We all travel and have been a tourist, perhaps many times in our life. Tourism and tourist are so common words that they find mention in newspapers and magazines almost on a daily basis. In spite of its popularity, have you ever deliberated what the definition of travel and tourism is? What components constitute the tourism industry? Who qualifies to be called a tourist? Well, this article attempts to explore the words "travel”, “tourism” and "tourist'- both technically as well as conceptually.
The tourism sector is a range of businesses and organizations involved in delivering the tourism product. All the elements of tourism are related and interact; in essence, the tourism industry is a system of customers and suppliers who demand and supply tourism products and services. In relation to tourism, very often you will come across terms like tourism products and services. These components of travel and tourism can be broadly divided into six key areas highlighted below.
Wealthy people have always traveled to distant parts of the world, to see great buildings, works of art, learn new languages, and experience new cultures, and to taste different cuisines. There has been an up-trend in tourism over the last few decades and now national or international travel for short breaks is very common. Tourists have a wide range of budgets and tastes, and a wide variety of resorts and hotels have been developed to cater for them.
How does Tourism Industry impact a country? The impact of the tourism industry can be classified into the social & cultural impact, economic impact, and environmental impact. Social & cultural impact signifies the impact which it creates in terms of social changes. The economic impact can be quantified in terms of monetary benefits and overall economic development of the society. Environmental impact refers to the impact on nature and the surrounding areas.
Tourism may have different effects on the social and cultural aspects of life in a particular region depending on the strengths of the region. The effect can be positive or negative. Tours also focus on unique natural or geographical features like the coastline, islands, mountains, health resorts, countryside, etc. At such locations, the provision of tourist services and the pressure of tourists are bound to have impacts on the environment, economy, and local social practices and on the people.
The tourism industry has contributed to the economic growth of a country through factors like industrialization, education, advanced technology, a higher number of qualified professionals, opening up of foreign markets, liberal trade policies, and better advertising and strategic marketing. The income generated helps the national balance of payments, earning revenue through direct taxation, as well as from indirect taxes on goods and services purchased by the tourists.
The environment is the surrounding atmosphere or condition for existence. The impact of tourism on the environment is both positive and negative. This article considers the major issue of the consequences of tourism for the environment. This is a complex area as, whilst tourism is dependent upon environmental quality to attract and support visitors, it also can have a detrimental effect upon those very environments – and their climate.
Top challenges confronting tourism are taxation, travel marketing, infrastructure issues, and security and cross border regulations. Too many tourism destinations are not prepared for visitors. Tourists or travelers can at times deem travel marketing to be exaggerated. Another major challenge that the tourism industry faces is the fluctuating rates and cost inflation. New challenges seem to arise quickly impacting the industry as a whole.