Reasons for growth in tourism:
- Leisure Time: Most workers now enjoy a two day weekend and in addition are entitled to several weeks holiday. This holiday time can be spent going on holiday.
- Paid Holiday: Not only do an increasing amount of workers receive holiday, they are also paid for it. This means that people do not lose their weekly income by going on holiday.
- Income: More and more people are working in the secondary and tertiary sectors, where pay is generally higher. Also many more females are now working. This means that more people now have money to spend on holidays (higher disposable income).
- Transport: Air travel has become relatively cheaper and there are now more airports open for holiday flights. In addition road and rail networks have opened up new tourist destinations.
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- Advertising: People are now bombarded by holiday adverts on the internet, television, radio, mobile phones, billboards, etc. This makes people more aware of holiday destinations and possibly more tempted to book them.
- Travel Programs: There are a huge amount of travel programs on television so people are able to view destinations that they have not heard of, tempting them to go.
- Tourist facilities: Tourist facilities have generally improved and increased in number. There are now many more hotels of all sizes and most have fairly standard services.
- Freedom: More people, especially women and the elderly are free to travel and go on holidays. In addition formerly closed countries like China now allow most of their citizens to travel.
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- Range of holidays: There is now a much greater variety of holidays that can attract potential tourists e.g. golf holidays, diving holidays, walking holidays, cooking holidays.
- Ease of Booking: The internet has now made booking holidays much more straightforward. Also package holidays allow people to pay one price but have all aspects of their holiday paid for e.g. flights, hotels, etc.
- Passport Ownership and Visa Regulations: More people now own passports so are able to travel and the process of obtaining visas is now much more straightforward.
- Retirement and Life Expectancy: People are now living longer and remain healthier longer. An increasing amount of people also retire with a pension. This means that more people are fit enough and healthier enough to go on holiday.
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Advantages of Tourism:
- Local people can perform traditional dance and music to tourists therefore protecting their local culture.
- Tourists may pay to visit museums protecting local artifacts.
- Historical ruins may be protected or rebuilt to attract tourists.
- May improve countries reputation and create cross-cultural links.
- Encourages education in order to work in tourist sector and should improve linguistic skills
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- Jobs are created for local workers in hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Secondary jobs are also created in shops, maintenance firms, etc.
- Workers and companies pay taxes to the government. This money can then be invested.
- People learn new skills that can then be transferred to other parts of the economy.
- New equipment or technology may be introduced to the country which again can be used in other sectors of the economy.
- Local infrastructure like roads and electricity may be improved.
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- National Parks may be created protecting areas of natural beauty
- Animals obtain an economic value if people are willing to pay to see them. If the value of the animal is greater alive than dead people will protect them. One good example of this is Mountain Gorillas which tourists will pay $500 to see.
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Disadvantages of Tourism:
- An increase in tourists may cause greater congestion, leading to longer periods spent away from families. Also increased transport may increase problems of asthma and traffic accidents.
- Tourism can increase certain crimes, like prostitution and theft
- People may become more materialistic and homogenised with the arrival of international tourists.
- May create racial tensions between tourists and locals
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- Many of managerial jobs go to overseas workers. Local workers often get low paid jobs
- There is economic leakage (loss of money overseas) because many of the tourist companies are TNCs and the profit is sent elsewhere
- Many jobs are only seasonal so workers are only paid half of the year e.g. the ski season is less than 6 months long.
- The increased demand for products and services may cause inflation
- Countries or regions may become dependent on just one industry.
- May place pressure on infrastructure e.g. electricity and water supply
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- Sometimes tourist developments may cause the destruction of forests, sand dunes, etc.
- Noise and light pollution created by tourist developments may also interfere with animals.
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