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Assess the Social and Economic Impact of Tourism in Eastern Europe?

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Introduction

Catherine Robinson, 27th September 2003 Assess the Social and Economic Impact of Tourism in Eastern Europe? Tourism has steadily begun to increase and spread to Eastern Europe over the last two decades. These countries may have very marketable features i.e. landscapes, beaches or leisure facilities but often have difficulty getting themselves into the international market because they usually have to do so through an established network of travel organisations. Eastern European countries that have succeeded in being on the receiving end of an increase in tourism now enjoy a boost to their GDP. They acquire a higher inflow of hard currency and obtain revenue from taxes on tourism and the facilities or services they use during their stay. With this flow of income from tourists also comes a risk of dependency on the richer countries to continue visiting the area with the same intensity. As history has shown, tourism is very unstable. ...read more.

Middle

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is a recent tourist hot spot that offers impressive architecture, history, culture and character. However, the atmosphere that we as tourists see is purely window dressing concealing the true nature of a country still in poverty. The large percentage of the locals cannot afford the price hiked products and services offered to the tourists. As long as the tourists continue using the services and living in the hotels, house prices and the cost of living will continue to rise and it will become ever harder for the Czechs to afford to live by even an average standard of living. Instead of the economic divide between communist party leaders and the population, the social hierarchy has evolved into an economic divide between the tourist and the resident. This injustice has led to jealousy and racial tensions that have occasionally erupted into racially motivated attacks on the Westerners. Hungary has an age-old tourist industry because the country puts huge effort into promoting itself to the international market. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romania is still a very backward country not just technologically and economically but also socially. It has strict and especially intolerant views on women and homosexuality and has a serious AIDS epidemic. New ski resorts are beginning to emerge as the country begins to realise the tourist potential and they are gradually attracting more tourists as the destination becomes better acknowledged. The illiberal attitude in society will become a major problem when it begins to conflict with the natural behaviour of the stereotypical Western free thinking tourist. The tourists act ignorant to the culture and views of the locals and the locals are disgusted by the behaviour of the tourists. In turn this leads to prejudice, hatred and alienation between the two disparate cultures. Ukraine is a country that is aiming to develop into a new tourist destination, reminiscent of the rest of Eastern Europe. By making this decision it is taking an immense risk of losing everything, as it has to inject a large amount of capital to build up a suitable destination for the international tourist industry. ...read more.

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