The world tourism organization defines tourists as people who travel and stay in a place which is different from their environment for not more than one consecutive year for business, leisure and other purposes. Tourism can be recognized as early as Marco Polo and his grand adventures and the Journey of David Livingston through Africa in the 19th century. Tourism is a very unique sector in the market as it is very different from the other sectors yet combines all of them together.
As we know tourism is the inflow of people from one country to another it sells an idea of the beauty, culture and the rich history of one nation, unlike any other service provided. Touring another country is an motional, mental and psychological experience which a tourist takes back with him. Other sectors provide goods and services which can be physically used. Marketing tourism helps capturing the imagination of the people and to attract them towards visiting a country or a region.
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Tourism is a global phenomenon as traveling is a major part of it. Because tourism involves movement of people between borders (international travel). Tourism provides foreign exchange to the home country without exporting anything and helps regional businesses to grow. It provides more stable earnings in the country compared to any other industry. There are many different characteristics of tourism. Leisure and recreation are the main reasons why people travel, other important reasons are healthcare and education.
For example thousands of students come to established universities in the United Kingdom and the USA from developing and other developed countries to pursue their degrees. Healthcare forms the basis of medical tourism. Medical tourism is one of the largest income generators for any country for example Indian’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by 2015. As western healthcare gets more expensive patients look for cheaper options in developing countries where the quality of doctors and surgeons are second to none.
Tourism is also directly related to the political, economic and social aspects of the country. When the economy of a nation starts booming and there are no political barriers stopping the inflow of tourists, then the tourism industry will grow rapidly and will play a major share in the country’s GAP and revenue. The best examples to explain this are the examples of China and North Korea. Till 1974 The People’s Republic of China was closed to all except selected foreign visitors. Due to Eden Spanning reforms china started promoting tourism vigorously for foreign exchange.
China started building up its tourist industry with major hotel construction projects and guest houses being built. Historic and scenic landmarks and locations were renovated and opened to tourists with professional guides. Due to this china became the third largest visited country in the world and one of the tourist hot spots n Asia. As of 2010 the number of overseas tourists was 55. 98 million and the foreign exchange income was 45. 8 billion dollars which is the fourth largest in the world. Tourism now plays an integral part in the Chinese economy which is the fastest growing in the world.
The negative impact on tourism by political and social conditions can be easily seen in the nation of North Korea. Tourism in North Korea is strictly controlled by the state and only a handful of tourists visit the country each year. Due to strict communism in the country the tourists are followed everywhere by dudes provided by the government and are only allowed to travel to few places and locations in the country. Due to this north Korea is one of the least visited countries in the world and the tourism sector has not been given a chance to develop. Another major factor is the economic condition.
Cheap destinations offer cost efficient getaways and holidays for tourists who are middle class and are not willing to spend so much. Countries like Thailand and Malaysia are the best examples for this kind of tourism. Tourism has a very complex structure and is divided into different parts. There are different services available in the process of a holiday, vacation or a business trip. These include travel agents, transportation, accommodation and attractions. The planning of traveling to a destination starts at your very own city with travel agents and travel websites. Websites like moneymaker. Mom and expedite. Com help travelers choose their destinations with cheap prices and round trips. Hotel room or bed and breakfast bookings can be mad on the phone or internet. Travel guides and excursions can be booked in advance as well. This is why e say tourism is an unique industry as it combines different industries together and uplifts the economy of the region as a whole. With a large inflow of tourists the airline businesses flourish with more passengers, the hotel industry makes more profits with more customers and the foreign exchange in the country rises and increases the GAP of the nation.
The best way to explain how tourism is a global phenomenon and connects different businesses and sectors together is the example of souvenirs . If the tourism in a country increases or the influx of foreign tourists rises then the pending of these tourists will also rise. The independent craftsmen in developing nations or the souvenir manufacturing firms in developed nations will benefit. This means that not only the economy of a nation as a whole but small businesses also benefit and make greater profits from tourism.
If tourism is marketed and managed properly it helps in the development of the country as new hotels and attractions are constructed and the foreign exchange in the country rises. For example France the country with the largest number of inflow of tourists make in international tourism receipts. The demand of tourism is the demand of a destination by tourist . The demand of a destination is influenced by the income of the tourists and the price of the services offered in the destination. For example tourists who are of the middle class income level will prefer a destination which is economically viable for them.
Mostly people in this income level category will travel domestically in their home country but can go abroad to destinations which is economically viable for them. The situation is different for people who are on a higher income level, they will be attracted to places with a higher value. Exotic locations like SST. Tropez, south of France and the Caribbean. People with a higher income level will also be attracted to adventure tourism, to places like Kenya for wild safaris or Australia to visit the outback. Demand of a destination is also influenced by substitution.
If a place is not economically viable or there are political and social issues barring tourist from visiting a place then they will substitute that place for another which has the same value to them and which offers the same experience the other place would. For example tourists who want to go trekking will not be able to reek in the mountains of Afghanistan or the mountains of west Pakistan due to political and social reasons. They in fact will substitute it to trek in the Himalayan range in India or Nepal where the political and social aspects are safe for tourists and it offers the same experience to them.
The tourism market or sector is bustling with competition. It is one of the most competitive markets in the world due to the wide variety of choices available to the customers who are the tourists. Another factor influencing the demand for a destination is a religious one. A pilgrimage to a LOL place for a tourist is his main priority . Its then when other factors influencing demand don’t matter as much as they did earlier. For example a trip to Mecca for any Muslim is their holy pilgrimage. The holy pilgrimage of Hajj brings in millions of people to Saudi Arabia.
This has a huge impact on the Saudi Arabian economy as millions of people flock to Mecca from all walks of life and spending a lot of money or foreign exchange in the country. The supply of tourism relies on the partner industries or dependent industries. The industries which tourism is dependent upon re monopolistic and oligopolies. The wide range of 5 star hotels form a monopoly and an oligopoly. Either there is always one chain of hotels dominating the destination or two major chains of hotels competing against each other for market dominance.
The various airlines compete with each other for the maximum number of tourists and passengers. The tourist is a consumer and his needs are met by different levels of supply from airlines , cruises and other modes of transportation. When there is more demand or a large number of tourists coming in, the government agencies will always employ tour guides and tour operators for the Job. This is how if the demand of tourism increases the supply follows. To conclude this essay I would say that tourism is indeed an unique sector of any economy.
It brings all different sectors together be it public or private. Tourism forms the backbone of any developing or developed country . Tourism cannot be neglected, Tourism’s direct contribution to GAP in 2011 was IIS$2 trillion and the industry generated 98 million jobs. Taking account of its direct, indirect and induced impacts, Travel & Tourism’s total contribution in 2011 was IIS$6. 3 trillion in GAP, 255 million Jobs, IIS$743 billion in investment Indus$1. 2 trillion in exports.
This contribution represented 9% of GAP, 1 in 12 Jobs, 5% of investment and 5% of exports. Tourism is a global phenomenon and is influenced economically, politically and socially. The modern age has made the process of tourism very easy with different websites to book holidays and a variety of airlines which can take a tourist to his destinations. There is a lot of economic growth in the region or country due to tourism. Hotel constructions, real estate projects, teeter mass transit systems and renovations are done due to the impact of tourism.
It creates more Jobs than any other sector or industry. The structure of marketing and managing tourism is complex and fragmented but helps the process of traveling and makes it easier. Different government policies have different impacts on tourism and the amount of tourists coming in the home nation. If tourism is given more emphasis in nations where it is neglected and is given better infrastructure and funds it can become the most profitable and largest sector in a short period of time as we have en from the example of china.