Defining Tourism

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‘Tourism is difficult to define because it is difficult to capture the changing roles and functions of tourism in different societies over time’. In the essay I will be talking about elements that define tourism and how they all inter-relate with each other, how they have changed over time and I will be questioning the definition of tourism by comparing and contrasting definitions to show how hard it is to define something that is constantly changing with time.

The biggest elements that defines tourism are the tourists and travel. There are many reasons why people decide to become a tourist and travel. Even from the beginning when people first started traveling, one of the most common reasons is, ‘to get away from their current situations and locations, either for a quick vacation or as a means of finding one’s self’(6). People also want to experience new things such as languages, cultures and new foods.

The growth of international tourists traveling overseas has been growing since the 1950’s. ‘The number of international tourist arrivals reached 940million in 2010, or a 39% increase over 2000. Seen over the longer term, growth has been exponential; only 25million tourists traveled in 1950’(3). There are multiple driving forces that influenced the increased number of tourist traveling internationally in the past 20years. The worlds economies are better, which in turn, makes it easier for advancements in technology to happen. This makes transportation easier, faster and cheaper than ever before, which influences more people to travel. Also, people are living longer these days because of medical advances, so people have more time to travel whilst retired.

Another thing that helps to define tourism is tourist demand and supply, which has dramatically changed over time. The tourism system has a big impact on the demand and supply through out the tourism industry, and has helped it become more successful through time. The Generating region, Transit region...
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