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Travel and Tourism Industry Components (5A’s in Tourism )

Category: Travel

Date: June 18, 2024

Travel and Tourism Industry Components (5A’s in Tourism )

Travel and tourism components captivate travel aspirants and grab them to your travel agency. These are the ingredients that add flavor to your agency’s offerings and allow you to lead the way in an ever-competitive industry.

Perhaps, you may already offer these paramount travel components, however if you miss to highlight them on your travel website, you’ll lose many significant opportunities.

To ensure that you’re maximizing the potential of these key components, let’s quickly delve into the advantages of the six components of tourism, and some ideas for weaving them seamlessly into your website.

Being a travel website development company should recognize the fundamental 5A’s of tourism. Understanding these components enables a comprehensive approach to designing and developing travel websites that cater to the dynamic needs of modern travelers. As a dedicated travel digital marketing services provider, recognizing the intricate dynamics of these components is crucial in crafting engaging and user-friendly travel platforms that effectively highlight the unique offerings of various destinations.

Components of Tourism

1. attraction.

Travel and Tourism Industry Components (Attraction) - ColorWhistle

Today, people seek attraction in everything – the food they eat, the clothes they wear, etc. Why attraction is important for the Travel & Tourism industry?

According to Phocuswright , 36% of people rated travel as an important priority for spending their time and money. The NYU states that 68% of tourists pay more attention to attractive places to travel. Today, different groups of people are traveling and exploring a lot around the world.

Though all people travel, their reasons for traveling might differ from person-to-person. Some people travel,

  • To write novels, epics, short stories. Usually, writers have the habit of traveling to get new ideas
  • To spend their vacation, this is evident from the study by Travel Agent Central stating that around $101.1 billion is spent by Americans on summer vacations.
  • To relax from the depressions caused by the outer world. The Global Commission on Ageing and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association stated that traveling actually keeps you healthy.

How will travelers know about the services you offer?

According to Facebook , 87% of people get inspired to travel from social media. Therefore, you can post charming images and virtual reality videos on your page and impress your viewers.

Typically, people get closer to things that attract them. Therefore, you can grasp the attention of many people through your attractive travel sites.

2. Activities

Travel and Tourism Industry Components (Activities) - ColorWhistle

Actually, how can you make an ordinary trip an extraordinary one? The answer to this question will be activities. Other than anything else, activities like hiking, biking, trekking actually impress your travelers.

  • According to Short Term Rentalz 2019, 85% of families said that their priority for travel was outdoor activities.
  • TripAdvisor’s latest analysis stated that snorkeling activities have gone up to 64% since last year and sailing trips have gone up to 55% within the last year.

For instance, if a person goes for a trip to a beach spot, there should be boats, lifejackets, emergency kits, etc so it would be possible for a traveler to actively go for a boat ride.

You can use technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality to design videos on your websites and create awareness about the available travel activities.

3. Accessibility

Travel and Tourism Industry Components (Accessibility) - ColorWhistle

Accessibility to a place is the most important thing in travel as it helps a person to reach that place of attraction. Some of the most visited areas by tourists are France, Singapore, Rome, Italy, China, Mexico, etc.

Each tourist place in these countries follows various terms and conditions. Some rules would be like,

  • In Singapore, if you spit chewing gum in public places, you will have to pay $1000 as a penalty.
  • Traffic rules are strictly followed in Mexico that everyone on the road should know in which direction to move.
  • Both men and women are supposed to follow the dress codes while visiting the holy places in Rome.

Another difficulty of a traveler in accessing a place would be transportation. Based on the regions, transport also varies

  • The gondola is the mode of transport used in Italy.
  • People of France use Trams for moving from one place to another.
  • The Turkish countrymen have underground funicular railways as their transport.

It would be more interesting for tourists if they are already familiar with these transport mediums, rules, and regulations.

4. Accommodation

Travel and Tourism Industry Components (Accommodation) - ColorWhistle

When a traveler goes on a trip, he/she wishes to have a good place to stay with all amenities and luxuries. A place with lots of comforts attracts travelers even more.

  • The Short Term Rentalz says that 60% of family travelers like to accommodate in hotels, while 21% prefer to resorts.
  • The Booking website gives an analysis that 73% of travelers yearn to stay in greenish accommodation at least once in their lifetime

In the olden days, travelers used to book the rooms through a travel agent or by contacting the hotel accommodations team.

For instance, what would be the first thing that a traveler who is planning for a trip does? The traveler searches for the availability of rooms in the net along with many queries like – Are there any local affiliations near to the Hotel? What about the food menu provided? Am I entitled to any exclusive amenities inside my room?

At that time, if your website acts as an answer key for the tourist’s questions, then you will be able to stand out from your competitors.

5. Amenities

You cannot easily win the heart of your traveler unless you provide the required amenities.

Interesting statistics about amenities of a Traveler,

Sockets – According to PR Newswire Association, 81% of people agree that they take smartphones during travel as their primary accessory. You can provide sockets to charge these electronic devices like tablets, gadgets, laptops.

Personalized lavatories – Cornell University states that 86% of travelers used the available toiletries. Therefore, you can provide amenities like personal-sized shampoos, conditioners, body washes, hand soap, etc.

When travelers get impressed by the facilities you offer during their stay, even for their next trips they will come again to your travel agency. Also, they will start recommending your services to others. Therefore, the amenities you provide will bring greater promotions to your travel business!.

  • According to travel statistics by Google, 57% of travelers feel that travel websites should customize information based on their past bookings and personal preferences.
  • HubSpot states that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site if they had trouble loading it on their mobile device and 40% of users are likely to jump ship to a competitor’s site if the mobile site of their preferred brand takes a long time to load.

6. Affordability

This is the sixth ‘A’ but nonetheless very important to attract tourists to the destination. Tourists should be able to afford the trip in terms of transport costs, accommodation charges, entrance fees at attractions and the number of days, which need to be spent on travel and stay; i.e. they should be able to afford the holiday in terms of time and money. Tour operators prepare package tours keeping affordability in mind. These group tours work out cheaper than individuals booking their own tickets and making itineraries for themselves

A successful destination would have a good balance between these six ‘A’s and ensure that there is something to see and do for people of different ages and backgrounds so that a large number of tourists visit the place.

Drive Conversions and Boost your Business with Expert Travel Website Development.

Apart from the classic five ‘A’s of tourism, we suggest a sixth ‘A’ which is vital to the tourism agency’s success, Affordability.

The travel expenses like transport costs, accommodation charges, entrance fees, and many more should be at an affordable price for travelers. For this reason, tourist agencies are coming up with new projects on package tours. This is because, those who are traveling on package tours do not have to book tickets, plan itineraries on their own because the tour operators themselves plan everything for travel at a cheaper cost.

Thus, if the destined touring spots should have more visitors, then the above mentioned A’s should be balanced equally, and also travelers of different age groups and backgrounds should have some things interesting for them to explore.

Generally, in the tourism industry, attraction and activities go hand in hand. Even though the 5 components are important for trips, in recent years, attraction & activities have become the heart and soul of successful tourism!

Thus, travel aspirants should be aware that your agency provides all these 5 A’s. And the travel agents can reveal it to travelers via the website. If you are in the travel & tourism industry and are looking to create an attractive travel website to improve your brand image, get partnered with a professional website development company . By comprehensively understanding the 5A’s in tourism, we can skillfully leverage travel digital marketing services to create engaging platforms. Such adept integration of travel website development services ensures a seamless and immersive user experience.

Feel free to contact us . Our team is always happy to assist you.

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Pavithra Samuel

About the Author - Pavithra Samuel

I'm a word-aholic copywriter who always loves to share a close bond with digital marketing. Google, being my father of research, accompanies me shoulder-to-shoulder in every step of writing. I always look up to copywriters who generate educative, persuasive content impeccably seasoned with creativity & innovation. I can deliver content for web service pages, blogs, social media, emails, and so on. I can engage myself in content-related works for B2B, B2C, SMEs, niche-specific businesses. Other than reading & writing, my other two escapes are sweets & songs. My dream desk would be more of creative writing projects, desserts, music, & minions.

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Chapter 1. History and Overview

1.1 What is Tourism?

Before engaging in a study of tourism , let’s have a closer look at what this term means.

Definition of Tourism

There are a number of ways tourism can be defined, and for this reason, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) embarked on a project from 2005 to 2007 to create a common glossary of terms for tourism. It defines tourism as follows:

Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which imply tourism expenditure (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2008).

Using this definition, we can see that tourism is not just the movement of people for a number of purposes (whether business or pleasure), but the overall agglomeration of activities, services, and involved sectors that make up the unique tourist experience.

Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality: What are the Differences?

It is common to confuse the terms tourism , travel , and hospitality or to define them as the same thing. While tourism is the all-encompassing umbrella term for the activities and industry that create the tourist experience, the UNWTO (2020) defines travel as the activity of moving between different locations often for any purpose but more so for leisure and recreation (Hall & Page, 2006). On the other hand, hospitality can be defined as “the business of helping people to feel welcome and relaxed and to enjoy themselves” (Discover Hospitality, 2015, p. 3). Simply put, the hospitality industry is the combination of the accommodation and food and beverage groupings, collectively making up the largest segment of the industry (Go2HR, 2020). You’ll learn more about accommodations and F & B in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 , respectively.

Definition of Tourist and Excursionist

Building on the definition of tourism, a commonly accepted description of a tourist is “someone who travels at least 80 km from his or her home for at least 24 hours, for business or leisure or other reasons” (LinkBC, 2008, p.8). The United Nations World Tourism Organization (1995) helps us break down this definition further by stating tourists can be:

  • Domestic (residents of a given country travelling only within that country)
  • Inbound (non-residents travelling in a given country)
  • Outbound (residents of one country travelling in another country)

Excursionists  on the other hand are considered same-day visitors (UNWTO, 2020). Sometimes referred to as “day trippers.” Understandably, not every visitor stays in a destination overnight. It is common for travellers to spend a few hours or less to do sightseeing, visit attractions, dine at a local restaurant, then leave at the end of the day.

The scope of tourism, therefore, is broad and encompasses a number of activities and sectors.

Spotlight On: United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible “for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism” (UNWTO, 2014b). Its membership includes 159 countries and over 500 affiliates such as private companies, research and educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations. It promotes tourism as a way of developing communities while encouraging ethical behaviour to mitigate negative impacts. For more information, visit the UNWTO website .

NAICS: The North American Industry Classification System

Given the sheer size of the tourism industry, it can be helpful to break it down into broad industry groups using a common classification system. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was jointly created by the Canadian, US, and Mexican governments to ensure common analysis across all three countries (British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, 2013a). The tourism-related groupings created using NAICS are (in alphabetical order):

  • Accommodation
  • Food and beverage services (commonly known as “F & B”)
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Transportation
  • Travel services

These industry groups (also commonly known as sectors) are based on the similarity of the “labour processes and inputs” used for each (Government of Canada, 2013). For instance, the types of employees and resources required to run an accommodation business whether it be a hotel, motel, or even a campground are quite similar. All these businesses need staff to check in guests, provide housekeeping, employ maintenance workers, and provide a place for people to sleep. As such, they can be grouped together under the heading of accommodation. The same is true of the other four groupings, and the rest of this text explores these industry groups, and other aspects of tourism, in more detail.

Two female front desk employees speak to a male guest in a hotel lobby.

It is typical for the entire tourist experience to involve more than one sector. The combination of sectors that supply and distribute the needed tourism products, services, and activities within the tourism system is called the Tourism Supply Chain. Often, these chains of sectors and activities are dependent upon each other’s delivery of products and services. Let’s look at a simple example below that describes the involved and sometimes overlapping sectoral chains in the tourism experience:

Tourism supply chain. Long description available.

Before we seek to understand the five tourism sectors in more detail, it’s important to have an overview of the history and impacts of tourism to date.

Long Descriptions

Figure 1.2 long description: Diagram showing the tourism supply chain. This includes the phases of travel and the sectors and activities involved during each phase.

There are three travel phases: pre-departure, during travel, and post-departure.

Pre-departure, tourists use the travel services and transportation sectors.

During travel, tourists use the travel services, accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, and transportation sectors.

Post-departure, tourists use the transportation sector.

[Return to Figure 1.2]

Media Attributions

  • Front Desk by Staying LEVEL is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 Licence .

Tourism according the the UNWTO is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes.

UN agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism worldwide.

Moving between different locations for leisure and recreation.

The accommodations and food and beverage industry groupings.

someone who travels at least 80 km from his or her home for at least 24 hours, for business or leisure or other reasons

A same-day visitor to a destination. Their trip typically ends on the same day when they leave the destination.

A way to group tourism activities based on similarities in business practices, primarily used for statistical analysis.

Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC - 2nd Edition Copyright © 2015, 2020, 2021 by Morgan Westcott and Wendy Anderson, Eds is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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6 as of tourism

Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Travel and tourism in the U.S. - statistics & facts

What are the most popular travel destinations in the u.s., u.s. travel trends, key insights.

Detailed statistics

Tourism contribution to GDP in the U.S. 2019-2022

Total travel expenditures in the U.S. 2019-2026

Number of domestic leisure and business trips in the U.S. 2019-2026

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Current statistics on this topic.

International travel spending in the U.S. 2019-2026

Leading city destinations in the U.S. 2019, by number of international arrivals

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  • Basic Statistic Countries that visited the U.S. the most 2019-2022
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Total travel spending in the United States from 2019 to 2022, with a forecast until 2026 (in trillion U.S. dollars)

Direct travel spending in the U.S. 2019-2022, by traveler type

Total direct travel spending in the United States from 2019 to 2022, by type of traveler (in billion U.S. dollars)

Countries that visited the U.S. the most 2019-2022

Distribution of international tourist arrivals in the United States in 2019 and 2022, by country

Leading outbound travel markets in the U.S. 2019-2022, country

Distribution of outbound tourist departures in the United States in 2019 and 2022, by country

Contribution of travel and tourism to employment in the U.S. 2019-2022

Contribution of travel and tourism to employment in the United States in 2019 and 2022 (in millions)

Most visited states in the U.S. 2022

Most visited states by adults in the United States as of September 2022

Key players

  • Premium Statistic Leading holiday travel provider websites in the U.S. Q2 2023, by share of voice
  • Premium Statistic Number of aggregated downloads of leading travel apps in the U.S. 2023
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Leading holiday travel provider websites in the U.S. Q2 2023, by share of voice

Leading travel brands in the United States in 2nd quarter 2023, by share of voice

Number of aggregated downloads of leading travel apps in the U.S. 2023

Number of aggregated downloads of selected leading travel apps in the United States in 2023 (in millions)

Number of aggregated downloads of leading online travel agency apps in the U.S. 2023

Number of aggregated downloads of selected leading online travel agency apps in the United States in 2023 (in millions)

American Customer Satisfaction Index for internet travel companies U.S. 2002-2024

American Customer Satisfaction Index Scores for internet travel companies in the United States from 2002 to 2024

American Customer Satisfaction Index for U.S. lodging companies 2008-2024, by company

American Customer Satisfaction Index scores for lodging companies in the United States from 2008 to 2024, by company

  • Premium Statistic U.S. hotel and motel industry market size 2012-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of hotel jobs in the U.S. 2019-2022
  • Premium Statistic ADR of hotels in the U.S. 2001-2022
  • Premium Statistic Occupancy rate of the U.S. hotel industry 2001-2022
  • Premium Statistic Revenue per available room of the U.S. hotel industry 2001-2022
  • Premium Statistic Change in monthly number of hotel bookings in the U.S. 2020-2023
  • Premium Statistic YoY monthly change in number of online hotel searches in the U.S. 2020-2023

U.S. hotel and motel industry market size 2012-2022

Market size of the hotel and motel sector in the United States from 2012 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Number of hotel jobs in the U.S. 2019-2022

Number of hotel jobs in the United States from 2019 to 2022, with a forecast for 2023 (in millions)

ADR of hotels in the U.S. 2001-2022

Average daily rate of hotels in the United States from 2001 to 2022 (in U.S. dollars)

Occupancy rate of the U.S. hotel industry 2001-2022

Occupancy rate of the hotel industry in the United States from 2001 to 2022

Revenue per available room of the U.S. hotel industry 2001-2022

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) of hotel industry in the United States from 2001 to 2022 (in U.S. dollars)

Change in monthly number of hotel bookings in the U.S. 2020-2023

Year-over-year monthly change in number of hotel bookings in the United States from 2020 to 2023

YoY monthly change in number of online hotel searches in the U.S. 2020-2023

Year-over-year monthly change in number of online hotel searches in the United States from 2020 to 2023

Attractions

  • Premium Statistic Leading museums by highest attendance worldwide 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide 2019-2022
  • Premium Statistic U.S. amusement park industry market size 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Landmarks most recommended visitors in the U.S. 2022

Leading museums by highest attendance worldwide 2019-2022

Most visited museums worldwide from 2019 to 2022 (in millions)

Most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide 2019-2022

Leading amusement and theme parks worldwide from 2019 to 2022, by attendance (in millions)

U.S. amusement park industry market size 2011-2022

Market size of the amusement park sector in the United States from 2011 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Landmarks most recommended visitors in the U.S. 2022

Most recommended landmarks by visitors in the United States as of September 2022

City tourism

  • Basic Statistic City destinations with the highest direct travel and tourism GDP worldwide 2022
  • Premium Statistic World's highest-priced business travel destinations Q4 2022
  • Basic Statistic Selected cities with the highest hotel rates in the U.S. as of September 2023
  • Basic Statistic Most affordable cities for backpacking in the U.S. 2024, by daily price
  • Premium Statistic Average price per night of Airbnb listings in selected U.S. cities 2024
  • Premium Statistic Number of Airbnb listings in selected U.S. cities 2024

City destinations with the highest direct travel and tourism GDP worldwide 2022

Leading city tourism destinations worldwide in 2022, ranked by direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (in billion U.S. dollars)

World's highest-priced business travel destinations Q4 2022

Most expensive cities for business tourism worldwide in 4th quarter 2022, by average daily costs (in U.S. dollars)

Selected cities with the highest hotel rates in the U.S. as of September 2023

Selected cities with the most expensive hotel rates in the United States as of September 2023 (in U.S. dollars)

Most affordable cities for backpacking in the U.S. 2024, by daily price

Most affordable cities for backpacking in the United States as of January 2024, by daily price (in U.S. dollars)

Average price per night of Airbnb listings in selected U.S. cities 2024

Average price per night of Airbnb listings in selected cities in the United States as of February 2024 (in U.S. dollars)

Number of Airbnb listings in selected U.S. cities 2024

Number of Airbnb listings in selected cities in the United States as of February 2024

Sustainable tourism

  • Premium Statistic Travelers who find sustainable travel important in the U.S. 2022
  • Premium Statistic Share of travelers that plan to make sustainable travel choices in the U.S. 2022
  • Premium Statistic How much more travelers would pay to make a trip more sustainable in the U.S. 2022
  • Premium Statistic U.S. consumers who have paid extra for sustainable travel in the past two years 2022
  • Premium Statistic U.S. consumers willing to pay extra for a sustainable travel provider 2022
  • Premium Statistic Share of U.S. travelers that feel guilty over non-eco-friendly past travel 2022
  • Premium Statistic Reasons travelers were against staying in sustainable hotels in the U.S. 2022

Travelers who find sustainable travel important in the U.S. 2022

Share of travelers that think sustainable travel is important in the United States as of February 2022

Share of travelers that plan to make sustainable travel choices in the U.S. 2022

Share of travelers that intend to make more sustainable travel decisions in the United States as of March 2022

How much more travelers would pay to make a trip more sustainable in the U.S. 2022

Extra cost travelers would be willing to pay to make a trip more carbon friendly in the United States as of March 2022

U.S. consumers who have paid extra for sustainable travel in the past two years 2022

Share of consumers that have paid extra for sustainable travel in the past two years in the United States as of February 2022

U.S. consumers willing to pay extra for a sustainable travel provider 2022

Share of consumers willing to pay extra for a sustainable travel provider in the United States as of February 2022

Share of U.S. travelers that feel guilty over non-eco-friendly past travel 2022

Share of travelers that experience guilt over past trips not being sustainable in the United States as of August 2022

Reasons travelers were against staying in sustainable hotels in the U.S. 2022

Reasons travelers were against staying in a hotel with sustainable practices in the United States as of August 2022

  • Premium Statistic Priorities when choosing a leisure travel destination in the U.S. 2023, by generation
  • Premium Statistic Leading destinations travelers intend to visit in the next 12 months in the U.S. 2023
  • Premium Statistic Trust in travel and hospitality brands in the U.S. 2023, by brand type
  • Premium Statistic American Customer Satisfaction Index: travel and tourism industries in the U.S. 2024

Priorities when choosing a leisure travel destination in the U.S. 2023, by generation

Main factors for choosing a leisure travel destination among adults in the United States as of May 2023, by generation

Leading destinations travelers intend to visit in the next 12 months in the U.S. 2023

Leading leisure travel destinations travelers intend to go to in the next 12 months in the United States as of September 2023

Trust in travel and hospitality brands in the U.S. 2023, by brand type

Level of trust in travel and hospitality brands in the United States as of September 2023, by brand type

American Customer Satisfaction Index: travel and tourism industries in the U.S. 2024

American Customer Satisfaction Index for the travel and tourism sector in the United States in 2024, by industry

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Tourism – Definition, Types & Forms, History & Importance of Tourism

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and a major foreign exchange and employment generation for many countries. It is one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena.

The word ‘tour’ is derived from the Latin word tornus, meaning ‘a tool for making a circle.’ Tourism may be defined as the movement of people from their usual place of residence to another place ( with the intention to return) for a minimum period of twenty-four hours to a maximum of six months for the sole purpose of leisure and pleasure.

According to WTO (1993), ” Tourism encompasses the activities of persons traveling and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes.”

The Rome conference on tourism in 1963 defined tourism as ‘ a visit to a country other than one’s own or where one usually resides and works. This definition, however, did not take into account domestic tourism, which has become a vital money-spinner and job generator for the hospitality industry.

The UNWTO defines tourists as ‘ people who travel to and stay in place outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.

According to the Tourism Society of Britain ,” tourism is the temporary short-period movement of people to destination outside the places where they usually live, work; and activities during their stay at these destinations.” This definition includes the movement of people for all purposes.

The development of technology and transportation infrastructure, such as jumbos jets, low-cost airlines, and more accessible airports, have made tourism affordable and convenient. There have been changes in lifestyle – for example, now retiree-age people sustain tourism around the year. The sale of tourism products on the internet, besides the aggressive marketing of the tour operators and travel agencies , has also contributed to the growth of tourism.

27 September is celebrated as world tourism every year. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of UNWTO were adopted. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the role of tourism within the international community.

History of Travel and Tourism

Inbound tourism, outbound tourism, domestic tourism, forms of tourism, classification of tourism, nature of tourism, importance of tourism, economic impacts, social impacts, cultural impacts, environmental impact, industries related to tourism, tourism products.

Travel is as old as mankind on earth. At the beginning of his existence, man roamed about the planet’s surface in search of food, shelter, security, and better habitat. However, with time, such movements were transformed into wanderlust.

About five thousand years ago, climate changes, dwindling food and shelter conditions hostile invaders made the people leave their homes to seek refuge elsewhere like the Aryans left their homes in Central Asia due to climate changes. Perhaps, this leads to the development of commerce, trade, and industry.

Religion, education, and cultural movement began during the Hindu and Chinese civilizations. Christian missionaries, Buddhist monks, and others traveled far and wide carrying religious messages and returned with fantastic images and opinions about alien people.

For centuries movement of people continued to grow due to the efficiency of transport and the assistance and safety with which the people could travel. By the end of the 15th century, Italy had become Europe’s intellectual and cultural center. It represented the classical heritage both for the intelligentsia and the aristocracy.

During the 16th century, travel came to be considered an essential part of the education of every young Englishman. Travel thus became a means of self-development and education in its broadest sense. The educational travel was known as the ‘ Grand Tour .’

The industrial revolution brought about significant changes in the pattern and structure of British society. Thus, the economy of Britain was greatly responsible for the beginning of modern tourism. It also created a large and prosperous middle class. Because of remarkable improvement in transportation systems in the latter half of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century, an increasing number of people began to travel for pleasure.

Travel was inspired initially by the need for survival (food, shelter, and security), the desire to expand trade, and the quest to conquer. As the transportation system improved, the curiosity for transforming the vast and virgin world into a close neighborhood created a new industry, i.e., Travel and Tourism .

However, the developments of rails, roads, steamships, automobiles, and airplanes helped to spread technology across the globe. Earlier travel was a privilege only for wealthy people, but with the industrial revolution, the scenario altogether changed. Transportation, as well as accommodation, became affordable to middle and working-class citizens.

Essentially, with the development of jet travel, communication, new technology, tourism, and travel became the world’s largest and fastest-growing industry.

Travel and tourism have recently emerged as a dominant economic force on the global scene, accounting for more than 12% of total world trade and growing at 8 percent annually.

Types of Tourism

Tourism has two types and many forms based on the purpose of visit and alternative forms of tourism. Tourism can be categorized as international and domestic tourism .

Tourism has two types and various forms. Based on the movement of people, tourism is categorized into two kinds. These are the following:

International Tourism

When people visit a foreign country, it is referred to as International Tourism . To travel to a foreign country, one needs a valid passport, visa, health documents, foreign exchange, etc.

International tourism is divided into two types; Inbound Tourism & Outbound Tourism.

This refers to tourists of outside origin entering a particular country. Traveling outside their host/native country to another country is called inbound tourism for the country where they are traveling. For example, when a tourist of Indian origin travels to Japan, it is  Inbound tourism for Japan because foreign tourists come to Japan.

This refers to tourists traveling from the country of their origin to another country. When tourists travel to a foreign region, it is outbound tourism for their own country because they are going outside their country. For example, when a tourist from India travels to Japan, it is outbound tourism for India and Inbound tourism for Japan.

The tourism activity of the people within their own country is known as domestic tourism . Traveling within the same country is easier because it does not require formal travel documents and tedious formalities like compulsory health checks and foreign exchange. A traveler generally does not face many language problems or currency exchange issues in domestic tourism.

Tourism has various forms based on the purpose of the visit and alternative forms. These are further divided into many types according to their nature. Forms of tourism are the following:

Some most basic forms of tourism are the following:

  • Adventure Tourism
  • Atomic Tourism
  • Bicycle Tours
  • Beach Tourism
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Industrial Tourism
  • Medical Tourism
  • Religious Tourism
  • Rural Tourism
  • Sex Tourism
  • Space Tourism
  • Sports Tourism
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Virtual Tourism
  • War Tourism
  • Wildlife Tourism

Tourism can be classified into six distinct categories according to the purpose of travel. These are the following:

1) Recreational : Recreational or leisure tourism takes a person away from the humdrum of everyday life. In this case, people spend their leisure time in the hills, sea beaches, etc.

2) Cultural tourism satisfies cultural and intellectual curiosity and involves visits to ancient monuments, places of historical or religious importance, etc.

3) Sports/Adventure : Trips taken by people with a view to playing golf, skiing and hiking, fall within this category.

4) Health : Under this category, people travel for medical, treatment or visit places where there are curative possibilities, for example, hot springs, spa yoga, etc.

5) Convention Tourism : It is becoming an increasingly important component of travel. People travel within a country or overseas to attend conventions relating to their business, profession, or interest.

6) Incentive Tourism : Holiday trips are offered as incentives by major companies to dealers and salesmen who achieve high targets in sales. This is a new and expanding phenomenon in tourism, These are in lieu of cash incentives or gifts, Today incentive tourism is a 3 billion dollar business in the USA alone.

Tourism as a socio-economic phenomenon comprises the activities and experiences of tourists and visitors away from their home environment and are serviced by the travel and tourism industry and host destination. The sum total of this activity experience and services can be seen as a tourism product.

The tourism system can be described in terms of supply and demand. Tourism planning should strive for a balance between demands and supply. This requires an understanding not only of market characteristics and trends but also of the planning process to meet the market needs.

Often tourists from core generating markets are identified as the demand side; the supply side includes all facilities, programs, attractions, and land uses designed and managed for the visitors. These supply-side factors may be under the control of private enterprises, non-profit organizations, and the government. New and innovative forms of partnerships are also evolving to ensure the sustainable development and management of tourism-related resources.

The supply and demand side can be seen to be linked by flows of resources such as capital, labor, goods, and tourist expenditures into the destination, and flows of marketing, promotion, tourist artifacts, and experiences from the destination back into the tourist generating region.

In addition, some tourist expenditures may leak back into the visitors generating areas through repatriation of profits of foreign tourism investors and payment for improved goods and services provided to tourists at the destination. Transportation provides an important linkage both to and from the destination.

For planning purposes, the major components that comprise the supply side are:

  • Various modes of transportation and other tourism-related infrastructure.
  • Tourist information.
  • Marketing and promotion.
  • The community of communities within the visitor’s destination area.
  • The political and institutional frameworks for enabling tourism.

The tourism system is both dynamic and complex due to many factors linked to it and because of the existence of many sectors contributing to its success. These factors and sectors are linked to the provision of the tourist experience and the generation of tourism revenue and markets .

The dynamic nature of the tourism system makes it imperative to scan the external and internal environment of the destinations on a regular basis so as to make changes when necessary to ensure a healthy and viable tourism industry.

Thus, it is now an accepted fact that tourism development can no longer work in isolation of the environment and the local communities, nor can it ignore the social and cultural consequences of tourism.

Tourism and hospitality , which are inextricably linked to each other, are among the major revenue-earning enterprises in the world. They happen to be among the top employers too. There has been an upmarket trend in tourism over the last few decades as travel has become quite common. People travel for business, vacation, pleasure, adventure, or even medical treatments.

Tourism constitutes an important industry today. It has opened up new vistas for the play of economic emancipation. It provides a very potent contribution by strengthening and developing the financial resources of a country. Moreover, it is a process in which mutual material and mental benefits occur. Furthermore,

  • Tourism fetches foreign exchange in the form of invisible exports, which results in the manifold progress of the nation.
  • Tourism generates jobs. These employments are the main contribution of tourism to generating national income. But one should remember that employment in the tourism industry is often seasonal.
  • Tourism often leads to the commercialization of art forms and especially handicrafts. Art items with cultural or religious meaning are sought by tourists as souvenirs. As more and more tourists visit a destination, souvenir production has increased, often leading to mass production. This production also generates income.

Importance of Tourism

With several business-related activities associated with tourism, the industry has a tremendous potential to generate employment as well as earn foreign exchange. Many countries, such as Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, and the Caribbean, whose economies are primarily driven by tourism. Tourism can contribute to the economic growth of a country in the followings ways:

Employment Generation

It creates a large number of jobs among direct services providers (such as hotels , restaurants, travel agencies , tour operators , guide and tour escorts, etc.) and among indirect services providers (such as suppliers to the hotels and restaurants, supplementary accommodation, etc.)

Infrastructure Development

Tourism spurs infrastructure development. In order to become an important commercial or pleasure destination, any location would require all the necessary infrastructure, like good connectivity via rail, road, and air transport , adequate accommodation, restaurants, a well-developed telecommunication network, and, medical facilities, among others.

Foreign Exchange

The people who travel to other countries spend a large amount of money on accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, shopping, etc. Thus, an inbound tourist is an important source of foreign exchange for any country.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predict in 1997 that the twenty-first-century economy would be dominated by three industries: telecommunications, information technology, and tourism. The travel and tourism industry has grown by 500 percent in the last 25 years.

Now withstanding this bright outlook and prospects, the tourism and hospitality industries are very vulnerable to the fluctuations of national economies and happenings in the world, especially terrorist attacks that have at times dealt severe blows to business.

In recent years, there have been a few setbacks in tourism, such as the terrorist siege of the Taj and Oberoi in Mumbai, India (26 November 2008); the attack on the World Trade Centre in the United States of America (11 September 2001); bombing in a hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali (12 October 2002); tsunami in Southeast Asia and South Asia on 26 December 2004, in which thousands of the lives where lost and consequently tourism was hit. Nonetheless, the sector is now getting back to business.

Impacts of Tourism

Tourism is a multi-dimensional activity. The scope of tourism activities is so wide and varied that it cannot be restricted to any particular field of activity. Tourism has ramifications in almost all sectors and is influenced by the performance of each of these sectors directly or indirectly. Tourism in any country can be an apt reflection of the nation’s economic and social endowment apart from its natural wealth.

Tourism has vast potential to bring about changes in the country’s economic, environmental, societal, and cultural edifice. Tourism has two basics: the supply of facilities and the demand for participation. The twin market forces of supply and demand interact to produce tourism patterns. These patterns are associated with economic, social, cultural, environmental, and ecological impacts.

Impact of Tourism

Establishing or developing a tourism industry involves expenditure, gains, costs, and benefits. If these impacts are considered from the outset of planning, strengths and opportunities can be maximized while weaknesses and threats can be minimized.

Each destination will be different in terms of tourism characteristics . The cost and benefits of tourism will vary in each destination and can change over time, depending on tourism and other activities in a destination’s local and regional context.

Tourism activities impact the economy of the country as well as the local economy of the destination.

Economics Benefits

  • Tourism generates local employment, directly in the tourism sector and in the support and resource management sectors.
  • Tourism stimulates profitable domestic industries, hotels and other lodging facilities, restaurants and food services, transportation systems, handicrafts, and guide services.
  • Tourism generates foreign exchange for the country and injects capital and new money into the local economy.
  • Tourism helps to diversify the local economy.
  • Improved tourism infrastructure.
  • Increase tax revenues from tourism.

Economic Costs

  • Higher demand created by tourism activity may increase the price of land, housing, and a range of commodities necessary for daily life.
  • Demands for health services provision and police service increase during the tourist seasons at the expense of the local tax base.

Tourism also affects the society of the destination in good as well as bad ways. It benefits and costs the local communities.

Social Benefits

  • The quality of a community can be enhanced by economic diversification through tourism.
  • Recreational and cultural facilities created for tourism can be used by local communities as well as domestic/international visitors.
  • Public space may be developed and enhanced through tourism activity.
  • Tourism Enhances the local community’s esteem and provides an opportunity for greater understanding and communication among people of diverse backgrounds.

Social Costs

  • Rapid tourism growth can result in the inability of local amenities and institutions to meet service demands.
  • Without proper planning and management, litter, vandalism, and crime often accompany tourism development.
  • Tourism can bring overcrowding and traffic congestion.
  • Visitors bring with them material wealth and apparent freedom. The youths of the host community are particularly susceptible to the economic expectations these tourists bring which can result in complete disruption of traditional community ways of life.
  • The community structure may change, e.g. community bonds, demographics, and institutions.
  • The authenticity of the social and cultural environment can be changed to meet tourism demands.

Tourism activities also affect the culture of the host country. There are many positive and negative cultural impacts of tourism.

Cultural Benefits

  • Tourism can enhance local cultural awareness.
  • Tourism can generate revenue to help pay for the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings, and districts.
  • Despite criticism about the alteration of cultures to unacceptable levels, the sharing of cultural knowledge and experience can be beneficial for hosts and guests of tourism destinations and can result in the revival of local traditions and crafts.

Cultural Costs

  • Youth in the community begin to emulate the speech and attire of tourists.
  • Historic sites can be damaged through tourism development and pressures.
  • There can be long-term damage to cultural traditions and the erosion of cultural values, resulting in cultural change beyond a level acceptable to the host destination.

Tourism impacts the environment in positive as well as negative ways. These impacts are following below.

Environmental Benefits

  • Parks and nature preserves may be created and ecological preservation supported as a necessity for nature-based tourism.
  • Improved waste management can be achieved.
  • Increased awareness and concern for the environment can result from nature-based tourism activities and development.

Environmental Costs

  • A negative change in the physical integrity of the area.
  • Rapid development, over-development, and overcrowding can forever change the physical environment and ecosystems of an area.
  • Degradation of parks and preserves.

Over the years, tourism has become a popular global activity. Depending upon the nature and purpose of their travel, tourists, need and demand certain facilities and services. This has given rise to a wide range of commercial activities that have acquired industry proportions. Thus travel and tourism nowadays represent a broad range of related industries.

Hotels are a commercial establishment that provides accommodation, meals, and other guest services. In the travel and tourism industry, the hotel industry plays a very significant role, as all tourists need a place to stay at their destinations, and require many more services and facilities to suit their specific needs and tastes.

Restaurants

Restaurants are retail establishments that serve prepared food and beverages to customers. In the travel and tourism industry, restaurants and other food and beverage outlets are very important as tourists like to experiment with the local cuisines of the places they are visiting.

Retail and Shopping

The retail industry is very important as tourists shop for their day-to-day necessities as well as look for mementos and souvenirs. In recent years, some cities in the world have been promoted as shopping destinations to attract people with a penchant for shopping by offering various products, such as garments, electronic goods, jewelry, and antiques. New York, Paris, London, and Milan in Italy are famous as fashion havens of the world.

Transportation

It is the movement of people and goods from one place to another. A well-developed transport industry, as well as infrastructure, is integral to the success of any travel and tourism enterprise.

Travel Agencies

A travel agency is a retailing business that sells travel-related products and services, particularly package tours, to customers on the behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise liners, hotels, railways, and sightseeing.

Travel agencies play a very important role as they plan out the itinerary of their clients and make the necessary arrangements for their travel, stay, and sightseeing, besides facilitating their passport, visa, etc.

Tour Operators

A tour operator assembles the various elements of a tour. It typically combines tour and travel components to create a holiday. Tour operators play an important role in the travel and tourism industry.

Tourist Destinations

A tourist attraction is a place of interest for tourists, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, nature or building beauty or amusement opportunities. These are the basic fundamentals of the tourism industry.

Cultural Industries

Cultural or creative industries are responsible for the creation, production, and distribution of goods and services that are cultural in nature and usually protected by intellectual property rights. As tourists like to visit places of cultural significance and soak in the culture of the area, the cultural industry is very important to travel and tourism.

Leisure, Recreation, and Sport

Leisure or free time is a period of time spent out of work and essential domestic activity. Recreation or fun is spending time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of the body or mind. While leisure is more like a form of entertainment or rest, recreation requires active participation in a refreshing and diverting manner.

As people in the world’s wealthier regions lead an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the need for recreation has increased. These play a significant role in the travel and tourism sector.

A tourism/tourist product can be defined as the sum of the physical and psychological satisfaction it provides to tourists, during their ‘traveling and sojourn’ en route at the destinations.

Since the travel and tourism industry is an agglomeration of too many sectors that promote travel-related services. These sectors are referred to as travel vendors and their services and goods are called ‘travel products’. A tourism product includes five main components such as physical plant, services, hospitality, freedom of choice, and a sense of involvement.

Thus, whatever the natural and man-made resources and services brought about the consumption of tourists are called tourism products .

Charecterstatics Of Tourism Products

By now, you must have understood what a tourism product is. Now let us look at some of its characteristics:-

1) Intangible : Tourism is an intangible product means tourism is such a kind of product that can not be touched or seen and there is no transfer of ownership, But the facilities are available for a specified time and for a specified use. For e.g. a room in the hotel is available for a specified time.

2) Psychological : The main motive to purchase a tourism products is to satisfy the psychological need after using the product, by getting an experience while interacting with a new environment. And experiences also motivate others to purchase that product.

3) Highly Perishable : Tourism product is highly perishable in nature means one can not store the product for a long time. Production and consumption take place while a tourist is available. If the product remains unused, the chances are lost i.e. if tourists do not purchase it.

A travel agent or tour operator who sells a tourism product cannot store it. Production can only take place if the customer is actually present. And once consumption begins, it cannot be stopped, interrupted, or modified. If the product remains unused, the chances are lost i.e. if tourists do not visit a particular place, the opportunity at that time is lost. It is due to tourism reason that heavy discount is offered by hotels and transport-generating organizations during the offseason.

4) Composite Product : Tourist product is a combination of different products. It has not a single entity in itself. In the experience of a visit to a particular place, various service providers contribute like transportation The tourist product cannot be provided by a single enterprise, unlike a manufactured product.

The tourist product covers the complete experience of a visit to a particular place. And many providers contribute to the tourism experience. For instance, the airline supplies seats, a hotel provides rooms and restaurants, travel agents make bookings for stay and sightseeing, etc.

5) Unstable Demand : Tourism demand is influenced by seasonal, economic political, and other factors. There are certain times of the year that see greater demand than others. At these times there is a greater strain on services like hotel bookings, employment, the transport system, etc.

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Glossary of tourism terms

Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which involve tourism expenditure.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Activity/activities : In tourism statistics, the term activities represent the actions and behaviors of people in preparation for and during a trip in their capacity as consumers ( IRTS 2008, 1.2 ).

Activity (principal): The principal activity of a producer unit is the activity whose value added exceeds that of any other activity carried out within the same unit ( SNA 2008, 5.8 ).

Activity (productive): The (productive) activity carried out by a statistical unit is the type of production in which it engages. It has to be understood as a process, i.e. the combination of actions that result in a certain set of products. The classification of productive activities is determined by their principal output.

Administrative data : Administrative data is the set of units and data derived from an administrative source. This is a data holding information collected and maintained for the purpose of implementing one or more administrative regulations.

Adventure tourism : Adventure tourism is a type of tourism which usually takes place in destinations with specific geographic features and landscape and tends to be associated with a physical activity, cultural exchange, interaction and engagement with nature. This experience may involve some kind of real or perceived risk and may require significant physical and/or mental effort. Adventure tourism generally includes outdoor activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning, mountain biking, bush walking, scuba diving. Likewise, some indoor adventure tourism activities may also be practiced.

Aggregated data : The result of transforming unit level data into quantitative measures for a set of characteristics of a population.

Aggregation : A process that transforms microdata into aggregate-level information by using an aggregation function such as count, sum average, standard deviation, etc.

Analytical unit : Entity created by statisticians, by splitting or combining observation units with the help of estimations and imputations.

Balance of payments : The balance of payments is a statistical statement that summarizes transactions between residents and non-residents during a period. It consists of the goods and services account, the primary income account, the secondary income account, the capital account, and the financial account ( BPM6, 2.12 ).

Bias : An effect which deprives a statistical result of representativeness by systematically distorting it, as distinct from a random error which may distort on any one occasion but balances out on the average.

Business and professional purpose (of a tourism trip): The business and professional purpose of a tourism trip includes the activities of the self-employed and employees, as long as they do not correspond to an implicit or explicit employer-employee relationship with a resident producer in the country or place visited, those of investors, businessmen, etc. ( IRTS 2008, 3.17.2 ).

Business tourism : Business tourism is a type of tourism activity in which visitors travel for a specific professional and/or business purpose to a place outside their workplace and residence with the aim of attending a meeting, an activity or an event. The key components of business tourism are meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. The term "meetings industry" within the context of business tourism recognizes the industrial nature of such activities. Business tourism can be combined with any other tourism type during the same trip.

Business visitor : A business visitor is a visitor whose main purpose for a tourism trip corresponds to the business and professional category of purpose ( IRTS 2008, 3.17.2 ).

Central Product Classification : The Central Product Classification (CPC) constitutes a complete product classification covering goods and services. It is intended to serve as an international standard for assembling and tabulating all kinds of data requiring product detail, including industrial production, national accounts, service industries, domestic and foreign commodity trade, international trade in services, balance of payments, consumption and price statistics. Other basic aims are to provide a framework for international comparison and promote harmonization of various types of statistics dealing with goods and services.

Census : A census is the complete enumeration of a population or groups at a point in time with respect to well defined characteristics: for example, Population, Production, Traffic on particular roads.

Coastal, maritime and inland water tourism : Coastal tourism refers to land-based tourism activities such as swimming, surfing, sunbathing and other coastal leisure, recreation and sports activities which take place on the shore of a sea, lake or river. Proximity to the coast is also a condition for services and facilities that support coastal tourism. Maritime tourism refers to sea-based activities such as cruising, yachting, boating and nautical sports and includes their respective land-based services and infrastructure. Inland water tourism refers to tourism activities such as cruising, yachting, boating and nautical sports which take place in aquatic- influenced environments located within land boundaries and include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, groundwater, springs, cave waters and others traditionally grouped as inland wetlands.

Coherence : Adequacy of statistics to be combined in different ways and for various uses.

Competitiveness of a tourism destination : The competitiveness of a tourism destination is the ability of the destination to use its natural, cultural, human, man-made and capital resources efficiently to develop and deliver quality, innovative, ethical and attractive tourism products and services in order to achieve a sustainable growth within its overall vision and strategic goals, increase the added value of the tourism sector, improve and diversify its market components and optimize its attractiveness and benefits both for visitors and the local community in a sustainable perspective.

Consistency : Logical and numerical coherence.

Country of reference : The country of reference refers to the country for which the measurement is done. ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Country of residence : The country of residence of a household is determined according to the centre of predominant economic interest of its members. If a person resides (or intends to reside) for more than one year in a given country and has there his/her centre of economic interest (for example, where the predominant amount of time is spent), he/she is considered as a resident of this country.

Country-specific tourism characteristic products and activities : To be determined by each country by applying the criteria of IRTS 2008, 5.10 in their own context; for these products, the activities producing them will be considered as tourism characteristic, and the industries in which the principal activity is tourism-characteristic will be called tourism industries ( IRTS 2008, 5.16 ).

Cultural tourism : Cultural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination. These attractions/products relate to a set of distinctive material, intellectual, spiritual and emotional features of a society that encompasses arts and architecture, historical and cultural heritage, culinary heritage, literature, music, creative industries and the living cultures with their lifestyles, value systems, beliefs and traditions.

Data checking : Activity whereby the correctness conditions of the data are verified. It also includes the specification of the type of error or of the condition not met, and the qualification of the data and their division into "error-free data" and "erroneous data".

Data collection : Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data compilation : Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

Data confrontation : The process of comparing data that has generally been derived from different surveys or other sources, especially those of different frequencies, in order to assess and possibly improve their coherency, and identify the reasons for any differences.

Data processing : Data processing is the operation performed on data by the organization, institute, agency, etc., responsible for undertaking the collection, tabulation, manipulation and preparation of data and metadata output.

Data reconciliation : The process of adjusting data derived from two different sources to remove, or at least reduce, the impact of differences identified.

Destination (main destination of a trip): The main destination of a tourism trip is defined as the place visited that is central to the decision to take the trip. See also purpose of a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.31 ).

Destination management / marketing organization (DMO) : A destination management/marketing organization (DMO) is the leading organizational entity which may encompass the various authorities, stakeholders and professionals and facilitates tourism sector partnerships towards a collective destination vision. The governance structures of DMOs vary from a single public authority to a public/ private partnership model with the key role of initiating, coordinating and managing certain activities such as implementation of tourism policies, strategic planning, product development, promotion and marketing and convention bureau activities. The functions of the DMOs may vary from national to regional and local levels depending on the current and potential needs as well as on the decentralization level of public administration. Not every tourism destination has a DMO.

Documentation: Processes and procedures for imputation,  weighting,  confidentiality  and suppression rules, outlier treatment and data capture should be fully documented by the  survey provider.  Such documentation should be made available to at least  the body financing the survey.

Domestic tourism : Domestic tourism comprises the activities of a resident visitor within the country of reference, either as part of a domestic tourism trip or part of an outbound tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39 ).

Domestic tourism consumption : Domestic tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a resident visitor within the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Domestic tourism expenditure : Domestic tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a resident visitor within the economy of reference, (IRTS 2008, 4.15(a)).

Domestic tourism trip : A domestic tourism trip is one with a main destination within the country of residence of the visitor (IRTS 2008, 2.32).

Domestic visitor : As a visitor travels within his/her country of residence, he/she is a domestic visitor and his/her activities are part of domestic tourism.

Durable consumer goods : Durable consumer goods are goods that may be used repeatedly or continuously over a period of a year or more, assuming a normal or average rate of physical usage. When acquired by producers, these are considered to be capital goods used for production processes, as is the case of vehicles, computers, etc. When acquired by households, they are considered to be consumer durable goods ( TSA:RMF 2008, 2.39 ). This definition is identical to the definition of SNA 2008, 9.42 : A consumer durable is a goodthat may be used for purposes of consumption repeatedly or continuously over a period of a year or more.

Dwellings : Each household has a principal dwelling (sometimes also designated as main or primary home), usually defined with reference to time spent there, whose location defines the country of residence and place of usual residence of this household and of all its members. All other dwellings (owned or leased by the household) are considered secondary dwellings ( IRTS 2008, 2.26 ).

Ecotourism : Ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to observe, learn, discover, experience and appreciate biological and cultural diversity with a responsible attitude to protect the integrity of the ecosystem and enhance the well-being of the local community. Ecotourism increases awareness towards the conservation of biodiversity, natural environment and cultural assets both among locals and the visitors and requires special management processes to minimize the negative impact on the ecosystem.

Economic analysis : Tourism generates directly and indirectly an increase in economic activity in the places visited (and beyond), mainly due to demand for goods and services thatneed to be produced and provided. In the economic analysis of tourism, one may distinguish between tourism's 'economic contribution' which refers to the direct effect of tourism and is measurable by means of the TSA, and tourism's 'economic impact' which is a much broader concept encapsulating the direct, indirect and induced effects of tourism and which must be estimated by applying models. Economic impact studies aim to quantify economic benefits, that is, the net increase in the wealth of residents resulting from tourism, measured in monetary terms, over and above the levels that would prevail in its absence.

Economic territory : The term "economic territory" is a geographical reference and points to the country for which the measurement is done (country of reference) ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Economically active population : The economically active population or labour force comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of labour for the production of goods and services as defined by the system of national accounts during a specified time-reference period (ILO, Thirteenth ICLS, 6.18).

Economy (of reference): "Economy" (or "economy of reference") is an economic reference defined in the same way as in the balance of payments and in the system of national accounts: it refers to the economic agents that are resident in the country of reference ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Education tourism : Education tourism covers those types of tourism which have as a primary motivation the tourist's engagement and experience in learning, self-improvement, intellectual growth and skills development. Education Tourism represents a broad range of products and services related to academic studies, skill enhancement holidays, school trips, sports training, career development courses and language courses, among others.

Employees : Employees are all those workers who hold the type of job defined as "paid employment" (ILO, Fifteenth ICLS, pp. 20-22).

Employer-employee relationship : An employer-employee relationship exists when there is an agreement, which may be formal or informal, between an entity and an individual, normally entered into voluntarily by both parties, whereby the individual works for the entity in return for remuneration in cash or in kind ( BPM6, 11.11 ).

Employers : Employers are those workers who, working on their own account with one or more partners, hold the type of job defined as a "self-employment job" and, in this capacity, on a continuous basis (including the reference period) have engaged one or more persons to work for them in their business as "employee(s)" (ILO, Fifteenth ICLS, pp. 20-22).

Employment : Persons in employment are all persons above a specified age who, during a specified brief period, either one week or one day, were in paid employment or self-employment (OECD GST, p. 170).

Employment in tourism industries : Employment in tourism industries may be measured as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in any of their jobs, as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in their main job, or as a count of the jobs in tourism industries ( IRTS 2008, 7.9 ).

Enterprise : An enterprise is an institutional unit engaged in production of goods and/or services. It may be a corporation, a non-profit institution, or an unincorporated enterprise. Corporate enterprises and non-profit institutions are complete institutional units. An unincorporated enterprise, however, refers to an institutional unit —a household or government unit —only in its capacity as a producer of goods and services (OECD BD4, p. 232)

Establishment : An establishment is an enterprise, or part of an enterprise, that is situated in a single location and in which only a single productive activity is carried out or in which the principal productive activity accounts for most of the value added ( SNA 2008, 5.14 ).

Estimation : Estimation is concerned with inference about the numerical value of unknown population values from incomplete data such as a sample. If a single figure is calculated for each unknown parameter the process is called "point estimation". If an interval is calculated within which the parameter is likely, in some sense, to lie, the process is called "interval estimation".

Exports of goods and services : Exports of goods and services consist of sales, barter, or gifts or grants, of goods and services from residents to non-residents (OECD GST, p. 194)

Frame : A list, map or other specification of the units which define a population to be completely enumerated or sampled.

Forms of tourism : There are three basic forms of tourism: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism. These can be combined in various ways to derive the following additional forms of tourism: internal tourism, national tourism and international tourism.

Gastronomy tourism :  Gastronomy tourism is a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitor's experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling. Along with authentic, traditional, and/or innovative culinary experiences, Gastronomy Tourism may also involve other related activities such as visiting the local producers, participating in food festivals and attending cooking classes. Eno-tourism (wine tourism), as a sub-type of gastronomy tourism, refers to tourism whose purpose is visiting vineyards, wineries, tasting, consuming and/or purchasing wine, often at or near the source.

Goods : Goods are physical, produced objects for which a demand exists, over which ownership rights can be established and whose ownership can be transferred from one institutional unit to another by engaging in transactions on markets ( SNA 2008, p. 623 ).

Gross fixed capital formation : Gross fixed capital formation is defined as the value of institutional units' acquisitions less disposals of fixed assets. Fixed assets are produced assets (such as machinery, equipment, buildings or other structures) that are used repeatedly or continuously in production over several accounting periods (more than one year) ( SNA 2008, 1.52 ).

Gross margin : The gross margin of a provider of reservation services is the difference between the value at which the intermediated service is sold and the value accrued to the provider of reservation services for this intermediated service.

Gross value added : Gross value added is the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 3.32 ).

Gross value added of tourism industries : Gross value added of tourism industries (GVATI) is the total gross value added of all establishments belonging to tourism industries, regardless of whether all their output is provided to visitors and the degree of specialization of their production process ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.86 ).

Grossing up : Activity aimed at transforming, based on statistical methodology, micro-data from samples into aggregate-level information representative of the target population.

Health tourism : Health tourism covers those types of tourism which have as a primary motivation, the contribution to physical, mental and/or spiritual health through medical and wellness-based activities which increase the capacity of individuals to satisfy their own needs and function better as individuals in their environment and society. Health tourism is the umbrella term for the subtypes wellness tourism and medical tourism.

Imputation : Procedure for entering a value for a specific data item where the response is missing or unusable.

Inbound tourism : Inbound tourism comprises the activities of a non-resident visitor within the country of reference on an inbound tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39 ).

Inbound tourism consumption : Inbound tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a non-resident visitor within the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Inbound tourism expenditure : Inbound tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a non-resident visitor within the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.15(b) ).

Innovation in tourism : Innovation in tourism is the introduction of a new or improved component which intends to bring tangible and intangible benefits to tourism stakeholders and the local community, improve the value of the tourism experience and the core competencies of the tourism sector and hence enhance tourism competitiveness and /or sustainability. Innovation in tourism may cover potential areas, such as tourism destinations, tourism products, technology, processes, organizations and business models, skills, architecture, services, tools and/or practices for management, marketing, communication, operation, quality assurance and pricing.

Institutional sector : An aggregation of institutional units on the basis of the type of producer and depending on their principal activity and function, which are considered to be indicative of their economic behaviour.

Institutional unit : The elementary economic decision-making centre characterised by uniformity of behaviour and decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function.

Intermediate consumption : Intermediate consumption consists of the value of the goods and services consumed as inputs by a process of production, excluding fixed assets whose consumption is recorded as consumption of fixed capital ( SNA 2008, 6.213 ).

Internal tourism : Internal tourism comprises domestic tourism and inbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident and non-resident visitors within the country of reference as part of domestic or international tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(a) ).

Internal tourism consumption : Internal tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of both resident and non-resident visitors within the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism consumption and inbound tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Internal tourism expenditure : Internal tourism expenditure comprises all tourism expenditure of visitors, both resident and non-resident, within the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism expenditure and inbound tourism expenditure. It includes acquisition of goods and services imported into the country of reference and sold to visitors. This indicator provides the most comprehensive measurement of tourism expenditure in the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.20(a) ).

International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities : The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) consists of a coherent and consistent classification structure of economic activities based on a set of internationally agreed concepts, definitions, principles and classification rules. It provides a comprehensive framework within which economic data can be collected and reported in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policymaking. The classification structure represents a standard format to organize detailed information about the state of an economy according to economic principles and perceptions (ISIC, Rev.4, 1).

International tourism : International tourism comprises inbound tourism and outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips and the activities of non-resident visitors within the country of reference on inbound tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(c) ).

International visitor : An international traveller qualifies as an international visitor with respect to the country of reference if: (a) he/she is on a tourism trip and (b) he/she is a non-resident travelling in the country of reference or a resident travelling outside of it ( IRTS 2008, 2.42 ).

Job : The agreement between an employee and the employer defines a job and each self-employed person has a job ( SNA 2008, 19.30 ).

Measurement error : Error in reading, calculating or recording numerical value.

Medical tourism : Medical tourism is a type of tourism activity which involves the use of evidence-based medical healing resources and services (both invasive and non-invasive). This may include diagnosis, treatment, cure, prevention and rehabilitation.

Meetings industry : To highlight purposes relevant to the meetings industry, if a trip's main purpose is business/professional, it can be further subdivided into "attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions" and "other business and professional purposes". The term meetings industry is preferred by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Reed Travel over the acronym MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) which does not recognize the industrial nature of such activities.

Metadata : Data that defines and describes other data and processes.

MICE : See meetings industry.

Microdata : Non-aggregated observations, or measurements of characteristics of individual units.

Mirror statistics : Mirror statistics are used to conduct bilateral comparisons of two basic measures of a trade flow and are a traditional tool for detecting the causes of asymmetries in statistics (OECD GST, p. 335).

Mountain tourism : Mountain tourism is a type of tourism activity which takes place in a defined and limited geographical space such as hills or mountains with distinctive characteristics and attributes that are inherent to a specific landscape, topography, climate, biodiversity (flora and fauna) and local community. It encompasses a broad range of outdoor leisure and sports activities.

National tourism : National tourism comprises domestic tourism and outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors within and outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(b) ).

National tourism consumption : National tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of resident visitors, within and outside the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism consumption and outbound tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

National tourism expenditure : National tourism expenditure comprises all tourism expenditure of resident visitors within and outside the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism expenditure and outbound tourism expenditure ( IRTS 2008, 4.20(b) ).

Nationality : The concept of "country of residence" of a traveller is different from that of his/her nationality or citizenship ( IRTS 2008, 2.19 ).

Non-monetary indicators : Data measured in physical or other non-monetary units should not be considered a secondary part of a satellite account. They are essential components, both for the information they provide directly and in order to analyse the monetary data adequately ( SNA 2008, 29.84 ).

Observation unit : entity on which information is received and statistics are compiled.

Outbound tourism : Outbound tourism comprises the activities of a resident visitor outside the country of reference, either as part of an outbound tourism trip or as part of a domestic tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39(c) ).

Outbound tourism consumption : Outbound tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a resident visitor outside the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Outbound tourism expenditure : Outbound tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a resident visitor outside the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.15(c) ).

Output : Output is defined as the goods and services produced by an establishment, a) excluding the value of any goods and services used in an activity for which the establishment does not assume the risk of using the products in production, and b) excluding the value of goods and services consumed by the same establishment except for goods and services used for capital formation (fixed capital or changes in inventories) or own final consumption ( SNA 2008, 6.89 ).

Output (main): The main output of a (productive) activity should be determined by reference to the value added of the goods sold or services rendered (ISIC rev.4, 114).

Pilot survey : The aim of a pilot survey is to test the questionnaire (pertinence of the questions, understanding of questions by those being interviewed, duration of the interview) and to check various potential sources for sampling and non-sampling errors: for instance, the place in which the surveys are carried out and the method used, the identification of any omitted answers and the reason for the omission, problems of communicating in various languages, translation, the mechanics of data collection, the organization of field work, etc.

Place of usual residence : The place of usual residence is the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides, and is defined by the location of his/her principal dwelling (Principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses of the United Nations, 2.20 to 2.24).

Probability sample : A sample selected by a method based on the theory of probability (random process), that is, by a method involving knowledge of the likelihood of any unit being selected.

Production account : The production account records the activity of producing goods and services as defined within the SNA. Its balancing item, gross value added, is defined as the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption and is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an individual producer, industry or sector. Gross value added is the source from which the primary incomes of the SNA are generated and is therefore carried forward into the primary distribution of income account. Value added and GDP may also be measured net by deducting consumption of fixed capital, a figure representing the decline in value during the period of the fixed capital used in a production process ( SNA 2008, 1.17 ).

Production : Economic production may be defined as an activity carried out under the control and responsibility of an institutional unit that uses inputs of labour, capital, and goods and services to produce outputs of goods or services ( SNA 2008, 6.24. ).

Purpose of a tourism trip (main): The main purpose of a tourism trip is defined as the purpose in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place ( IRTS 2008, 3.10. ). Classification of tourism trips according to the main purpose refers to nine categories: this typology allows the identification of different subsets of visitors (business visitors, transit visitors, etc.) See also destination of a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 3.14 ).

Quality of a tourism destination : Quality of a tourism destination is the result of a process which implies the satisfaction of all tourism product and service needs, requirements and expectations of the consumer at an acceptable price, in conformity with mutually accepted contractual conditions and the implicit underlying factors such as safety and security, hygiene, accessibility, communication, infrastructure and public amenities and services. It also involves aspects of ethics, transparency and respect towards the human, natural and cultural environment. Quality, as one of the key drivers of tourism competitiveness, is also a professional tool for organizational, operational and perception purposes for tourism suppliers.

Questionnaire and Questionnaire design : Questionnaire is a group or sequence of questions designed to elicit information on a subject, or sequence of subjects, from a reporting unit or from another producer of official statistics. Questionnaire design is the design (text, order, and conditions for skipping) of the questions used to obtain the data needed for the survey.

Reference period : The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.

Relevance : The degree to which statistics meet current and potential users' needs.

Reliability : Closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

Reporting unit : Unit that supplies the data for a given survey instance, like a questionnaire or interview. Reporting units may, or may not, be the same as the observation unit.

Residents/non-residents : The residents of a country are individuals whose centre of predominant economic interest is located in its economic territory. For a country, the non-residents are individuals whose centre of predominant economic interest is located outside its economic territory.

Response and non-response : Response and non-response to various elements of a survey entail potential errors.

Response error : Response errors may be defined as those arising from the interviewing process. Such errors may be due to a number of circumstances, such as inadequate concepts or questions; inadequate training; interviewer failures; respondent failures.

Rural tourism : Rural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle / culture, angling and sightseeing. Rural tourism activities take place in non-urban (rural) areas with the following characteristics:

  • Low population density;
  • Landscape and land-use dominated by agriculture and forestry; and
  • Traditional social structure and lifestyle

Same-day visitor (or excursionist): A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Sample : A subset of a frame where elements are selected based on a process with a known probability of selection.

Sample survey : A survey which is carried out using a sampling method.

Sampling error : That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Satellite accounts : There are two types of satellite accounts, serving two different functions. The first type, sometimes called an internal satellite, takes the full set of accounting rules and conventions of the SNA but focuses on a particular aspect of interest by moving away from the standard classifications and hierarchies. Examples are tourism, coffee production and environmental protection expenditure. The second type, called an external satellite, may add non-economic data or vary some of the accounting conventions or both. It is a particularly suitable way to explore new areas in a research context. An example may be the role of volunteer labour in the economy ( SNA 2008, 29.85 ).

SDMX, Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange : Set of technical standards and content-oriented guidelines, together with an IT architecture and tools, to be used for the efficient exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata (SDMX).

Seasonal adjustment : Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique to remove the effects of seasonal calendar influences on a series. Seasonal effects usually reflect the influence of the seasons themselves, either directly or through production series related to them, or social conventions. Other types of calendar variation occur as a result of influences such as number of days in the calendar period, the accounting or recording practices adopted or the incidence of moving holidays.

Self-employment job : Self-employment jobs are those jobs where remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits (or the potential of profits) derived from the goods or services produced.

Self-employed with paid employees : Self-employed with paid employees are classified as employers.

Self-employed without employees : Self-employed without employees are classified as own-account workers.

Services : Services are the result of a production activity that changes the conditions of the consuming units, or facilitates the exchange of products or financial assets. They cannot be traded separately from their production. By the time their production is completed, they must have been provided to the consumers ( SNA 2008, 6.17 ).

Social transfers in kind : A special case of transfers in kind is that of social transfers in kind. These consist of goods and services provided by general government and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) that are delivered to individual households. Health and education services are the prime examples. Rather than provide a specified amount of money to be used to purchase medical and educational services, the services are often provided in kind to make sure that the need for the services is met. (Sometimes the recipient purchases the service and is reimbursed by the insurance or assistance scheme. Such a transaction is still treated as being in kind because the recipient is merely acting as the agent of the insurance scheme) (SNA 2008, 3.83).

Sports tourism : Sports tourism is a type of tourism activity which refers to the travel experience of the tourist who either observes as a spectator or actively participates in a sporting event generally involving commercial and non-commercial activities of a competitive nature.

Standard classification : Classifications that follow prescribed rules and are generally recommended and accepted.

Statistical error : The unknown difference between the retained value and the true value.

Statistical indicator : A data element that represents statistical data for a specified time, place, and other characteristics, and is corrected for at least one dimension (usually size) to allow for meaningful comparisons.

Statistical metadata : Data about statistical data.

Statistical unit : Entity about which information is sought and about which statistics are compiled. Statistical units may be identifiable legal or physical entities or statistical constructs.

Survey : An investigation about the characteristics of a given population by means of collecting data from a sample of that population and estimating their characteristics through the systematic use of statistical methodology.

System of National Accounts : The System of National Accounts (SNA) is the internationally agreed standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity in accordance with strict accounting conventions based on economic principles. The recommendations are expressed in terms of a set of concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules that comprise the internationally agreed standard for measuring indicators of economic performance. The accounting framework of the SNA allows economic data to be compiled and presented in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policymaking ( SNA 2008, 1.1 ).

Total tourism internal demand : Total tourism internal demand, is the sum of internal tourism consumption, tourism gross fixed capital formation and tourism collective consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.114 ). It does not include outbound tourism consumption.

Tourism : Tourism refers to the activity of visitors ( IRTS 2008, 2.9 ).

Tourism characteristic activities : Tourism characteristic activities are the activities that typically produce tourism characteristic products. As the industrial origin of a product (the ISIC industry that produces it) is not a criterion for the aggregation of products within a similar CPC category, there is no strict one-to-one relationship between products and the industries producing them as their principal outputs ( IRTS 2008, 5.11 ).

Tourism characteristic products : Tourism characteristic products are those that satisfy one or both of the following criteria: a) Tourism expenditure on the product should represent a significant share total tourism expenditure (share-of-expenditure/demand condition); b) Tourism expenditure on the product should represent a significant share of the supply of the product in the economy (share-of-supply condition). This criterion implies that the supply of a tourism characteristic product would cease to exist in meaningful quantity in the absence of visitors ( IRTS 2008, 5.10 ).

Tourism connected products : Their significance within tourism analysis for the economy of reference is recognized although their link to tourism is very limited worldwide. Consequently, lists of such products will be country-specific ( IRTS 2008, 5.12 ).

Tourism consumption : Tourism consumption has the same formal definition as tourism expenditure. Nevertheless, the concept of tourism consumption used in the Tourism Satellite Account goes beyond that of tourism expenditure. Besides the amount paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables for own use or to give away, for and during tourism trips, which corresponds to monetary transactions (the focus of tourism expenditure), it also includes services associated with vacation accommodation on own account, tourism social transfers in kind and other imputed consumption. These transactions need to be estimated using sources different from information collected directly from the visitors, such as reports on home exchanges, estimations of rents associated with vacation homes, calculations of financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM), etc. ( TSA:RMF 2008, 2.25 ).

Tourism destination : A tourism destination is a physical space with or without administrative and/or analytical boundaries in which a visitor can spend an overnight. It is the cluster (co-location) of products and services, and of activities and experiences along the tourism value chain and a basic unit of analysis of tourism. A destination incorporates various stakeholders and can network to form larger destinations. It is also intangible with its image and identity which may influence its market competitiveness.

Tourism direct gross domestic product : Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP) is the sum of the part of gross value added (at basic prices) generated by all industries in response to internal tourism consumption plus the amount of net taxes on products and imports included within the value of this expenditure at purchasers' prices ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.96 ).

Tourism direct gross value added : Tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) is the part of gross value added generated by tourism industries and other industries of the economy that directly serve visitors in response to internal tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.88 ).

Tourism expenditure : Tourism expenditure refers to the amount paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables, for own use or to give away, for and during tourism trips. It includes expenditures by visitors themselves, as well as expenses that are paid for or reimbursed by others ( IRTS 2008, 4.2 ).

Tourism industries : The tourism industries comprise all establishments for which the principal activity is a tourism characteristic activity. Tourism industries (also referred to as tourism activities) are the activities that typically producetourism characteristic products. The term tourism industries is equivalent to tourism characteristic activities and the two terms are sometimes used synonymously in the IRTS 2008, 5.10, 5.11 and figure 5.1 .

Tourism product : A tourism product is a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as natural, cultural and man-made resources, attractions, facilities, services and activities around a specific center of interest which represents the core of the destination marketing mix and creates an overall visitor experience including emotional aspects for the potential customers. A tourism product is priced and sold through distribution channels and it has a life-cycle.

Tourism ratio : For each variable of supply in the Tourism Satellite Account, the tourism ratiois the ratio between the total value of tourism share and total value of the corresponding variable in the Tourism Satellite Account expressed in percentage form ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.56 ). (See also Tourism share).

Tourism Satellite Account : The Tourism Satellite Account is the second international standard on tourism statistics (Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 –TSA:RMF 2008) that has been developed in order to present economic data relative to tourism within a framework of internal and external consistency with the rest of the statistical system through its link to the System of National Accounts. It is the basic reconciliation framework of tourism statistics. As a statistical tool for the economic accounting of tourism, the TSA can be seen as a set of 10 summary tables, each with their underlying data and representing a different aspect of the economic data relative to tourism: inbound, domestic tourism and outbound tourism expenditure, internal tourism expenditure, production accounts of tourism industries, the Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributable to tourism demand, employment, investment, government consumption, and non-monetary indicators.

Tourism Satellite Account aggregates : The compilation of the following aggregates, which represent a set of relevant indicators of the size of tourism in an economy is recommended ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.81 ):

  • Internal tourism expenditure;
  • Internal tourism consumption;
  • Gross value added of tourism industries (GVATI);
  • Tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA);
  • Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP).

Tourism sector : The tourism sector, as contemplated in the TSA, is the cluster of production units in different industries that provide consumption goods and services demanded by visitors. Such industries are called tourism industries because visitor acquisition represents such a significant share of their supply that, in the absence of visitors, their production of these would cease to exist in meaningful quantity.

Tourism share : Tourism share is the share of the corresponding fraction of internal tourism consumption in each component of supply ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.51 ). For each industry, the tourism share of output (in value), is the sum of the tourism share corresponding to each product component of its output ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.55 ). (See also Tourism ratio ).

Tourism single-purpose consumer durable goods : Tourism single-purpose consumer durables is a specific category of consumer durable goods that include durable goods that are used exclusively, or almost exclusively, by individuals while on tourism trips ( TSA:RMF 2008 , 2.41 and Annex 5 ).

Tourism trip : Trips taken by visitors are tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.29 ).

Tourist (or overnight visitor): A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Tourism value chain : The tourism value chain is the sequence of primary and support activities which are strategically fundamental for the performance of the tourism sector. Linked processes such as policy making and integrated planning, product development and packaging, promotion and marketing, distribution and sales and destination operations and services are the key primary activities of the tourism value chain. Support activities involve transport and infrastructure, human resource development, technology and systems development and other complementary goods and services which may not be related to core tourism businesses but have a high impact on the value of tourism.

Travel / traveller : Travel refers to the activity of travellers. A traveller is someone who moves between different geographic locations, for any purpose and any duration ( IRTS 2008, 2.4 ). The visitor is a particular type of traveller and consequently tourism is a subset of travel.

Travel group : A travel group is made up of individuals or travel parties travelling together: examples are people travelling on the same package tour or youngsters attending a summer camp ( IRTS 2008, 3.5 ).

Travel item (in balance of payments): Travel is an item of the goods and services account of the balance of payments: travel credits cover goods and services for own use or to give away acquired from an economy by non-residents during visits to that economy. Travel debits cover goods and services for own use or to give away acquired from other economies by residents during visits to other economies ( BPM6, 10.86 ).

Travel party : A travel party is defined as visitors travelling together on a trip and whose expenditures are pooled ( IRTS 2008, 3.2 ).

Trip : A trip refers to the travel by a person from the time of departure from his/her usual residence until he/she returns: it thus refers to a round trip. Trips taken by visitors are tourism trips.

Urban/city tourism : Urban/city tourism is a type of tourism activity which takes place in an urban space with its inherent attributes characterized by non-agricultural based economy such as administration, manufacturing, trade and services and by being nodal points of transport. Urban/city destinations offer a broad and heterogeneous range of cultural, architectural, technological, social and natural experiences and products for leisure and business.

Usual environment: The usual environment of an individual, a key concept in tourism, is defined as the geographical area (though not necessarily a contiguous one) within which an individual conducts his/her regular life routines ( IRTS 2008, 2.21 ).

Usual residence : The place of usual residence is the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides (Principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses of the United Nations, 2.16 to 2.18).

Vacation home : A vacation home (sometimes also designated as a holiday home) is a secondary dwelling that is visited by the members of the household mostly for purposes of recreation, vacation or any other form of leisure ( IRTS 2008, 2.27 ).

Valuables : Valuables are produced goods of considerable value that are not used primarily for purposes of production or consumption but are held as stores of value over time ( SNA 2008, 10.13 ).

Visit : A trip is made up of visits to different places.The term "tourism visit" refers to a stay in a place visited during a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.7 and 2.33 ).

Visitor : A visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited ( IRTS 2008, 2.9 ). A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Wellness tourism : Wellness tourism is a type of tourism activity which aims to improve and balance all of the main domains of human life including physical, mental, emotional, occupational, intellectual and spiritual. The primary motivation for the wellness tourist is to engage in preventive, proactive, lifestyle-enhancing activities such as fitness, healthy eating, relaxation, pampering and healing treatments.

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Article contents

The role of tourism in sustainable development.

  • Robert B. Richardson Robert B. Richardson Community Sustainability, Michigan State University
  • https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.387
  • Published online: 25 March 2021

Sustainable development is the foundational principle for enhancing human and economic development while maintaining the functional integrity of ecological and social systems that support regional economies. Tourism has played a critical role in sustainable development in many countries and regions around the world. In developing countries, tourism development has been used as an important strategy for increasing economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating jobs, and improving food security. Many developing countries are in regions that are characterized by high levels of biological diversity, natural resources, and cultural heritage sites that attract international tourists whose local purchases generate income and support employment and economic development. Tourism has been associated with the principles of sustainable development because of its potential to support environmental protection and livelihoods. However, the relationship between tourism and the environment is multifaceted, as some types of tourism have been associated with negative environmental impacts, many of which are borne by host communities.

The concept of sustainable tourism development emerged in contrast to mass tourism, which involves the participation of large numbers of people, often in structured or packaged tours. Mass tourism has been associated with economic leakage and dependence, along with negative environmental and social impacts. Sustainable tourism development has been promoted in various ways as a framing concept in contrast to these economic, environmental, and social impacts. Some literature has acknowledged a vagueness of the concept of sustainable tourism, which has been used to advocate for fundamentally different strategies for tourism development that may exacerbate existing conflicts between conservation and development paradigms. Tourism has played an important role in sustainable development in some countries through the development of alternative tourism models, including ecotourism, community-based tourism, pro-poor tourism, slow tourism, green tourism, and heritage tourism, among others that aim to enhance livelihoods, increase local economic growth, and provide for environmental protection. Although these models have been given significant attention among researchers, the extent of their implementation in tourism planning initiatives has been limited, superficial, or incomplete in many contexts.

The sustainability of tourism as a global system is disputed among scholars. Tourism is dependent on travel, and nearly all forms of transportation require the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels for energy. The burning of fossil fuels for transportation generates emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change, which is fundamentally unsustainable. Tourism is also vulnerable to both localized and global shocks. Studies of the vulnerability of tourism to localized shocks include the impacts of natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and civil unrest. Studies of the vulnerability of tourism to global shocks include the impacts of climate change, economic crisis, global public health pandemics, oil price shocks, and acts of terrorism. It is clear that tourism has contributed significantly to economic development globally, but its role in sustainable development is uncertain, debatable, and potentially contradictory.

  • conservation
  • economic development
  • environmental impacts
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable tourism
  • tourism development

Introduction

Sustainable development is the guiding principle for advancing human and economic development while maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and social systems on which the economy depends. It is also the foundation of the leading global framework for international cooperation—the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations, 2015 ). The concept of sustainable development is often associated with the publication of Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development [WCED], 1987 , p. 29), which defined it as “paths of human progress that meet the needs and aspirations of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Concerns about the environmental implications of economic development in lower income countries had been central to debates about development studies since the 1970s (Adams, 2009 ). The principles of sustainable development have come to dominate the development discourse, and the concept has become the primary development paradigm since the 1990s.

Tourism has played an increasingly important role in sustainable development since the 1990s, both globally and in particular countries and regions. For decades, tourism has been promoted as a low-impact, non-extractive option for economic development, particularly for developing countries (Gössling, 2000 ). Many developing countries have managed to increase their participation in the global economy through development of international tourism. Tourism development is increasingly viewed as an important tool in increasing economic growth, alleviating poverty, and improving food security. Tourism enables communities that are poor in material wealth, but rich in history and cultural heritage, to leverage their unique assets for economic development (Honey & Gilpin, 2009 ). More importantly, tourism offers an alternative to large-scale development projects, such as construction of dams, and to extractive industries such as mining and forestry, all of which contribute to emissions of pollutants and threaten biodiversity and the cultural values of Indigenous Peoples.

Environmental quality in destination areas is inextricably linked with tourism, as visiting natural areas and sightseeing are often the primary purpose of many leisure travels. Some forms of tourism, such as ecotourism, can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of ecosystem functions in destination areas (Fennell, 2020 ; Gössling, 1999 ). Butler ( 1991 ) suggests that there is a kind of mutual dependence between tourism and the environment that should generate mutual benefits. Many developing countries are in regions that are characterized by high levels of species diversity, natural resources, and protected areas. Such ideas imply that tourism may be well aligned with the tenets of sustainable development.

However, the relationship between tourism and the environment is complex, as some forms of tourism have been associated with negative environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater use, land use, and food consumption (Butler, 1991 ; Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ; Hunter & Green, 1995 ; Vitousek et al., 1997 ). Assessments of the sustainability of tourism have highlighted several themes, including (a) parks, biodiversity, and conservation; (b) pollution and climate change; (c) prosperity, economic growth, and poverty alleviation; (d) peace, security, and safety; and (e) population stabilization and reduction (Buckley, 2012 ). From a global perspective, tourism contributes to (a) changes in land cover and land use; (b) energy use, (c) biotic exchange and extinction of wild species; (d) exchange and dispersion of diseases; and (e) changes in the perception and understanding of the environment (Gössling, 2002 ).

Research on tourism and the environment spans a wide range of social and natural science disciplines, and key contributions have been disseminated across many interdisciplinary fields, including biodiversity conservation, climate science, economics, and environmental science, among others (Buckley, 2011 ; Butler, 1991 ; Gössling, 2002 ; Lenzen et al., 2018 ). Given the global significance of the tourism sector and its environmental impacts, the role of tourism in sustainable development is an important topic of research in environmental science generally and in environmental economics and management specifically. Reviews of tourism research have highlighted future research priorities for sustainable development, including the role of tourism in the designation and expansion of protected areas; improvement in environmental accounting techniques that quantify environmental impacts; and the effects of individual perceptions of responsibility in addressing climate change (Buckley, 2012 ).

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, and it has linkages with many of the prime sectors of the global economy (Fennell, 2020 ). As a global economic sector, tourism represents one of the largest generators of wealth, and it is an important agent of economic growth and development (Garau-Vadell et al., 2018 ). Tourism is a critical industry in many local and national economies, and it represents a large and growing share of world trade (Hunter, 1995 ). Global tourism has had an average annual increase of 6.6% over the past half century, with international tourist arrivals rising sharply from 25.2 million in 1950 to more than 950 million in 2010 . In 2019 , the number of international tourists reached 1.5 billion, up 4% from 2018 (Fennell, 2020 ; United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], 2020 ). European countries are host to more than half of international tourists, but since 1990 , growth in international arrivals has risen faster than the global average, in both the Middle East and the Asia and Pacific region (UNWTO, 2020 ).

The growth in global tourism has been accompanied by an expansion of travel markets and a diversification of tourism destinations. In 1950 , the top five travel destinations were all countries in Europe and the Americas, and these destinations held 71% of the global travel market (Fennell, 2020 ). By 2002 , these countries represented only 35%, which underscores the emergence of newly accessible travel destinations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim, including numerous developing countries. Over the past 70 years, global tourism has grown significantly as an economic sector, and it has contributed to the economic development of dozens of nations.

Given the growth of international tourism and its emergence as one of the world’s largest export sectors, the question of its impact on economic growth for the host countries has been a topic of great interest in the tourism literature. Two hypotheses have emerged regarding the role of tourism in the economic growth process (Apergis & Payne, 2012 ). First, tourism-led growth hypothesis relies on the assumption that tourism is an engine of growth that generates spillovers and positive externalities through economic linkages that will impact the overall economy. Second, the economic-driven tourism growth hypothesis emphasizes policies oriented toward well-defined and enforceable property rights, stable political institutions, and adequate investment in both physical and human capital to facilitate the development of the tourism sector. Studies have concluded with support for both the tourism-led growth hypothesis (e.g., Durbarry, 2004 ; Katircioglu, 2010 ) and the economic-led growth hypothesis (e.g., Katircioglu, 2009 ; Oh, 2005 ), whereas other studies have found support for a bidirectional causality for tourism and economic growth (e.g., Apergis & Payne, 2012 ; Lee & Chang, 2008 ).

The growth of tourism has been marked by an increase in the competition for tourist expenditures, making it difficult for destinations to maintain their share of the international tourism market (Butler, 1991 ). Tourism development is cyclical and subject to short-term cycles and overconsumption of resources. Butler ( 1980 ) developed a tourist-area cycle of evolution that depicts the number of tourists rising sharply over time through periods of exploration, involvement, and development, before eventual consolidation and stagnation. When tourism growth exceeds the carrying capacity of the area, resource degradation can lead to the decline of tourism unless specific steps are taken to promote rejuvenation (Butler, 1980 , 1991 ).

The potential of tourism development as a tool to contribute to environmental conservation, economic growth, and poverty reduction is derived from several unique characteristics of the tourism system (UNWTO, 2002 ). First, tourism represents an opportunity for economic diversification, particularly in marginal areas with few other export options. Tourists are attracted to remote areas with high values of cultural, wildlife, and landscape assets. The cultural and natural heritage of developing countries is frequently based on such assets, and tourism represents an opportunity for income generation through the preservation of heritage values. Tourism is the only export sector where the consumer travels to the exporting country, which provides opportunities for lower-income households to become exporters through the sale of goods and services to foreign tourists. Tourism is also labor intensive; it provides small-scale employment opportunities, which also helps to promote gender equity. Finally, there are numerous indirect benefits of tourism for people living in poverty, including increased market access for remote areas through the development of roads, infrastructure, and communication networks. Nevertheless, travel is highly income elastic and carbon intensive, which has significant implications for the sustainability of the tourism sector (Lenzen et al., 2018 ).

Concerns about environmental issues appeared in tourism research just as global awareness of the environmental impacts of human activities was expanding. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm in 1972 , the same year as the publication of The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al., 1972 ), which highlighted the concerns about the implications of exponential economic and population growth in a world of finite resources. This was the same year that the famous Blue Marble photograph of Earth was taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft (Höhler, 2015 , p. 10), and the image captured the planet cloaked in the darkness of space and became a symbol of Earth’s fragility and vulnerability. As noted by Buckley ( 2012 ), tourism researchers turned their attention to social and environmental issues around the same time (Cohen, 1978 ; Farrell & McLellan, 1987 ; Turner & Ash, 1975 ; Young, 1973 ).

The notion of sustainable development is often associated with the publication of Our Common Future , the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Commission (WCED, 1987 ). The report characterized sustainable development in terms of meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987 , p. 43). Four basic principles are fundamental to the concept of sustainability: (a) the idea of holistic planning and strategy making; (b) the importance of preserving essential ecological processes; (c) the need to protect both human heritage and biodiversity; and (d) the need to develop in such a way that productivity can be sustained over the long term for future generations (Bramwell & Lane, 1993 ). In addition to achieving balance between economic growth and the conservation of natural resources, there should be a balance of fairness and opportunity between the nations of the world.

Although the modern concept of sustainable development emerged with the publication of Our Common Future , sustainable development has its roots in ideas about sustainable forest management that were developed in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries (Blewitt, 2015 ; Grober, 2007 ). Sustainable forest management is concerned with the stewardship and use of forests in a way that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, and regeneration capacity as well as their potential to fulfill society’s demands for forest products and benefits. Building on these ideas, Daly ( 1990 ) offered two operational principles of sustainable development. First, sustainable development implies that harvest rates should be no greater than rates of regeneration; this concept is known as maximum sustainable yield. Second, waste emission rates should not exceed the natural assimilative capacities of the ecosystems into which the wastes are emitted. Regenerative and assimilative capacities are characterized as natural capital, and a failure to maintain these capacities is not sustainable.

Shortly after the emergence of the concept of sustainable development in academic and policy discourse, tourism researchers began referring to the notion of sustainable tourism (May, 1991 ; Nash & Butler, 1990 ), which soon became the dominant paradigm of tourism development. The concept of sustainable tourism, as with the role of tourism in sustainable development, has been interpreted in different ways, and there is a lack of consensus concerning its meaning, objectives, and indicators (Sharpley, 2000 ). Growing interest in the subject inspired the creation of a new academic journal, Journal of Sustainable Tourism , which was launched in 1993 and has become a leading tourism journal. It is described as “an international journal that publishes research on tourism and sustainable development, including economic, social, cultural and political aspects.”

The notion of sustainable tourism development emerged in contrast to mass tourism, which is characterized by the participation of large numbers of people, often provided as structured or packaged tours. Mass tourism has risen sharply in the last half century. International arrivals alone have increased by an average annual rate of more than 25% since 1950 , and many of those trips involved mass tourism activities (Fennell, 2020 ; UNWTO, 2020 ). Some examples of mass tourism include beach resorts, cruise ship tourism, gaming casinos, golf resorts, group tours, ski resorts, theme parks, and wildlife safari tourism, among others. Little data exist regarding the volume of domestic mass tourism, but nevertheless mass tourism activities dominate the global tourism sector. Mass tourism has been shown to generate benefits to host countries, such as income and employment generation, although it has also been associated with economic leakage (where revenue generated by tourism is lost to other countries’ economies) and economic dependency (where developing countries are dependent on wealthier countries for tourists, imports, and foreign investment) (Cater, 1993 ; Conway & Timms, 2010 ; Khan, 1997 ; Peeters, 2012 ). Mass tourism has been associated with numerous negative environmental impacts and social impacts (Cater, 1993 ; Conway & Timms, 2010 ; Fennell, 2020 ; Ghimire, 2013 ; Gursoy et al., 2010 ; Liu, 2003 ; Peeters, 2012 ; Wheeller, 2007 ). Sustainable tourism development has been promoted in various ways as a framing concept in contrast to many of these economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Much of the early research on sustainable tourism focused on defining the concept, which has been the subject of vigorous debate (Bramwell & Lane, 1993 ; Garrod & Fyall, 1998 ; Hunter, 1995 ; Inskeep, 1991 ; Liu, 2003 ; Sharpley, 2000 ). Early definitions of sustainable tourism development seemed to fall in one of two categories (Sharpley, 2000 ). First, the “tourism-centric” paradigm of sustainable tourism development focuses on sustaining tourism as an economic activity (Hunter, 1995 ). Second, alternative paradigms have situated sustainable tourism in the context of wider sustainable development policies (Butler, 1991 ). One of the most comprehensive definitions of sustainable tourism echoes some of the language of the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development (WCED, 1987 ), emphasizing opportunities for the future while also integrating social and environmental concerns:

Sustainable tourism can be thought of as meeting the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Sustainable tourism development is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that we can fulfill economic, social and aesthetic needs while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. (Inskeep, 1991 , p. 461)

Hunter argued that over the short and long terms, sustainable tourism development should

“meet the needs and wants of the local host community in terms of improved living standards and quality of life;

satisfy the demands of tourists and the tourism industry, and continue to attract them in order to meet the first aim; and

safeguard the environmental resource base for tourism, encompassing natural, built and cultural components, in order to achieve both of the preceding aims.” (Hunter, 1995 , p. 156)

Numerous other definitions have been documented, and the term itself has been subject to widespread critique (Buckley, 2012 ; Hunter, 1995 ; Liu, 2003 ). Nevertheless, there have been numerous calls to move beyond debate about a definition and to consider how it may best be implemented in practice (Garrod & Fyall, 1998 ; Liu, 2003 ). Cater ( 1993 ) identified three key criteria for sustainable tourism: (a) meeting the needs of the host population in terms of improved living standards both in the short and long terms; (b) satisfying the demands of a growing number of tourists; and (c) safeguarding the natural environment in order to achieve both of the preceding aims.

Some literature has acknowledged a vagueness of the concept of sustainable tourism, which has been used to advocate for fundamentally different strategies for tourism development that may exacerbate existing conflicts between conservation and development paradigms (Garrod & Fyall, 1998 ; Hunter, 1995 ; Liu, 2003 ; McKercher, 1993b ). Similar criticisms have been leveled at the concept of sustainable development, which has been described as an oxymoron with a wide range of meanings (Adams, 2009 ; Daly, 1990 ) and “defined in such a way as to be either morally repugnant or logically redundant” (Beckerman, 1994 , p. 192). Sharpley ( 2000 ) suggests that in the tourism literature, there has been “a consistent and fundamental failure to build a theoretical link between sustainable tourism and its parental paradigm,” sustainable development (p. 2). Hunter ( 1995 ) suggests that practical measures designed to operationalize sustainable tourism fail to address many of the critical issues that are central to the concept of sustainable development generally and may even actually counteract the fundamental requirements of sustainable development. He suggests that mainstream sustainable tourism development is concerned with protecting the immediate resource base that will sustain tourism development while ignoring concerns for the status of the wider tourism resource base, such as potential problems associated with air pollution, congestion, introduction of invasive species, and declining oil reserves. The dominant paradigm of sustainable tourism development has been described as introverted, tourism-centric, and in competition with other sectors for scarce resources (McKercher, 1993a ). Hunter ( 1995 , p. 156) proposes an alternative, “extraparochial” paradigm where sustainable tourism development is reconceptualized in terms of its contribution to overall sustainable development. Such a paradigm would reconsider the scope, scale, and sectoral context of tourism-related resource utilization issues.

“Sustainability,” “sustainable tourism,” and “sustainable development” are all well-established terms that have often been used loosely and interchangeably in the tourism literature (Liu, 2003 ). Nevertheless, the subject of sustainable tourism has been given considerable attention and has been the focus of numerous academic compilations and textbooks (Coccossis & Nijkamp, 1995 ; Hall & Lew, 1998 ; Stabler, 1997 ; Swarbrooke, 1999 ), and it calls for new approaches to sustainable tourism development (Bramwell & Lane, 1993 ; Garrod & Fyall, 1998 ; Hunter, 1995 ; Sharpley, 2000 ). The notion of sustainable tourism has been reconceptualized in the literature by several authors who provided alternative frameworks for tourism development (Buckley, 2012 ; Gössling, 2002 ; Hunter, 1995 ; Liu, 2003 ; McKercher, 1993b ; Sharpley, 2000 ).

Early research in sustainable tourism focused on the local environmental impacts of tourism, including energy use, water use, food consumption, and change in land use (Buckley, 2012 ; Butler, 1991 ; Gössling, 2002 ; Hunter & Green, 1995 ). Subsequent research has emphasized the global environmental impacts of tourism, such as greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity losses (Gössling, 2002 ; Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ; Lenzen et al., 2018 ). Additional research has emphasized the impacts of environmental change on tourism itself, including the impacts of climate change on tourist behavior (Gössling et al., 2012 ; Richardson & Loomis, 2004 ; Scott et al., 2012 ; Viner, 2006 ). Countries that are dependent on tourism for economic growth may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Richardson & Witkoswki, 2010 ).

The early focus on environmental issues in sustainable tourism has been broadened to include economic, social, and cultural issues as well as questions of power and equity in society (Bramwell & Lane, 1993 ; Sharpley, 2014 ), and some of these frameworks have integrated notions of social equity, prosperity, and cultural heritage values. Sustainable tourism is dependent on critical long-term considerations of the impacts; notions of equity; an appreciation of the importance of linkages (i.e., economic, social, and environmental); and the facilitation of cooperation and collaboration between different stakeholders (Elliott & Neirotti, 2008 ).

McKercher ( 1993b ) notes that tourism resources are typically part of the public domain or are intrinsically linked to the social fabric of the host community. As a result, many commonplace tourist activities such as sightseeing may be perceived as invasive by members of the host community. Many social impacts of tourism can be linked to the overuse of the resource base, increases in traffic congestion, rising land prices, urban sprawl, and changes in the social structure of host communities. Given the importance of tourist–resident interaction, sustainable tourism development depends in part on the support of the host community (Garau-Vadell et al., 2018 ).

Tourism planning involves the dual objectives of optimizing the well-being of local residents in host communities and minimizing the costs of tourism development (Sharpley, 2014 ). Tourism researchers have paid significant attention to examining the social impacts of tourism in general and to understanding host communities’ perceptions of tourism in particular. Studies of the social impacts of tourism development have examined the perceptions of local residents and the effects of tourism on social cohesion, traditional lifestyles, and the erosion of cultural heritage, particularly among Indigenous Peoples (Butler & Hinch, 2007 ; Deery et al., 2012 ; Mathieson & Wall, 1982 ; Sharpley, 2014 ; Whitford & Ruhanen, 2016 ).

Alternative Tourism and Sustainable Development

A wide body of published research is related to the role of tourism in sustainable development, and much of the literature involves case studies of particular types of tourism. Many such studies contrast types of alternative tourism with those of mass tourism, which has received sustained criticism for decades and is widely considered to be unsustainable (Cater, 1993 ; Conway & Timms, 2010 ; Fennell, 2020 ; Gursoy et al., 2010 ; Liu, 2003 ; Peeters, 2012 ; Zapata et al., 2011 ). Still, some tourism researchers have taken issue with the conclusion that mass tourism is inherently unsustainable (Sharpley, 2000 ; Weaver, 2007 ), and some have argued for developing pathways to “sustainable mass tourism” as “the desired and impending outcome for most destinations” (Weaver, 2012 , p. 1030). In integrating an ethical component to mass tourism development, Weaver ( 2014 , p. 131) suggests that the desirable outcome is “enlightened mass tourism.” Such suggestions have been contested in the literature and criticized for dubious assumptions about emergent norms of sustainability and support for growth, which are widely seen as contradictory (Peeters, 2012 ; Wheeller, 2007 ).

Models of responsible or alternative tourism development include ecotourism, community-based tourism, pro-poor tourism, slow tourism, green tourism, and heritage tourism, among others. Most models of alternative tourism development emphasize themes that aim to counteract the perceived negative impacts of conventional or mass tourism. As such, the objectives of these models of tourism development tend to focus on minimizing environmental impacts, supporting biodiversity conservation, empowering local communities, alleviating poverty, and engendering pleasant relationships between tourists and residents.

Approaches to alternative tourism development tend to overlap with themes of responsible tourism, and the two terms are frequently used interchangeably. Responsible tourism has been characterized in terms of numerous elements, including

ensuring that communities are involved in and benefit from tourism;

respecting local, natural, and cultural environments;

involving the local community in planning and decision-making;

using local resources sustainably;

behaving in ways that are sensitive to the host culture;

maintaining and encouraging natural, economic, and cultural diversity; and

assessing environmental, social, and economic impacts as a prerequisite to tourism development (Spenceley, 2012 ).

Hetzer ( 1965 ) identified four fundamental principles or perquisites for a more responsible form of tourism: (a) minimum environmental impact; (b) minimum impact on and maximum respect for host cultures; (c) maximum economic benefits to the host country; and (d) maximum leisure satisfaction to participating tourists.

The history of ecotourism is closely connected with the emergence of sustainable development, as it was born out of a concern for the conservation of biodiversity. Ecotourism is a form of tourism that aims to minimize local environmental impacts while bringing benefits to protected areas and the people living around those lands (Honey, 2008 ). Ecotourism represents a small segment of nature-based tourism, which is understood as tourism based on the natural attractions of an area, such as scenic areas and wildlife (Gössling, 1999 ). The ecotourism movement gained momentum in the 1990s, primarily in developing countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly all countries are now engaged in some form of ecotourism. In some communities, ecotourism is the primary economic activity and source of income and economic development.

The term “ecotourism” was coined by Hector Ceballos-Lascuráin and defined by him as “tourism that consists in travelling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific object of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals” (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1987 , p. 13). In discussing ecotourism resources, he also made reference to “any existing cultural manifestations (both past and present) found in these areas” (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1987 , p. 14). The basic precepts of ecotourism had been discussed long before the actual use of the term. Twenty years earlier, Hetzer ( 1965 ) referred to a form of tourism “based principally upon natural and archaeological resources such as caves, fossil sites (and) archaeological sites.” Thus, both natural resources and cultural resources were integrated into ecotourism frameworks from the earliest manifestations.

Costa Rica is well known for having successfully integrated ecotourism in its overall strategy for sustainable development, and numerous case studies of ecotourism in Costa Rica appear in the literature (Chase et al., 1998 ; Fennell & Eagles, 1990 ; Gray & Campbell, 2007 ; Hearne & Salinas, 2002 ). Ecotourism in Costa Rica has been seen as having supported the economic development of the country while promoting biodiversity conservation in its extensive network of protected areas. Chase et al. ( 1998 ) estimated the demand for ecotourism in a study of differential pricing of entrance fees at national parks in Costa Rica. The authors estimated elasticities associated with the own-price, cross-price, and income variables and found that the elasticities of demand were significantly different between three different national park sites. The results reveal the heterogeneity characterizing tourist behavior and park attractions and amenities. Hearne and Salinas ( 2002 ) used choice experiments to examine the preferences of domestic and foreign tourists in Costa Rica in an ecotourism site. Both sets of tourists demonstrated a preference for improved infrastructure, more information, and lower entrance fees. Foreign tourists demonstrated relatively stronger preferences for the inclusion of restrictions in the access to some trails.

Ecotourism has also been studied extensively in Kenya (Southgate, 2006 ), Malaysia (Lian Chan & Baum, 2007 ), Nepal (Baral et al., 2008 ), Peru (Stronza, 2007 ), and Taiwan (Lai & Nepal, 2006 ), among many other countries. Numerous case studies have demonstrated the potential for ecotourism to contribute to sustainable development by providing support for biodiversity conservation, local livelihoods, and regional development.

Community-Based Tourism

Community-based tourism (CBT) is a model of tourism development that emphasizes the development of local communities and allows for local residents to have substantial control over its development and management, and a major proportion of the benefits remain within the community. CBT emerged during the 1970s as a response to the negative impacts of the international mass tourism development model (Cater, 1993 ; Hall & Lew, 2009 ; Turner & Ash, 1975 ; Zapata et al., 2011 ).

Community-based tourism has been examined for its potential to contribute to poverty reduction. In a study of the viability of the CBT model to support socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation in Nicaragua, tourism was perceived by participants in the study to have an impact on employment creation in their communities (Zapata et al., 2011 ). Tourism was seen to have had positive impacts on strengthening local knowledge and skills, particularly on the integration of women to new roles in the labor market. One of the main perceived gains regarding the environment was the process of raising awareness regarding the conservation of natural resources. The small scale of CBT operations and low capacity to accommodate visitors was seen as a limitation of the model.

Spenceley ( 2012 ) compiled case studies of community-based tourism in countries in southern Africa, including Botswana, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In this volume, authors characterize community-based and nature-based tourism development projects in the region and demonstrate how community participation in planning and decision-making has generated benefits for local residents and supported conservation initiatives. They contend that responsible tourism practices are of particular importance in the region because of the rich biological diversity, abundant charismatic wildlife, and the critical need for local economic development and livelihood strategies.

In Kenya, CBT enterprises were not perceived to have made a significant impact on poverty reduction at an individual household level, in part because the model relied heavily on donor funding, reinforcing dependency and poverty (Manyara & Jones, 2007 ). The study identified several critical success factors for CBT enterprises, namely, awareness and sensitization, community empowerment, effective leadership, and community capacity building, which can inform appropriate tourism policy formulation in Kenya. The impacts of CBT on economic development and poverty reduction would be greatly enhanced if tourism initiatives were able to emphasize independence, address local community priorities, enhance community empowerment and transparency, discourage elitism, promote effective community leadership, and develop community capacity to operate their own enterprises more efficiently.

Pro-Poor Tourism

Pro-poor tourism is a model of tourism development that brings net benefits to people living in poverty (Ashley et al., 2001 ; Harrison, 2008 ). Although its theoretical foundations and development objectives overlap to some degree with those of community-based tourism and other models of AT, the key distinctive feature of pro-poor tourism is that it places poor people and poverty at the top of the agenda. By focusing on a very simple and incontrovertibly moral idea, namely, the net benefits of tourism to impoverished people, the concept has broad appeal to donors and international aid agencies. Harnessing the economic benefits of tourism for pro-poor growth means capitalizing on the advantages while reducing negative impacts to people living in poverty (Ashley et al., 2001 ). Pro-poor approaches to tourism development include increasing access of impoverished people to economic benefits; addressing negative social and environmental impacts associated with tourism; and focusing on policies, processes, and partnerships that seek to remove barriers to participation by people living in poverty. At the local level, pro-poor tourism can play a very significant role in livelihood security and poverty reduction (Ashley & Roe, 2002 ).

Rogerson ( 2011 ) argues that the growth of pro-poor tourism initiatives in South Africa suggests that the country has become a laboratory for the testing and evolution of new approaches toward sustainable development planning that potentially will have relevance for other countries in the developing world. A study of pro-poor tourism development initiatives in Laos identified a number of favorable conditions for pro-poor tourism development, including the fact that local people are open to tourism and motivated to participate (Suntikul et al., 2009 ). The authors also noted a lack of development in the linkages that could optimize the fulfilment of the pro-poor agenda, such as training or facilitation of local people’s participation in pro-poor tourism development at the grassroots level.

Critics of the model have argued that pro-poor tourism is based on an acceptance of the status quo of existing capitalism, that it is morally indiscriminate and theoretically imprecise, and that its practitioners are academically and commercially marginal (Harrison, 2008 ). As Chok et al. ( 2007 ) indicate, the focus “on poor people in the South reflects a strong anthropocentric view . . . and . . . environmental benefits are secondary to poor peoples’” benefits (p. 153).

Harrison ( 2008 ) argues that pro-poor tourism is not a distinctive approach to tourism as a development tool and that it may be easier to discuss what pro-poor tourism is not than what it is. He concludes that it is neither anticapitalist nor inconsistent with mainstream tourism on which it relies; it is neither a theory nor a model and is not a niche form of tourism. Further, he argues that it has no distinctive method and is not only about people living in poverty.

Slow Tourism

The concept of slow tourism has emerged as a model of sustainable tourism development, and as such, it lacks an exact definition. The concept of slow tourism traces its origin back to some institutionalized social movements such as “slow food” and “slow cities” that began in Italy in the 1990s and spread rapidly around the world (Fullagar et al., 2012 ; Oh et al., 2016 , p. 205). Advocates of slow tourism tend to emphasize slowness in terms of speed, mobility, and modes of transportation that generate less environmental pollution. They propose niche marketing for alternative forms of tourism that focus on quality upgrading rather than merely increasing the quantity of visitors via the established mass-tourism infrastructure (Conway & Timms, 2010 ).

In the context of the Caribbean region, slow tourism has been promoted as more culturally sensitive and authentic, as compared to the dominant mass tourism development model that is based on all-inclusive beach resorts dependent on foreign investment (Conway & Timms, 2010 ). Recognizing its value as an alternative marketing strategy, Conway and Timms ( 2010 ) make the case for rebranding alternative tourism in the Caribbean as a means of revitalizing the sector for the changing demands of tourists in the 21st century . They suggest that slow tourism is the antithesis of mass tourism, which “relies on increasing the quantity of tourists who move through the system with little regard to either the quality of the tourists’ experience or the benefits that accrue to the localities the tourist visits” (Conway & Timms, 2010 , p. 332). The authors draw on cases from Barbados, the Grenadines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago to characterize models of slow tourism development in remote fishing villages and communities near nature preserves and sea turtle nesting sites.

Although there is a growing interest in the concept of slow tourism in the literature, there seems to be little agreement about the exact nature of slow tourism and whether it is a niche form of special interest tourism or whether it represents a more fundamental potential shift across the industry. Conway and Timms ( 2010 ) focus on the destination, advocating for slow tourism in terms of a promotional identity for an industry in need of rebranding. Caffyn ( 2012 , p. 77) discusses the implementation of slow tourism in terms of “encouraging visitors to make slower choices when planning and enjoying their holidays.” It is not clear whether slow tourism is a marketing strategy, a mindset, or a social movement, but the literature on slow tourism nearly always equates the term with sustainable tourism (Caffyn, 2012 ; Conway & Timms, 2010 ; Oh et al., 2016 ). Caffyn ( 2012 , p. 80) suggests that slow tourism could offer a “win–win,” which she describes as “a more sustainable form of tourism; keeping more of the economic benefits within the local community and destination; and delivering a more meaningful and satisfying experience.” Research on slow tourism is nascent, and thus the contribution of slow tourism to sustainable development is not well understood.

Impacts of Tourism Development

The role of tourism in sustainable development can be examined through an understanding of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of tourism. Tourism is a global phenomenon that involves travel, recreation, the consumption of food, overnight accommodations, entertainment, sightseeing, and other activities that simultaneously intersect the lives of local residents, businesses, and communities. The impacts of tourism involve benefits and costs to all groups, and some of these impacts cannot easily be measured. Nevertheless, they have been studied extensively in the literature, which provides some context for how these benefits and costs are distributed.

Economic Impacts of Tourism

The travel and tourism sector is one of the largest components of the global economy, and global tourism has increased exponentially since the end of the Second World War (UNWTO, 2020 ). The direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of global travel accounted for 8.9 trillion U.S. dollars in contribution to the global gross domestic product (GDP), or 10.3% of global GDP. The global travel and tourism sector supports approximately 330 million jobs, or 1 in 10 jobs around the world. From an economic perspective, tourism plays a significant role in sustainable development. In many developing countries, tourism has the potential to play a unique role in income generation and distribution relative to many other industries, in part because of its high multiplier effect and consumption of local goods and services. However, research on the economic impacts of tourism has shown that this potential has rarely been fully realized (Liu, 2003 ).

Numerous studies have examined the impact of tourism expenditure on GDP, income, employment, and public sector revenue. Narayan ( 2004 ) used a computable general equilibrium model to estimate the economic impact of tourism growth on the economy of Fiji. Tourism is Fiji’s largest industry, with average annual growth of 10–12%; and as a middle-income country, tourism is critical to Fiji’s economic development. The findings indicate that an increase in tourism expenditures was associated with an increase in GDP, an improvement in the country’s balance of payments, and an increase in real consumption and national welfare. Evidence suggests that the benefits of tourism expansion outweigh any export effects caused by an appreciation of the exchange rate and an increase in domestic prices and wages.

Seetanah ( 2011 ) examined the potential contribution of tourism to economic growth and development using panel data of 19 island economies around the world from 1990 to 2007 and revealed that tourism development is an important factor in explaining economic performance in the selected island economies. The results have policy implications for improving economic growth by harnessing the contribution of the tourism sector. Pratt ( 2015 ) modeled the economic impact of tourism for seven small island developing states in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean. In most states, the transportation sector was found to have above-average linkages to other sectors of the economy. The results revealed some advantages of economies of scale for maximizing the economic contribution of tourism.

Apergis and Payne ( 2012 ) examined the causal relationship between tourism and economic growth for a panel of nine Caribbean countries. The panel of Caribbean countries includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The authors use a panel error correction model to reveal bidirectional causality between tourism and economic growth in both the short run and the long run. The presence of bidirectional causality reiterates the importance of the tourism sector in the generation of foreign exchange income and in financing the production of goods and services within these countries. Likewise, stable political institutions and adequate government policies to ensure the appropriate investment in physical and human capital will enhance economic growth. In turn, stable economic growth will provide the resources needed to develop the tourism infrastructure for the success of the countries’ tourism sector. Thus, policy makers should be cognizant of the interdependent relationship between tourism and economic growth in the design and implementation of economic policy. The mixed nature of these results suggest that the relationship between tourism and economic growth depends largely on the social and economic context as well as the role of tourism in the economy.

The economic benefits and costs of tourism are frequently distributed unevenly. An analysis of the impact of wildlife conservation policies in Zambia on household welfare found that households located near national parks earn higher levels of income from wage employment and self-employment than other rural households in the country, but they were also more likely to suffer crop losses related to wildlife conflicts (Richardson et al., 2012 ). The findings suggest that tourism development and wildlife conservation can contribute to pro-poor development, but they may be sustainable only if human–wildlife conflicts are minimized or compensated.

Environmental Impacts of Tourism

The environmental impacts of tourism are significant, ranging from local effects to contributions to global environmental change (Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ). Tourism is both dependent on water resources and a factor in global and local freshwater use. Tourists consume water for drinking, when showering and using the toilet, when participating in activities such as winter ski tourism (i.e., snowmaking), and when using swimming pools and spas. Fresh water is also needed to maintain hotel gardens and golf courses, and water use is embedded in tourism infrastructure development (e.g., accommodations, laundry, dining) and in food and fuel production. Direct water consumption in tourism is estimated to be approximately 350 liters (L) per guest night for accommodation; when indirect water use from food, energy, and transport are considered, total water use in tourism is estimated to be approximately 6,575 L per guest night, or 27,800 L per person per trip (Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ). In addition, tourism contributes to the pollution of oceans as well as lakes, rivers, and other freshwater systems (Gössling, 2002 ; Gössling et al., 2011 ).

The clearing and conversion of land is central for tourism development, and in many cases, the land used for tourism includes roads, airports, railways, accommodations, trails, pedestrian walks, shopping areas, parking areas, campgrounds, vacation homes, golf courses, marinas, ski resorts, and indirect land use for food production, disposal of solid wastes, and the treatment of wastewater (Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ). Global land use for accommodation is estimated to be approximately 42 m 2 per bed. Total global land use for tourism is estimated to be nearly 62,000 km 2 , or 11.7 m 2 per tourist; more than half of this estimate is represented by land use for traffic infrastructure.

Tourism and hospitality have direct and indirect links to nearly all aspects of food production, preparation, and consumption because of the quantities of food consumed in tourism contexts (Gössling et al., 2011 ). Food production has significant implications for sustainable development, given the growing global demand for food. The implications include land conversion, losses to biodiversity, changes in nutrient cycling, and contributions to greenhouse emissions that are associated with global climate change (Vitousek et al., 1997 ). Global food use for tourism is estimated to be approximately 39.4 megatons 1 (Mt), about 38% than the amount of food consumed at home. This equates to approximately 1,800 grams (g) of food consumed per tourist per day.

Although tourism has been promoted as a low-impact, nonextractive option for economic development, (Gössling, 2000 ), assessments reveal that such pursuits have a significant carbon footprint, as tourism is significantly more carbon intensive than other potential areas of economic development (Lenzen et al., 2018 ). Tourism is dependent on energy, and virtually all energy use in the tourism sector is derived from fossil fuels, which contribute to global greenhouse emissions that are associated with global climate change. Energy use for tourism has been estimated to be approximately 3,575 megajoules 2 (MJ) per trip, including energy for travel and accommodations (Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ). A previous estimate of global carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from tourism provided values of 1.12 gigatons 3 (Gt) of CO 2 , amounting to about 3% of global CO 2 -equivalent (CO 2 e) emissions (Gössling & Peeters, 2015 ). However, these analyses do not cover the supply chains underpinning tourism and do not therefore represent true carbon footprints. A more complete analysis of the emissions from energy consumption necessary to sustain the tourism sector would include food and beverages, infrastructure construction and maintenance, retail, and financial services. Between 2009 and 2013 , tourism’s global carbon footprint is estimated to have increased from 3.9 to 4.5 GtCO 2 e, four times more than previously estimated, accounting for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Lenzen et al., 2018 ). The majority of this footprint is exerted by and within high-income countries. The rising global demand for tourism is outstripping efforts at decarbonization of tourism operations and as a result is accelerating global carbon emissions.

Social Impacts of Tourism

The social impacts of tourism have been widely studied, with an emphasis on residents’ perceptions in the host community (Sharpley, 2014 ). Case studies include research conducted in Australia (Faulkner & Tideswell, 1997 ; Gursoy et al., 2010 ; Tovar & Lockwood, 2008 ), Belize (Diedrich & Garcia-Buades, 2008 ), China (Gu & Ryan, 2008 ), Fiji (King et al., 1993 ), Greece (Haralambopoulos & Pizam, 1996 ; Tsartas, 1992 ), Hungary (Rátz, 2000 ), Thailand (Huttasin, 2008 ), Turkey (Kuvan & Akan, 2005 ), the United Kingdom (Brunt & Courtney, 1999 ; Haley et al., 2005 ), and the United States (Andereck et al., 2005 ; Milman & Pizam, 1988 ), among others. The social impacts of tourism are difficult to measure, and most published studies are mainly concerned with the social impacts on the host communities rather than the impacts on the tourists themselves.

Studies of residents’ perceptions of tourism are typically conducted using household surveys. In most cases, residents recognize the economic dependence on tourism for income, and there is substantial evidence to suggest that working in or owning a business in tourism or a related industry is associated with more positive perceptions of tourism (Andereck et al., 2007 ). The perceived nature of negative effects is complex and often conveys a dislike of crowding, traffic congestion, and higher prices for basic needs (Deery et al., 2012 ). When the number of tourists far exceeds that of the resident population, negative attitudes toward tourism may manifest (Diedrich & Garcia-Buades, 2008 ). However, residents who recognize negative impacts may not necessarily oppose tourism development (King et al., 1993 ).

In some regions, little is known about the social and cultural impacts of tourism despite its dominance as an economic sector. Tourism is a rapidly growing sector in Cuba, and it is projected to grow at rates that exceed the average projected growth rates for the Caribbean and the world overall (Salinas et al., 2018 ). Still, even though there has been rapid tourism development in Cuba, there has been little research related to the environmental and sociocultural impacts of this tourism growth (Rutty & Richardson, 2019 ).

In some international tourism contexts, studies have found that residents are generally resentful toward tourism because it fuels inequality and exacerbates racist attitudes and discrimination (Cabezas, 2004 ; Jamal & Camargo, 2014 ; Mbaiwa, 2005 ). Other studies revealed similar narratives and recorded statements of exclusion and socioeconomic stratification (Sanchez & Adams, 2008 ). Local residents often must navigate the gaps in the racialized, gendered, and sexualized structures imposed by the global tourism industry and host-country governments (Cabezas, 2004 ).

However, during times of economic crisis, residents may develop a more permissive view as their perceptions of the costs of tourism development decrease (Garau-Vadell et al., 2018 ). This increased positive attitude is not based on an increase in the perception of positive impacts of tourism, but rather on a decrease in the perception of the negative impacts.

There is a growing body of research on Indigenous and Aboriginal tourism that emphasizes justice issues such as human rights and self-empowerment, control, and participation of traditional owners in comanagement of destinations (Jamal & Camargo, 2014 ; Ryan & Huyton, 2000 ; Whyte, 2010 ).

Sustainability of Tourism

A process or system is said to be sustainable to the extent that it is robust, resilient, and adaptive (Anderies et al., 2013 ). By most measures, the global tourism system does not meet these criteria for sustainability. Tourism is not robust in that it cannot resist threats and perturbations, such as economic shocks, public health pandemics, war, and other disruptions. Tourism is not resilient in that it does not easily recover from failures, such as natural disasters or civil unrest. Furthermore, tourism is not adaptive in that it is often unable to change in response to external conditions. One example that underscores the failure to meet all three criteria is the dependence of tourism on fossil fuels for transportation and energy, which are key inputs for tourism development. This dependence itself is not sustainable (Wheeller, 2007 ), and thus the sustainability of tourism is questionable.

Liu ( 2003 ) notes that research related to the role of tourism in sustainable development has emphasized supply-side concepts such as sustaining tourism resources and ignored the demand side, which is particularly vulnerable to social and economic shocks. Tourism is vulnerable to both localized and global shocks. Studies of the vulnerability of tourism to localized shocks include disaster vulnerability in coastal Thailand (Calgaro & Lloyd, 2008 ), bushfires in northeast Victoria in Australia (Cioccio & Michael, 2007 ), forest fires in British Columbia, Canada (Hystad & Keller, 2008 ); and outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom (Miller & Ritchie, 2003 ).

Like most other economic sectors, tourism is vulnerable to the impacts of earthquakes, particularly in areas where tourism infrastructure may not be resilient to such shocks. Numerous studies have examined the impacts of earthquake events on tourism, including studies of the aftermath of the 1997 earthquake in central Italy (Mazzocchi & Montini, 2001 ), the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan (Huan et al., 2004 ; Huang & Min, 2002 ), and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in western Sichuan, China (Yang et al., 2011 ), among others.

Tourism is vulnerable to extreme weather events. Regional economic strength has been found to be associated with lower vulnerability to natural disasters. Kim and Marcoullier ( 2015 ) examined the vulnerability and resilience of 10 tourism-based regional economies that included U.S. national parks or protected seashores situated on the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean coastline that were affected by several hurricanes over a 26-year period. Regions with stronger economic characteristics prior to natural disasters were found to have lower disaster losses than regions with weaker economies.

Tourism is extremely sensitive to oil spills, whatever their origin, and the volume of oil released need not be large to generate significant economic losses (Cirer-Costa, 2015 ). Studies of the vulnerability of tourism to the localized shock of an oil spill include research on the impacts of oil spills in Alaska (Coddington, 2015 ), Brazil (Ribeiro et al., 2020 ), Spain (Castanedo et al., 2009 ), affected regions in the United States along the Gulf of Mexico (Pennington-Gray et al., 2011 ; Ritchie et al., 2013 ), and the Republic of Korea (Cheong, 2012 ), among others. Future research on the vulnerability of tourist destinations to oil spills should also incorporate freshwater environments, such as lakes, rivers, and streams, where the rupture of oil pipelines is more frequent.

Significant attention has been paid to assessing the vulnerability of tourist destinations to acts of terrorism and the impacts of terrorist attacks on regional tourist economies (Liu & Pratt, 2017 ). Such studies include analyses of the impacts of terrorist attacks on three European countries, Greece, Italy, and Austria (Enders et al., 1992 ); the impact of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States (Goodrich, 2002 ); terrorism and tourism in Nepal (Bhattarai et al., 2005 ); vulnerability of tourism livelihoods in Bali (Baker & Coulter, 2007 ); the impact of terrorism on tourist preferences for destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands (Arana & León, 2008 ); the 2011 massacres in Olso and Utøya, Norway (Wolff & Larsen, 2014 ); terrorism and political violence in Tunisia (Lanouar & Goaied, 2019 ); and the impact of terrorism on European tourism (Corbet et al., 2019 ), among others. Pizam and Fleischer ( 2002 ) studied the impact of acts of terrorism on tourism demand in Israel between May 1991 and May 2001 , and they confirmed that the frequency of acts of terrorism had caused a larger decline in international tourist arrivals than the severity of these acts. Most of these are ex post studies, and future assessments of the underlying conditions of destinations could reveal a deeper understanding of the vulnerability of tourism to terrorism.

Tourism is vulnerable to economic crisis, both local economic shocks (Okumus & Karamustafa, 2005 ; Stylidis & Terzidou, 2014 ) and global economic crisis (Papatheodorou et al., 2010 ; Smeral, 2010 ). Okumus and Karamustafa ( 2005 ) evaluated the impact of the February 2001 economic crisis in Turkey on tourism, and they found that the tourism industry was poorly prepared for the economic crisis despite having suffered previous impacts related to the Gulf War in the early 1990s, terrorism in Turkey in the 1990s, the civil war in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, an internal economic crisis in 1994 , and two earthquakes in the northwest region of Turkey in 1999 . In a study of the attitudes and perceptions of citizens of Greece, Stylidis and Terzidou ( 2014 ) found that economic crisis is associated with increased support for tourism development, particularly out of self-interest. Economic crisis diminishes residents’ concern for environmental issues. In a study of the behavior of European tourists amid an economic crisis, Eugenio-Martin and Campos-Soria ( 2014 ) found that the probability of households cutting back on travel expenditures depends largely on the climate and economic conditions of tourists’ home countries, and households that do reduce travel spending engage in tourism closer to home.

Becken and Lennox ( 2012 ) studied the implications of a long-term increase in oil prices for tourism in New Zealand, and they estimate that a doubling of oil prices is associated with a 1.7% decrease in real gross national disposable income and a 9% reduction in the real value of tourism exports. Chatziantoniou et al. ( 2013 ) investigated the relationship among oil price shocks, tourism variables, and economic indicators in four European Mediterranean countries and found that aggregate demand oil price shocks generated a lagged effect on tourism-generated income and economic growth. Kisswani et al. ( 2020 ) examined the asymmetric effect of oil prices on tourism receipts and the sensitive susceptibility of tourism to oil price changes using nonlinear analysis. The findings document a long-run asymmetrical effect for most countries, after incorporating the structural breaks, suggesting that governments and tourism businesses and organizations should interpret oil price fluctuations cautiously.

Finally, the sustainability of tourism has been shown to be vulnerable to the outbreak of infectious diseases, including the impact of the Ebola virus on tourism in sub-Saharan Africa (Maphanga & Henama, 2019 ; Novelli et al., 2018 ) and in the United States (Cahyanto et al., 2016 ). The literature also includes studies of the impact of swine flu on tourism demand in Brunei (Haque & Haque, 2018 ), Mexico (Monterrubio, 2010 ), and the United Kingdom (Page et al., 2012 ), among others. In addition, rapid assessments of the impacts of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have documented severe disruptions and cessations of tourism because of unprecedented global travel restrictions and widespread restrictions on public gatherings (Gössling et al., 2020 ; Qiu et al., 2020 ; Sharma & Nicolau, 2020 ). Hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and car rentals have all experienced a significant decrease globally because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shock to the industry is significant enough to warrant concerns about the long-term outlook (Sharma & Nicolau, 2020 ). Qiu et al. ( 2020 ) estimated the social costs of the pandemic to tourism in three cities in China (Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Wuhan), and they found that most respondents were willing to pay for risk reduction and action in responding to the pandemic crisis; there was no significant difference between residents’ willingness to pay in the three cities. Some research has emphasized how lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can prepare global tourism for an economic transformation that is needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change (Brouder, 2020 ; Prideaux et al., 2020 ).

It is clear that tourism has contributed significantly to economic development globally, but its role in sustainable development is uncertain, contested, and potentially paradoxical. This is due, in part, to the contested nature of sustainable development itself. Tourism has been promoted as a low-impact, nonextractive option for economic development, particularly for developing countries (Gössling, 2000 ), and many countries have managed to increase their participation in the global economy through development of international tourism. Tourism development has been viewed as an important sector for investment to enhance economic growth, poverty alleviation, and food security, and the sector provides an alternative opportunity to large-scale development projects and extractive industries that contribute to emissions of pollutants and threaten biodiversity and cultural values. However, global evidence from research on the economic impacts of tourism has shown that this potential has rarely been realized (Liu, 2003 ).

The role of tourism in sustainable development has been studied extensively and with a variety of perspectives, including the conceptualization of alternative or responsible forms of tourism and the examination of economic, environmental, and social impacts of tourism development. The research has generally concluded that tourism development has contributed to sustainable development in some cases where it is demonstrated to have provided support for biodiversity conservation initiatives and livelihood development strategies. As an economic sector, tourism is considered to be labor intensive, providing opportunities for poor households to enhance their livelihood through the sale of goods and services to foreign tourists.

Nature-based tourism approaches such as ecotourism and community-based tourism have been successful at attracting tourists to parks and protected areas, and their spending provides financial support for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, and economic growth in developing countries. Nevertheless, studies of the impacts of tourism development have documented negative environmental impacts locally in terms of land use, food and water consumption, and congestion, and globally in terms of the contribution of tourism to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases related to transportation and other tourist activities. Studies of the social impacts of tourism have documented experiences of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, race, sex, and national identity.

The sustainability of tourism as an economic sector has been examined in terms of its vulnerability to civil conflict, economic shocks, natural disasters, and public health pandemics. Most studies conclude that tourism may have positive impacts for regional development and environmental conservation, but there is evidence that tourism inherently generates negative environmental impacts, primarily through pollutions stemming from transportation. The regional benefits of tourism development must be considered alongside the global impacts of increased transportation and tourism participation. Global tourism has also been shown to be vulnerable to economic crises, oil price shocks, and global outbreaks of infectious diseases. Given that tourism is dependent on energy, the movement of people, and the consumption of resources, virtually all tourism activities have significant economic, environmental, and sustainable impacts. As such, the role of tourism in sustainable development is highly questionable. Future research on the role of tourism in sustainable development should focus on reducing the negative impacts of tourism development, both regionally and globally.

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1. One megatonne (Mt) is equal to 1 million (10 6 ) metric tons.

2. One megajoule (MJ) is equal to 1 million (10 6 ) joules, or approximately the kinetic energy of a 1-megagram (tonne) vehicle moving at 161 km/h.

3. One gigatonne (Gt) is equal to 1 billion (10 9 ) metric tons.

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What Are The 7 Sectors Of Tourism

Published: December 12, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Mable Roldan

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Introduction

Welcome to the exciting world of tourism! As travel enthusiasts, we often embark on journeys to discover new destinations, experience different cultures, and create unforgettable memories. But have you ever wondered about the various sectors that make up the tourism industry? Understanding these sectors can help us gain insight into the complex web of services and experiences that come together to create the perfect travel experience.

The tourism industry encompasses a wide range of activities and services, all aimed at providing travelers with comfortable and enjoyable experiences. These sectors work harmoniously to ensure that every aspect of a trip, from accommodation to transportation and beyond, is well taken care of. In this article, we will explore the seven key sectors of tourism, each playing a vital role in the overall travel experience.

From finding the perfect place to stay, to indulging in delectable local cuisine, to getting around efficiently, each sector offers unique services and experiences that contribute to the overall success of a trip. So, let’s dive into the world of tourism sectors and discover how they come together to create unforgettable journeys!

Accommodation Sector

The accommodation sector is a fundamental pillar of the tourism industry, providing travelers with a home away from home during their travels. This sector comprises a diverse range of options, ranging from luxurious hotels and resorts to budget-friendly hostels and vacation rentals.

Accommodation providers strive to ensure that guests have a comfortable and pleasant stay by offering a variety of amenities and services. From well-appointed rooms and spacious suites to 24/7 reception and room service, the accommodation sector aims to meet the needs and preferences of all types of travelers.

In recent years, there has been a remarkable surge in alternative accommodation options such as home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, allowing travelers to rent unique properties directly from homeowners. This trend has provided travelers with a wider range of choices and the opportunity to experience local neighborhoods and cultures more authentically.

Additionally, sustainability and eco-consciousness have become important factors in the accommodation sector. Many establishments are implementing eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient lighting and recycling programs, to reduce their environmental impact and attract guests who prioritize sustainable tourism.

Furthermore, technology has played a significant role in enhancing the accommodation sector. Online booking platforms and mobile apps have made it easier than ever for travelers to research, compare, and book accommodations, providing a seamless experience. The use of keyless entry systems and personalized mobile concierge services have also become popular, allowing guests to have a hassle-free and customized stay.

Whether it’s a cozy bed and breakfast nestled in a charming countryside or a luxurious beachfront resort with stunning ocean views, the accommodation sector offers a wide range of options to suit every budget, preference, and travel style.

Food and Beverage Sector

The food and beverage sector is a vital component of the tourism industry, as it provides travelers with culinary experiences that reflect the local culture and traditions of a destination. This sector encompasses a wide range of establishments, including restaurants, cafes, bars, food trucks, and street food vendors.

One of the highlights of travel is indulging in diverse cuisines and trying new flavors. The food and beverage sector caters to these cravings by offering a plethora of dining options, from upscale fine dining restaurants to casual eateries serving traditional local dishes. Travelers can savor authentic flavors, culinary masterpieces, and innovative fusions that highlight the region’s unique gastronomy.

Many destinations are known for their vibrant food scenes, with local markets and street food stalls offering a rich tapestry of flavors and aromas. Exploring local markets and trying street food can be a memorable and immersive experience, allowing travelers to get a taste of the authentic culinary culture of a place.

The food and beverage sector also caters to specific dietary needs and preferences. With an increasing number of people following vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diets, many establishments now offer diverse menu options to accommodate various dietary requirements. This inclusivity ensures that travelers with dietary restrictions can still enjoy delicious meals and be part of the culinary exploration.

Moreover, the sector has witnessed a rising trend of farm-to-table dining and emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients. Restaurants and cafes are partnering with local farmers, growers, and producers to source fresh, seasonal ingredients, supporting the local economy and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation.

Technology has also made its mark on the food and beverage sector, with online restaurant reviews, recommendations, and food delivery apps allowing travelers to discover and enjoy the best dining experiences effortlessly. Additionally, some establishments employ innovative concepts like interactive dining experiences, fusion cuisines, and molecular gastronomy, aiming to provide unique and memorable meals that go beyond traditional dining.

From savoring Michelin-starred delicacies to sampling street food treasures, the food and beverage sector offers a diverse and enticing array of culinary experiences for travelers to delight their taste buds and create lasting memories.

Transportation Sector

The transportation sector is an essential component of the tourism industry, connecting travelers to their desired destinations. It encompasses various modes of transportation, including air travel, train and rail services, bus and coach services, cruises, and car rentals.

Air travel is a major player in the transportation sector, providing international and domestic flights that enable travelers to reach their destinations quickly and efficiently. Airlines strive to offer comfortable seating, in-flight entertainment, and quality service to enhance the overall travel experience. With the expansion of low-cost carriers, air travel has become more accessible and affordable, driving tourism growth around the world.

Train and rail services are another popular mode of transportation, especially for intercity travel and scenic journeys. Traveling by train allows passengers to enjoy stunning landscapes, experience local culture, and connect with different regions or countries in a convenient and sustainable way.

Bus and coach services provide economical transportation options for both urban and rural areas. They are often preferred by budget-conscious travelers or those seeking a more immersive experience, as they allow passengers to interact with locals and witness the changing landscapes along the journey.

Cruise tourism has also gained popularity, offering unique travel experiences on sea voyages. Cruise ships provide a floating resort-like experience, with amenities such as restaurants, entertainment venues, and recreational activities, while allowing travelers to explore different destinations without the need for constant packing and unpacking.

Car rentals give travelers the freedom to explore at their own pace, particularly in destinations with extensive road networks and scenic drives. Renting a car allows for flexibility and the opportunity to venture off the beaten path, discovering hidden gems and experiencing a more personalized travel itinerary.

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the transportation sector, making it more convenient and accessible for travelers. Online platforms and mobile apps allow for seamless booking and ticketing, real-time travel updates, and navigation assistance. Ride-hailing services have also gained popularity, providing an alternative mode of transportation in urban areas.

Transportation plays a crucial role in shaping a traveler’s overall experience, as it sets the tone for their journey and connects them to the various attractions and activities of a destination. Efficient and well-connected transportation networks contribute to the accessibility and attractiveness of a place, making it easier and more enjoyable for travelers to explore and immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences.

Travel Agency Sector

The travel agency sector plays a pivotal role in the tourism industry, acting as a bridge between travelers and their dream destinations. Travel agencies provide valuable services and expertise to help travelers plan and organize their trips, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Travel agencies serve as a one-stop-shop for all travel-related needs. They assist travelers in selecting destinations, finding the best deals on accommodations, arranging transportation, and curating itineraries based on individual preferences and budgets. Whether it’s a solo adventure, a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a group tour, travel agencies cater to a wide range of travel styles and requirements.

These agencies maintain relationships with airlines, hotels, tour operators, and other service providers, enabling them to secure discounted rates and exclusive packages for their clients. They have firsthand knowledge of destinations, attractions, and local customs, allowing them to offer valuable advice and recommendations to travelers.

In addition to organizing the logistics of a trip, travel agencies often specialize in specific types of travel experiences. They may focus on adventure travel, luxury vacations, cultural immersion, or niche markets like eco-tourism or culinary tours. This specialization allows them to provide expert guidance tailored to the specific interests of their clients.

With the rise of online travel booking platforms, some may question the relevance of travel agencies. However, travel agencies still hold a significant advantage with their personalized service and expertise. They can offer valuable insights and recommendations, handle complex itineraries, and provide support in the event of any unexpected issues during the trip.

Furthermore, travel agencies often offer additional services such as travel insurance, visa assistance, and 24/7 customer support. These added benefits alleviate the stress and uncertainties that can arise when planning and embarking on a journey, giving travelers peace of mind.

In recent years, travel agencies have also embraced technology to enhance their services. Many agencies have online platforms where travelers can research, compare, and book travel services. They utilize social media and content marketing strategies to inspire and engage potential clients, sharing travel tips, destination highlights, and special offers.

Overall, the travel agency sector plays a vital role in facilitating seamless and enjoyable travel experiences. Their expertise, personalized service, and access to exclusive deals make them valuable partners for travelers seeking professional assistance and guidance in planning their adventures.

Adventure and Recreation Sector

The adventure and recreation sector of the tourism industry caters to thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of exciting activities and experiences. This sector is perfect for those looking to step out of their comfort zone, immerse themselves in nature, and create unforgettable memories.

Adventure tourism encompasses activities such as hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, zip-lining, white-water rafting, and paragliding, among others. These activities provide a unique opportunity to explore natural landscapes, challenge oneself physically and mentally, and appreciate the beauty and wonders of the great outdoors.

Recreation tourism, on the other hand, focuses on leisure and relaxation. This sector includes activities such as beach vacations, golfing, spa retreats, wellness retreats, and wildlife safaris. Recreation tourism offers a chance to unwind, rejuvenate, and engage in activities that promote overall well-being and tranquility.

While adventure and recreation activities differ in their nature, both sectors contribute to sustainable tourism by raising awareness about environmental conservation and supporting local communities. Many adventure tourism operators and recreational facilities follow sustainable practices, ensuring the preservation of natural resources and the protection of delicate ecosystems.

Adventure and recreation tourism also provide economic opportunities for local communities. These activities often require specialized guides, equipment rental services, and accommodation facilities, creating employment and generating income for the host destinations.

Technology has played a significant role in the growth of the adventure and recreation sector. Online platforms and mobile applications make it easier for travelers to research and book activities, access trail maps, and connect with local guides. Adventure and recreation companies often leverage social media platforms to showcase their offerings and inspire potential travelers.

The adventure and recreation sector offers a diverse range of experiences, catering to a variety of interests and skill levels. Whether it’s summiting a mountain peak, scuba diving in a vibrant coral reef, or simply enjoying a peaceful yoga retreat, this sector ensures that travelers can find activities that align with their preferences and desired level of excitement.

It’s important to note that safety and responsible tourism practices are essential in the adventure and recreation sector. Travelers should choose licensed operators, follow guidelines provided by professionals, respect the environment, and prioritize their own safety and well-being while engaging in adventurous activities. This ensures a positive and sustainable experience for both travelers and the destinations they visit.

Events and Conferences Sector

The events and conferences sector of the tourism industry plays a pivotal role in bringing together professionals, enthusiasts, and like-minded individuals from various fields. This sector is responsible for organizing and hosting a wide range of events, conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions that contribute to knowledge-sharing, networking, and business growth.

Events and conferences serve as platforms for professionals to exchange ideas, showcase innovations, and discuss current trends in their respective industries. They provide opportunities for networking, collaboration, and learning, fostering professional development and driving innovation.

The sector encompasses a diverse range of events, including academic conferences, industry exhibitions, music festivals, sports competitions, cultural festivals, and trade shows, among many others. These events attract participants from different parts of the world, contributing to the economic growth of the host destination.

Events and conferences often require specialized infrastructure and facilities, such as convention centers, exhibition halls, and hotels with conference facilities. These venues provide the necessary space, technology, and amenities to accommodate large gatherings and ensure the smooth execution of events.

The events and conferences sector contributes to the tourism industry by boosting visitor numbers, filling hotel rooms, and driving revenue for local businesses such as restaurants, transportation services, and event vendors. Host destinations often see a surge in tourism during major events, as attendees explore the local attractions and contribute to the local economy.

Technology has played a significant role in enhancing the events and conferences sector. Virtual conferences and hybrid event formats have gained popularity, allowing participants to attend events remotely, reducing travel expenses and environmental impact. Event management software, mobile apps, and online registration systems have streamlined event organization, making it easier for attendees to access event information, sign up for sessions, and engage with other participants.

It’s important to note that the events and conferences sector is not limited to business-related gatherings. Cultural festivals, music concerts, and sporting events also fall under this sector, offering unique experiences that celebrate art, music, sports, and local traditions.

A well-executed event or conference can leave a lasting impact on participants, fostering professional connections, knowledge exchange, and inspiration. By bringing people together, this sector contributes to the growth and development of various industries and promotes cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

Tourism Services Sector

The tourism services sector is a vital component of the overall tourism industry, providing a wide range of support services to both travelers and businesses operating within the tourism sector. This sector encompasses various services that enhance the travel experience and contribute to the seamless operation of the industry.

One of the key services in this sector is tourism information and assistance. Tourism information centers, both physical and virtual, provide valuable resources and guidance to travelers, offering information about destinations, attractions, accommodation options, transportation, and activities. These centers play a crucial role in helping travelers plan their itineraries and make informed decisions.

Another important aspect of the tourism services sector is travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost baggage, and travel interruptions. It offers peace of mind to travelers, ensuring that they are protected from unforeseen circumstances that may disrupt their travel plans.

Visa assistance is another significant service within this sector. Many destinations require travelers to obtain visas before entry, and navigating the visa application process can be complex and time-consuming. Visa assistance services, whether provided by travel agencies or specialized companies, help travelers understand the requirements, gather the necessary documentation, and facilitate the visa application process.

Translation and interpretation services are also essential in the tourism services sector, particularly in destinations where the local language may be a barrier for some travelers. These services ensure effective communication between travelers and local residents, allowing for a smoother and more immersive experience.

Additionally, currency exchange services play a vital role in facilitating financial transactions for travelers. The ability to exchange currencies conveniently and at fair rates ensures that travelers have access to the local currency for their expenses during their trip.

Technology has transformed the tourism services sector, making these services more accessible and convenient. Mobile applications, online platforms, and virtual assistants provide travelers with instant access to information, assistance, and services. Many travel service providers offer online booking options and 24/7 customer support, allowing travelers to make reservations and address any queries or concerns at their convenience.

The tourism services sector acts as a backbone for the overall tourism industry, ensuring that travelers have access to the necessary support, information, and services they need throughout their journey. By providing valuable assistance and enhancing the travel experience, this sector plays a vital role in fostering customer satisfaction and driving the growth of the tourism industry as a whole.

The tourism industry is a complex and multifaceted sector, composed of various interconnected sectors that work together to provide unforgettable travel experiences. From accommodations and food to transportation and events, each sector plays a crucial role in shaping the overall travel experience and contributing to the success of the tourism industry.

The accommodation sector ensures that travelers have a comfortable and enjoyable place to stay, offering a wide range of options to suit every preference and budget. The food and beverage sector tantalizes taste buds with diverse cuisines and culinary experiences, reflecting the local culture and traditions of a destination.

The transportation sector connects travelers to their desired destinations, providing convenient and efficient modes of travel. Travel agencies serve as invaluable resources, offering expertise and assistance in planning and organizing trips, while the adventure and recreation sector caters to thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts craving adrenaline-pumping experiences.

Events and conferences bring professionals together, fostering knowledge sharing, networking, and innovation. Finally, the tourism services sector provides essential support services such as information and assistance, travel insurance, visa facilitation, translation and interpretation, and currency exchange.

Technology has revolutionized the tourism industry, making information and services more accessible, convenient, and personalized. Online booking platforms, mobile apps, and virtual assistance have transformed the way travelers research, plan, and book their trips.

In conclusion, understanding the various sectors of the tourism industry allows us to appreciate the intricate web of services that work harmoniously to create remarkable travel experiences. Whether it’s relaxing in a luxurious hotel, savoring local delicacies, exploring beautiful landscapes, attending a conference, or receiving helpful assistance, each sector contributes to the success and enjoyment of a trip. By recognizing the importance of these sectors and embracing technology’s advancements, we can continue to enhance and evolve the tourism industry and provide unforgettable experiences for travelers around the world.

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The Geo Room

The 5 As of Tourism

If you’re undertaking a geography qualification or are just an avid traveller, then you may well have heard of the “5 As” of tourism. These are five factors that create the perfect travel destination and draw in thousands of visitors every year. They are fundamental to the success of the growing tourism industry.

  • Accessibility
  • Accommodation

Each of these components is essential to creating an enjoyable and successful trip.

Let’s take a look at each individually.

1. Accessibility

Accessibility is the ability for tourists to get to where they need to go. This means having efficient airports, transportation, and roads. It also means having convenient access to restaurants and other services. Tourists need to be able to get to their desired destination easily, whether it’s by plane, train, car, or boat. If a holiday destination is difficult to get to with long travel times and many swaps in transport then they may choose a different location. Easy access to transportation is essential for a successful trip.

2. Accommodation

Accommodation refers to the type of lodging available for tourists. No one wants to stay in a dirty, crowded and rundown hotel when they have paid so much money in travelling to their destination. The growth in all-inclusive resorts has prompted many tourists to set higher standards for their accommodation. In order for a destination to be successful in drawing in and retaining a steady stream of visitors they must offer lots of different accommodation options. Hotels, resorts, motels, vacation rentals, and other lodging options should be available. The rise in Airbnb has given many a luxury choice of opting for a “home away from home”.

3. Activities

This one is a pretty clear factor of tourism. Tourists want to be entertained while on holiday and participate in activities they may not usually undertake. These could include: swimming, hiking, sightseeing, shopping, and dining. It’s important to have a wide range of activities available to appeal to a variety of tourists. Travel companies often provide access to these activities from hotels, providing transport to nearby national parks, theme parks or towns. These are known as excursions.

4. Amenities

Amenities are the little extras that make a trip even more enjoyable. These include things like Wi-Fi, pool access, spa services, and more. Having great amenities can help make a tourist’s trip even more enjoyable. Tourists like to make sure that they are getting their money’s worth and so when searching for a holiday they will often opt for package options that give them the most amenities within their budget.

5. Attraction

Attraction is the most obvious aspect of tourism. Tourists are drawn to places of beauty, unique culture, and interesting history. Whether it’s a beach, mountain, city, or countryside, attractions are what draw tourists to visit a certain place. Countries that have economies that rely heavily on tourist income will ensure more funding is pushed towards improving the attraction of the area. Improvements to the landscape and infrastructure are made to make it more appealing to guests.

Bonus A : Affordability

Affordability is not typically counted in the 5 As but is sometimes substituted in. Affordability is a very important component of tourism. Tourists want to find affordable options when it comes to all of the above. Whether it be transport, accommodation, activities or amenities. Finding great deals and sometimes even discounts can help make holidays more affordable and remove stress – making them more enjoyable too.

The five As of tourism are essential for a successful trip. Attraction, Activities, Accessibility, Accommodation and Amenities are all important components that need to be taken into consideration when planning a vacation. The tourism industry must also take these factors into account when advertising holidays to help draw in tourists. Affordability is also an important component of tourism and is often the deciding factor in whether a person will choose a certain destination. Finding the perfect balance of the components helps make a trip more enjoyable and successful.

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Charlotte is the founder of The Geo Room. She is a Geography University Student with a passion for travel and combines her love for Geography and travelling right here on The Geo Room. As an expert in both fields, Charlotte shares tips and tricks to do with both Geography and travel to help readers understand more about the world we live in, and how to make the most of travelling around it.

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6 a's of tourism

The "6 a's of tourism" is a concept that outlines key factors contributing to the success of a tourist destination. these factors are often considered crucial for attracting and retaining tourists. the 6 a's of tourism are:.

Attractions: These are the primary reasons people visit a destination, including natural wonders, historical sites, cultural events, entertainment venues, and unique experiences.

Accessibility: Easy access to a destination through well-developed transportation infrastructure, such as airports, highways, and public transit, is essential for attracting tourists.

Accommodation: A range of lodging options, from hotels and resorts to vacation rentals and campsites, is necessary to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of travelers.

Activities: Providing a variety of activities and experiences for tourists, such as outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, shopping, dining, and entertainment, enhances the overall visitor experience.

Amenities: Amenities like restaurants, shopping centers, medical facilities, and other services contribute to the comfort and convenience of tourists during their stay.

Advocacy: Local support and promotion of tourism, including efforts by governments, businesses, and communities to preserve and promote the destination, play a vital role in sustaining tourism growth.

These 6 A's work together to create an appealing and well-rounded tourist destination, making it attractive to a broader range of visitors and contributing to the destination's economic and cultural vitality.

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The future of tourism: Bridging the labor gap, enhancing customer experience

As travel resumes and builds momentum, it’s becoming clear that tourism is resilient—there is an enduring desire to travel. Against all odds, international tourism rebounded in 2022: visitor numbers to Europe and the Middle East climbed to around 80 percent of 2019 levels, and the Americas recovered about 65 percent of prepandemic visitors 1 “Tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023,” United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), January 17, 2023. —a number made more significant because it was reached without travelers from China, which had the world’s largest outbound travel market before the pandemic. 2 “ Outlook for China tourism 2023: Light at the end of the tunnel ,” McKinsey, May 9, 2023.

Recovery and growth are likely to continue. According to estimates from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80 to 95 percent of prepandemic levels depending on the extent of the economic slowdown, travel recovery in Asia–Pacific, and geopolitical tensions, among other factors. 3 “Tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023,” United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), January 17, 2023. Similarly, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts that by the end of 2023, nearly half of the 185 countries in which the organization conducts research will have either recovered to prepandemic levels or be within 95 percent of full recovery. 4 “Global travel and tourism catapults into 2023 says WTTC,” World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), April 26, 2023.

Longer-term forecasts also point to optimism for the decade ahead. Travel and tourism GDP is predicted to grow, on average, at 5.8 percent a year between 2022 and 2032, outpacing the growth of the overall economy at an expected 2.7 percent a year. 5 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 , WTTC, August 2022.

So, is it all systems go for travel and tourism? Not really. The industry continues to face a prolonged and widespread labor shortage. After losing 62 million travel and tourism jobs in 2020, labor supply and demand remain out of balance. 6 “WTTC research reveals Travel & Tourism’s slow recovery is hitting jobs and growth worldwide,” World Travel & Tourism Council, October 6, 2021. Today, in the European Union, 11 percent of tourism jobs are likely to go unfilled; in the United States, that figure is 7 percent. 7 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 : Staff shortages, WTTC, August 2022.

There has been an exodus of tourism staff, particularly from customer-facing roles, to other sectors, and there is no sign that the industry will be able to bring all these people back. 8 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 : Staff shortages, WTTC, August 2022. Hotels, restaurants, cruises, airports, and airlines face staff shortages that can translate into operational, reputational, and financial difficulties. If unaddressed, these shortages may constrain the industry’s growth trajectory.

The current labor shortage may have its roots in factors related to the nature of work in the industry. Chronic workplace challenges, coupled with the effects of COVID-19, have culminated in an industry struggling to rebuild its workforce. Generally, tourism-related jobs are largely informal, partly due to high seasonality and weak regulation. And conditions such as excessively long working hours, low wages, a high turnover rate, and a lack of social protection tend to be most pronounced in an informal economy. Additionally, shift work, night work, and temporary or part-time employment are common in tourism.

The industry may need to revisit some fundamentals to build a far more sustainable future: either make the industry more attractive to talent (and put conditions in place to retain staff for longer periods) or improve products, services, and processes so that they complement existing staffing needs or solve existing pain points.

One solution could be to build a workforce with the mix of digital and interpersonal skills needed to keep up with travelers’ fast-changing requirements. The industry could make the most of available technology to provide customers with a digitally enhanced experience, resolve staff shortages, and improve working conditions.

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Complementing concierges with chatbots.

The pace of technological change has redefined customer expectations. Technology-driven services are often at customers’ fingertips, with no queues or waiting times. By contrast, the airport and airline disruption widely reported in the press over the summer of 2022 points to customers not receiving this same level of digital innovation when traveling.

Imagine the following travel experience: it’s 2035 and you start your long-awaited honeymoon to a tropical island. A virtual tour operator and a destination travel specialist booked your trip for you; you connected via videoconference to make your plans. Your itinerary was chosen with the support of generative AI , which analyzed your preferences, recommended personalized travel packages, and made real-time adjustments based on your feedback.

Before leaving home, you check in online and QR code your luggage. You travel to the airport by self-driving cab. After dropping off your luggage at the self-service counter, you pass through security and the biometric check. You access the premier lounge with the QR code on the airline’s loyalty card and help yourself to a glass of wine and a sandwich. After your flight, a prebooked, self-driving cab takes you to the resort. No need to check in—that was completed online ahead of time (including picking your room and making sure that the hotel’s virtual concierge arranged for red roses and a bottle of champagne to be delivered).

While your luggage is brought to the room by a baggage robot, your personal digital concierge presents the honeymoon itinerary with all the requested bookings. For the romantic dinner on the first night, you order your food via the restaurant app on the table and settle the bill likewise. So far, you’ve had very little human interaction. But at dinner, the sommelier chats with you in person about the wine. The next day, your sightseeing is made easier by the hotel app and digital guide—and you don’t get lost! With the aid of holographic technology, the virtual tour guide brings historical figures to life and takes your sightseeing experience to a whole new level. Then, as arranged, a local citizen meets you and takes you to their home to enjoy a local family dinner. The trip is seamless, there are no holdups or snags.

This scenario features less human interaction than a traditional trip—but it flows smoothly due to the underlying technology. The human interactions that do take place are authentic, meaningful, and add a special touch to the experience. This may be a far-fetched example, but the essence of the scenario is clear: use technology to ease typical travel pain points such as queues, misunderstandings, or misinformation, and elevate the quality of human interaction.

Travel with less human interaction may be considered a disruptive idea, as many travelers rely on and enjoy the human connection, the “service with a smile.” This will always be the case, but perhaps the time is right to think about bringing a digital experience into the mix. The industry may not need to depend exclusively on human beings to serve its customers. Perhaps the future of travel is physical, but digitally enhanced (and with a smile!).

Digital solutions are on the rise and can help bridge the labor gap

Digital innovation is improving customer experience across multiple industries. Car-sharing apps have overcome service-counter waiting times and endless paperwork that travelers traditionally had to cope with when renting a car. The same applies to time-consuming hotel check-in, check-out, and payment processes that can annoy weary customers. These pain points can be removed. For instance, in China, the Huazhu Hotels Group installed self-check-in kiosks that enable guests to check in or out in under 30 seconds. 9 “Huazhu Group targets lifestyle market opportunities,” ChinaTravelNews, May 27, 2021.

Technology meets hospitality

In 2019, Alibaba opened its FlyZoo Hotel in Huangzhou, described as a “290-room ultra-modern boutique, where technology meets hospitality.” 1 “Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has a hotel run almost entirely by robots that can serve food and fetch toiletries—take a look inside,” Business Insider, October 21, 2019; “FlyZoo Hotel: The hotel of the future or just more technology hype?,” Hotel Technology News, March 2019. The hotel was the first of its kind that instead of relying on traditional check-in and key card processes, allowed guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app, to check-in using self-service kiosks, and enter their rooms using facial-recognition technology.

The hotel is run almost entirely by robots that serve food and fetch toiletries and other sundries as needed. Each guest room has a voice-activated smart assistant to help guests with a variety of tasks, from adjusting the temperature, lights, curtains, and the TV to playing music and answering simple questions about the hotel and surroundings.

The hotel was developed by the company’s online travel platform, Fliggy, in tandem with Alibaba’s AI Labs and Alibaba Cloud technology with the goal of “leveraging cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry, one that keeps the sector current with the digital era we’re living in,” according to the company.

Adoption of some digitally enhanced services was accelerated during the pandemic in the quest for safer, contactless solutions. During the Winter Olympics in Beijing, a restaurant designed to keep physical contact to a minimum used a track system on the ceiling to deliver meals directly from the kitchen to the table. 10 “This Beijing Winter Games restaurant uses ceiling-based tracks,” Trendhunter, January 26, 2022. Customers around the world have become familiar with restaurants using apps to display menus, take orders, and accept payment, as well as hotels using robots to deliver luggage and room service (see sidebar “Technology meets hospitality”). Similarly, theme parks, cinemas, stadiums, and concert halls are deploying digital solutions such as facial recognition to optimize entrance control. Shanghai Disneyland, for example, offers annual pass holders the option to choose facial recognition to facilitate park entry. 11 “Facial recognition park entry,” Shanghai Disney Resort website.

Automation and digitization can also free up staff from attending to repetitive functions that could be handled more efficiently via an app and instead reserve the human touch for roles where staff can add the most value. For instance, technology can help customer-facing staff to provide a more personalized service. By accessing data analytics, frontline staff can have guests’ details and preferences at their fingertips. A trainee can become an experienced concierge in a short time, with the help of technology.

Apps and in-room tech: Unused market potential

According to Skift Research calculations, total revenue generated by guest apps and in-room technology in 2019 was approximately $293 million, including proprietary apps by hotel brands as well as third-party vendors. 1 “Hotel tech benchmark: Guest-facing technology 2022,” Skift Research, November 2022. The relatively low market penetration rate of this kind of tech points to around $2.4 billion in untapped revenue potential (exhibit).

Even though guest-facing technology is available—the kind that can facilitate contactless interactions and offer travelers convenience and personalized service—the industry is only beginning to explore its potential. A report by Skift Research shows that the hotel industry, in particular, has not tapped into tech’s potential. Only 11 percent of hotels and 25 percent of hotel rooms worldwide are supported by a hotel app or use in-room technology, and only 3 percent of hotels offer keyless entry. 12 “Hotel tech benchmark: Guest-facing technology 2022,” Skift Research, November 2022. Of the five types of technology examined (guest apps and in-room tech; virtual concierge; guest messaging and chatbots; digital check-in and kiosks; and keyless entry), all have relatively low market-penetration rates (see sidebar “Apps and in-room tech: Unused market potential”).

While apps, digitization, and new technology may be the answer to offering better customer experience, there is also the possibility that tourism may face competition from technological advances, particularly virtual experiences. Museums, attractions, and historical sites can be made interactive and, in some cases, more lifelike, through AR/VR technology that can enhance the physical travel experience by reconstructing historical places or events.

Up until now, tourism, arguably, was one of a few sectors that could not easily be replaced by tech. It was not possible to replicate the physical experience of traveling to another place. With the emerging metaverse , this might change. Travelers could potentially enjoy an event or experience from their sofa without any logistical snags, and without the commitment to traveling to another country for any length of time. For example, Google offers virtual tours of the Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan via an immersive online experience available in a range of languages. 13 Mariam Khaled Dabboussi, “Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google,” Google, May 17, 2022. And a crypto banking group, The BCB Group, has created a metaverse city that includes representations of some of the most visited destinations in the world, such as the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty. According to BCB, the total cost of flights, transfers, and entry for all these landmarks would come to $7,600—while a virtual trip would cost just over $2. 14 “What impact can the Metaverse have on the travel industry?,” Middle East Economy, July 29, 2022.

The metaverse holds potential for business travel, too—the meeting, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector in particular. Participants could take part in activities in the same immersive space while connecting from anywhere, dramatically reducing travel, venue, catering, and other costs. 15 “ Tourism in the metaverse: Can travel go virtual? ,” McKinsey, May 4, 2023.

The allure and convenience of such digital experiences make offering seamless, customer-centric travel and tourism in the real world all the more pressing.

Hotel service bell on a table white glass and simulation hotel background. Concept hotel, travel, room - stock photo

Three innovations to solve hotel staffing shortages

Is the future contactless.

Given the advances in technology, and the many digital innovations and applications that already exist, there is potential for businesses across the travel and tourism spectrum to cope with labor shortages while improving customer experience. Process automation and digitization can also add to process efficiency. Taken together, a combination of outsourcing, remote work, and digital solutions can help to retain existing staff and reduce dependency on roles that employers are struggling to fill (exhibit).

Depending on the customer service approach and direct contact need, we estimate that the travel and tourism industry would be able to cope with a structural labor shortage of around 10 to 15 percent in the long run by operating more flexibly and increasing digital and automated efficiency—while offering the remaining staff an improved total work package.

Outsourcing and remote work could also help resolve the labor shortage

While COVID-19 pushed organizations in a wide variety of sectors to embrace remote work, there are many hospitality roles that rely on direct physical services that cannot be performed remotely, such as laundry, cleaning, maintenance, and facility management. If faced with staff shortages, these roles could be outsourced to third-party professional service providers, and existing staff could be reskilled to take up new positions.

In McKinsey’s experience, the total service cost of this type of work in a typical hotel can make up 10 percent of total operating costs. Most often, these roles are not guest facing. A professional and digital-based solution might become an integrated part of a third-party service for hotels looking to outsource this type of work.

One of the lessons learned in the aftermath of COVID-19 is that many tourism employees moved to similar positions in other sectors because they were disillusioned by working conditions in the industry . Specialist multisector companies have been able to shuffle their staff away from tourism to other sectors that offer steady employment or more regular working hours compared with the long hours and seasonal nature of work in tourism.

The remaining travel and tourism staff may be looking for more flexibility or the option to work from home. This can be an effective solution for retaining employees. For example, a travel agent with specific destination expertise could work from home or be consulted on an needs basis.

In instances where remote work or outsourcing is not viable, there are other solutions that the hospitality industry can explore to improve operational effectiveness as well as employee satisfaction. A more agile staffing model  can better match available labor with peaks and troughs in daily, or even hourly, demand. This could involve combining similar roles or cross-training staff so that they can switch roles. Redesigned roles could potentially improve employee satisfaction by empowering staff to explore new career paths within the hotel’s operations. Combined roles build skills across disciplines—for example, supporting a housekeeper to train and become proficient in other maintenance areas, or a front-desk associate to build managerial skills.

Where management or ownership is shared across properties, roles could be staffed to cover a network of sites, rather than individual hotels. By applying a combination of these approaches, hotels could reduce the number of staff hours needed to keep operations running at the same standard. 16 “ Three innovations to solve hotel staffing shortages ,” McKinsey, April 3, 2023.

Taken together, operational adjustments combined with greater use of technology could provide the tourism industry with a way of overcoming staffing challenges and giving customers the seamless digitally enhanced experiences they expect in other aspects of daily life.

In an industry facing a labor shortage, there are opportunities for tech innovations that can help travel and tourism businesses do more with less, while ensuring that remaining staff are engaged and motivated to stay in the industry. For travelers, this could mean fewer friendly faces, but more meaningful experiences and interactions.

Urs Binggeli is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Zurich office, Zi Chen is a capabilities and insights specialist in the Shanghai office, Steffen Köpke is a capabilities and insights expert in the Düsseldorf office, and Jackey Yu is a partner in the Hong Kong office.

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By: Bastian Herre , Veronika Samborska and Max Roser

Tourism has massively increased in recent decades. Aviation has opened up travel from domestic to international. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international visits had more than doubled since 2000.

Tourism can be important for both the travelers and the people in the countries they visit.

For visitors, traveling can increase their understanding of and appreciation for people in other countries and their cultures.

And in many countries, many people rely on tourism for their income. In some, it is one of the largest industries.

But tourism also has externalities: it contributes to global carbon emissions and can encroach on local environments and cultures.

On this page, you can find data and visualizations on the history and current state of tourism across the world.

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What Is Overtourism and Why Is It Such a Big Problem?

Travel destinations are becoming too popular for their own good.

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Can Overtourism Be Reversed?

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Overtourism happens when the number of tourists or the management of the tourism industry in a destination or attraction becomes unsustainable. When there are too many visitors, the quality of life for the local community can diminish, the surrounding natural environment can be negatively affected, and the quality of the tourists' experience can decline.

According to the World Tourism Organization, there were 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2019, a 4% increase from the previous year. International tourist arrivals have continued to outpace the global economy, and the number of destinations earning $1 billion or more from international tourism has doubled since 1998. Tourism is growing, and some places just can’t seem to keep up.

Overtourism Definition

Although the term itself didn’t appear until around 2017 (a writer at media company Skift is often credited for first coining it in the summer of 2016), the problem of overtourism is hardly a new one. The "irritation index," known as Irridex, has examined the change between resident attitudes towards tourists throughout different stages of tourism development since 1975. According to the Galapagos Conservation Trust, tourist satisfaction rankings have been steadily decreasing since 1990 due to overcrowding; the official guidelines for visitor numbers set in 1968 when the Galapagos Island National Park first opened had risen 10-fold by 2015.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization has defined overtourism as "the impact of tourism on a destination, or parts thereof, that excessively influences perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitors experiences in a negative way." Environmental consequences are a symptom of overtourism, and the recent boost in awareness surrounding the buzzword is simply because there are more destinations around the world experiencing it.

As for what exactly is to blame for overtourism, there are numerous factors at play. Cheaper flights are making travel more accessible, cruise ships are dropping thousands of tourists off to spend several hours at a destination without spending money locally, social media is inspiring users to get that perfect selfie at travel hotspots ... the list goes on and on.

Studies even show that television and movies can impact a place’s desirability. Episodes of Game of Thrones filmed in the historical Croatian town of Dubrovnik corresponded to 5,000 additional tourism overnights per month (59,000 per year) after they aired. Most of these tourists stayed under three days, packing the Old Town walls with day tours that increased pollution and put new strains on the 13th-century infrastructure.

Like so many others, the travel industry has focused too much on growth and not enough on environmental impacts. Rising awareness of overtourism consequences has inspired local and national governments to protect their commodities through sustainable tourism practices and ensure that tourism behavior isn’t damaging—or even better, can be beneficial—to the local environment.

The Consequences of Overtourism

Needless to say, the environmental consequences of overtourism can be catastrophic. Accumulation of trash, air pollution, noise, and light pollution can disrupt natural habitats or breeding patterns (baby sea turtles, for example, can become disorientated by artificial lighting when they hatch ). Both natural and local resources, like water, will degrade as destinations or attractions struggle to accommodate numbers they simply weren’t built to handle. And even as these spots begin increasing tourism development to keep up, they may turn to unsustainable land practices or deforestation to create more accommodations and other tourism infrastructure.

Sustainable tourism management is important since the number of visitors a destination is designed to handle is unique to each one. Short-term rentals may work for certain places, but they could raise rent prices for others and push out local residents to make more room for visitors. In Barcelona, 2017 saw 40% of tourist apartments rented out illegally, making it harder for the locals to find affordable accommodations—only one of the many reasons why the city’s residents organized protests against unregulated tourism over the following years.

It’s the same thing with the environment. Large crowds of tourists in natural destinations may drive wildlife to places outside of their natural habitats, disrupting the delicate ecosystem. In some cases, crowds can negatively influence fragile environments or create more opportunities for human-wildlife conflicts . 

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of positive aspects to tourism, however. When tourism is sustainably managed, it can be an incredible tool for protecting the environment. Admission dollars to natural areas or animal sanctuaries often go directly towards conservation and environmental education. Tourism can also strengthen local economies and help support small, family-run businesses at the same time. It’s finding that delicate balance between using tourism to fuel the economy while keeping the surrounding environment protected that often presents the greatest challenge.

What Can We Do?

  • Plan your trip during the off season or shoulder season .
  • Dispose of your waste properly (don’t litter) and bring along your reusables .
  • Show respect for local customs and attractions.
  • Explore areas outside of the most popular spots.
  • Prioritize family-owned and local businesses.
  • Educate yourself on sustainable travel practices.

In most places, overtourism is not a hopeless case. Destinations all over the world have already demonstrated ways to overcome the obstacles presented by overcrowding and unsustainable tourism management.

East Africa, for example, has turned gorilla trekking into an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience by issuing limits on daily permits, all while maintaining conservation efforts inside native forests and steady employment for local guides. In Antarctica, the Antarctic Treaty restricts the size of cruise ships that land there as well as the number of people they can bring ashore at one time; it also requires a minimum guide-to-tourist ratio while tourists are off the boat.

Local governments and tourist organizations, of course, are largely responsible for maintaining sustainability in the tourism industry, but certain approaches to mitigate the negative effects of overtourism can come down to the individual traveler as well. One of the best ways to become a responsible tourist is by looking outside of the mainstream travel destinations. Consider outer cities or less-visited attractions, or head towards more rural spots to avoid crowds altogether while experiencing a glimpse of a destination’s daily culture outside of the popular areas. There are countless places that want and need more tourists just waiting to be explored.

However, if you just have to visit that bucket-list destination known for its large crowds, consider visiting during its off season or shoulder season instead of peak travel season. Residents who rely on tourism as a source of income need support during the off season more than any other time of year, plus it will save you money as a traveler since accommodations and flights tend to be cheaper. Even better, off season travel puts less pressure on the environment.

Overtourism in Machu Picchu, Peru

John van Hasselt - Corbis / Getty Images

The tourist industry surrounding the famed archaeological city of Machu Picchu in Peru has been largely responsible for the country’s economic growth since the early 1990s. The number of tourists who travel to the 15th-century citadel has quadrupled since the year 2000; in 2017, 1.4 million people visited, an average of 3,900 per day. The site, which sits on a series of steep slopes prone to heavy rains and landslides anyway, is being further eroded by the thousands of visitors who walk the ancient steps each day.

The sharp rise in visitors, combined with a lack of management strategies, prompted UNESCO to recommend that the Peruvian state redraft its overall vision for the site with conservation in mind rather than primarily tourism growth. UNESCO threatened to put Machu Picchu on the “List of World Heritage in Danger” in 2016 if the property didn’t clean up its act.

Beginning in 2019, a new set of tourist restrictions was put into place at Machu Picchu, including limitations on visitors, admission times, and lengths of stay. Tourists are now limited to two daily time slots to relieve pressure on the site and are required to hire a local guide on their first visit.

Overtourism in Maya Bay, Thailand

First made famous by the movie "The Beach," the stunning turquoise waters of Thailand’s Maya Bay have been attracting visitors ever since the film’s release over 20 years ago. Seemingly overnight, the small bay went from a quiet hidden beach on the island of Phi Phi Leh to one of the country’s most popular destinations, bringing hoards of beach-goers along.

According to BBC reports, Maya Bay went from seeing 170 tourists a day in 2008 to 3,500 in 2017, resulting in the death of a majority of its coral reefs. By June 2018, the environmental depredations from litter, boat pollution, and sunscreen had gotten so bad that the government decided to close the beach completely for four months to allow the bay to heal. After the initial four months were through, the government went on to extend the closure indefinitely .

The extreme measure has brought a few positive signs for the environment there. About a year after the initial closure, park officials shared footage of dozens of native black-tipped reef sharks re-entering the bay . A team of biologists and local residents are also working on an ongoing project to plant 3,000 corals in the bay to increase the number of fish and improve the ecosystem.

Overtourism on Mount Everest

While we tend to think of Mount Everest as a remote and unattainable adventure, the destination has actually been suffering from overcrowding for years. Images of hikers standing in line as they try to reach the summit from the Nepalese side aren’t uncommon, and in a high-altitude environment completely dependent on oxygen, long waits can get deadly fast.

Those crowds also accumulate a lot of waste. Between April and May 2019, nearly 23,000 pounds of garbage was collected from Mount Everest, a Guinness Book of World Records in terms of trash. The trash was spread out almost equally between the main basecamp, nearby settlements, high-altitude camps, and the most dangerous portion of the summit route.

One of the most challenging problems lies in the economic value of Mount Everest, which is Nepal’s most lucrative attraction. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Nepal received an estimated $643 million from tourism , accounting for 3.5% of its entire GDP.

Overtourism in Venice, Italy

Venice has become the poster child for overtourism in the media, and for good reason. Over the years, the government has been forced to set limits on the number and size of cruise ships that spill visitors into the city, as well as a proposed tourist entrance tax.

The tourism industry hasn’t just resulted in an increased cost of living, but in a decreased quality of life for Venice residents. The local population in Venice has declined by two-thirds over the last 50 years, its cruise ship industry accommodating several hundred ship departures and 1 million passengers each year. According to Bloomberg, there were a total of 5 million visitors in 2017 compared to the resident population of just 60,000 .

In late 2019, when the city experienced a series of floods from record-breaking high tides, some Venetians argued that cruise ships were to blame . The wakes from massive ships were literally eroding the city, while widening the canals to accommodate larger ships throughout the years had damaged coastal habitats for wildlife as well as the physical foundations of the city.

Most of these tourists stick to the city’s most famous landmarks, concentrating large numbers of crowds into small spaces that were not designed to hold them. Its historic buildings and watery ecosystem, already fragile, are certainly feeling the pressure, while the influx of temporary visitors continues to inhibit locals from living their lives. As one of the most active cruise ports in the whole of Southern Europe, Venice is on track to become a city with virtually no full-time residents.

" World Tourism Barometer ." United Nations World Tourism Organization , vol. 18, no. 1, 2020.

Pavlic, Ivana and Portolan, Ana. " Irritation Index, Tourism ." Encyclopedia of Tourism , 2015, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-01669-6_564-1

" The Impacts of Tourism ." Galapagos Conservation Trust .

" 'Overtourism'? Understanding and Managing Urban Tourism Growth Beyond Perceptions ." United Nations World Tourism Organization .

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11293-020-09673-3

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2014.09.001

" Are Tourists Still Welcome After Protests? " British Broadcasting Corporation .

https://doi.org/10.15640/jthm.v7n2a10

" Thailand: Tropical Bay from 'The Beach' to Close Until 2021 ." British Broadcasting Corporation .

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2018.01.011

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It’s been a record-setting year for global travel – here’s how we make tourism inclusive and sustainable

A colourful market in Columbia selling bags, clothes and crafts: Inclusive and sustainable travel and tourism includes supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses.

Inclusive and sustainable travel and tourism includes supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses. Image:  Unsplash/Michael Barón

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A hand holding a looking glass by a lake

.chakra .wef-1nk5u5d{margin-top:16px;margin-bottom:16px;line-height:1.388;color:#2846F8;font-size:1.25rem;}@media screen and (min-width:56.5rem){.chakra .wef-1nk5u5d{font-size:1.125rem;}} Get involved .chakra .wef-9dduvl{margin-top:16px;margin-bottom:16px;line-height:1.388;font-size:1.25rem;}@media screen and (min-width:56.5rem){.chakra .wef-9dduvl{font-size:1.125rem;}} with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

  • The global travel sector is experiencing a robust recovery, with tourists increasingly spending more on travel.
  • Despite the overall positive outlook, some destinations struggle with operational challenges, including workforce issues and resource management amid rising tourist numbers and environmental concerns.
  • The travel and tourism sector’s potential for advancing socio-economic prosperity is particularly impactful through the support of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises.

The global travel sector forecast is in and it's sunny skies ahead. Through March 2024, consumer spending on travel remains strong, and passenger traffic has soared. Empowered by a strong labour market worldwide, tourists will be on the roads, air and seas once again, with more of people’s budgets on travel.

The latest report from the Mastercard Economics Institute, Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries , reveals that 2024 has already witnessed multiple record-setting days as consumer spending on leisure travel remains strong. The data shows that post-pandemic travellers continue to seek unique experiences rooted in local cultures while increasingly prioritizing spending on memorable events across sports, music and festivals.

The Mastercard Economics Institute’s analysis reveals that travellers also seek opportunities to extend their stays, prioritizing leisure for longer. For the first 12 months between March 2019 and February 2020, a trip’s average length of stay was about four days. As of March 2024, the average length of a leisure trip has edged closer to five days, which translates into an economic boost for the destinations and communities hosting them.

Have you read?

These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism, what is travel and tourism’s role in future global prosperity, travel & tourism development index 2024, tackling tourism’s challenges.

Yet, while the overall outlook for travellers looks bright, that’s not the case for all destinations. Some tourism hotspots and lesser-known locales are facing growing challenges around operating conditions. The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 highlights the ongoing constraints facing the global travel and tourism sector – including the lack of investment in skilled and resilient workforces and issues around resource management – cultural and natural – as destinations grapple with higher tourist visitor numbers and rising environmental concerns.

The report offers travel and tourism decision-makers recommendations around how the sector can take a more active role in tackling social challenges across socio-economic prosperity, peace and cultural exchange. As the industry accounts for approximately one-tenth of global gross domestic product and employment , the public and private sectors must work together to ensure future tourism development is, first and foremost, inclusive and sustainable.

Supporting the backbone of travel and tourism

As the TTDI 2024 notes, one area where the sector’s potential in advancing socio-economic prosperity can be particularly impactful is in the economic empowerment of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, more than 80% of travel and tourism businesses fall under this category.

Policies and investments promoting the adoption of digital solutions and enhancing digital skills development while improving access to credit can provide a major boost to tourism-focused MSMEs.

In Costa Rica, the Instituto Costariccense de Turismo, a member of Mastercard’s Tourism Innovation Hub , is championing such an approach to ensure increased tourist traffic results in better opportunities for MSMEs. Last year, the institute launched Tico Treasures , a platform facilitating tourist connections with Costa Rica’s Crafts with Identity programme, a group of 17 artisan collectives across the country. The platform allows visitors to discover local Costa Rican products, learn about artisan communities and then purchase and ship the goods back to their home country – all through one experience.

The programme is an example of public-private collaboration, including backing from Correos de Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica and the Instituto Costariccense de Turismo. Its objectives are multifold: delivering more authentic experiences for tourists, expanding citizens’ access to the digital economy and contributing to MSME resilience.

Protecting future environments

There are also novel approaches to solving destinations’ sustainability challenges underway. A key role of the Travel Foundation , a global non-government organization, is to facilitate innovative public-private collaborations in tourism that accelerate and scale sustainable solutions. One notable example is in Scotland, where the national tourism organization VisitScotland is partnering with the Travel Corporation, a global tour operator, to help decarbonize the destination supply chain. Both organizations are pooling their insights, data and expertise to support local businesses, develop new ideas for reducing carbon footprints and identify barriers to a green transition.

The learnings from this and other projects led by the Travel Foundation will be shared to influence future policy, investment and product development decisions at national and global levels. By combining public sector resources and capabilities with private sector technological expertise, travel and tourism decision-makers can enact policies and programmes that balance tourism growth with environmental protection, providing a nuanced approach that works for unique destinations.

It’s an important time for the sector – to leverage travel and tourism’s robust recovery and advance socio-economic prosperity, fuelling a more inclusive future for our treasured destinations. By accelerating collaboration between governments, destination management organizations and technology companies, we can ensure destinations, the communities that power them and the environments they inhabit are at the heart of all future tourism development.

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Automotive, Travel, and Traffic Safety Information

Nearly 71 Million People Expected to Travel over July 4th Week

This year’s extended independence day forecast exceeds pre-pandemic numbers, sets new record.

6 as of tourism

WASHINGTON, DC (June 20, 2024) – AAA projects 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Independence Day holiday travel period*. For the first time, AAA looked at the entire July 4 th week, plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday. This year’s projected number of travelers for that time period is a 5% increase compared to 2023 and an 8% increase over 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4 th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”   

Share of Travelers by Mode pie chart and Number of Travelers by Mode table

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over July 4 th week. AAA car rental partner Hertz says Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the cities displaying the highest rental demand during the holiday week. The busiest pick-up days are projected to be Friday, June 28, Saturday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 3.   

Gas prices are lower than last year when the national average was $3.53. Pump prices will likely continue going down leading up to Independence Day.  At that point, they will likely level off and remain relatively stable until after Labor Day, similar to last year.  An important caveat is hurricane season – underway now – which could affect gas prices should a storm negatively impact Gulf Coast oil production and refining centers.  

The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4 th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019. AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2% cheaper this Independence Day week compared to last year, and the average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is $800. Airports will be packed throughout the week. AAA recommends arriving 2 hours early, reserving parking ahead of time, and traveling with carry-on luggage versus checked bags to save time and money.   

More than 4.6 million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. This category is seeing an increase of 9% compared to last year, but this year’s number is shy of 2019’s figure of 4.79 million. Cruising continues its remarkable post-pandemic comeback. This time of year, Alaska cruises are in high demand, making Seattle and Anchorage top domestic destinations. Cruise travelers are also finding deals this summer. With new ships coming onto the market – and going for a premium – some cruise lines have been offering targeted discounts to fill older inventory for remaining cabins.  

Best/Worst Times to Drive and Peak Congestion by Metro 

INRIX , a provider of transportation data and insights, says the worst times to travel by car before and on July 4 th are between 2pm and 7pm. Drivers should hit the road in the morning, and travelers returning on Monday, July 8 th should avoid rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon.  

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3 rd , as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7th, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “R oad trips over the holiday week could take up to 67% longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”  

Please note that the times listed below are for the time zone in which the metro is located.   

For example, Atlanta routes = ET and Los Angeles routes = PT.  

Source: INRIX  

  Top Destinations 

This July 4 th week, travelers are cooling off in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska – and by the ocean! Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage are top destinations because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Beaches in South Florida, Honolulu, Punta Cana, and Barcelona are in high demand. Historical sites in European cities like London, Rome, Dublin, Paris, and Athens are also popular. The top 10 domestic and international destinations below are based on AAA booking data.  

Family Road Trip Checklist    

With road trips expected to set a new record this July 4 th week, AAA teamed up with Chicco to share safety tips for families with young children.  

  • Check car seat fit. Before you hit the road, check your child’s weight and height to ensure they’re in the right seat and mode of use – especially when it comes to transitioning from rear to forward-facing. Children should remain rear-facing as long as possible for better protection of their head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. If you are unsure which car seat is best for your child, Chicco offers a car seat comparison guide.    
  • Double check car seat installation. Even if your car seat is already installed in the car, it’s worth checking everything is safe and secure. An easy at-home way to do this is with the “inch test.” Simply grab the seat at the car seat belt path and pull side to side and front to back. If it moves more than one inch in any direction, uninstall and start over until a secure fit is achieved. For any questions, utilize the car seat manual, QR codes, or online resources like those offered by Chicco.    
  • Secure loose items in the car. Take time to organize and clean up your car before hitting the road. Storage organizers that secure to the back of the driver and passenger seats are simple solutions to make sure everything has a spot, especially loose items that can become projectiles in case of a sudden stop.  
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Pack an emergency kit with first-aid supplies, water, snacks, blankets, jumper cables, and flares. Make sure your phone is fully charged – and keep a charger in the car – to call AAA or request roadside assistance digitally if your battery dies, you lock yourself out, or you need a tow.   
  • Map your route. Families with young children should plan for frequent and longer stops along the way. Map out your route ahead of time with AAA TripTik and browse hotels, restaurants, and other activities along the way on AAA Trip Canvas.  
  • Bring entertainment. Make sure to place toys and books within reach to keep children entertained. If your kids use tablets or other electronics, make sure the devices are fully charged and pre-downloaded before leaving home. Another fun way to get the whole family excited for the road trip is to create a family playlist of everyone’s favorite songs!   

Holiday Forecast Methodology   

Travel Forecast    

In cooperation with AAA, S&P Global Market Intelligence (SPGMI) developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes. The economic variables used to forecast travel for the current holiday are leveraged from SPGMI’s proprietary databases. These data include macroeconomic drivers such as employment, output, household net worth, asset prices, including stock indices, interest rates, housing market indicators, and variables related to travel and tourism, including gasoline prices, airline travel, and hotel stays. AAA and SPGMI have quantified holiday travel volumes going back to 2000.   

Historical travel volume estimates come from DK SHIFFLET’s TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/Monitor SM . The PERFORMANCE/Monitor SM is a comprehensive study measuring the travel behavior of U.S. residents. DK SHIFFLET contacts over 50,000 U.S. households each month to obtain detailed travel data, resulting in the unique ability to estimate visitor volume and spending, identify trends, and forecast U.S. travel behavior, all after the trips have been taken.  

The travel forecast is reported in person-trips. In particular, AAA and SPGMI forecast the total U.S. holiday travel volume and expected mode of transportation. The travel forecast presented in this report was prepared the week of May 27, 2024.   

Because AAA forecasts focus on domestic leisure travel only, comparisons to TSA passenger screening numbers should not be made. TSA data includes all passengers traveling on both domestic and international routes. Additionally, TSA screens passengers each time they enter secured areas of the airport, therefore each one-way trip is counted as a passenger tally. AAA focuses on person-trips, which include the full round-trip travel itinerary. As a result, direct comparisons of AAA forecast volumes and daily TSA screenings represent different factors.  

*Independence Day Holiday Travel Period   

For this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the nine-day period from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7. Historically, the Independence Day holiday period included only one weekend. This is the first year the Independence Day holiday travel period is a longer timeframe with two weekends included.  

About AAA    

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 64 million members across North America, including 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.   

About S&P Global   S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) provides essential intelligence. We enable governments, businesses, and individuals with the right data, expertise, and connected technology so that they can make decisions with conviction. From helping our customers assess new investments to guiding them through ESG and energy transition across supply chains, we unlock new opportunities, solve challenges, and accelerate progress for the world. We are widely sought after by many of the world’s leading organizations to provide credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics, and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity, and automotive markets. With every one of our offerings, we help the world’s leading organizations plan for tomorrow today. For more information, visit  www.spglobal.com .   

About DKSA    

DK SHIFFLET boasts the industry’s most complete database on U.S. resident travel both in the U.S. and worldwide. Data is collected monthly from a U.S. representative sample, adding over 60,000 traveling households annually, and is used daily by leading travel organizations and their strategic planning groups. DK SHIFFLET is an MMGY Global company.   

About INRIX     

Founded in 2004, INRIX pioneered intelligent mobility solutions by transforming big data from connected devices and vehicles into mobility insights. This revolutionary approach enabled INRIX to become one of the leading providers of data and analytics into how people move. By empowering cities, businesses, and people with valuable insights, INRIX is helping to make the world smarter, safer, and greener. With partners and solutions spanning across the entire mobility ecosystem, INRIX is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation – whether it’s keeping road users safe, improving traffic signal timing to reduce delay and greenhouse gasses, optimizing last mile delivery, or helping uncover market insights. Learn more at INRIX.com.   

Data says visitors love Oconto County as area sees recording-breaking year in 2023

6 as of tourism

Oconto County tourism had a record year in 2023, contributing $140 million to the local economy, according to new data from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

The total tourism economic impact — a figure based on visitor spending, employment income and tax impacts — rose 4.4%, from $134 million in 2022.

"We are very family friendly, so it is an affordable place to be," Jayme Sellen, the executive director of the Tourism and Economic Development Corp. for the Oconto Region (formerly the Oconto County Economic Development Corp.), said of the county's appeal to tourists.

"So if you were looking for a week’s vacation on a lake or cross-country skiing, we are probably more affordable than some other destinations, so I would think the combination of just our natural amenities. … We are a good deal for those wage earners."

Sellen said the bulk of the Oconto County tourists are people taking weekend trips from the Fox Cities, but the organization's website, ocontocounty.org , gets numerous hits from the Chicago area, and receives requests for information from the western side of Wisconsin and into Minnesota.

"There is just a certain amount of relaxation you can have here that you can’t have in any other markets, where there is a lot of traffic and a lot of bright lights," Sellen said.

Wisconsin's growth strong across state

Overall, Wisconsin as a whole topped $25 billion in economic impact, growing more than $1 billion from 2022 when it set a record with $23.7 billion.

All 72 counties saw a net growth, with most seeing a stronger rise than Oconto County. The county's 4.4% increase ranked 48th best in the state. Wisconsin's statewide average was 5.4%.

Among Oconto County's neighboring counties, Marinette was up 4.2% to $263 million, Forest up 5.8% to $25 million, Langlade up 5.5% to $82 million, Menominee up 10.3% to $6 million, Shawano up 2.7% to $114 million, and Brown up 4.7% to $1.3 billion.

Oconto County's $140 million economic impact ranks slightly below the middle of the state's counties, which is led by Milwaukee County ($4.1 billion).

In all, 113 million visits were made to Wisconsin last year resulting in $15.7 billion in direct visitor spending, money spent by visitors on things like lodging, restaurants and transportation. That was a 5% increase from 2022, which continued a positive trend following a 2020 drop during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to state data.

Visitor spending increased by 31.1% in 2021 and 16.3% in 2022, in the first two years after the pandemic.

How tourism affects the economy

The study said tourism supported 783 jobs in Oconto County, an increase of 21 jobs, or 2.9%, from 2022.

Labor income, wages or other pay supported by visitor spending from tourism totaled $18.7 million, which is up 4.7% from $17.9 million in 2022.

The state and local tax generation from tourism hit $7.9 million, an increase of 6.9% from $7.3 million in 2022.

Looking ahead

The weather did not cooperate at the beginning of this year to get the 2024 tourism year off to a great start, according to Sellen.

In January, Oconto's average temperature was about 5 degrees warmer while it received 6.5 inches less snow than normal. February saw about 8 inches less snow than average and March about 3.5 inches less.

Sellen said that with snow on the ground, the winter season can lure close to the same number of people who come to the county during the summer, as tourists enjoy hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and riding ATVs.

"We did not get to open our ATV trails as early as some other areas, but just talking to our hospitality people, things are going in the right direction," Sellen said. "Our hotels are booked; the fish are biting, which is always a plus, so I think that at the end of the day, we will probably be at the same numbers or higher, despite having a rough winter, a rough start to the year."

David Clarey contributed to this report.

Contact Kevin Dittman at 920-431-8416 or [email protected].

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Pagcor: Integrated resorts, casinos driving tourism growth

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said that the country’s integrated resorts and casinos are driving local tourism growth. 

Ma. Vina Claudette Oca, Pagcor's assistant vice president for gaming licensing, said that investments in these establishments generate a ripple effect benefiting various industries.

Speaking at the Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit, Oca said that while casinos play a part, integrated resorts offer a diverse range of attractions beyond gaming. 

Pagcor mandates that these resorts provide a mix of non-gaming amenities like dining, shopping, and accommodations to enrich the visitor experience, Oca said.

She also pointed out that only a small fraction, 7.5 percent, of the total floor area in integrated resorts is dedicated to gaming activities.

The majority is reserved for non-gaming facilities such as hotels, retail spaces, dining outlets, and other entertainment options, the Pagcor official said.

Oca also highlighted the significant impact of integrated casinos on employment, with over 20,000 Filipinos currently working in these establishments, contributing to local livelihood opportunities. 

Additionally, nearly 80 percent of Pagcor’s regulated gaming revenues are channeled back to the government to support essential socio-civic projects.

The Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit, graced by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco as the keynote speaker, was held at the New World Makati Hotel on June 21. 

The event was a collaboration between the Department of Tourism's agency, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, Pagcor, and the Tourism Promotions Board.

As of April 24, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that the Philippines has welcomed over two million international visitors, with South Koreans leading the pack in terms of inbound arrivals.

From Jan. 1 to March 31, the country's tourism receipts amounted to approximately P157.62 billion, a recovery rate of around 120.7 percent compared to the P130.59 billion revenue recorded during the same period in 2019.

According to the DOT's data, a total of 2.01 million international visitors entered the Philippines during this period. 

Of this number, 94.21 percent (1,9 million) were foreign tourists, while 5.79 percent (116,446) were overseas Filipinos. This reflects a 15 percent increase in international arrivals compared to the same period last year, which saw 1.7 million visitors.

South Korea remains the leading source market for inbound visitor arrivals in the Philippines, accounting for 27.19 percent (546,726) of the total arrivals. 

It is followed by the United States with 315,816 visitors (15.71 percent), China with 130,574 visitors (6.49 percent), Japan with 123,204 visitors (6.13 percent), and Australia with 88,048 visitors (4.38 percent). 

Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Germany round out the top ten source markets, ranking from sixth to tenth place, respectively.

LuxuryTravelDiva

What Are the 6 Types of Tourism?

By Anna Duncan

When we think about tourism, the first thing that comes to mind is traveling to new places and exploring their culture, history, and natural beauty. However, tourism is not just limited to leisure travel. In fact, there are several types of tourism that cater to different interests and needs of people.

Let’s take a closer look at the 6 types of tourism:

Eco-Tourism

Eco-tourism is all about responsible travel that focuses on conserving the environment and sustaining the well-being of local communities. This type of tourism involves visiting natural areas such as wildlife reserves, forests, and national parks. It aims to educate travelers about environmental issues and promote conservation efforts.

Cultural Tourism

Cultural tourism involves visiting historical sites, monuments, museums, and other landmarks that showcase a region’s culture and heritage. It provides an opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in local traditions and customs while learning about the area’s history.

Adventure Tourism

Adventure tourism is for thrill-seekers who love adrenaline-pumping activities such as bungee jumping, rock climbing, hiking, or skiing. This type of tourism is all about experiencing a rush of excitement while exploring nature’s beauty.

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism involves traveling to another country or region specifically for medical treatment or procedures. This type of tourism has gained popularity in recent years as it offers affordable medical care with high-quality facilities.

Heritage Tourism

Heritage tourism focuses on preserving and promoting cultural heritage sites such as ancient ruins or historical landmarks. It provides an opportunity for people to explore the rich cultural legacy of a region while supporting its conservation efforts.

Business Tourism

Business tourism involves traveling for work-related purposes such as attending conferences or meetings. This type of tourism contributes significantly to the economy by boosting business and promoting trade relations.

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Nashville tourism leaders unveil bold plan to manage rapid growth with safety

6 as of tourism

  • Colin Reed of Ryman Hospitality Properties and Deana Ivey of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. co-chaired the strategic planning group.
  • The plan focuses on Nashville's reputation, public safety and the financial impact of the tourism industry.
  • The city's tourism industry is expected to continue to grow quickly over the next decade.

Nashville needs to undergo big changes to get its house ready for more visitors over the next decade and to maintain Music City's ascent, according to a sweeping new long-term strategy from its chief tourism executives.

"The Music City Strategic Plan," released to The Tennessean Thursday morning, calls on Metro Nashville to increase policing, asks bar owners to deter raucous behavior and challenges hospitality industry leaders to show support for improvements, among other recommendations.

"We have a great destination, but we also need to take care of it," said Deana Ivey, the president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. "And we want to make sure that growth continues. The plan is our roadmap to tell us what we need to take care of."

The report says Nashville's reputation is threatened by "alcohol overconsumption, drug use and brawling," among other concerns.

Facing the challenges of ever-growing Music City tourism

It outlines eight objectives to push back on the problems and create several advisory groups and marketing campaigns to move the recommendations forward.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Ivey co-chaired the report's strategic-planning groups with Colin Reed, executive chairman of Ryman Hospitality Properties, operator of some of Nashville's most famous brands including Opryland. Dozens of downtown business leaders took a hard look at the city to help develop the plan — from Garth Brooks' honky-tonk partner Max Goldberg and Metro Planning Director Lucy Kempf, to Titans President Burke Nihill and Fifth Third Bank executive Kevin Lavender.

"I think it tells a really powerful story about where we are as a city, how fragile and important this music-based entertainment is, and how the global growth is taking place as these artists are connecting with consumers all across the planet," Reed said. "And how this will stimulate future growth in this wonderful town."

The group has been meeting since late 2022 to address the biggest challenges facing Nashville's tourism industry. Their plan comes the same week as the Davidson County Medical Examiner's office released Riley Strain's autopsy report , revealing the 22-year-old visiting college student's excessive alcohol intoxication contributed to his accidental drowning after he left friends on Lower Broadway on March 8.

The tourism report found that: "A thriving hub in the heart of Nashville, the Downtown Tourism District has faced considerable challenges recently. Current issues on Broadway, such as overconsumption, overcrowding, and noise pollution, damage Nashville’s reputation as a warm, welcoming city."

It calls for more Metro Nashville police officers, added family-friendly attractions and, among other things, creates a Music City Local Host Committee of hospitality CEOs to attract big events, advise government leaders and raise private funds for events at the new Nissan Stadium.

The strategic plan is backed by some of the most influential voices in Nashville's hospitality industry. In the working group were leaders representing organizations like the Nashville Downtown Partnership, the Nashville International Airport, the Country Music Association and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Uniting state, local politicians around tourism growth

Tensions reached a fever pitch last year between Nashville's Democratic-leaning political leaders and Tennessee's Republican elected officials.

After Metro Nashville Council members rejected a bid for the 2024 Republican National Convention in 2022, state leaders lashed out against what they said was bad local fiscal management. Last year, state officials attempted to take over the Metro Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners and sought to cut the number of Metro Council members from 40 to 20 .

Reed said the simmering tension is bad for tourism.

"We’re going to be sitting down with state leadership to present the impact of our industry. I’m hopeful we can have a calming effect," Reed said. "It’s about the education of these folks so they truly understand the power of this industry and where it is going."

Ivey said improving the experience for tourists downtown and maintaining Nashville's positive reputation is a top priority.

"If we don’t take care of our business and keep the city safe and clean, all that can go away," Ivey said. "It can go away quickly and the spigot could be turned off. That would be a real problem for this city."

They proposed new marketing campaigns highlighting the positive while also encouraging hospitality leaders to do more to curb the problems.

The city saw a record 16.8 million visitors in 2023 , and direct visitor spending amounted to $10.56 billion, up 6% from the year prior. The hospitality industry employs more than 70,000 people locally.

That's a dramatically different picture than just a decade ago.

"We’ve evolved," Reed said. "The things we are thinking about today as an industry are very different from the things we thought about a decade ago."

Moderate projections show that, within a decade, the number of tourists visiting Nashville could swell to more than 20 million people a year. Those tourists would leave behind hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues for Davidson County and the state of Tennessee, according to the report. Annual direct visitor spending could reach as high as $20 billion in 2034 if the growth of tourism keeps its current historic pace.

Growth in the hotel industry has also soared, resulting in increased revenue from the city's lodging taxes. The most aggressive revenue growth has come from the hotel occupancy tax, which has soared more than 262% over the past decade.

Hotel room supply has grown 59% since 2013, and more than 13,000 hotel rooms are currently in various stages of development , in addition to the approximately 40,000 that already exist.

Beyond downtown: Spreading the wealth with new housing, transit

While downtown's Lower Broadway is the most concentrated tourism hub, Nashville's distinct neighborhoods are increasingly on the list for visitors.

Neighborhoods like East Nashville, Germantown and the Gulch are especially popular for repeat visitors, and areas outside of downtown are noticed for their culturally diverse businesses and attractions.

That's why the strategic plan recommends the expansion of family-friendly attractions and increased support for Nashville's racially and ethnically diverse business owners.

"I think people misunderstand, or they assume, that the only tourism that is here are the people who are drinking on Broadway," Ivey said. "They don’t realize that there are visitors throughout all the neighborhoods."

Attracting a growing number of international tourists is a key priority as well. The report recommends additional global marketing focused on "ensuring an authentic and welcoming Nashville experience."

Reed said when it comes to supporting city-led efforts to expand access to public transportation and affordable housing , some of the dozens of hospitality leaders who contributed to the plan should be willing to throw support to the work.

"I’m very hopeful that these people will be supporting initiatives from elected officials," Reed said.

The report itself stresses the importance of robust attainable housing near the downtown core for the city's hospitality workers and creative community who work near downtown every day.

"We are pleased to hear that Mayor O’Connell will be proposing a transit initiative in 2024 and the industry will look forward to doing its part to advocate for greater investment in affordable public (transportation) for the benefit of our workforce and our visitors," the report says.

Reducing crime and improving the city's reputation

While overall crime only rose 1% from 2019 to 2022, violent crime jumped from 21% to 25% — mostly in areas frequented by tourists, the report states.

"We must combat a mentality that 'tourism at all costs' is healthy for our city’s growth and progress," says the report.

Solutions proposed are more security cameras, better street lighting, stricter rules for vendors and training for hospitality workers to help sexual assault victims and to intervene in dangerous situations , among others.

And it argues police staffing and pay, which starts at $45,000, should be increased.

"MNPD currently is roughly 200 officers short of budgeted officer staffing levels, the minimum headcount necessary for effective performance," the report states. "MNPD is struggling to attract, recruit, and retain police officers. This pay scale is problematic in a city experiencing significant cost of living increases. According to one analysis performed in 2022, the average compensation for the MNPD ranks ninth among police departments in Tennessee."

While downtown Nashville's problematic reputation is based in some fact, the area gets a bad rap considering its outsized economic contribution to the county, the report says.

"Hospitality is the second largest industry in Nashville and Tennessee, directly employing more than 70,000 residents," states the report. "Music City’s reputation, major events and new state-of-the-art hospitality assets are sources of pride and enjoyment for Nashvillians."

The report recommends a "communications campaign" focused on the hospitality industry's large economic impact and highlighting its community assets like restaurants, sports arenas and concert venues.

"Despite these benefits, in recent years, many residents have blamed the tourism industry solely for the angst many feel due to the city’s recent growth challenges," it states.

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Some visitors to Israel have a new stop on their tours: Hamas’ destruction in the south

For people visiting Israel, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. This is a new kind of tourism that has emerged in the country in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. (AP Video: Ami Bentov)

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A group of Israelis on an educational tour visit the home of the Siman Tov family on Friday, June 21, 2024. The parents and three children were killed and their home was torched by Hamas militants on the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

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A group of Israelis visit a damaged house following the Oct. 7 Hamas militants attack on Israel in Kibbutz Beeri, southern Israel, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli soldiers watch a virtual tour of the destruction of the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel near the site of the Tribe of Nova music festival, where at least 364 people were killed and abducted near Kibbutz Re’im, southern Israel, Thursday, May 30, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

An Israeli reservist poses for a picture with a tourist from Mexico, who is holding the soldier’s M16 rifle, at the site of the Tribe of Nova music festival, where at least 364 people were killed and abducted during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, near Kibbutz Re’im, southern Israel on Thursday, June 20, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

A group of Israelis on an educational tour visit a house that was torched by Hamas militants on the Oct. 7 attack on Israel in Kibbutz Nir Oz, on Friday, June 21, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

People look at the Gaza Strip through binoculars from an observation point in the town of Sderot, southern Israel, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

FILE - Danny Danon, a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, left, and Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, visit a home torched by Hamas in Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel, Monday, May 27, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

A woman stands next to photos of people killed and taken captive by Hamas militants during their violent rampage through the Nova music festival in southern Israel, which are displayed at the site of the event to commemorate the Oct. 7, massacre near Kibbutz Re’im on Thursday, June 20, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli soldiers look at pictures of revelers killed on Oct. 7, 2023 at the Nova music festival by Hamas militants during a cross-border attack, as they visit the site in Re’im, southern Israel near the Gaza border, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A woman stands next to a shelter at the site of the Tribe of Nova music festival, where at least 364 people were killed and abducted during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, near Kibbutz Re’im on Thursday, June 20, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

A group of Israelis on an educational tour visit the dining hall that was damaged during the Oct. 7, Hamas attack on Israel in Kibbutz Nir Oz, on Friday, June 21, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

People look at the Gaza Strip from an observation point in the town of Sderot, southern Israel, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Ultra-Orthodox Jews from central Israel visit a bomb shelter where Israelis were killed during the Oct. 7 Hamas militants attack on Israel, near Kibbutz Beeri, southern Israel, on Friday, June 21, 2024. A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

KIBBUTZ NIR OZ, Israel (AP) — A new kind of tourism has emerged in Israel in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. For celebrities, politicians, influencers and others, no trip is complete without a somber visit to the devastated south that absorbed the brunt of the assault near the border with Gaza .

Jerry Seinfeld, Elon Musk , Michael Douglas, former presidential candidate Nikki Haley , and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are a few who have visited, at times posing for photos in front of burned-out homes. Many Israelis, including soldiers and security officials, are also visiting on organized trips.

“It’s our personal story, but it’s also the story of all of the state of Israel,” said Irit Lahav, spokeswoman for Kibbutz Nir Oz, who gives many of the tours.

A quarter of the approximately 400 Nir Oz residents fell victim to the attack. Hamas militants killed more than 20 and kidnapped over 80. In the dining hall, a wall of post office boxes is plastered with stickers — red for killed, black for kidnapped, blue for released.

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While it’s uncomfortable to open the community to visitors, she said it’s important for people to “come here and smell the burned smell of death, to imagine your friends or parents here.”

Hamas militants killed around 1,200 people as they rampaged through southern Israel, and kidnapped around 250. Health officials in Hamas-run Gaza say more than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war that followed.

Prior to Oct. 7, Lahav ran a tourism company. Now she has turned those itinerary-building skills to the kibbutz where she grew up. Her tour includes the spot in the fence where Hamas militants stormed the kibbutz, along with small details that humanize the scale of destruction, like the candy eggs that melted when the general store was torched.

Many of the kibbutzim and towns that experienced the worst destruction are closed to the public, accessible only via organized tours like those for dignitaries or celebrities, or by invitation from a resident.

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A group of Israelis on an educational tour visit a house that was torched by Hamas militants on the Oct. 7 attack on Israel in Kibbutz Nir Oz, on Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Nir Oz decided that the guides must be residents. Rena Bazar, who lives with most of the community in temporary housing elsewhere, is among those giving tours.

At first, it was difficult to return to Nir Oz. She didn’t like the idea of strangers on the lawns and in the dining hall with its bullet-riddled windows. But eventually, she understood the importance of helping visitors understand not just what happened, but also what life had been like before Oct. 7.

“I want to make it less about the combat and more about the personal stories of people who were there,” Bazar said.

For visiting dignitaries and VIPs, trips to Israel have long included stops at famous religious or cultural sites, such as the Western Wall, Masada, the Sea of Galilee or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the national Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. The visits to the battered kibbutzim and border towns are the latest way to build support and solidarity with Israel’s allies abroad.

Other parts of southern Israel are open to the public and encouraging visitors — both foreigners and Israelis from elsewhere.

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People look at the Gaza Strip through binoculars from an observation point in the town of Sderot, southern Israel, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

The city of Sderot runs “resilience tours,” connecting groups with survivors who share their memories of Oct. 7 or highlight cultural or culinary offerings. In contrast to the hardest-hit kibbutzim like Nir Oz, most of Sderot’s residents have returned.

Hen Cohen, the city’s tourism director, estimated that about 200,000 visitors have come during the first half of 2024, compared with 100,000 total in a normal year. Most come via solidarity missions from abroad or are local visitors such as soldiers and police officers on educational tours.

Birthright Israel, an organization that provides 10-day free trips to Israel for Jewish Americans, said that nearly all of the 13,500 participants expected this summer will visit Sderot and the site of the Nova music festival, where at least 364 people died. These visits provide an economic and morale boost to residents, Cohen said.

The Sderot police station, where 10 officers were killed on Oct. 7 in a standoff that left the station in ruins, is a main attraction. Visitors stop at the local museum, and watch security footage of what happened on Oct. 7, then walk to the empty lot where the police station stood. Twisted metal remains. Israeli flags flutter in the wind. A sign says a memorial will be built there.

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People look at the Gaza Strip from an observation point in the town of Sderot, southern Israel, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

“In this dark hour, I wanted to do my part to make sure the people of Israel know that the people of the United States are with you,” former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said while visiting the site. Seinfeld later cried while talking about his own visit to a kibbutz, describing it as “the most powerful experience” of his life.

Zehava Ben Zaken, a lifelong Sderot resident, said it has taken time to adjust to seeing visitors every time she walks by. “I’m happy they come to see this place, so they can understand and stand with us,” she said.

Hearing the booms from Gaza a few kilometers (miles) away, she hoped that visitors can finally understand Sderot’s precarious security situation. “We’re totally broken,” she said.

South of Sderot, the site of the Nova music festival has become a pilgrimage site for hundreds of visitors per day. Photos of victims are arranged around what had been the main stage. Loved ones have left candles, sculptures, photos and other mementos.

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Israeli soldiers look at pictures of revelers killed on Oct. 7, 2023 at the Nova music festival by Hamas militants during a cross-border attack, as they visit the site in Re’im, southern Israel near the Gaza border, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Standing there helped her understand the enormity of loss of life, said Naomi Hanan, a medical student from San Francisco. “It’s right in front of your face and there’s no denying or ignoring what you’ve been hearing or seeing through the media,” she said.

In a eucalyptus grove near the site, an organization called Triumph of the Spirit offers virtual reality tours of three kibbutzim, including Nir Oz. The tours are currently only open to soldiers on official educational visits, but an English version will be available in the coming weeks for international tourists.

“I feel like I’m in Fortnite!” one soldier said as he slipped on the headset, then went silent as images of destruction appeared.

The videos were created by Miriam Cohen and Chani Kopolovich, who had created such tours of Auschwitz for a Holocaust education experience for people who don’t travel to Poland.

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“We’ve made it accessible to go on this tour without damaging peoples’ privacy,” said Pinchas Tosig, who runs the tent and has 300 to 700 soldiers visit per day.

Some residents of southern Israel are looking beyond the visitors to the future.

In the coming weeks, Nir Oz will start demolishing some buildings to make way for new construction. Residents wonder how to preserve what happened while making space for new lives. Some say part of the destruction should remain. Others don’t want reminders — or visitors.

On one tour, Bazar pointed out the safe room where she spent hours hiding on Oct. 7. Her home was mostly spared. Others were burned. She doesn’t want the destruction to remain inside Nir Oz and hopes any future memorial will be elsewhere.

“I don’t want any child to be impacted by the ruins,” she said. “Our cemetery is full. Isn’t that memorial enough?”

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

6 as of tourism

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Story content, public history student’s research helps illuminate life of sacramento civil rights legend.

6 as of tourism

By Jonathan Morales

June 26, 2024

There’s nothing remarkable about the house at 4216 Lotus Ave. in Sacramento’s Sutterville Heights neighborhood. Passersby likely don’t know that for decades it was home to a civil rights legend.

With the help of a Sacramento State student, however, that may change.

Research from Alyssa M. Garcia, who just completed her second year in Sac State’s Public History master’s program, played a key role in a recent short documentary about Virna Canson, a Sacramento civil rights pioneer who lived in the house from 1954 until her death in 2003.

Garcia’s work, like that of her classmates, has been used to support a bid for the property to be designated a National Historic Landmark.

"I hope people understand the impact of Virna Canson's contributions to society and that she is the female version of Martin Luther King Jr. in the West,” Garcia said. “She is the 'Mother of Civil Rights in the West.’ She deserves recognition, she deserves to be crystallized into history books."

Garcia was moved to study history following the 2020 police killing of George Floyd and ensuing protests and national discourse about race.

“The best way I thought I could understand, navigate and move forward in that type of atmosphere was to know its history and be able to hold the really important conversations with a knowledge base,” she said.

Garcia graduated from Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in History in 2022 and immediately entered the University’s Master’s in Public History program. A key component of that program has been its partnership with Sacramento’s African American Experience Project , through which students have helped identify significant people and places in the city’s Black community.

Virna Canson, beginning in the 1950s, was a key figure in many of California’s civil rights struggles, including housing discrimination and affirmative action. From 1974 to 1988 she was director of the NAACP’s Western region.

In the spring of 2023, Garcia was assigned the Canson house, quickly learning the work would be a heavier lift than that of her classmates. Her research showed that the Canson family had constructed an apartment building at the back of their property, which, during a time of rampant housing discrimination, they rented out without racial restrictions.

“I acquired a little bit more of a workload than my peers because I also had to do the apartment that went with it,” she said. “I was like, ‘Why me?’ But honestly, it ended up being just a gem of a project.”

Apartments behind the Canson home.

Garcia looked at property records for the house and apartment and spent a day at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, which houses Canson’s papers and collections. There Garcia researched Canson’s life to help establish the historical significance of her home.

“I really took it file by file, picture by picture. I looked at everything, I didn't leave any stone unturned in her collections,” she said.

Research by Garcia and her fellow Public History students was used as the basis for applications to the U.S. Department of the Interior to place the locations onto the National Register of Historic Places.

Those applications are pending, but Garcia’s work found another outlet. As she was conducting her research, Sacramento filmmaker Chris Lango began working on a short documentary about Canson, funded through a grant from the city’s Office of Arts and Culture.

In August 2023, Lango asked Sacramento Public Library Archivist James Scott if the library had information about Canson. Scott replied that one of his recent interns – Garcia – had just finished a research project on Canson’s house.

Lango, also a video producer for the Center for Sacramento History, contacted Garcia and quickly knew he wanted to include her in the film. She was the second person he spoke with, meaning that, in addition to being featured, her work became a jumping off point for Lango’s future research.

"I was lucky enough to interview her before I interviewed other people,” he said. "In just going through what she had done and in speaking with her, it motivated me to do more research and find more advertisements about the Canson house and the apartment building in the back and to capture more footage.”

Lango’s film was released on YouTube on Mother’s Day, intentionally chosen to reflect Canson’s status as “Sacramento’s Mother of Civil Rights.”

Rebekkah Mulholland, director of the Public History master’s program, said the African American Experience Project of which Garcia’s research was a part is a perfect example of how the program not only provides its students real-world skills but also instills in them the importance of serving the community.

“Since we are community oriented, our students understand the responsibility to the work they do, not just at Sac State but beyond,” Mulholland said. “They take their education and training out with them into the world, demonstrating that Sac State has prepared them for the workforce, thus influencing others to want to join our program.”

Garcia is on track to graduate this fall. She wants to become a professor, but her graduate work has also inspired her to want to continue documenting public history.

Participating in Lango’s film, she said, was part of that inspiration.

"Being featured in the documentary not only validated my work, but also highlighted the importance of preserving and understanding significant contributions in preserving our civil rights figures, especially local ones.”

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  • Student Success
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About Jonathan Morales

Jonathan Morales joined the Sac State communications team in 2017 as a writer and editor. He previously worked at San Francisco State University and as a newspaper reporter and editor. He enjoys local beer, Bay Area sports teams, and spending time outdoors with his family and dog.

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