The Importance of Tourism and Its Various Types
Tourism is the act of traveling within your own country, or to an international destination, for either the purposes of business or pleasure. Tourism has become a major source of income for a lot of countries, especially those with a young or developing economy.
Winter tourism is one of the most popular types of tourism, especially for travelers from warmer areas of the world. Skiing holidays have been popular since the 1860’s and the industry continues to grow.
Many countries that are the hubs of winter tourism are in Europe, with particular states in the United States and Canada being go-to destinations. St. Moritz in Switzerland is the cradle of winter tourism and continues to be the most popular destination.
Mass tourism is the concept of tour companies, hotels and airlines working in conjunction to provide tour packages. This type of tourism involves being able to book your flights, your place to stay, and all the extras all in one go with one payment.
This form of tourism has become incredibly popular, especially with younger people wanting to travel, as it is usually a lot cheaper than buying everything separately.
Niche tourism refers to a type of speciality tourism that focuses on a specific concept or topic. This can be food, sports, sex, war or wildlife tourism. Each of these tours will focus on their individual concepts.
This type of tourism is fairly new, and more and more terms and types of niche tours are appearing every day. As people become more involved and interested in these more unique topics.
Sustainable tourism is the concept of respecting and improving the environment and destination you travel to. This includes maintaining the cultural dignity of the people as well as their ecological environment and biodiversity.
This can be seen as a type of tourism where you emerge yourself into your destination, instead of just viewing it from a foreigners point of view.
Ecotourism is similar to sustainable tourism but is different in the fact that groups, usually very small, travel to pristine and protected areas. These tours focus on being low impact and aim to leave the smallest footprint on the area.
These types of tours help fund conservation, educate the traveler, they directly benefit the local economy and development and help empower local communities. These tours want you to leave with your memories, without harming where you are.
Volunteer tourism is exactly what it says it is, instead of traveling to lounge around on a beach or ski down some majestics slopes, tourists travel to help less fortunate communities and countries.
Medical tourism is when people travel for medical procedures. In many countries, some surgeries or procedures are incredibly expensive or require you to join an ever growing and large waiting lists.
East Asia, Cuba and Canada are a few of the more popular destinations for this kind of tourism, as they provide high-quality care and procedures, but at a fraction of the cost compared to countries such as the United States or the U.K.
Experiential tourism is a fairly new concept and can also be called “Immersion Tourism”. It involves traveling to a country and experiencing it from the perspective of its history, food, people and culture.
Dark Tourism is an incredibly unique way of exploring a country, as you will visit the more “underground” sites of a city or country, such as its battlegrounds, scenes of horrific and famous crimes, or areas where mass genocide occurred.
Examples of dark tourism are traveling to Jewish concentration camps in Europe, or the Killing Fields in Cambodia. One of the most popular ones is exploring the underground catacombs that worm their way underneath Paris.
Doom Tourism, or “Last Chance Tourism”, is a concept that involves traveling to ecological areas of the world that are near to destruction. Places such as the Great Barrier Reef are under threat, and more and more people want to see them before they disappear.
The effects of this type of tourism are both positive and negative. The positive side is that it constantly raises awareness of the plight of these areas, but the negative side is that the influx of visitors, and the carbon footprint they leave, exacerbates the problem.
Religious tourism is the act of traveling to religiously important areas, structures and buildings across the globe. Many believers across all religions take part in religious tourism, as it helps strengthen their faith and belief.
As you can see, there are many different types of tourism, and it is difficult to define it, but it is simply an individual traveling to another country, or within their own country, to either relax, explore, help or discover something new.
Why is Tourism Important for Any Country?
Tourism has always been a booming sector across the globe. No matter which country you live in, there will always be a group of people, big or small, who want to visit where you live. Therefore, tourism is a very important aspect not only for a country’s economy, but also their global standing.
There are many factors as to why tourism is important, and they mainly focus on the economical side of it. Tourism brings in wealth, exposure, growth and employment to name a few.
Influx of Wealth
The biggest advantage of tourism is the influx of money into a country’s economy. This is especially important in countries whose economy is new or weaker than others. Many countries in Africa especially rely heavily on the tourist industry due to this.
Tourists from “first-world” countries bring in cash that is vastly stronger than the local economy and therefore are willing to spend more due to this strength. This then has many layers of advantages.
This money is not solely spent on tourist activities which help local tour operators, vendors etc, but this money is also spent on hotels, food, transport, therefore helping local businesses across the board.
Many countries rely heavily on a few industries, and their economy suffers heavily when these industries become strained. Tourism offers a constant flow of income into a country and is almost more reliable.
Tourism helps ease the strain of a suffering industry and helps stop it from having a massive effect on the country’s economy. This is almost a safety net for countries and is a massive economical benefit, especially for new and developing economies.
Jobs are possibly the most obvious advantages of tourism in any country. This spreads all the way from the pilots who fly the tourists in, all the way down to dishwashers at restaurants who see a rise in customers at the height of the tourist season.
Tourism also creates many new jobs, as local people start their own businesses in the tourist industry, and hire locally. The secondary effects aren’t as obvious, but local produce growers, for example, benefit due to the increased need for what they grow or sell.
One of the most important benefits of tourism is the construction and improvement of local infrastructure. The increased spending helps local communities improve the conditions of their roads, parks, community areas, schools and hospitals.
The tourist industry will struggle to run smoothly in any country if the infrastructure of the country is lacking. It is difficult for produce to reach restaurants if the roads are severely damaged or undriveable for example.
Tourism creates a source of pride for local communities and their traditions. Tourists want to experience the “real” side of a country, and that allows locals to showcase their traditions and keep them alive in an ever-changing world.
This expands to local heritage sites and buildings, as they become hubs for tourists exploring the country, and that in turn keeps the sites from being destroyed, securing the local communities traditions in the process.
Considering most of the world is trying to turn the corner and become more environmentally friendly, and tour operators and businesses in the tourist industry are trying to differentiate themselves by being much more environmentally aware.
These businesses, in turn, support local environments by adding an environmental twist to their packages, which then helps protect these areas. These practices encourage visitors to respect the areas they are in.
Tourism, especially in developing economies and countries, allows entrepreneurs to develop new businesses and products. These opportunities would usually not be viable if they relied on the local communities alone.
With the money tourists bring in, this allows businesses to grow quickly, especially if they offer a unique service or product that fulfils a tourists needs, which once again, may not apply to local communities.
Tourism can play a massive part in the economy of small and developing countries and is sometimes the main source of income in a country. Therefore, tourism is an incredibly important aspect, almost need, across the planet.