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Tourism is a booming global industry. Discuss

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Introduction

Tourism is a booming global industry. Discuss (30) Tourism is regarded as one of the most efficient, organised and marketed commodities in the world. Accounting for more than $655 billion of global income per year and 70 million jobs worldwide, the tourism industry has become the largest in the world; exceeding the oil and car industries.The World Trade Organisation definition of tourism is activities that require travel from home and staying away from home for at least 24 hours. It not only includes holidays (although they do account for 70% of all journeys), but business trips or visiting friends or relatives. The tourism industry can be separated into two different categories. These are international tourism, where a tourist travels abroad or overseas and internal tourism, where a tourist's travel and spending are confined to their country of residence. Although internal tourism accounts for as much as four times the amount of international tourism, the reasons for their overall growth are very similar. As countries become industrialised and urbanised, standards of living increase. The world-wide phenomenon of tourism therefore began in MEDCs, in Europe and North America and later in Japan. To this day, 80% of all tourists come from MEDCs and Europe alone accounts for 48% of expenditure in the tourism industry. The links between economic development and growth in tourism can be related to Rostow's model of economic development. ...read more.

Middle

This increase in secondary resources, such as hotels and shops also encourages growth in tourism. However, it is not always the case that economic development leads to growth in the tourism industry. For example, in many LEDCs, governments seeking economic development have understandably realised the attractiveness of their resources for tourism, such as beaches, warm climates, mountains and exotic cultures and their potential for income, jobs and development. For example, in 1991, the Malaysian government, who are directly involved in tourism development, declared that year a 'Year of Tourism' to encourage travel. Therefore, many government policies for economic growth have turned to tourism promotion. This is also a major cause in the growth of the tourism industry over recent years, which in 1965 had 110 million tourists, but by 1993, the tourism industry had undergone a five-fold increase and there were 510 million tourists worldwide. One hundred years ago, a person would be lucky to receive one day for a summer holiday. At present, holidays within the EU are a law, with all full-time workers guaranteed an annual minimum of four weeks paid holiday (by 1995, 90% of workers in the UK received this entitlement). As the length of the working week has been progressively shortened and paid holidays have increased, wages and salaries have been maintained. These benefits, as well as the fact that prices are comparatively cheaper than ever before, especially in terms of air-fares and package holidays, mean that people have greater leisure time and greater disposable income, which can be spent on luxuries such as holidays to exotic locations. ...read more.

Conclusion

In today's society, the consumer culture has encouraged people to seek out new destinations and try new experiences. In addition, the mass-media have increased general awareness of far away destinations. Although originally, the first inclusive tour was not until 1869, when Thomas Cook set up organised trips to the Nile, today one can find information about package holidays and tour companies everywhere. Including the internet, magazines, travel books and high street travel centres, such as 'Thomsons' and 'First Choice'. Tourism has not only grown in terms of the number of tourists, but it has also diversified. Many different types of tourism have developed in recent years, which add to the reasons for the booming global tourism industry. For example, health tourism has expanded greatly with spas opening up all over the world, such as those in Bath as well as tourism for winter sports such as skiing, although these have been around since the 19th century. Popular tourist destinations are also constantly changing as places go in and out of fashion. For example, the Caribbean was renowned in the 1960s, but in recent years Asia has been increasingly attracting large numbers of visitors. The tourism industry is fairly new and not only does it help national economies by providing millions of jobs but it also benefits individuals and families and as more and more destinations are discovered, the greater the growth of the industry will be. However, as well as thinking about their economies, governments and individuals should take into consideration the environmental and social impacts of tourism in order to ensure sustainable development in the future. ...read more.

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