Tourism is the practice and theory of bringing, entertaining, or accommodating tourists to a place, for the purpose of having fun, making money, or both. It can also refer loosely to any activity that brings people together to have social interaction and promote social well being. Tourism has grown exponentially in many countries over the past century. In the United States alone, tourism contributes about $7 billion a year to the economy. The most popular destinations are normally those with large populations, interesting history and natural resources, etc.
A well planned and properly managed tourism program can not only enhance the quality of life of the visitor, but can also create local employment for the local population. The basic economic analysis of tourism reveals that it creates a ready market for your products and services, while creating new customers for your firm. Tourism creates jobs for the people who work in the hotels and other establishments around the tourist destination. This includes the front desk staff, managers and other office staff, and chefs and waiters at the restaurants. Some jobs created by tourism include general and property management, inventory control, bookkeeping and accounting, food preparation and serving, maintenance, marketing, administration, and finance.
Tourism creates direct and indirect employment opportunities for those people who are permanently resident in the country of reference, either as part of regular trips, or as occasional visitors. These include hotel staff, tour guides, coaches, taxi drivers, chambermaids, camp counselors, security personnel, restaurant owners, bar attendants, bell boys, housekeeping, and various others. The most important groupings of people who receive regular direct employment from tourism comprise tourists and members of the household who stay in hotels and guesthouses on a regular basis. While the number of such participants is small compared to the total population of the country of reference, it constitutes a large portion of the employment sector. Another major employment grouping is that of the individuals who engage in activities like trekking, scuba diving, fishing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, swimming, surfing, skiing, etc. They are also the ones who make trips to neighboring countries, either part of organized tours or out of personal interest.
There are two main types of tourists: those coming in groups, and those going out of their own free will. Those who come in groups include groups of family and friends or other groups of peers who decide to spend a vacation together. These tourists usually have a common experience, such as history, culture, art, travel tips, or entertainment, which tends to bind them together. Tourists who go out of their own free will typically do so because they find interesting places outside the country of reference, and want to experience what these places have to offer.
Tourism creates employment opportunities for the entire local economy, not only for the specific individuals who work in tourism-oriented industries, but also for the people who support the tourism industry. These people include the police force, army, civil servants, local administrators, teachers, mechanics and technicians, finance officials, banks, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, editors, publishers, etc. The government as well provides significant subsidies for these people who otherwise would not be able to afford to take vacations on a regular basis.
Tourism refers to a number of different sectors within the visitor economy. Many tourists do not realize the full extent of the damage that tourism can cause to its surrounding environment. Tourism also contributes to the overall economic growth of the country. Thus, it is one of the most important drivers of the country’s recovery. This article is intended to provide the basic understanding of tourism and its positive contribution to the visitor economy.