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What is Tourism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tourism is the act of travel for the purpose of recreation and business, and the provision of services for this act. Tourists are persons who are "travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited" (official UNWTO definition). The distance between these two places is of no significance.

A more comprehensive definition would be that tourism is a service industry, comprising a number of tangible and intangible components. The tangible elements include transport systems - air, rail, road, water and now, space; hospitality services - accommodation, foods and beverages, tours, souvenirs; and related services such as banking, insurance and safety and security. The intangible elements include: rest and relaxation, culture, escape, adventure, new and different experiences.

Many countries depend heavily upon travel expenditures by foreigners as a source of taxation and as a source of income for the enterprises that sell (export) services to these travellers. Consequently the development of tourism is often a strategy employed either by a Non-governmental organization (NGO) or a governmental agency to promote a particular region for the purpose of increasing commerce through exporting goods and services to non-locals.

Sometimes Tourism and Travel are used interchangeably. In this context travel has a similar definition to tourism, but implies a more purposeful journey.

The term tourism is sometimes used pejoratively, implying a shallow interest in the societies and places that the tourist visits.

Definitions

One of the earliest definition of Tourism was given by the Austrian economist Hermann Von Schullard in 1910. He defined it as, "sum total of operators, mainly of an economic nature, which directly relate to the entry, stay and movement of foreigners inside and outside a certain country, city or a region."

Hunziker and Krapf, in 1942, defined Tourism as, " Tourism is the totality of the relationship and phenomenon arising from the travel and stay of strangers, provided that the stay does not imply the establishment of a permanent residence and is not connected with a remunerative activities."

In 1976 Tourism Society of England defined it as, "Toursim is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destination outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes."

In 1981 International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined Tourism in terms of particular activities selected by choice and undertaken outside the home environment.

Classification

Tourism may be classified into the following types:

* Inbound international tourism: Visits to a country by nonresident of that country
* Outbound international tourism: Visits by the residents of a country to another country
* Internal tourism: Visits by residents of a country to their own
* Domestic tourism: Inbound international tourism + internal tourism
* National tourism: Internal tourists + outbound international tourism

Required Factors

The following are required, to make travel possible:

1. Discretionary income, i.e. money to spend on non-essentials
2. Time in which to do so.
3. Infrastructure in the form of accommodation facilities and means of transport.

Individually, sufficient health is also a condition, and of course the inclination to travel. Furthermore, in some countries there are legal restrictions on travelling, especially abroad. Communist states restrict foreign travel only to trustworthy citizens. The United States prohibits its citizens from traveling to some countries, for example, Cuba.

History

Wealthy people have always travelled to distant parts of the world to see great buildings or other works of art; to learn new languages; or to taste new cuisine. As long ago as the time of the Roman Republic places such as Baiae were popular coastal resorts for the rich.

The terms tourist and tourism were first used as official terms in 1937 by the League of Nations. Tourism was defined as people travelling abroad for periods of over 24 hours.

Health Tourism & Leisure Travel

The history of European tourism can perhaps be said to originate with the medieval pilgrimage. Although underaken primarily for religious reasons, the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales quite clearly saw the experience as a kind of holiday (the term itself being derived from the 'holy day' and its associated leisure activities). Pilgrimages created a variety of tourist aspects that still exist - bringing back souvenirs, obtaining credit with foreign banks (in medieval times utilising international networks established by Jews and Lombards), and making use of space available on existing forms of transport (such as the use of medieval English wine ships bound for Vigo by pilgrims to Santiago De Compostella). Pilgrimages of one sort or another are still important in modern tourism - such as to Lourdes or Knock in Ireland. But there are modern equivalents - Graceland and the grave of Jim Morrison in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

In the course of the sixteenth century, it became fashionable in England to undertake a Grand Tour. The sons of the nobility and gentry were sent upon an extended tour of Europe as an educational experience. The eighteenth century was the golden age of the Grand Tour, and many of the fashionable visitors were painted at Rome by Pompeo Batoni. The modern equivalent of the Grand Tour is the phenomenon of the backpacker, although cutural holdays, such as those offered by Swann-Hellenic, are also important.

Health tourism has always existed, but it was not until the eighteenth century that it became important. In England, it was associated with Spas, places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis. Bath was the most fashionable resort, but Buxton, Harrogate, and Tunbridge Wells, amongst others, also flourished. Of course, people visited these places for the balls and other entertainments, just as much as 'the waters'. Continental Spas such as Karlsbad attracted many fashionable travellers by the nineteenth century.

It could be argued that Britain was the home of the seaside holiday. In travelling to the coast, the population was following in the steps of Royalty. King George III made regular visits to Weymouth when in poor health. At the time, a number of doctors argued the benefits of bathing in sea water, and sea bathing as a widespread practice was popularised by the Prince Regent (later George IV), who frequented Brighton for this purpose.

Some English travellers, after visiting the warm lands of the south of Europe, decided to stay there either for the cold season or for the rest of their lives.

Leisure travel was a British invention due to sociological factors. Britain was the first European country to industrialize, and the industrial society was the first society to offer time for leisure to a growing number of people. Initially, this did not apply to the working masses, but rather to the owners of the machinery of production, the economic oligarchy, the factory owners, and the traders. These comprised the new middle class.

The British origin of this new industry is reflected in many place names. At Nice, one of the first and best-established holiday resorts on the French Riviera, the long esplanade along the seafront is known to this day as the Promenade des Anglais; in many other historic resorts in continental Europe, old well-established palace hotels have names like the Hotel Bristol, the Hotel Carlton or the Hotel Majestic - reflecting the dominance of English customers.

Winter Tourism

Winter sports were largely invented by the British leisured classes, initially at the Swiss village of Zermatt (Valais), and St Moritz in 1864.

The first packaged winter sports holidays (vacations) followed in 1903, to Adelboden, also in Switzerland.

Organized sport was well established in Britain before it reached other countries. The vocabulary of sport bears witness to this: rugby, football, and boxing all originated in Britain, and even Tennis, originally a French sport, was formalized and codified by the British, who hosted the first national championship in the nineteenth century, at Wimbledon. Winter sports were a natural answer for a leisured class looking for amusement during the coldest season.

Mass travel could not really begin to develop until two things occurred.

* improvements in technology allowed the transport of large numbers of people in a short space of time to places of leisure interest, and
* greater numbers of people began to enjoy the benefits of leisure time.

The father of modern mass tourism was Thomas Cook who, on 5 July 1841, organized the first package tour in history, by chartering a train to take a group of temperance campaigners from Leicester to a rally in Loughborough, some twenty miles away. There had been railway excursions before, but this one included entrance to an entertainment held in private grounds in the price. Cook immediately saw the potential of a convenient 'off the peg' holiday product in which everything was included in one cost. He organised packages inclusive of accommodation for the Great Exhibition, and afterwards pioneered package holidays in both Britain (particularly in Scotland) and on the European continent (where Paris and the Alps were the most popular destinations).

He was soon followed by others (the Polytechnic Touring Association, Dean and Dawson etc.), with the result that the tourist industry developed rapidly in early Victorian Britain. Initially it was supported by the growing middle classes, who had time off from their work, and who could afford the luxury of travel and possibly even staying for periods of time in boarding houses.

The Bank Holiday Act 1871 introduced a statutory right for workers to take holidays, even if they were not paid at the time. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the tradition of the working class holiday had become firmly established in Britain. These were largely focussed upon the seaside resorts.

The spread of the railway network in the nineteenth century resulted in the growth of Britain's seaside towns by bringing them within easy distance of Britain's urban centres.Blackpool was created by the construction of a line to Fleetwood, and some resorts were promoted by the railway companies themselves - Morecambe by the Midland Railway and Cleethorpes by the Great Central Railway. Other resorts included Scarborough in Yorkshire,servicing Leeds and Bradford; Weston-super-Mare in Somerset ,catering for the inhabitants of Bristol; and Skegness, patronised by the residents of the industrial East Midlands. The cockneys of London flocked to Southend-on-Sea, mainly by Thames Steamer, and the South Coast resorts such as Broadstairs, Brighton, and Eastbourne were only a short train ride away.

For a century, domestic tourism was the norm, with foreign travel being reserved for the rich or the culturally curious. A number of inland destinations, such as the English Lake District, and Snowdonia appealed to those who liked the countryside and fine scenery. The holiday camp began to appear in the 1930s, but this phenomenon really expanded in the post-war period. Butlins and Pontins set this trend, but their popularity waned with the rise of overseas package tours and the increasing comforts to which visitors became accustomed at home. Towards the end of the 20th century this market has been revived by the upmarket inland resorts of Dutch company Centre Parcs.

Other phenomena that helped develop the travel industry were paid holidays:

* 1.5 million manual workers in Britain had paid holidays by 1925
* 11 million by 1939 (30% of the population in families with paid holidays)

Outside Britain

Similar processes occurred in other countries, though at a slower rate, given that nineteenth century Britain was ahead of any other nation in the world in the process of industrialisation.

In the USA, the first great seaside resort, in the European style, was Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In Continental Europe, early resorts included Ostend (for the people of Brussels), and Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) and Deauville (Calvados) (for Parisians).

International Mass Tourism

Increasing speed on railways meant that the tourist industry could develop internationally.

To this may be added the development of sea travel. By 1901, the number of people crossing the English Channel from England to France or Belgium had passed 0.5 million per year. Shipping companies were anxious to fill cabin space that was under utilised. For example, P and O found that the majority of their passengers for India and the Far East joined the ship at Marseilles. Consequently, they marketed holidays based upon sea trips from London to Lisbon and Gibraltar. Other companies diverted their older ships to operate cruises in the summer months.

However, the real age of international mass travel began with the growth of air travel after World War Two. In the immediate post-war period, there was a surplus of transport aircraft, such as the popular and reliable Douglas Dakota, and a number of ex military pilots ready to fly them. They were available for charter flights, and tour operaters began to use them for European destinations, such as Paris and Ostend.

However it was with cheap air travel in combination with the package tour that international mass tourism developed. The postwar introduction of an international system of airline regulation was another important factor. The bilateral agreements at the heart of the system fixed seat prices, and airlines could not fill blocks of empty seats on underused flights by discounting. But if they were purchased by a tour operater and hidden within the price of an inclusive holiday package, it would be difficult to prove that discounting had taken place - even though it was obvious that it had! This was the origin of the modern mass package tour.

These developments coincided with a significant increase in the standard of living in Britain. At the end of the 1950s, Harold Macmillan could say "you've never had it so good."

Another significant development also happened at the end of this decade. The devaluation of the Spanish peseta made Spain appear a particuarly attractive destination. The cheapness of the cost of living attracted increasing numbers of vistors. It should be emphasised that mass package tourism is an essentially exploitative process, in which tour operators in a country with a high standard of living make use of development opportunities in a country with a lower standard of living. However, it is possible for the host country to obtain economic benefits from this arrangement.

Spain and the Balearic Islands became major tourist destinations, and development probably peaked in the 1980s. At the same time, British tour operators developed the Algarve in Portugal. The continuing search for new, cheaper, destinations spread mass tourism to the Greek Islands, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, and parts of the coast of Turkey.

For the worker living in greater London, Venice today is almost as accessible as Brighton was 100 years ago. Consequently, the British seaside resort experienced a marked decline from the 1970s onwards. Some, such as New Brighton have disappeared. Others have reinvented themselves, and now cater to daytrippers and the weekend break market.

Recent Developments

There has been a discernable upmarket trend in tourism over the last few decades. Tourists have higher levels of disposable income and greater leisure time. They are also better educated and have more sophisticated tastes. There is now a demand for a better quality product in many quarters. This has resulted in the following trends:

* The old 'sun, sea, and sand' mass market has fragmented. People want more specialised versions of it, such as 'Club 18 -30', quieter resorts with select hotels, self-catering, etc.

* People are taking second holidays in the form of short breaks/city breaks, ranging from British and European cities to country hotels.

* There has been a growth in niche markets catering for special interests or activities.

The developments in technology and transport infrastructure (particularly the advent of jumbo jets) have placed some types of holiday in the affordable mainstream:

* The development of a mass cruise holiday market.

* The advent of affordable holidays to long-haul destinations such as Thailand or Kenya.

* The phenomenon of the low budget airline, utilising a new generation of small regional airports.

There have also been changes in lifestyle, which may call into question the current definitions of tourism. Some people (particularly the 45+ and retired) may be adopting a tourism lifestyle, living as a tourist all the year round - eating out several times a week, going to the theatre, daytripping, and indulging in short breaks several times a year.

Much of this results in impulse purchasing. This is facilitated by internet purchasing of tourism products. Some sites have now started to offer dynamic packaging, in which an inclusive price is quoted for a tailor- made package requested by the customer upon impulse.

There have been a few setbacks in tourism, such as the September 11, 2001 attacks and terrorist threats to tourist destinations such as Bali and European cities. Some of the tourist destinations, including the Costa del Sol, the Baleares and Cancún have lost popularity due to shifting tastes. In this context, the excessive building and environmental destruction often associated with traditional "sun and beach" tourism may contribute to a destination's saturation and subsequent decline. This appears to be the case with Spain's Costa Brava, a byword for this kind of tourism in the 1960s and 1970s. With only 11% of the Costa Brava now unblemished by low-quality development (Greenpeace Spain's figure), the destination now faces a crisis in its tourist industry.

Sustainable tourism is becoming more popular as people start to realize the devestating effects tourism can have on communities.

Receptive tourism is now growing at a very rapid rate in many developing countries, where it is often the most important economic activity in local GDP.

In recent years, second holidays or vacations have become more popular as people's discretionary income increases. Typical combinations are a package to the typical mass tourist resort, with a winter skiing holiday or weekend break to a city or national park.

On December 26, 2004 a tsunami, caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake hit Asian countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and also the Maldives. Tens of thousands of lives were lost, and many tourists died. This, together with the vast clean-up operation in place, has stopped or severely hampered tourism to the area.

Special Forms of Tourism

For the past few decades other forms of tourism, also known as niche tourism, have been becoming more popular, particularly:

* Adventure tourism: tourism involving travel in rugged regions, or adventurous sports such as mountaineering and hiking (tramping).
* Agritourism: farm based tourism, helping to support the local agricultural economy.
* Ancestry tourism: (also known as genealogy tourism) is the travel with the aim of tracing one's ancestry, visiting the birth places of these ancestors and sometimes getting to know distant family.
* Armchair tourism and virtual tourism: not travelling physically, but exploring the world through internet, books, TV, etc.
* Bookstore Tourism is a grassroots effort to support independent bookstores by promoting them as a travel destination.
* Cultural tourism: includes urban tourism, visiting historical or interesting cities, such as Berlin, London, Paris, Delhi, Rome, Prague, Beijing, Kyoto, Warsaw, and experiencing their cultural heritages. This type of tourism may also include specialized cultural experiences, such as art museum tourism where the tourist visits many art museums during the tour, or opera tourism where the tourist sees many operas or concerts during the tour.
* Dark tourism: is the travel to sites associated with death and suffering.
* Disaster tourism: travelling to a disaster scene not primarily for helping, but because it is interesting to see. It can be a problem if it hinders rescue, relief and repair work.
* Drug tourism: for use in that country, or, legally often extremely risky, for taking home.
* Ecotourism: sustainable tourism which has minimal impact on the environment, such as safaris (Kenya), Rainforests (Belize) and hiking (Lapland), or national parks.
* Educational tourism: may involve travelling to an education institution, a wooded retreat or some other destination in order to take personal-interest classes, such as cooking classes with a famous chef or crafts classes.
* Extreme tourism tourism associated with high risk
* Gambling tourism, e.g. to Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Macau or Monte Carlo for the purpose of gambling at the casinos there.

* Heritage tourism: visiting historical (Athens, Cracow) or industrial sites, such as old canals, railways, battlegrounds, etc.
* Health tourism: usually to escape from cities or relieve stress, perhaps for some 'fun in the sun', etc. Often to "health spas".
* Hobby tourism: tourism alone or with groups to participate in hobby interests, to meet others with similar interests, or to experience something pertinent to the hobby. Examples might be garden tours, ham radio DXpeditions, or square dance cruises.
* Inclusive tourism: tourism marketed to those with functional limits or disabilities. Referred to as "Tourism for All" in some regions. Destinations often employ Universal Design and Universal Destination Development principles.
* Medical tourism, e.g.:
o for what is illegal in one's own country, e.g. abortion, euthanasia; for instance, euthanasia for non-citizens is provided by Dignitas in Switzerland.
o for advanced care that is not available in one's own country
o in the case that there are long waiting lists in one's own country
o for use of free or cheap health care organisations
* Perpetual tourism: wealthy individuals always on vacation; some of them, for tax purposes, to avoid being resident in any country.
* Sex tourism: travelling solely for the purpose of sexual activity, usually with prostitutes
* Sport tourism: skiing, golf and scuba diving are popular ways to spend a vacation. Also in this category is vacationing at the winter home of the tourist's favorite baseball team, and seeing them play everyday.
* Space tourism
* Vacilando is a special kind of wanderer for whom the process of travelling is more important than the destination.

Trends

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4 % [1]. By 2020 Europe will remain the most popular destination, but its share will drop from 60 % in 1995 to 46 %. Long-haul will grow slightly faster than intraregional travel and by 2020 its share will increase from 18 % in 1995 to 24 %. Since e-commerce has taken off on the internet, tourism products have become one of the most traded items on the net. Tourism products and services have been made available on the net at bargain prices through intermediaries. Tourism providers (hotels, airlines, etc.)have started to sell their services through the Internet. This has put pressure on intermediaries from both the virtual and the traditional brick and mortar stores.

Space tourism is expected to "take off" in the first quarter of the 21st century, although compared with traditional destinations the number of tourists in orbit will remain low until technologies such as a space elevator make space travel cheap.

Technological improvement is likely to make possible air-ship hotels, based either on solar-powered airplanes or large dirigibles. Underwater hotels, such as Hydropolis, expected to open in Dubai in 2006, will be built. On the ocean tourists will be welcomed by ever larger cruise ships and perhaps floating cities.

Some futurists expect that movable hotel "pods" will be created that could be temporarily erected anywhere on the planet, where building a permanent resort would be unacceptable politically, economically or environmentally.

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