|Tourism is established almost everywhere in the world, from the high
mountains of Tibet to the jungles of Brazil. According to the United Nations,
international tourism has tripled over the past 30 years, accounting for
thirteen percent of all foreign trade. Approximately fifteen percent of these
revenues are spent in developing countries.
The most obvious benefit of tourism is
employment. Tourism provides jobs for such workers as hotel employees,
taxi drivers, tour guides, construction workers, entertainers, restaurant
employees, and transportation workers. Many such jobs would not exist if
tourism had not been developed. Besides employment, tourism also generates
increased revenues for the community. Taxes paid by tourists help
local governments fund education, health care, and other services.
One of the most positive effects of tourism
is the fostering of understanding among peoples of different nations and
cultures. The opportunity to exchange knowledge, ideals, and traditions
is more available today than at any previous time in history. Besides satisfying
curiosity, tourism promotes international goodwill and the exchange of cultural
Tourism development affects not only the way
people live and work, but also how they think, dress, and act. The effects,
however, are not always positive. In some developing nations, premature exposure
to Western ideas and technologies has created a variety of social problems.
Tourism and the environment are closely
related. Air and water pollution are major environmental problems in many
People in the industry
of travel are more aware of the social and environmental impacts of tourism.
Tourism also helps to increase public appreciation
of the environment and spread awareness of environmental problems. In Hawaii,
for example, new laws and regulations have been enacted to preserve the Hawaiian
rainforest and to protect native species, many of which exist only in Hawaii.
The coral reefs around the islands and the marine life that depend on them
for survival are also protected. Hawaii has become an international center
for research on ecological systems. Tourism was the main reason these actions
Tourism has had a positive effect on wildlife
preservation efforts, not only in Africa but also in South America, Asia,
Australia, and the South Pacific. Many animal and plant species have already
become extinct and may become extinct soon. Therefore, many countries have
established wildlife reserves and enacted strict laws protecting animals
from game hunting. As a result of these measures, several endangered species
have begun to thrive once again.
Tourism is the largest industry in the
world, representing more than six hundred billion dollars in economic
trade. During the next twenty years, employment in the industry of travel
is expected to grow at a faster rate than all other occupations.