When people think of tourism, they think about a vacation to a new destination, or a hike in the mountains.
The tourism sector has strong links to economic growth. Countries like Barbados, Croatia, and Turkey have shown a relationship between tourism development and economic growth.
Tourism is one of the only industries in the world where the service is consumed at the site of production. Here are a few ways tourism is beneficial;
Commercial tourism activities provide an opportunity for local people to participate in direct employment, in providing goods and services to tourism businesses, and not forgetting direct interaction with the tourist for example through crafts, food and beverage among others.
The tourism sector provides a means by which local entrepreneurs can experiment with new products and test them on international markets in their home country before exporting. This is because International tourists create demand for products and services which may not have already existed in their local market.
Tourism provides opportunities for economic diversification and skills upgrading.
Developing countries can leverage tourism to support local companies and entrepreneurs in developing new products and exports.
It brings in money. This is the main advantage of tourism and the reason why it has been promoted so much especially in developing countries. The income generated can make up a significant proportion of both private, local, and national incomes.
A well-regulated and responsible tourism can be an excellent mechanism of channeling resources from rich to poor or even at a large scale.
Tourism protects environmental and cultural assets. Many developing countries have rich natural and cultural heritage assets such as national parks, rare species, ancient cities or monuments that are under threat. Some countries do not have the financial resources to allocate to the preservation of these areas and more creative ways of funding their protection must be sought. The revenue generated from tourism is a solution as long as it is regulated and managed in a responsible manner.
Infrastructural development. It provides a means and an incentive for investment in infrastructure such as roads, rail networks, and local medical and education facilities.
Promotes Cross-Culture. It promotes international connections which can bring more business and cultural collaborations in the long term. It also promotes cross-cultural awareness for both locals and tourists and builds bridges of understanding between cultures.
Development of Country. Along with the wealth brought in, countries can further develop and grow. The money that comes in from tourism provides security and ensures countries that have no lucrative exports the opportunity to grow.
Promotes countries. It puts a place on the map. Tourism gives the locality a chance to show itself off and raise its profile in the world.
Environmental conservation. It can provide economic incentives for a place to preserve, maintain, and regenerate the environment in both urban and rural settings.
Wealth Generation. Tourism can easily generate a massive amount of wealth. This positive factor becomes more important for all third world countries. It is beneficial for countries that use tourism as their primary source of income.
Job Creation. Tourism is responsible for generating many different jobs within a country, thus being a hugely positive influence on the economy. There are a number of business opportunities that open up for the local people like hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities from tourism.
Encourages Unity. Tourism is a unique industry that boosts the unity between people of all different colours, backgrounds, and traditions. It also allows people to learn more about each individual country’s history and culture. Tourism helps to build links between different people from all kinds of backgrounds and social standings which generates understanding amongst various types of people.
Once an area becomes part of the tourism sector, it helps to financially support the country it is in because it brings in tourists who generate wealth.
Governments from low income economies should view investing in its tourism industry as a means to stimulate growth over the long term and enable the poor to share in economic gains.