Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry and can be defined as the totality of the relationship and phenomenon arising from travel and education purposes of people, provided the stay does not imply the establishment of a permanent residence and is not connected with remunerated activity. While it may boost a country’s economy, doubts about the overall benefits of tourism are reinforced by the belief that tourism brings adverse social and cultural effects. As an industry, it may be have several impacts on a country, both good and bad.
Tourism is a main source of income to developing countries. When tourists come to these countries, they usually spend foreign currency. These foreign exchange may help to increase developments in the country and thereby accelerates economic growth. Income from tourism in the form of foreign exchange earnings are added to the national income and this leads to improvements of infrastructure, public services, building of hospitals, schools and even hotels, which will in turn bring more tourists and thus increase the national income to a further extent.
A World Tourism Conference held in Manila stated that “ World tourism can help to eradicate the widening gap between developed and developing countries and ensure the steady acceleration of economic and social development, in particular of developing countries.’’ Most of the under-developed and developing countries are located in the South East Asia and Middle East. But these countries have a great potential for tourism as there are many places of historical and archaeological interests, which attract tourists. It should be noted that tourism is a vital and important industry in developing countries. This is so because developing countries are characterised as poor nations who rely more on income from their primary sector, which ironically enough, is not so profitable. So if they can develop their tourism sector, they will be able to prosper with the foreign currency received and it will also help them to alleviate poverty to some extent.
Furthermore, it has been proved that tourism can lead to an improvement in the balance of payment of a country to some extent. One country in the South East Asia who experienced this change was Malaysia. In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia’s economy less dependent on exported goods, the government has pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result, tourism has become Malaysia’s largest source of income. In 1999, Malaysia launched a worldwide marketing campaign called “Malaysia Truly Asia” which was successful in bringing in over 7.4million tourists. Thus, Malaysia has made a big step in its economy and also in its developments.
In the same line of thought, tourism is a generator of jobs. Being a labour intensive sector, it provides both direct and indirect employment. In November 2010, statistics showed that more than 10million people were directly employed in hotels across the world. Tourism provides direct employment in the sense that people are employed in the businesses that sell goods and services to the tourists such as hotels, restaurants and so on. These businesses employ both skilled and semi-skilled people. Examples of skilled people are those involved in specialised jobs like managers and accountants and semi-skilled people are those jobs which do not require a specific training like porters and gardeners. The indirect employment is in the form of agriculture, food processing, handcrafts, taxi drivers, vegetable sellers as well as transport businesses. By providing employment, tourism has somehow lead to a reduction in poverty. When people are employed in hotels, they are able to earn a minimum income so that they can survive and buy the basic necessities they need. This provision of employment has not only...