The Influence of Globalization on the Tourism Industry

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  • Topic: Tourism, Hilton Hotels, Hilton Worldwide
  • Pages : 6 (1819 words )
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  • Published : April 28, 2008
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According to Chris Cooper (2005) tourism industry can be defined as a whole range of individuals, businesses, organisation and places which combine in some way to deliver a travel experience. A hospitality industry can be regarded as an industry which provides food, beverages and accommodation services. The Tourism and Hospitality industry has flourished even it has struggled to cope with difficult challenges (Cetron, 2001) and ‘globalisation’ may be the cause of this which is having a significant influence on the industry. The influence of globalisation on Tourism and Hospitality industry however may not always be positive but can also be contradictory which can upset the industry and the people involved in it. This essay will further develop the concept of globalisation and look into the economic, social and political factors. In addition, the essay will also explore the Multinationals Corporation (MNCs) and put forward arguments that centrals the globalisation. Moreover, the history of tourism and its evolvement will also be considered.

The word ‘tourist’ first appeared in the English language in the early 1800s (Cooper & Fletcher, 2005) and in this very century the first hotel was opened in London. By the end of next century Thomas Cook had offered the first inclusive tour to the Paris Exhibition and by 1872 steam was harnessed to power ships when the first round the world tour was organised. A backward glance reveals that tourism started early and has since evolved significantly with the change in technology, the government in power and the change in the life style of consumers. Davidson (1998) points out that following the 2nd world war, there were substantial increase in income for ordinary working people, beginning with the industrialised Northern European countries, which enabled them to participate in tourism activities. Furthermore change in consumer behaviour has also resulted in mass tourism as Graham & Willmott (2001) cite that consumers are becoming more affluent, increasingly cosmopolitan in their consumption and more adventurous with higher disposable income compared to the tourist of the past. According to research by the Future Foundation in 1999, 39% of respondent said that they felt closer to people of their own national background as opposed to 80% in 1978. This does not directly show the development of the Tourism and Hospitality industry however gives clear idea how the behaviour of consumers have changed with the change in time.

The significant development of technology in the early 1970s is also a reason for the development of the Tourism and Hospitality industry. The technological revolution like the computerised networks and electronics distribution systems developed in the 1970s and the world wide web (www) of the mid 1990s have provided an infrastructure for the global distribution and inexpensive delivery of tourism related multimedia information (Buhalis, 2001). In addition to that, global development in transportation systems for instance airplane and ships that knows no boundary when making their voyage have now enable people to get access to places that they could not in the past. However, the development of Tourism and Hospitality industry comes with a price. As the industry grows, concern for environmental issues continues to grow (Cetron, 2001). Indeed man-made attractions, hotels restaurants and airports are being built in a fast rate and to accommodate them rain forests and lands are being used up. The evidence of global warming is beginning to show as more planes are travelling which is polluting the air and subsequently the environment.

The development of Tourism and Hospitality industry is also said to have resulted due to globalisation. One of the most used yet complex terms in international business, ‘globalisation’ refers to the development of global or worldwide business activities, competition, markets and the increasing global interdependence of national...
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