WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE TERTIARY SECTOR?
TOURISM, A BOOMING ACTIVITY
The tertiary sector, or the service industry, includes all the economic
activities which do not produce material goods, but provide services to
people. It includes, commerce, communications, transport and leisure
activities. One of the fastest growing leisure activities is tourism.
A little bit of history
Until the second world war tourism was not very important economically.
Only the European nobility and upper classes could afford to travel for
pleasure and they made long journeys to exotic places (Egypt, India), to spa
towns (Spa, Baden-Baden) and to coastal cities (San
Sebastián, Biarritz, Monte Carlo).
Today, however, the tourist industry is one of the most important economic
activities in developed countries
THE TERTIARY ECONOMIC SECTOR
In developed countries, services are very widespread and the
majority of people have access to basic services, such as health care and
education. In many countries the service industry accounts for a large
share of GDP and employment.
In developing countries, services are insufficient, and most of the
population does not have access to basic services. The sector is far less
important, in terms of employment and GDP, as low-paid services
requiring few qualifications predominate, such as domestic service and
CLASSIFICATION OF THE SERVICES
• Private or market services are provided by private
companies, who charge money to people or other companies
who require the service. Their main objective is to earn profits.
• Public or non-market services are provided by the State with
money collected through taxes. Their purpose is to provide basic
services to society, rather than making profits. They include public
administration, health care and education.
Location of services
Traditionally, services providers have located themselves close to
consumers. The most specialised were located in large cities
while less specialised ones were distributed more uniformly
around the country.
Today, improvements in transport and new communication
technologies means that certain services have moved to areas
with lower costs, such as small and medium-sized towns and
HOW IS THE LOCATION OF THE SERVICES LIKE?
DEFINITION: Commerce or trade is the exchange of goods and services
between producers and consumers in exchange for some form of
payment. Its aim is to meet the needs of the population.
There are two types of markets:
• Physical markets, where merchandise is present, such as produce
• Abstract markets, where it is not present, such as stock exchanges
or securities markets.
Phisycal markets, like this
produce market, offer goods
which are physically present.
In abstract markets, like this
stock exchange where shares
are bought and sold, the goods
are not present.
STOCK EXCHANGE: bolsa SHARES: acciones
Domestic trade is carried out within the borders of a country. It can
be wholesale*, when large amounts of merchandise are bought directly
from producers and then sold to smaller shops; or retail*, which sells
directly to consumers. Today, because of new technologies, telesales
and internet shopping are becoming increasingly popular.
Foreign trade is carried out between countries. Importation is the
purchase of foreign goods and services, exportation the sale of goods
and services abroad. Both exchanges are recorded annually in a
document called the balance of payments, which can be positive (in
surplus) if the value of exports exceeds the value of imports, or negative
(in deficit), if the opposite is true.
Wholesale: al por mayor Retail: al por menor
Comercio interior y exterior
DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TRADE
Land transport is the most frequently used type of transport in the world and
the infrastructure forms the largest global transport network. There are two
main types of network.
it is door-to-door
(directly from the
starting point to the
destination) and is
very flexibile with
regard to time.
the passenger and
goods capacity is
limited and that high
densities of traffic
cause accidents and
in particular CO2
it has high
capacity, it is safe,
fast and has low
levels of pollution
if it is electrified.
the network does
not always go
costs are high,
the case of high-
WATER AND AIR TRANSPORT
Ships are used, above all, for the
transportation of large quantities of
merchandise by sea or navigable rivers
and account for only a small percentage
of passenger transport.
Ships are ideal for the transportation of
heavy, goods, over large distances such
as oil, cereals, minerals or coal and also
manufactures. The advantages are its
large capacity and low cost. The
disadvantages are that it is slow, and
that accidents cause contamination of
Air transport by plane is used for the
transportation of passengers
over long distances and the
transportation of perishable
(perecedero), urgent or lightweight
The advantages are it is fast, safe and
the fact that the routes are not
affected by geographic land features
(mountains, rivers, etc.). The
disadvantages are the high costs of
operation and maintenance, the high
price of fuel and the acoustic and
atmospheric pollution it causes
The European transport network is one of the most modern and
efficient in the world, especially in the member countries of the EU.
– Road transport has a dense network of motorways. The railway
network, is important for both passenger and goods transport, especially in
the countries in the west and the centre of the continent.
– Water transport has large merchant fleets*. Maritime transport
has very active ports, such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Le
Havre, Amsterdam, London and Bilbao, on the Atlantic Ocean;
and Marseille, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Piraeus on the
Mediterranean Sea. River transport is carried out along navigable canals
and rivers, such as the Rhine (the busiest waterway* in Europe), the Danube
and the Volga.
– Air transport has major international airports, such as London,
Frankfurt and Paris.
THE EUROPEAN TRANSPORT NETWORK
Definition Tourism is the
temporary transfer of people
from their place of residence to
other places, for leisure
purposes, for a period of more
than 24 hours and less than one
Since 1950, it has experienced
enormous growth in developed
countries, where it has become
a mass phenomenon enjoyed
by the middle classes.
• The increase in the standard of living.
• The generalisation of the five-day
working week and paid holidays.
• The improvement of means of transport
and tourist facilities.
• Tourist company marketing, which
promotes tourism through advertising.
• Water tourism is the most popular form of tourism. It
includes sun-and- sand tourism, along the coasts of
temperate seas and the shores of some lakes; nautical
tourism, based around nautical ports and marinas; and
spas, located next to springs and thermal waters.
• Mountain tourism includes skiing and sports and
adventure activities, such as hiking (excursionismo),
climbing (escalada), canyoning, paragliding(parapente),
• Rural tourism lets people find out about traditional
activities and landscapes, visit agricultural museums,
rest and purchase natural or artisanal products.
• Other forms of tourism include cultural tourism, where
people visit cities of historic, artistic or cultural interest;
business trips, congresses and conventions, which value
good communication and infrastructure; and religious
tourism to holy* places such as Mecca, Rome, Santiago
de Compostela or Jerusalem.
TYPES OF TOURISM
Europe is both a major source and receiver of international tourists.
– The high number of European tourists is due to the high standard of
living and it is led by the Germans, the French and the British.
– Tourists come to Europe because of the good transportation
network, the diversity of the physical environment and the cultural
wealth (riqueza cultural). In 2008, six out of the ten leading tourist
destinations in the world were in Europe, most notable being
France, Spain and Italy.