Pender & Barter (2005) define the tourism industry as a group of businesses, both commercial and non-commercial, whose goal is to provide service to the tourists. Tourists are said to be people who leave where they stay and go to another area for more than twenty-four hours and less than a year for whatever reason such as business, to visit and even for leisure. The tourism industry is part of the tourism system that consists of people, geographic elements and the tourism industry. The people are the tourists, and they are categorized according to their reasons for travel. The different types of tourists based on the purpose of their trip are:
- Some people travel in the course of conducting their businesses. This kind of travel is referred to as Business travel or MICE.
- Some people travel to relax and enjoy themselves during holidays. They actually save money the whole year so that during holidays, mostly during summer, they can travel to other parts of the world and enjoy their holidays there. There are some countries that are known as good holiday destinations. This kind of travel is referred to as Leisure travel.
- Some travel without any good reason. This kind of travel is referred to as miscellaneous travel.
- Others travel to visit their friends and relatives who live in other parts of the world (VFR)
- Others travel to seek treatment away from home. Normally this is because some specialized treatment may not be available in some countries, or it may be available but very expensive, yet in other countries, the same treatment may be available at lower costs. For this reason, some patients travel to those countries where they can access the treatment at lower costs. This kind of travel is referred to as travel for one’s health.
- Some people also travel to other countries to go and study, due to lack of higher education opportunities in their own countries. In some developing countries, for example, the places in the universities are limited and can only be accessed by very few students. Students from such countries who can afford would therefore seek admission to universities in other countries. This kind of travel is referred to as travel to study.
- In some religions, such as Islam, there are religious trips that are organized in specific parts of the world during specific times of the year. Members of that religion who can afford would therefore go for such trips. This kind of travel is referred to as Pilgrimage.
- Others also travel to participate in sports, such as the world cup or athletics. This kind of travel is referred to as Sport or Recreational travel.
The geographic elements are the tourism destination, the tour route and what motivates the tourists to the destination. The tourism industry provides a range of 6 products that include,
This is the mode of transport that is used by the tourists like those who are on the sea can use motorboats, ship while they can also use aeroplanes, jets, cars depending on where they are going and what they prefer.
This mainly involves apartments, hotels and motels where the tourists stay while they are in the foreign land.
These are what motivate the tourists to come to a place like the natural ones would involve mountains, the coast while it is also man-made like the buildings and even artefacts.
The activities are the things that happen within the destination place that attracts or interests the tourists, like the peoples’ culture, dances, etc.
Amenities are the essential things that people need, such as security and good infrastructure.
The importance of tourism to our society
The impact of tourism on the economy
Aramberi & Butler (2005) demonstrate that Tourism is always a major boost to the destination economy because it leads to the creation of jobs, development of land, improved infrastructure, and this is true because many people will be employed in the tourism businesses. The general economy of the destination will also improve because of increased foreign currency.
The effect on income
Tourism’s contribution to the income of an area is enhanced by the tourism income multiplier (TIM).
TIM arises because money spent by tourists in the area will be re-spent by recipients, augmenting the total. The multiplier is the factor by which tourist expenditure is increased in this process.
Multiplier = Proportion of leakages
Expenditures in which the money is lost to other areas are known as leakages.
The effect on employment
Tourism is a service industry, and therefore so many jobs will be created by the development of just one tourist destination because there will be jobs for the tours and travel, there will be accommodation, and there will be housekeeping and even those who prepare the food. The list of jobs created is endless.
The effect on the area’s balance of payments
When tourists visit a country, they spend money in that country. Whenever they buy anything, that country earns foreign income, which is the same as exporting goods to another country.
The balance of payments is healthy when a country earns more foreign income than it incurs the foreign expenditure. In this regard, tourism improves a country’s balance of payments because it enables that country to earn foreign income.
In a national context, tourism may have a major influence on a country’s balance of payments because what the tourists spend is more than what the destination country uses. Then the country will have a balance and hence make money from the tourists.
The effect of tourism on investment and development
International tourists are buying tourist services in another country, and these payments are noted in a country’s accounts as ‘invisibles’ this is because it is money spent in another country for leisure. The success of tourism in a region is measured by the number of investments that people make in the area because if it is successful, then it will attract a lot of investors.
Tourism is generally seen by private investors as a high-risk investment because if anything happens in the areas that are negative, then it will clearly put away the tourists, and the business will collapse. This will often mean that tourism cannot take off until the public sector invests risk capital in order to encourage tourism development. This is done by giving low-interest loans to private developers or in some more centrally planned economies. It may mean that government itself builds and operates facilities for tourists.
It also has a negative impact because as the foreign currency comes at, the prices of goods will go up, and this will affect the local community because although they get the jobs, the living stands will rise, and then the inflation rate if not taken care of will lead to the people suffering.
The impact of tourism on culture
Most tourists who come to the destination want to experience the culture of the local people, and this makes the people always want to preserve their culture because it is appreciated, and they also see it as a source of income because it attracts tourists. At the same time, the coming of foreigners may lead to erosion of the culture of the local people because they must see the culture of the tourists to be better and decide to adapt to this new culture and they abandon their own culture. All this leads to the interchanging of cultures, and so people learn from one another and understand why others do their things differently.
The impact of tourism on society
The society is the local people who live around the area. Tourism will have both positive and negative impacts on society. Employment will be created for the society, and they will be able to make more money, and this will mean improved living standards for the society. Society will also benefit from the investments made around their areas like improved infrastructure and security. At the same time, some may leave their activities which such as farming which is more consistent and goes and do casual jobs in the tourism industry, which are only there during the peak seasons and after the peak season, they become jobless and do not want to farm anymore making them poor.
The impact of tourism on the environment
Tourism does not impact so much as production industries, but it also has its impact because the number of people a will increases and so there will be more noise in the environment in the environment, there also be increased pollution, and even more littering as compared to when there are just the local people. On the environment, tourism does not seem to have a positive impact but the negative, and although this may not seem serious, their effect can only be felt after so many years.
The focus on one single issue which changes the whole industry of tourism
The tourism industry is continuously affected by the things that happen in the environment, and these are the political, technological and social environments. There are three areas that mainly affect tourism, and these are globalization, technological innovation and sustainable tourism. All these issues impact so much the direction of the tourism industry. “Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity and life support systems.” (World Tourism Organization)
Globalization, sustainable tourism, technological innovation
Felzenshtain et al. (2002) define globalization as the growing interdependence of markets and production in different countries through trade – in goods and services, cross border cash flow, strategic alliances and mergers. Globalization reduces all the distance between people and makes the world one small village. Globalization impacts the tourism industry in very many ways, from the way people learn bout their destination to the employment rates and requirements and even the number of people touring a given destination. Globalization has greatly expanded the tourism industry because more people tour different countries to do business, for religious purposes and even for leisure. Globalization has helped to open up new cities, towns and even emerging markets for urban tourism.
Biju (2006) demonstrates that globalization has led to an increase in tourism through job creation where people can work in any part of the world and also the development of global corporations, which has so much promoted tourism because the global corporations open up new branches all over the world and therefore promoting business tourism. Globalization has also impacted employment in the tourism industry, and this is because the standards o service are now measured according to global standards; thus, it creates a lot of jobs for people not just in their country but also in another country. This has made tourism contribute about 10 % of employment in the world and contribute a lot to the world GDP. According to Biju (2006), globalization provides an opportunity for a capital investment opportunity to entrepreneurs in hotel, tours and travel, accommodation, transportation and all the other parts of the tourism industry and this, in turn, create employment that helps to improve the economy of both the origin and destination country. Globalization, therefore, contributes a lot to the development of the tourism industry, so much both the origin and destination areas.
A critical look at Paris, France
Paris in France is one of the most toured cities in the world, and it gives us the best example of urban and cultural tourism. It is one of the cities which have the highest population in Europe and is more or less the same as it was more than a century ago.
For the past two years, among the most important, influential and wealthiest cities in the world, Paris has been ranked among the top three. The cost of living in Paris is also very high.
Paris ranks among the best urban tourist destinations. Out of the over 40 million tourists that it receives annually, more than half are foreign visitors. From the above analysis, we can clearly see the impact of tourism on the culture and economy of Paris. The people have preserved their culture and even their buildings, and this attracts tourists and hence the population and also the economy. Paris continues to be a leader in the tourism industry because of its good infrastructure, security and this makes many people move to live there. The culture of the French is one of the reasons for the attraction of so many tourists to that place. Paris population is not only made of the French but also many other people from different cultures who live in Paris and get absorbed into the culture, but there are still also many other cultures due to the interaction of many cultures.
The current problems which slow down or stop the development of tourism
The French market is beginning to reach its saturation point. It has exhausted its expansion area and also the population. This makes it have short-lived tourists as compared to other areas like France that have long term tourists.
Being an urban tourist area, it has attracted so many immigrants who come in to look for jobs, and this leads to having jobless people who live in bad conditions, and this reduces the security because of the kind of people who are jobless and idle and the development of slums in Paris. There are also constant riots by Africans who immigrated to Paris because they feel they are being marginalized.
Paris is also having a very large number of refugees, and this also affects the tourism attraction because the place is crowded with so many people.
Pollution in Paris is said to be overwhelming due to the many vehicles and also the factories making it unhealthy to stay there for long, and also this increases the number of people who die because of diseases related to the pollution.
From this, we see that although Paris is at the top of the list, there are problems with it. This shows that careful tourism planning is needed before the area is overwhelmed and becomes saturated. The French government can make agreements with neighbouring areas that are less developed so that they can expand their tourism activities there. The French government is also looking at how to give decent settlement to those living in the slums around Paris. They are also trying to regulate the number of immigrants to the capital. From Paris, we can see that tourism planning is very important in order to keep up with the tourism demand.
There is a scarcity of social housing units that are subsidized. Six years ago, there were more than a hundred thousand families waiting for the twelve thousand units that were available.
There is a plan by The Paris city government to build more than fifty thousand units of housing each year, and also renovate several apartment blocks that have been identified as substandard, in order to improve the situation, despite demands by Tenants’ advocates that more than a hundred and twenty thousand new units are needed each year.
Pollution in Paris causes problems
Atmospheric pollution by nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of vehicle exhausts, in Paris and its suburbs increases by 15-20% the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital for asthma. A new survey also shows that atmospheric sulphur dioxide, produced mainly by industry and heating, increases mortality from cardiovascular disease by a tenth.
Inadequate provincial transportation infrastructure
Lack of infrastructure to a place can easily de-motivate tourists from visiting a place that has a very good attraction for tourists, and this is a major barrier to many areas that have a wonderful attraction but lack infrastructure (Felzenshtain et al., 2002).
Policies and attitudes that are outdated are other barriers to tourism, like policies that do not allow visitors from some countries to come to the destination for whatever reason. The government should see how to change such policies, so they still promote tourism by allowing visitors into the country.
Restriction on civil aviation
Every country should aim at making their countries accessible and also not expensive to reach so that they are able to promote the tourism industry. There are also tourists who love to travel with all types of transport systems for the sake of adventure, and therefore there should be no restrictions (Sharply & Tefler, 2002).
Restriction on the free movement of human resources in the tourism industry
Countries restrict immigration and even the working of some people of other countries in the tourism industry. This is a service industry, and it should be the best person at the job to do it, and therefore countries should allow the best from whatever country who seek to work in the tourism industry to work in order to promote the growth of the industry.
The tourism industry is a very versatile industry and is affected by changes in the environment like the recent recession led to the slow down of the tourism industry because of the economic environment. People did not have the money to spend on travelling and other luxuries. It is also affected by such things as climatic change, which causes the weather to be uncertain, and therefore people are not free to travel as they wish. Insecurities like terrorism are also a major cause of the slow growth of tourism because some areas have the potential to attract tourists but being at threat of terrorist attacks makes them not attractive to tourists (Aramberi & Butler, 2005).
Tourism industry branches are facing a lot of competitive pressures. In a global economy and tourism market, they are competing with new destinations that can benefit from resources that are intact or, in any case, very little exploited, and from very favourable economic conditions, including low wages and soft currencies (Pender & Barter, 2005).
The old tourism sites are also facing a lot of competition from the new attraction destinations, which have the potential and the resources to invest in developing their tourism industry, while the old destinations have now become obsolete due to the fact that people have seen their features and now want new attractions. Some problems which need to be attended to immediately include the improvement of infrastructure, provision of adequate accommodation facilities, improvement of the security situation, and making the secondary destinations accessible (Buhalis & Costa, 2006).
Solutions to the barriers
Policies that are outdated and that do not promote globalization and hence tourism should be revised, like the ones that restrict visitors from other countries, should be revised in order to be able to embrace the trend and also promote tourism. There should also be free flow of labour all over the world because now corporations are all going global, and so there should be no restriction on who can work in what country. In general, all policies and regulations that are barriers to the development of tourism should be revised in order to promote tourism since tourism is the largest employer in the world and contributes a lot to the world economy (Biju, 2006).
The effectiveness of these solutions implemented
The above restrictions only prevent development. If the policies are revised, then tourism will be promoted, and this will create more jobs as tourism is known to create a lot of jobs. The revision of these laws will also lead to an improved economic situation in all countries around the world. This will also open up places for investments and increased income in the areas (Sinclair, Stabler, & Stabler, 1991).
The tourism industry is a very important part of the world economy as it leads to a lot of economic development through the numerous jobs created just by the development of one tourist attraction centre. This means, therefore, that tourism should be promoted by all means by removing the barriers that prevent the exploration of its full potential. The development of globalization has also helped to remove some of the barriers, and it has promoted tourism so much through the development of urban centres that act as business tourism centres. The development of global corporations has also enhanced the tourism industry as there is a lot of movement of human resources all over the world. Advances in technology have also promoted tourism because it makes it easy to book your tickets, book your rooms and do any transactions that one wants to make (Swarbrooke, 1999).
One can also discover new places that one has not gone to and even get a map of where one is going. This has made tourism very easy, interesting and even cheaper than it was before all the technology. According to the world tourism organization, the tourism sector will continue to grow by an average of 4 % annually, and so all countries should be ready to take the opportunity and be able to develop their countries. From the world tourism organization statistics, the United States is leading in the tourism market. This clearly shows that tourism is a very important part of the economy, which gives most of the revenue. Tourism has proven over the years to be very productive in increasing employment, investment opportunities and generally improving the economy of the world.
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