This term paper will outline the environment where the travel and tourism industry operates. It will deliver the overview of the importance and the impact of this industry. It will consider the forces that shape the industry and the issues which affect the management of the industry.
The word travel and tour can be used interchangeably. Tourism can be defined as the movement from place to place with the aim of recreating one’s self and provision of services for this movement. Therefore tourism can be taken as a service industry with lots of tangible and intangible parts. The tangible things may be classified into the transport systems and the hospitality services. The transport services and systems include road, air, waters and even rail. The hospitality services include accommodation, food and beverages, tours, safety, insurance and banking. The intangible services include, rest and relaxation, escape, adventure and other more new experiences (Word, 2010).Tourism started as travel for leisure and adventure in different fields and now it has come to be broadly ventured into by so many individuals. This has become a day to day event which can be broadly classified as; pilgrimage tourism, health tourism, winter tourism, and niche tourism. These classification are taken from the kind of activity is involved in the travel (National Database, 2010).
Types of Tourism
Pilgrimage tourism is a travel taken most by people of different religions to the shrines or sacred places to undertake the divine help or acts of thanks giving to demonstrate how devoted they are to their supreme. Health tourism also is associated to the welfare and believes by different people. They travel to areas thought to be of health benefit like bathing in sea water to cure skin disease. On the other hand winter tourism has increased more rapidly due to the rise in winter sports and winter board lessons. This affects areas with warm climates where people travel to for short holidays. People travel to cold areas for sled and ski competitions. This winter tourism has increased tremendously with increased speed in the railway transport and the safety of the air travel and broadly on the improved technology (Newkerala, 2008). Niche tourism is mostly oriented with risky taking activities. This is an adventure tourism which includes activities such as mountaineering and hiking. This mostly involved with experimentation on the natural environment and trying to figure out the out come. Niche tourism is mainly nature and environmental oriented adventures. These adventures include what is commonly known as dark tourism which is associated with visiting the areas known to be death threatening and suffering. There are more common kind of tourism market where tourists choose to take their accommodation, food and transport avoiding using the known or established systems. There are so many types of tourism in the world today since each type is unique on itself depending on the motive of the tourists (Newkerala, 2008).
Tourism and travel and its impacts
Travel and tourism has become one of the major boosts in the economy of any country. Every country’s aim is to increase its income through tourism. Therefore each ministry of tourism in any country is seeking for the best ways of promoting and developing the industry. The African countries have become major beneficiaries of the industry. This has been brought about by the stability in the jobs on the developed countries. These people have a low limitation in their spending power therefore in a position to manage high budget restaurants, hotels and other recreational parks. The domestic tourism is also on the rise because of the change in the security level in the world and the improved technology (Economywatch, n.d.).
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The tourism industry has to adopt policies which are aimed at attracting a big number of tourists. These policies are geared to improving the products offered and raising the standards to reach the world standards. The many countries are offering promotional tools and deploying well trained personnel to undertake research activity on tourist requirements in the betterment of the industry. There is need of countries to improve the industries related to tourism for the industry to grow steadily. These industries include; food and beverage industry, hotel and lodging services, banking and insurance industry, retail market, transport and communication industry (Diaz 2001).
Effects of Tourism in Developed Countries
Tourism in the developing countries has come as a two way activity. It has increased the activity and the way culture is viewed and has raised curiosity exposing all cultural ways. Tourism has now become economically exploitive and upcoming side-effect of globalization. The indigenous people in the developed countries are taking this as a new source of income as service workers in tourism industry. They are also becoming tourism exhibits themselves, selling their different kinds of art, organizing dances in their villages for the visitors, preparing traditional foods and showing different types of customs. This has come as a good way of fighting the great enemy of unemployment but this has hampered the communities negatively. While this incorporates them in the new economy, they also affect them culturally as this lowers their rate of civilization. This has become more evident in the Maasai pastoral groups in Kenya and Tanzania (Azarya, 2007).
Tourism and the economy
Tourism has proved to be a pillar in most world economies. It is the only service sector which has proven as an economic activity depended upon by many nations irrespective of their level of development. In the developing countries it is the major foreign exchange earner than such other exports like export of agricultural produce. Tourism has affected many youths positively in these countries since their concentration is now focused on improving their services and commodities to earn a living through the tourism industry (Twarog, 2004).
Tourism in the developing economies has come as welcoming activity and service. It has changed many people’s life and way of thinking towards environmental conservation. Tourism has now become a sector offering employment opportunities to many due to its links to other related economic activities. Other sectors are growing to support the running of Tourism. This has raised the need of developing policies so as to capitalize on the advantages of internationalization of markets (Diaz, 2001).
Risks threatening Tourism
As much as tourism is one of the world leading economic activities, it is the most vulnerable trade. This economic activity is affected by many risk factors. This leads to its unreliability in the business world. Global events such as political instability affect the trade negatively. People moving from country to country as tourists have become a threat to worl security. The terrorists are maculating as tourists to complete their evil missions. The impact felt is so much in that if this is the most valued source of income for a country then it will be fixed. Tourism has also been affected by the health-related issues such as the swine flu menace hindered free travel hence affecting the income reacted during travel. Climatical change has also affected free travel need changed the movement, pattern and position of the attractive scenes and world animals especially in African countries. This has to impact on the increased spending to promote the industry’s continuity and prevent environmental degradation (Twarog, 2004).
Tourism has been on the limelight in the world because of the scope it covers. It is the largest harp of jobs across all regions. The jobs created by tourism are far more affecting all the sectors of any economy. It has affected the contraction, transport, agriculture, cultural issues, manufacturing, telecommunications and many more organized groups. This industry has changed the world to one large community. Due to the interaction between the many cultures and language, a common compromise is reached to bring all these people from diverse backgrounds together. This has led to positive rating given to tourism and travel as the best economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development. This has been taken due to its low impact on the environment and the natural resourced than most other industries. This industry has been directed to enjoyment and accepting of diverse cultures and building heritages and has a powerful motivation towards protecting and improving these assets. To a large extent, tourism and travel has taken root in cultivating and increasing other economic enhancers. It has lead to improved and acted as a catalyst to major economic boosters like infrastructure and local cultural diversity.
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Promoting tourism will help in making the income gained sustained. Due to coming up of new things each day making every area attractive for tourists, away must be devised to encourage continuous flow of income. This can only be done through advertisement via different media. Many take that the only way tourism can be sustained is through foreign visitors. This has locked many potential internal tourists who will bridge the gap created by any instability in foreign tourist. The existing attractions need to be improved and preserved. New attractions need to be identified and shown light through advertising. Irrespective of the attractions the tourists need good accommodation and better health services. The industry is mainly luxurious, these calls for improved communication, good modern tour vehicles, building modern roads (clark, 2010).
Level of performance and sustainability of tourism
Tourism and travel has been affected by the environment. Attractive environment appeals to tourists may it be naturally found or built. The environment in which tourism takes place include, coastal resorts, cultural interest historic sites and mountainous ranges and many more which stimulates travel are affected by tourism positively and negatively. Tourism has increased investment, conservation of features which encourage buildings, wildlife increased income. On the other hand the appealing environment is spoilt by displacement of people due to overdevelopment, increased pollution of air and noise and destroying of natural flora and fauna (Rowe et al, 2002).
As any other economic activity, Tourism has to be sustainable for it to benefit the community. Tourism is set in a platform with has to support both the tourists and the host local communities. This is achieved by laying down laws and regulations which protect the rights of the community and preserve their environments. These have to be passed through proper education to both the tourists and the community for them to be enforced. Tourism also raises concerns on issues such as abuse; therefore pertinent laws have to be set as well to curb the vice. A police force has also to be set up to guard the community and the tourists maintaining peace and harmony. There should be continued training of staff handling tourists because they will be willing to pay more when they know they are going to be served by the qualified staff offering better service. With the increase improved technology, always then advertisement will look more appealing when posted on the internet. Therefore having a website showing all the provisions tend to lower the worried of the tourisms since now they have a glimpse of what to expect. With this the industry will be giving good results (Clark, 2010).
Tourism and Climate
With the increase in industrialization, tourism has changed tremendously. With its close relationship with climate and the environment, Tourism in a climate sensitive sector just like other sectors such as agriculture, transport, insurance, energy and destinations. With the continued change in the climatical conditions of the world, the tourist destinations are also altered to meet the expected standards. This has raised alarm to the tourism stake holders to change and start practicing adoption to meet the tourist demands. Climate change has become one of the most influential factors in decision making. This is so because climate change is not anymore a future event but a day today occurrence. Apart from tourism being a contributor to the general country economy, it in a contributor to the climate change through greenhouse gas through transport and accommodation of the tourists. This has become another big challenge to the tourist industry. Tourism therefore has the obligation of fighting to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions as stipulated by the international community. But also tourism sector cannot fight this war in isolation. It has to get a hand from the broad and within the context of the international sustainable development agenda. (Daniel et al (2007).
Tourism is a global harp of the country’s economy. With tourism, ideas, cultures and experiences are shared. Therefore there is a need to improve the sector by all means. Cooperation promotions should be encouraged by all means to inducement to increase the spending power of the tourists through continued research. There are recurrent problems in the sector which should be fought. The problems can only be solved by decision-makers who have the knowledge of the industry and the procedural knowledge. The wealth of knowledge can be derived from the already existing experiences and the generated knowledge from the field through watching the customer behaviors and market competitions (Wober, n.d.).
With the increase in environmental changes still tourism is gaining momentum. People are moving fast to see the attraction places before they disappear rendering tourism still the most interesting part of the economy. With the interest of people wanting to visit places before they change give a reason why the contemporary issues in tourism need considered to avert the vices in the industry.
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