big issue with material values rejected for spiritual
This decade saw an increase in consumption (buying of goods and
services) this was know as a sign of personal development, an increase
in the demand of sport this industry began to been seen as a serious
consumer leisure activity, the blossom of many leisure centres run by
both the local council and the private sector.
Modern technology led to plastic money and credit card this led to
consumer buying power. The late 80's saw the collapse of the housing
market; this also increased Hugh growth of DIY.
This decade saw the massive boom in the gardening development sector,
as people would keep their gardening clean and tidy as a sign of their
own enjoyment. This decade saw the health and fitness business began
to growth further
Over the past decade there has been a massive increase in car
ownership. With out the transport people would not be able to
undertake non-home based leisure activities.
Car ownership has risen steadily over the past 40 years. For example
in 1972 52% of households had access to a car or van this later rose
to 59% in 1981 then to 68% in 1991 and then to 73% in 2000. (GHS)
Another increase was that households had two or move cars in 1972 9%
had two or more cars however this tripled to 28% in 2000.
Although car ownership has increased there are so many other ways in
which transport has improved for example public transport is still
very important to certain age groups e.g. elderly and teenagers.
Overall improved mobility means that people can gain access to a
facility easy and much quicker. Improved mobility has been recognised
by councils e.g. in corby buses are run every ten minutes to get
people to places much quicker another leisure example is that the
local council have now provide a leisure link to run seven days a week
up till 10 o'clock. This was aimed to allow people to reach fitness
centres provided by the council. However nowadays leisure providers
are now looking in to how people access their facilities, also when
situating their organisation they play and find an area, which has an
easy access for all groups of people.
Increase in time
Over the past the 50 years there has been a massive increase in the
amount of free time people have 'leisure time'. This increase has been
down to a number of reasons for example
The number of hours in the working week has decreased, this means
people have more time for leisure activities. Another main reason is
paid holidays people no longer need to save up their income through
unpaid holidays, now people have that extra money to spend.
With more time available people have more time and a wider choice to
what they can do in their free time. However this was different 40
years ago. With massive technology developments this has lead to
household chores taking less time and more time relaxing, another
increase in time is access to certain facilities e.g. to get to a
holiday resort took longer would take longer to get to in the 1960's
they type of transport. Nowadays trains are quicker, more bus
facilities, airplanes and more personal transport available. These
little things can make move time available in the way we function and
Increase in disposable income
Over the years people's income has risen according to the (ONS) office
for national statistics, this means that nowadays people are getting
paid more money for the jobs they do. This means that there is more
money left over from pay bills and necessary necessities. This also
means that the rest of an income is disposable. This disposable income
is often spent on leisure activities alongside with consumer products.
In other words people have more money to spend leisure, this can be
defined as the 'leisure pound' (i.e. the parts of peoples disposable
income that they spend is on leisure)
The structure of the leisure industry
In the leisure industry organisations are divided into groups on who
owns and runs them.
Private sector - the main character about the sector is that 99% of
private leisure companies are looking to make money; this is what it
boils down to make a profit.
There are four types of private originations. Sole trades,
partnerships, private limited (LTD) and public limited (PLC) private
companies tend to be specific markets. Fitness centres and gyms are
the best example of this in the leisure industry. They have the best
equipment, the newest innovations and try to secure members however
they tend to have higher prices than the public sector. The main
funding in this sector is normally in the form of investors; they look
for the largest market share as possible.
Public sector - this sector is completely different to the private
sector as this sector take into account the communities needs and
values this is why councils have a values policies of the local
councils. They use this and take into account and look at the
community on a whole. This sector tends to appeal to a wide audience
as they supposed to benefit the whole community and offer basic
facilities at reasonable prices. (The private sector don't do this at
Funding for this sector comes from a number of sources the main one is
from local and national governments or sometimes lottery funding
(lottery has had a big impact on the public sector leisure funding)
the lottery was set up to generate more money to invest in the public
sector across a wide range of sectors including the leisure industry.
Voluntary sector -this sector is mainly about making a difference,
youth hostels local kids sports teams football being the main one,
this sector only makes little profits and some times run at a loss of
the volunteer. However people don't take into account the type of jobs
and organisation one volunteer does to makes their activity work.
Mainly funding is normally donated or funded from the volunteers this
sector suffers a lot from funding unlike the above sectors.
Make a profit
Evens out 'benfit' the community
Non profitable industry
Make a difference
Make a difference to the company 'profit'
Giving the community more facilities
If there was no voluntary clubs many clubs wouldn't exist
How is it funded
Donations, volunteer provides funded or the members
How does it benefit
Give more activities than the public sector e.g. Disney land
Offering the community cheap leisure facilities
A sense of belonging to a group building up confidence
The scale of the industry
Consumer spending in the UK
The household income reflects the amount of money we spend on leisure
and recreational products. However there're differences in the income
between different family types.
However statistics shows that households with a gross weekly income of
£500 or more are likely to have more house hold consumables than a
household with an income of £100 or less.
The table shows that the higher the income the more likely a household
was to have consumer durables. However many of these durables involve
home-based leisure, and are everyday items people are unable to live
However according to reports on the BBC website/ news a graph, which
shows the percent an average house, hold expenditure
Average weekly expenditure graph
At the top of the chart is transport according to this an average
household spends £58 per a week on transport this also includes buying
and running vehicles as well as public transport fees.
Also closely behind was spending on leisure and cultural this also
included televisions, computers, newspapers.
The key components
·Arts and entertainment
·Sports and physical recreation
·Home based leisure
In the leisure and recreation industry each activity is but under a
component to show what they represent this identifies the type of
activity that includes.