CONCEPT OF TOURISM
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF TOURISM
Tourism, as an industry has emerged as an instrument for employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. Tourism promotes international understanding and gives support to local handicrafts and cultural activities. It is an important segment of the country’s economy, especially in terms of its contribution towards foreign exchange earnings, generation of additional income and creation of employment opportunities.
With rapid advances in science and technology, tourism has acquired the station of an industry in all industrialized countries. The high influx of foreign tourist traffic has accelerated demand for certain economic production and distribution activities. Tourism has emerged as an industry next in importance only to Information Technology industry in the services sector. In the next few years, the contribution of Tourism to the world economy will be doubled.
The economic liberalization in the country and consequent foreign investment opportunities, development of tourist facilities including expansion in airline services provide an impetus for a spurt in tourist airways as in other regions of the world, e.g. South Africa and South Asian regions.
Domestic tourism plays a vital role in achieving the national objectives of promoting social and cultural cohesion and national integration. Its contribution to generation of employment is very high. With the increase in income levels and emergence of a powerful middle class, the potential for domestic employment has grown substantially during the last-few years.
The words ‘tourist’ and ‘ tourism’ were first used as official terms in 1937 by the League of Nations, but the tourism industry is much older than that. It was defined as people traveling abroad for periods of over twenty-four hours, but the term may also include traveling within one’s own country, and in a broader sense, it can include day trips.
King George III is widely acknowledged as the first ‘tourist’ who took regular holidays to the seaside tourism of Weymouth when in poor health. ‘ Tourism ‘, like any other form of economic activity, occurs when the essential parameters come together to make it happen. In this case, there are three such parameters. i)Disposable income, i.e. money to spend on non-essentials ii)Time in which to do so.
iii)Infrastructure in the form of accommodation, facilities and means of transport.
Individually, sufficient health is also condition, and of course the indication to travel. Furthermore, in some countries, there are or have been legal restrictions on traveling, especially abroad.
The word ‘tour’ gained common acceptance in the eighteenth century when the Grand Tour of Europe became part of the upbringing of the educated and wealthy British noble or cultured gentleman. Grand towns were taken in particular by young people to ‘complete’ their education. They traveled all over Europe, but notably to places of cultural and aesthetic interest such as Rome and the Alps. Most major British artistes of the eighteenth century did the ‘Grand Tour’.
Tourism in the modern sense of the word did not develop until the nineteenth century; that was leisure travel, which today forms the larger part of the tourist industry. Again, the leisure industry was a British invention, for sociological reasons. Britain was the first European country to industrialize, and the industrial society was the people. Not initially the working masses, but the owners of the machinery of production, the economic diarchy, the factory owners, the traders, the new middle class.
Leisure travel had developed as an offshoot of cultural tourism, partly as health tourism. Some English travelers, after visiting the warm lairds of the South of Europe, decided to stay there either for the cold season or for the rest of their lives, but...