Define in your own words what is tourism and how can it impact a country's development?


There have been many attempts to define tourism. One of the most enduring definitions is that used by the Tourism Society: "the temporary short term movement of people to destinations outside places where they normally live and work, and their activities during their stay at these destinations." Tourism refers to all travel that results in one or more nights being spent away from home. The travel is, in essence, actually a massive flow of people of diverse backgrounds, languages, cultures and religion interacting under the collective description of being tourists. The purpose of travel follows the 1993 UN Statistical Commission's definition, which encompasses leisure, business and other reasons. The tourist can be a domestic tourist (eg. a resident
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of one country, India, travelling within the country), a regional tourist (a visitor from Nigeria spending one or more nights in Benin). The visitor can also be overseas or international tourist (a resident of the UK staying one or more nights in Singapore). Tourism is travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited". Tourism is vital for many countries, due to the income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists, the taxes levied on businesses in the tourism industry, and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportation services such as cruise ships and taxis, accommodation such as hotels, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and other hospitality industry services such as spas and resorts. Tourism impacts a country's development in various ways. This can be easily explained through the PEST or the STEP model. It stands for - Political, Economic, Social and Technological. The impacts may be described as follows.
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 Due to the benefits tourism gives to the economy, governments promote tourism in a big way.  As the government promotes foreign tourists coming into the country, they try and bring improvement in the home country as well.  Campaigns are launched internationally to bring in more tourists.  Tourism is a way in which the reputation of a country can be built on a global level.  It creates good relations with other countries, when tourists come in.  Earlier any person could travel to different places (foreign people) without any passport or documents, but now due to stringent rules and regulations people cannot just go into other countries without a passport.

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 It was not safe for people to travel by sea or road easily, a lot of robberies or unwanted things took place, but now the different governments have made it much safer to travel. The waters as well as land are guarded well.  The government makes sure that there are consumer protection laws and safety regulations all in place.


The Positive Economical Impacts of Tourism are as follows
 Tourism expenditures generate income to the host economy and can stimulate the investment necessary to finance growth in other economic sectors.  When tourists come into the country and spend their money – it causes the multiplier effect – and boosts the economy, apart from increasing foreign exchange.  Multiplier effect - A visitor staying in a small guest house pays his/her host who then goes out and spends some of that money in local shops, so the local shop owners and workers indirectly benefit from the visitor even if they never see them. This is the multiplier effect.
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 The tourism industry is "decentralized". This means that there is little dependence on urban centres and imports to sustain tourism activity. Sustainable/community based tourism relies on small, locally operated business, local features and products and thrives on entrepreneurial activity from

individuals.  Tourism provides opportunities for regional development particularly areas undergoing structural change. Being a labour intensive industry, with the right encouragement tourism can deliver great employment and training

opportunities particularly for young people. Tourism contributes to government revenue  Direct contributions are generated by taxes on income from tourism employment and tourism businesses, and by direct levies on tourists such as departure taxes.  Indirect contributions come from taxes and duties levied on goods and services supplied to tourists.

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More Job Opportunities  Tourism can generate jobs taxis, directly and through hotels, and





indirectly through the supply of goods and services needed by tourism related businesses.  A study has shown that tourism supports about 7% of the world’s population. Infrastructure Development  Due to tourism, the government may be induced to make infrastructural improvements such as better water and sewage systems, roads, electricity, telephone and public transport networks.  This improves the quality of life of the host community and facilitates tourism as well.

The Negative Economical Impacts of Tourism are as follows
 There are many hidden costs to tourism, which can have unfavourable economic effects on the host community.  Often rich countries are able to profit from tourism than poor ones.  Whereas the least developed countries have the most urgent need for income, employment and general rise of the
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standard of living by means of tourism, they are least able to recognize these benefits.  Among the reasons for these are the large scale transfer of tourism revenues out of the host country and exclusion of local businesses and products. Leakage  The direct income for an area is the amount of tourist expenditure that remains locally after taxes, profits and wages are paid outside the area and after imports are purchased; these subtracted amounts are called leakage.  In most all-inclusive package tours, about 80% of traveller’s expenditures go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies, and not to local businesses or workers.  In addition, significant amounts of income actually retained at destination level can leave again through leakage.  A study of tourism ‘leakage’ in Thailand estimated that 70% of all money spent by tourists ended up leaving Thailand. Infrastructure Cost  Tourism development can cost the local government and local taxpayers a great deal of money.  Developers may want the government to improve airports, roads and other infrastructure, and possibly to provide tax
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breaks and other financial advantages, which are costly activities for the government.  Public resources spent on subsidized infrastructure or tax breaks may reduce government investment in other critical areas such as education and health. Increase in Prices  Increasing demand for basic services and goods from tourists cause price hikes that negatively affect local residents whose income does not increase proportionately. Dependence of the local community on tourism  Many developing countries with little ability to explore other resources have embraced tourism as a way to boost the economy and are dependent on it.  In the Maldives 83% of the workforce depends directly or indirectly on tourism.  Over reliance on tourism carries risks to tourism dependent economies. Economic recession, the impacts of natural disasters such as tropical storms and changing tourism patterns can all have devastating effects.

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Seasonal Employment  During peak periods, a lot of jobs are available but as soon as the tourists go back, the jobs disappear as well. For Example: Goa – India, the locals get their income only during the peak season (December – February, April – July) afterwhich they have no jobs and no income.  There is no guarantee of employment from one season to the next.


The Positive Social Impacts of Tourism are as follows
 Tourism helps to foster a sense of community pride as visitors choose to visit a location for a reason.  However, community pride is often related to economic prosperity with affluent communities more likely to take pride in their district. Well-presented and well maintained facilities help visitors to feel welcome and can contribute to community pride.

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 Tourism facilitates the interaction between communities and visitors (domestic and international). Economic benefits aside, outside contact draws attention to the host community.  Tourism can be used as a tool for raising awareness. Branding of local product and achievements creates regional identity both nationally and internationally. Tourism can also raise awareness of local issues and needs.  Attraction to natural and heritage icons often helps fund conservation efforts and provides opportunities for effective management of sensitive and significant areas.  Cultural events assert cultural identity and help preserve local traditions in younger generations while influencing visitors firsthand.  Tourism allows for local crafts, foods and personalities to be kept alive while raising funds for the community.  Many local customs have been revitalized due to tourism. In many places, there has been a reappearance of traditional customs that had been forgotten: “folklore”, crafts,

festivals, gastronomy, etc.  One of the more important positive social aspects is the improvement in the facilities and services: sanitary attention, means of transport, parks, etc.  Tourism can boost the preservation and transmission of cultural and historic traditions. This often contributes to the
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resources, the protection of local heritage, and a revival of indigenous cultures, cultural arts and crafts.

The Negative Social Impacts of Tourism are as follows
 The first remarkable negative aspect is the social differences between local population and visitors. In certain places, mainly in those of the most underprivileged countries, the residents tend to become servants of the tourists. This creates resentment towards the visitors and areas of social tension appear.  Thus, tourism establishes the basis of a new form of colonialism based on the foreign currency dependency.  Tourism causes an increase in crime rate. With the increase in tourists, crimes like smuggling, hustling, pick-pocketing and so on increase as well. It also causes an increase in drugs, prostitution and promiscuous behaviour.  The local youth tend to look at the tourists and try and follow them. They sometimes are embarrassed of their own culture and want to adopt the foreigner’s ways. At times, tourism causes a loss of cultural pride and values.

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 Due to Globalization, the whole world can be considered as competition.  Since one wants to attract as many tourists as possible; the tourism industry constantly needs to improve and upgrade its technology.  Information technology is being used for a variety of functions in the tourism industry, ranging from an internal organization role to external communication between

different parts of the industry. The continuous development of information technology has profound implications for the whole tourism industry.  The most important role of information technology is the development of competitive advantages by both reducing cost and enhancing differentiation.  As the tourism industry also includes various types of technologies, the public also get educated about the same.  Schemes where online bookings are cheaper, provide an incentive for people to become more tech savy.  With air travel and various other modes of transport, now it has become very easy for people from various parts of the world to go to any destination of their choice.

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 Due to technology changes, every country has atleast one airport, train stations, bus stops and so forth.  Earlier it used to take travellers from Asian countries a week or even more to travel to Europe, but now, due to Airlines, that distance can be covered within a few hours itself.


 At the first level, tourism fosters economic growth through foreign exchange earnings and increases in state revenue and, at a second level, improves the people's well being in the areas of job creation, revenue/income distribution and balanced regional development.  Although tourism causes facilities and services to be provided, there are possibilities of these facilities not being accessible to local residents. In addition, tourism has been criticised for exacerbating the problems of societies: the destruction of social patterns, neo-colonialist relationships of exploitation and dependence, inflationary pressure among others.

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 Tourism







exchange, marked dependence on tourism can also create problems of an economic or socio-cultural nature, particularly for a small country.  Heavy reliance on revenue from tourism can result in sharp revenue fluctuations since the industry is very seasonal, as well as being subject to changes in taste or fashion, fears of political instability, allegations of health hazards etc. A high degree of seasonality not only causes large fluctuations in earnings from tourism but also implies considerable social costs in terms of underutilization of productive capacity, and in particular, high levels of seasonal unemployment.

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