Tourism Planning

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TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

TOURISM

Tourism - Comprises the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited country

Tourism refers to the movement of people from one geographical location to another for the purpose of engaging in leisure and/or business acts, and the economic transactions that accompany this. It is essentially a service activity, and involves the flow of capital, finance, goods, knowledge and humans. Tourism has both a production and a consumption component. As a form of production, tourism is multi sectoral and multi faceted, drawing upon the activities of a wide range of actors from a number of economic sectors. As an activity of consumption tourism is distinct in that the consumer has to travel some distance to a destination in order to consume the product. This feature of tourism means it is referred to as an invisible sector. It also means that tourism is the nexus between systems of production and systems of consumption. The tourist product is varied. It consists of both tangible (e.g. flights, hotel accommodation) and intangible (e.g. customer satisfaction or perception) elements. Given its ephemeral nature, the tourist product can be viewed as a highly perishable item (Mathieson and Wall, 1982).

The standard and most widely accepted definition of what constitutes tourism is that utilized by the World Tourism Organization (WTO, Basic References on Tourism Statistics). A tourist is a person who travels to and stays in a place outside his/her usual environment for at least one night and less than one year, and whose primary purpose of travel is not remunerated from within the place visited. Tourism is defined as the set of activities engaged upon by a tourist. Domestic tourism refers to the movement of residents within their national borders, whilst international tourism involves people travelling to another country.

The process of defining tourism is therefore not without contestation. Part of the reason for this may be the definitional inadequacy of the key concepts related to tourist activities – leisure and leisure time. The conventional treatment of leisure sees it as that state or condition where no work is being carried out, and where there is no (tangible or intangible) product or commodity as outcome. Leisure is seen as the opposite of work or labor, as ‘free time’ with no economic value.

Similarly, tourism as a form of leisure activity is that action engaged in by people in their ‘free time’. The problem posed by such an understanding is that it treats labor, and the value of labor, in a minimal way; it is only true for some parts of some societies some of the time. As noted by Britton (1991) the concept of ‘free time’ (the condition of an absence of work) disregards the disparity in the value accorded to, for example, men and women’s work, and particularly labor in the domestic (household-level) sphere. Furthermore, ‘free time’ is a culturally determined, context-specific concept – different societies orient themselves differently to time. A similar epistemological problem is the lack of distinction between a tourist and a traveler. As it has evolved, contemporary standard treatments of tourists see them as present-day reincarnations of the pioneering travelers from former times. While in one sense this is valid, particularly when one considers the psychological dimensions involved in the selling of tourist packages in the advent of cultural tourism in another it fails to distinguish between the very different economic origins and significances of touring and travelling: a business traveler is something different to a business tourist – the latter is set apart by his/her consumption of explicit tourist goods. How one draws a discrepancy between these has a very...
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