Tourism – summary
In many countries tourism is an important part of the tertiary sector. When we think of tourism, we think of holidays, but arranging business travel and organising events like conferences, festivals and exhibitions are also important.
You can make your own travel arrangements direct with airlines or railways, bus and coach companies, but it is often more convenient to use the internet or services of a travel agency, a firm that specialises in making travel arrangements. Travel agents offer their clients a range of services such as obtaining tickets and reserving seats, booking accommodation, offering insurance packages, advising on routes, arranging tours or car rentals. Other helpful organisations are the tour operators. These act as middlemen between travel agents and the providers (hotelkeepers, carriers etc.) They send their staff out to holiday destinations and negotiate favourable terms, policies, and also co-ordinate activities, encourage new initiatives, set standards, distribute information to potential customers. Some tour operators specialise in certain kinds of travel, e.g. cruises, study tours, coach tours, activity holidays or city breaks. When people are on the move, they need somewhere to stay overnight. For your accommodation you have a wide choice of possibilities. You can live in hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfast places, (youth) hostels or private homes which take paying guests. Self-catering accommodation is also an option: apartments, chalets and villas. Camping with a tent, a towing caravan or a motor-home appeals to more independent adventurous travellers. Catering establishments provide a wide selection of food and drink, from gourmet dinners in grand restaurants to take-away meals like fish and chips. In recent years fast-food chains have become popular, and there is a growing interest in exotic specialities. People’s concern about health and nutrition is also reflected in the increasing variety of organic and vegetarian food on offer.
Areas that are developed for tourism have to provide various facilities or offer certain attractions, e.g.: infrastructure: communications, hotels, restaurants, shops; sports facilities; entertainment and special events; unspoilt nature; historic buildings, museums, etc. Business travellers or congress and seminar tourists may require additional facilities, secretarial or translational services.
Maintaining these facilities is hard work: lakes and beaches must be kept clean, countryside and forests tidy and attractive, and historic buildings safe and interesting for the general public. Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. It is an important factor in the economy of most developed countries, while it is seen by many developing countries as the one possible way to obtain income and to create jobs.
We have to balance the environmental and social costs of tourism against its obvious economic benefits.
•Income from tourism has a positive effect on the balance of payments.
•Many people are employed in tourism-related jobs.
•Tourism can revitalise run-down city areas and depopulated country areas.
•Substantial investment may be necessary at the beginning.
•Masses of visitors cause damage to monuments, historic cities and stretches of countryside.
•culture clash, particularly in developing countries
•exploitation of weak groups (children, low-paid or “black workers”)