With a little thought it will be clear that the elements comprising the five product components,although they are combined and integrated in the visitor's experience, are in fact capable of extensive and more or less independent variation over time.Some of these variations are planned, as in the case of the Disney World developments in previously unused areas around Orlando, FLorida, where massive engineering works have transformed the natural environment and created a maor tourist destination.By contrast,in New York,London,or Paris, the city environments have not been much altered for travel and tourism purposes, although there have been massive planned changes in the services and facilities available to visitors.Many changes in destination attractions are not planned, and in northern Europe the decline in popularity of traditional seaside resorts since the 1960s has been largely the result of changes in the accessibility of competing destinations in the sunnier south of the Continent. Changes in the product components often occur in spite of, and not because of, the wishes of governments and destination planners.They occur because travel and tourism, especially at the international level, is a relatively free market, with customers able to pursue new attractions as they become available. Changes in exchange rates, which alter the prices of destinations, are certainly not planned by the tourism industry, but have a massive effect on visitor numbers, as the movements between the UK and the USA since 1978 have demonstrated. It is in the promotional field of images and perceptions that some of the most interesting changes occur,and these are marketing decisions.The classic recent example of planned image engineering may be found in the "i love New York" campaign,which, based on extensive preliminary market research, created a significant improvement to the "Big Apple's" appeal in the early 1980s.
The view of the product taken by customers, whether or not they buy an inclusive package from a tour operator or travel wholesaler, is essentially the same view or standpoint as that adopted by tour operators.Tour operators act on behalf of the interests of tens or hundreds of thousands of customers, and their brochures are a practical illustration of blending the five product components.