According to one of the pioneer authors in the tourism seasonality sphere BarOn (1975) seasonality is argued to be one of the main issues of sustainable and efficient tourism. The seasonality in tourism refers to the variation in demand or business activity, as well as fluctuation in tourist and visitor numbers to a destination. Butler (1994) on the basis of BarOns work expands the definition by adding that besides the previously mentioned seasonality may also be expressed in terms of fluctuations of such factors as expenditure of visitors, traffic on highways and other forms of transportation, employment and admissions to attractions.
The seasonality of tourism demand may be expressed by the number of visitors who come to a destination at certain periods of the year, but quite often more specific variables as overnight stays, type of accommodation employed, average length of stay, reasons for travel or the average spending of tourists are accounted for. Based on the shortage in availably of monthly-generated data, hotel capacity utilization is generally used for the purpose of analysis of seasonal fluctuations (Cisneros-Martínez, 2013).
To work within constraints of the seasonality is a destination management issue that tourism planners struggles with all over the world. Particularly pronounced the issue is in regions of the extreme north or south where climate variation directly influences the flow of visitors and thus management strategies of tourism (Baum & Hagen, 1999). At the same time literature suggests various other reasons for seasonality to develop.
2.2. Causes of the seasonality
In order to tackle seasonality, it is important to understand where and why seasonality is appearing. Various authors as BarOn (1975), Butler (1994), Hartmann (1986) and others categorize the causes of tourism fluctuations and seasonality as having natural or institutional character. Geographical location of the potential destination influences its weather conditions and consequently the appeal of the given place for the inbound tourism. Natural factors as temperature, sunlight, rain, snow influence decisions for traveling, for example destinations in the coastal regions are attractive at the time of sun and warm swimming water, skiing resorts are appropriate in the snow season, rainfalls or polar nights are usually avoided by the voyagers.
Institutional seasonality, however, appears because of religious, cultural or social reasons, such as the timing of holidays or special periods (e.g. religious pilgrimages to certain destinations at certain time, vacations from work, school breaks for students), availability of free time and certain habits, traditions of the people, resource availability.
Generally it is possible to identify sets of reasons for seasonality, both arising from tourist origin and travel destination place. Lundtorp, Rassing & Wanhill (1999) summarize causes proposed by various authors and categorize those as the “push” and “pull” factors. ...