Tourism And Its Benefits: Expectations vs. Reality

Definition of Tourism across the globe

The term ‘tour’ comes from the Latin word tornus, which means ‘circle-making tool.’ The movement of individuals from their customary place of residence to another place (with the aim of returning) for a minimum of twenty-four hours to a maximum of six months for the sole purpose of leisure and pleasure is known as tourism.

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.”

Tourism was defined as “a visit to a nation other than one’s own or where one typically dwells and works” during the Rome conference on tourism in 1963. This definition, however, did not take into account domestic tourism, which has become an important money-spinner and job generator for the hospitality industry.

Tourists, according to the UNWTO, are “those who travel to and remain in a place outside their customary surroundings for not more than one year for leisure, business, or other purposes not related to the execution of a remunerated activity from inside the place visited.”

Tourism, according to the Tourism Society of Britain, “is the temporary short-term movement of people to destinations outside of their typical living, working, and leisure activities while they are at these destinations.” This term encompasses all forms of human movement.

Tourism has become more economical and convenient thanks to advancements in technology and transportation infrastructure, such as jumbo planes, low-cost airlines, and more accessible airports. There have been lifestyle changes; for example, retirees now maintain tourism throughout the year. Tourism has grown as a result of the selling of tourism items on the internet, as well as aggressive marketing by tour operators and travel agents.

Every year, September 27 is designated as World Tourism Day. This date was chosen since the UNWTO Statutes were created on that day in 1970. The goal of this day is to promote awareness about the importance of tourism in the global community.

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Travel and Tourism’s Origins

Travel is as old as mankind’s presence on the planet. At the beginning of his existence, man explored the earth’s surface in quest of food, shelter, security, and a better home. However, over time, such movements became synonymous with wanderlust.

Changes in temperature, dwindling food and shelter, and violent invaders forced people to flee their homes and seek sanctuary elsewhere some 5,000 years ago, similar to how the Aryans fled Central Asia owing to climate change. This could lead to the growth of commerce, trade, and industry.

A religious, educational, and cultural movement began during Hindu and Chinese civilization. Christian missionaries, Buddhist monks, and others journeyed far and wide to deliver religious lessons, returning with fascinating visions and ideas about aliens.

The efficiency of transportation, as well as the help and safety with which people could travel, has allowed people to move around for millennia. Italy had become Europe’s intellectual and cultural hub by the end of the 15th century. It was a symbol of both the intelligentsia and the aristocracy’s classical heritage.

Travel became an important element of every young Englishman’s education during the 16th century. As a result, travel became a tool for self-improvement and education in its fullest sense. The ‘Grand Tour’ was a term used to describe educational travel.

The pattern and structure of British society changed dramatically as a result of the industrial revolution. As a result, Britain’s economy played a significant role in the emergence of contemporary tourism. It also gave rise to a big and prosperous middle class, and as transportation systems improved in the second half of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century, a growing number of people began to travel for pleasure.

The necessity to survive (food, shelter, and security), the ambition to develop trade, and the drive to conquer were the driving forces behind early travel. The desire to transform the vast and virgin world into a close neighborhood grew as transportation systems developed, resulting in the birth of a new industry: travel and tourism.

Rails, roads, steamships, vehicles, and airplanes, on the other hand, helped to spread technology over the world. Previously, travel was only available to the wealthy, but this changed dramatically with the industrial revolution. Transportation and lodging became more inexpensive to the middle and working classes.

Essentially, jet travel, communication, new technology, tourism, and travel became the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries as a result of the development of jet travel, communication, and new technology.

Travel and tourism have recently emerged as a major economic force on the global stage, accounting for more than 12% of total global trade and expanding at an annual rate of 8%.

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Tourism in its various forms

Tourism takes many shapes depending on the goal of the visit and other factors. These are further subdivided into a variety of categories based on their characteristics. The following are some examples of tourism:

here following are some of the most important types of tourism:

Adventure Tourism

Atomic Tourism

Agri Tourism

Bicycle Tours

Beach Tourism

Cultural Tourism



Industrial Tourism

Medical Tourism

Religious Tourism

Rural Tourism

Sex Tourism

Space Tourism

Virtual Tourism

War Tourism

Wildlife Tourism

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Tourism is divided into several categories.

According to the aim of travel, tourism can be divided into six distinct types. These are as follows:

1) Leisure tourism: Leisure tourism takes a person away from the monotony of everyday life. In this situation, people spend their free time hiking, going to the beach, and so on.

2) Cultural: Cultural tourism satisfies cultural and intellectual interest and includes excursions to historical and religious sites, among other things.

3) Sports/Adventure: This category includes trips taken by people with the intention of playing golf, skiing, or hiking.

4) Health: People travel to this category for medical treatment or to visit areas with healing properties, such as hot springs, spa yoga, and so on.

5) Convention tourism is becoming a more important part of the travel industry. People travel domestically and internationally to attend conventions related to their business, career, or hobby.

6) Incentive Tourism: Major corporations offer holiday packages as incentives to dealers and salespeople who meet sales targets. This is a new and growing trend in travel. Instead of cash incentives or gifts, incentive tourism is now worth $3 billion in the United States alone.

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Tourism’s Characteristics

The activities and experiences of tourists and visitors away from their native environment that are serviced by the travel and tourism industry and host destination are referred to as tourism as a socioeconomic phenomena. A tourism product is the sum of all of these activities, experiences, and services.

Supply and demand can be used to describe the tourist system. The goal of tourism planning should be to strike a balance between supply and demand. This necessitates a thorough awareness of both market characteristics and trends, as well as the planning process for meeting market demands.

The demand side is frequently described as tourists from key generating markets; the supply side comprises all facilities, programmes, attractions, and land uses created and managed for the visitors. Private sector, non-profit groups, and the government may have control on these supply-side factors. To secure the long-term growth and management of tourism-related resources, new and novel kinds of partnerships are emerging.

Tourists from important generating markets are typically defined as the demand side; the supply side includes all facilities, programmes, attractions, and land uses built and managed for the visitors. These supply-side elements may be under the authority of the private sector, non-profit organisations, and the government. New and creative types of collaborations are emerging to ensure the long-term growth and management of tourism-related resources.

The supply and demand sides are connected through flows of capital, labor, goods, and tourist expenditures into the destination, as well as flows of marketing, promotion, tourist artifacts, and experiences from the destination back into the tourist generating region.

As a result, it is now widely understood that tourism development cannot be conducted in isolation from the environment and local populations, nor can it be conducted without regard for the social and cultural effects of tourism.

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Tourism’s Importance and Benefits

Tourism and hospitality, which are intimately interwoven, are two of the world’s largest revenue-generating industries. They’re also one of the best places to work. As travel has become more frequent in recent decades, there has been an upmarket tendency in tourism. People travel for a variety of reasons, including work, leisure, pleasure, adventure, and even medical treatment.

Tourism generates a substantial number of jobs in a variety of industries. These employment are not limited to the tourism industry; they can also be found in the agricultural, communication, health, and educational sectors. Many travellers visit to learn about the culture, traditions, and cuisine of the hosting country. Local eateries, shopping malls, and retailers earn handsomely from this. Tourism has a significant impact on the population of Melbourne, Australia. It has a population of roughly 4 million people, and the tourism industry employs around 22,000 people.

Governments that rely on tourism for a significant portion of their earnings invest heavily in the country’s infrastructure. They desire an increasing number of tourists to visit their country, which necessitates the provision of safe and advanced facilities. As a result, new roads and highways are built, parks are created, public places are upgraded, new airports are built, and maybe better schools and hospitals are built. Infrastructures that are both safe and creative allow for a smooth movement of products and services. Furthermore, local residents benefit from opportunities for economic and educational advancement.

Tourists and locals engage in cultural exchanges as a result of tourism. Foreigners are generally attracted to exhibitions, conferences, and events. Registration fees, gift sales, exhibition space sales, and media copyright sales are all common sources of profit for organizing bodies. Furthermore, foreign tourists contribute to the cultural diversity and richness of the host country.

Foreigners benefit much from tourism since it allows them to learn about a new culture, but it also provides many chances for locals. It enables young entrepreneurs to launch innovative products and services that would not be viable if they relied just on the local populace.

 In terms of tourism qualities, each destination will be unique. The cost and advantages of tourism vary by destination and can alter over time, depending on tourism and other activities in the local and regional context of the destination.

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Many economies throughout the world rely on tourism to thrive. Tourism has a number of advantages for host destinations. Tourism increases the economy’s revenue, produces thousands of employment, improves a country’s infrastructure, and fosters cultural interchange between outsiders and natives.

Economic Consequences

Tourism has an impact on both the country’s economy and the economy of the destination.

Economic Advantages

Tourism creates jobs in the local economy, both directly in the tourism industry and indirectly in the support and resource management industries.

Domestic industries, hotels and other accommodation facilities, restaurants and food services, transportation networks, handicrafts, and guide services all benefit from tourism.

Tourism brings in foreign exchange as well as capital and new money into the local economy.

Tourism contributes to the diversification of the local economy.

Infrastructure for tourism has been improved.

Increase tourism-related tax revenue.

Costs of Production

Increased demand from tourism could raise the cost of land, housing, and a variety of other necessities.

During tourist seasons, demand for health services and police services rises at the expense of the local tax base.  

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Social Consequences

Tourism has a positive and negative impact on the destination’s society. It has both positive and negative consequences for the local community.

Social Advantages

Economic diversification through tourism can improve a community’s quality of life.

Local residents, as well as domestic and international visitors, can enjoy tourism-related recreational and cultural amenities.

Tourism activities can help to develop and improve public spaces.

Tourism raises the prestige of the local community and allows for increased understanding and dialogue among individuals of all backgrounds.

Social Expenses

Rapid tourism growth may cause local amenities and institutions to be unable to meet service expectations.

Litter, vandalism, and criminality are all too common when tourism develops without effective planning and supervision.

Overcrowding and traffic congestion can occur as a result of tourism.

Visitors bring material affluence and the appearance of independence with them. The economic expectations that these tourists bring are particularly vulnerable to the host community’s youth, and this can result in full disruption of traditional community ways of life.

The community structure, such as community ties, demography, and institutions, may change.

To fulfil tourism expectations, the authenticity of the social and cultural context can be altered.

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Cultural Repercussions

Tourism has an impact on the culture of the host country. Tourism has a variety of cultural effects, both positive and harmful.

Cultural Advantages

Tourism has the potential to raise cultural awareness in a given area.

Tourism can help pay for the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings, and districts by generating cash.

Despite accusations that cultures are being distorted to intolerable degrees, sharing cultural knowledge and experience can benefit tourism destination hosts and guests, as well as result in the restoration of local customs and crafts.

Costs of Culture

Tourists’ speech and attire began to be emulated by local youth.Tourism development and pressures have the potential to harm historic sites.

Long-term cultural traditions may be harmed, and cultural values may be eroded, resulting in cultural change that is unacceptable to the host destination.

Environmental Impact Tourism has both positive and negative effects on the environment. These ramifications are listed below.

Environmental Advantages

Parks and nature preserves might be established, and environmental preservation could be promoted as a need for nature-based tourism.

It is possible to improve waste management.

Nature-based tourism activities and development can result in increased environmental awareness and care.

Costs to the Environment

A deterioration in the area’s physical integrity.

Rapid expansion, overdevelopment, and overcrowding have the potential to permanently alter an area’s physical environment and ecosystems.

Parks and preserves are deteriorating.

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Products for Tourism

A tourism/tourist product can be described as the sum of the physical and psychological gratification it delivers travellers while en route to their destinations.

Because the travel and tourism industry is made up of so many different industries that promote travel-related services. These businesses are known as travel vendors, and their services and goods are referred to as “travel products.” Physical plant, services, hospitality, freedom of choice, and a sense of involvement are the five primary components of a tourism product.

Thus, tourism products refer to services that are provided to tourists for consumption, regardless of natural or man-made resources.

Tourism Product Characteristics

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You’ve probably figured out what a tourism product is by now. Let’s have a look at some of its features:-

1) Intangible: Tourism is an intangible product, which means it can’t be touched or seen, and there’s no transfer of ownership. However, the facilities are provided for a set period of time and for a set purpose. For example, a hotel room is available for a specific period of time.

2) Psychological: The primary motivation for purchasing a tourism product is to meet a psychological demand by gaining experience when interacting with a new place after utilising it. Others may be enticed to buy the goods based on their own experiences.

3) Very Perishable: Tourism products are highly perishable by nature, which means they cannot be stored for an extended period of time. While a tourist is there, production and consuming take place. If the goods goes unused, i.e. if tourists do not purchase it, the chances are gone.

A tourist product cannot be stored by a travel agent or tourism operator who sells it. Only when the consumer is there can production take place. And once consumption begins, it is impossible to halt, interrupt, or change it. If a product goes underutilised, the opportunity is lost; for example, if visitors do not visit a specific location, the opportunity at that moment is lost. During the offseason, hotels and transportation providers offer significant discounts due to the tourism industry.

4) Composite Product: A tourist product is made up of several separate items. It is devoid of any self-contained entities. Various service providers, such as transportation, add to the overall experience of a visit to a specific location. Unlike a manufactured product, the tourist product cannot be given by a single company.

The tourist product encompasses the entire experience of visiting a specific location. In addition, a variety of service providers contribute to the tourism experience. For example, an airline gives seats, a hotel provides rooms and restaurants, and travel brokers make reservations for lodging and sightseeing, among other things.

5) Unstable Demand: Seasonal, economic, political, and other factors influence tourism demand. There are periods of the year when demand is higher than others. During these periods, services such as hotel reservations, employment, and the transportation system, among others, are put under increased strain.

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