Tourism Tourism means travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes. Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2004, there were over 763 million international tourist arrivals. 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.
Recently, the tourism industry has shifted from the promotion of inbound tourism to the promotion of intrabound tourism because many countries are experiencing tough competition for inbound tourists. Some national policymakers have shifted their priority to the promotion of intrabound tourism to contribute to the local economy. Examples of such campaigns include "See America" in the United States, "Get Going Canada" in Canada, and "GuseokGuseok" (corner to corner) in South Korea.
Tourists spend money. This provides employment and a tax base for reinvestment in infrastructure. Hospitality jobs often require some education, so governments that promote tourism are likely to promote primary education. Tourism requires safe places and upgraded facilities, so there will be more focus on development in these areas. Tourism is an excellent way to highlight the beauty of your place and gain people’s interest in protecting it.
There are a number of benefits of tourism for both the tourist and the host destination. On a large scale it offers a good alternative to some more destructive industries for generating income both on nationally and privately. The tourism industry encompasses many different areas, so it also creates jobs in many different areas. With tourism there comes hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, tour companies, service stations, souvenir shops, sports equipment rentals, and much more. All of this creates many different levels of employment for people in a given community.
Travel & Tourism takes many different forms - from a trip only a few hours away from home to long distance travel overseas. A common belief is that most Travel & Tourism involves large numbers of visitors from developed countries travelling by air to destinations in emerging countries. In fact, in most countries, the domestic tourism market is larger than the inbound market. Of course, the social and cultural impact of inbound visitors is often greater than that of domestic tourists.
Whether tourism is domestic or international, it involves visiting a destination away from the area in which one lives and using the services available in that destination. Therefore, tourists’ requirements are for travel services to reach their destinations and once there, for services such as shelter, water, food, sanitation and entertainment. Travel & Tourism is able to contribute to development which is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable, because it:
has less impact on natural resources and the environment than most other industries; is based on enjoyment and appreciation of local culture, built heritage, and natural environment, as such that the industry has a direct and powerful motivation to protect these assets; can play a positive part in increasing consumer commitment to sustainable development principles through its unparalleled consumer distribution channels; and provides an economic incentive to conserve natural environments and habitats which might otherwise be allocated to more environmentally damaging land uses, thereby, helping to maintain bio-diversity.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) claims that tourism is currently the worlds largest industry with annual revenues of over $3 trillion dollars. Tourism provides over six million jobs in the United States, making it the country's largest employer. WTTC with 105 members is the global business leaders’ forum for the Travel & Tourism industry. The WTTC have set in place an extensive strategy to promote a culture of sustainable development and have put in place a three-tiered structure for its achievement. The International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA), based in Paris, represents over 700,000 establishments in more than 150 countries. Its membership comprises some 50 national and international hotel and restaurant chains, over 110 national hotel and restaurant associations, independent hotel operators and restaurateurs, industry suppliers and 130 hotel schools.