How Big Is Travel and Tourism Industry and Find Why You Should Tap Into This Giant Business !
(source : http://www.drtomorrow.com)
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Two centuries years ago even Washington's crossing the Potomac or Wolfe's traversing the Plains of Abraham wouldn't have classified them as tourists. The tourism industry hadn't even been thought of, never mind exist. People who travelled in those days were called explorers.
Today tourism has reached, in people and in dollars, the top of the heap. More money, time and equipment are involved in tourism than in any other single business. In major tourism countries (see accompanying list) more than 350 million visitors intermingle annually, bringing billions into these countries while paying for airline, ship, hotel, entertainment and other services and goods.
Even with such massive numbers travelling, tourism remains mainly a business of the wealthier countries although some smaller and poorer countries manage to provide a livelihood for some citizens catering to visitors from richer countries. A recent phenomenon is the rise of a segment of the world population with the largest amount of disposable income -- young Japanese women between ages 19 and 34 who, through a strange mix of tradition and the new Asian economic miracle, are far ahead in the new "world order" of tourism. These 26 million women travel more frequently and widely and spend more money than any other group. They have substantial economic clout.
Why? Until recently, young Japanese ladies did not go out to work. They stayed at home with their parents. By tradition their families demanded no payment for room and board, as do most European and North American societies. Consequently, when these women started going to work and Japan expanded economically so rapidly, their savings became disposable income as their families still cover their living expenses until they get married. The women it seems are waiting longer before getting married ... no doubt sending restrained shock waves through the rest of the close-knit traditional Japanese family. Today, it is not uncommon for such girls to go on buying sprees for shoes and shoes only -- to Rome, Geneva, London or Hong Kong. They are travelling much more than young Japanese men, seeing more, and are changing their outlook more than their traditional culture may be willing to readily accept. More Japanese women may decide to leave their homeland and immigrate to lands visited. Freedom, once tasted, is difficult to give up.
How did this happen? It is part of the emergence of the Communications Age. As people talked to one another more frequently and for longer periods, they found out about the next village and the next city, the next country and the world. Within just a minute of time on the galactic scale, we learned far more about the planet, different countries and cultures, how to converse with people anywhere, and how to get there. The inquisitive nature of the human race did the rest. Today, with proper planning, you can get to almost any place on the planet within 24 hours. Not everyone needs that speed, but it is available. In 12 hours destinations are easily accessible that would have taken months and fortunes to reach 200 years ago. This also accentuates competition between destinations.
Listed here are the current rankings for countries experiencing the greatest influx of tourists, crossing national borders in a single year.
France, fortunately located within easy travelling distance (by car, plane or boat) of about 20 other European countries, tops the list with 50.2 million visitors. France has only 40 million residents. Spain, south of France and warmer, comes in third beating out the United States, which has only two close countries, Canada and Mexico, to draw on. Canada, comes in seventh on the tourism scale, thanks primarily to the U.S.A. market -- within easy driving and flying distance.
The Bahamas, located off the east coast of Florida, receive 1.6 million tourists annually despite having only 200,000 citizens. That's eight tourists to one native -- year round! Hong Kong matches tourists with residents, 5.4 million annually.
Always remember however, to keep such figures in the proper perspective: more people visited Florida's Disney World (28.5 million) than went to Italy (26.7 million).
The development that speeded up expansion of the tourism industry was jet travel, especially the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet which can now carry over 400 people non-stop, if necessary, for 18 hours at speeds of 550 mph. It enables almost everybody, in an industrialized country who wants to fly, to fly, and within reason, to a spot they chose. This mobility was never before possible.
Despite terrorists, wars, strikes, weather and currency fluctuations, the tourism wave continues. A recent growing phenomenon: shorter flights to distant locations (London for lunch?) cause travel agents much glee, although the length of such trips reduce the amount spent "on location".
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