Why Tourism Matters

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CH.35- Why Tourism Matters
By Sharon Bohn Gmelch

In spite of lying on extravagant beaches, visiting famous sites like the Niagara Falls or whichever fun experiences you may have in mind. Tourism plays a huge role in the global economy. Tourism is the largest industry in the world. One in every twelve workings is associated with it. In the year 2006 there was 840 million international tourists crossing their nation’s boarders around the world. In 2020 it’s expected to double, generating two trillion dollars. The rapid growth has large negative impacts on the environment but entitles great economic growth. It’s a huge business with both ups and downs.

Travelling for pleasure isn’t modern. It’s been happening for centuries but only up until recently has it been made very easy. In the past the importance of travelling primarily existed for things like foreign exchange. Although people would still travel for “fun,” it was difficult and relatively dangerous because we didn’t have trains, cars and airplanes to take us from point A to point B in a matter of hours. In the past traveler’s, especially the average person could only travel by foot, which often led to fears such as bandits. Only with recent advancements in transportation has tourism been made easy.

Other than just for pleasure, travelling plays a large role in health and education. Today people like me, exchange students, travel cross-country to improve our education. Colleges offer programs that allow students to study abroad, combining structured learning and touristic travelling as an important part of college criteria. Travelling for health reasons has throughout history played a big role even until today. With countries like Brazil being famous for its cosmetic surgeries and India for their heart surgeries, travelling for health has long been important.

Although tourism has a positive impact on the economy there are equally negative impacts. Touring agencies, shops, hotels, and even...
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