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The Impacts of Tourism in the Modern World

In the beginning humanity was constantly moving from one location to another
until a foundation in community was founded to be more sustainable. Since this
revolutionary realization, countries have been established, cities have been built, and
communities have prospered. Yet still humans have found the need to move throughout
the world to experience what different regions have to offer. With this concept, the topic
of tourism is made apparent. The infinite amount of culture, food, and people around
every corner makes traveling a relatively easy and abundant hobby or even lifestyle.
The movement of people has integrated itself into daily life and has created an
enormous industry that nations all over the globe rely on (Kreag 2). Generating billions
upon billions of dollars every year, the tourism industry has not only had a significant
role in establishing the economy but also the workforce, culture, environment, and
social expectations of every city, country, or nation this world holds (Kreag 2). Tourism is
the gateway to new ideas and perspectives which allows for immense opportunities of
growth and promotes a wider international integration of people. Without a tourism there
would be no economic, social, developmental, or even environmental improvement.or
prosperity.
In all of the world, there is approximately sixty trillion dollars in circulation
(Wagner). According to The World Bank on “International Tourism,” visitors bring in
fourteen trillion every year to the world economy which makes the revenue from tourism
almost one fourth of all the world's money. A notable impact of tourism is its ability to
“earn foreign currency and to influence, a country’s balance of the net difference

between the value of exports and cost of imports” which increases international trade
and flow of goods (Williams 86). Establishing a solid foundation in the tourism industry
can allow countries, who were once dependent on overseas production, to have
“developed patterns of local supply” which spreads profits more vastly into the local
economy and therefore decreases dependency on foreign suppliers (Williams 90). In
Asheville, North Carolina, a recent analysis completed by the Asheville Convention and
Tourists Bureau concluded that “visitors to Asheville spent $1.7 billion in 2014, which
generated $2.6 billion in total business sales.” Note that this data is from only one small
city out of a world filled with countless other cities. The amount of income that tourism
generates in Asheville alone is enough to boost any economy (The Economic Impact of
Tourism in Buncombe County, North Carolina).
Along with the flow of money, comes countless employment opportunities that
“generate income and raise standards of living” (Kreag 6). A boost in the job market
equals more employed people which can only strengthen and broaden a community’s
well being (Kreag 6). From entry level to professional positions, a multitude of benefits
can be found from integrating the aspects of tourism into the community (Kreag 7).
Millions of citizens rely on this employment, in fact “one in nine U.S. jobs depend on
travel and tourism” (U.S. Travel Answer Sheet). When asked how tourism affects
unemployment in Asheville, Stephanie Brown (a researcher at the Asheville Convention
and Visitors Bureau) said “visitor spending in Buncombe County supports 25,000 jobs
across almost every industry sector.” In fact, Brown even said that “the county boasts
the lowest unemployment rate in North Carolina - the first time that has ever been

achieved.” Those 25,000 jobs put meals on the dinner table and a roof over thousands
of families heads, just in Asheville alone.
The migration of people throughout a community promotes the construction and
access of “new amenities and recreation facilities that would not otherwise be viable.”
With an abundance of foot traffic throughout the streets, development of restaurants,
shops, and other services tend to skyrocket. Not only do the tourists benefit from these
amenities but also the local residents since more opportunities for entertainment
increase for both (Kreag 11). Locals tend to “adapt towards more amenable or
productive patterns of behaviour” because they are exposed to the tourist’s new ideas
and values which therefore encourages “a community to work towards things that they
may lack” (Williams 153). The people who usually have the opportunity to travel
“originate in a developed, urbanised and industrialised society” and therefore may have
expectations of quality that will differ from the host community (Williams 72). As a result
improvements to public utilities such as electricity, plumbing, water supply and overall
sanitation are made (Kreag 4). Increased populations encourage “improvements in
transport infrastructure resulting in upgraded roads, airports, public transportation, and
non-traditional transportation” as well as improvements such as increased law
enforcement and quality in health facilities (Kreag 7). The residents and the visitors
would have an increase in safety and protection as well as more efficient access to
necessities. (Kreag 11).
Interactions between tourists and residents is inevitable since traveling combines
two initially different regions in terms of culture, religion, and values into one area

(Williams 164). This provides the opportunity for cultures to work towards understanding
and appreciating one another, which would not have been an option if traveling and
tourism did not exist. By learning more about other cultures, people are less likely to
focus on differences and instead observe the similarities between regions which makes
other cultures “ less threatening and more interesting” (Kreag 9). Traveling is essentially
immersing oneself into another’s culture in order to earn a better understanding and
appreciation of the world outside of the bubble so many people seem to live in.
Each and every community in the world has its own values, some may not be up
to modern times and some may. For example, in many countries women inequality is
prominent and in others it is not. Introducing groups of people into a community who
have differing viewpoints can “push a community to adopt a different moral conduct
such as improved understanding between sexes” (Kreag 9). The United Nations World
Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has proven that tourism can “contribute to this effort by
creating opportunities for women and spread awareness of gender issues.” Tourism can
increase economic and education opportunities which is important ways for women to
“empower themselves to seek a better quality of life for themselves, their families and
their communities”(Tourism and Gender). Perspectives on life are naturally going to
differ from person to person, but through increased interactions and communication
people will be able to respect different approaches to living (Kreag 9).
From discovering the simplest of tricks to uncovering one of life’s greatest
mysteries, learning is a part of daily life. Exploring the world broadens the mind to new
ideas and pushes people out of comfortable levels to truly experience what the world

has to offer. Increased traveling is linked to higher educations, in fact according to the
WYSE Travel Confederation “majority of adults (57%) who took educational trips as
children and teens attained a college degree or went on to do post-graduate work.”
Teachers and textbooks may have the factual information about a country or place but
the true learning comes from personal experience which allows students to have open
eyes to “ a world more diverse than they had previously imagined” (Travel Improves
Educational Attainment &Amp; Future Success).
Not only are the visitors left with a seed of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge,
but the locals as well. Both the residents and the travelers learn about each other’s
culture and way of life through observing each other (Travel Improves Educational
Attainment &Amp; Future Success). For example, learning another language through
others is proven to “improve the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise,
negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems”(Merritt). With
bilinguality comes improved career opportunities, in fact “people who speak at least one
foreign language have an average annual household income that's $10,000 higher than
the household income of those who only speak English” (How Being Bilingual Can
Boost Your Career).
As the world is becomes more and more westernized traditional ceremonies,
dances, and festivals become obsolete, so visitors tend to take interest in local heritage
and therefore preserve the host culture (Preserving Cultures Through Ecotourism). For
example, Cherokee, North Carolina is small town in which visitors can enjoy Native
American basket weaving in which hours are spent into weaving one basket by hand

(Cherokee, Eastern Band). Now there are machines and tools that could replace bare
hands but since tourist take interest in the art form the tradition of basket weaving is
preserved. Interest in tradition “helps to protect traditional knowledge from being lost as
new generations become more assimilated into the global culture” (Preserving Cultures
Through Ecotourism). Cultural diversity and preservation in a world that is constantly
conforming and modernizing is a rare gift that needs to be valued. Stephanie Brown
believes that Asheville, NC is a “diverse culture that reflects many types of experiences”
and that a “customer base created by tourism promotion helps support independent
businesses, arts organizations, entertainment, artists, and so on.”
Critics claim that tourism increases pollution levels, crime rates, overcrowding,
and the cost of living for the local residents. Although the claims have truth, many critics
fail to realize that tourism as a whole improves the wellbeing of an community and ,in
this case, the positives indeed outweigh the negatives(Kreag 1-10). The migration of
people into an area will naturally bring crime, pollution, and crowds but it will also bring
life, communication, education, and improvement. The ability to travel is an imperative
part of understanding the world and forming new insight about life, for it is not until
people get lost in culture, friendships, food, and religion that people understand the true
value of being alive. Even though the cost of living may rise, so does the standard and
quality of living. Pollution levels are an issue but when more people move into an area
the awareness of pollution becomes more apparent and therefore education and
solutions are the subject are made. The population of the world is always going to
increase and so overcrowding is a blessing in a disguise because it prepares residents
with the necessary social skills for future generations. Immersing people into different

cultures and languages allows for a deeper understanding of the human mind and soul.
Unifying people in such a way requires management of activation plans and constant
attention to tourism issues by leaders and residents in order to “maximize positive and
minimize negative impacts” (Kreag 2).
Despite what most critics would say, tourism actually contributes to the protection
and conservation of local of biodiversity and resources (Tourism and Environmental
Conservation). For example, hundreds of thousands of people a year travel to the
African savannah in order to relish in the wildlife within its own natural habitat. This
increased interest in wildlife has lead to “driving business, safeguarding wildlife, and
contributing to a brighter future for all of Africa” (Conservation Tourism). National Parks
and Wildlife Parks are the result of people finding attractiveness within an natural area
which therefore brings value and a “need to keep the attraction alive” (Tourism and
Environmental Conservation). These places that have highly valued resources such as
waterfalls and mountains, attract people who seek a spiritual experience with nature
and therefore brings forth awareness of preservation to the environment (Kreag 7).
People tend to assemble in attractive places, therefore a city or country will
typically make efforts to improve in order to appear more inviting. Community clean ups
and reconstruction of old, deteriorating buildings are encouraged to leave a good
impressions on the visitors (Kreag 11). According to the United Nations Environment
Programme, tourism “has the potential to increase public appreciation of the
environment.” With an increased interest in appearance there begins a movement for
environmental issues and preservation of land and buildings. Historical exhibits and

artifacts are preserved or rebuild since visitors take interest not only in the heritage but
also the history as well (Kreag 9).
In conclusion, tourism allows for the unification of people not only physically but
mentally, emotionally, and intellectually. A community is guaranteed to have positive
growth in the economy as well as developments in the social aspects of life. Traveling
the world broadens the mind to new ideas and ways of living which provides an
appreciation for others and the place one calls home. Improvement is defined by the
Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the quality of being better than before,” therefore what
better way to improve than to have the world be the teacher?