Tourism Management
Global Trends in Tourism

Introduction

Tourism is a traditional and yet emerging industry in the recent years. The concept of tourism is nothing new, as the emergence of the concept can be easily traced back to history centuries ago. Today, a wide array of definition on tourism is available. For example, McIntosh, Goeldner and Ritchie (1995) define tourism as the “sum of phenomena and relationships arising from the interaction of tourists, business suppliers, host governments, and host communities in the process of attracting and hosting these tourists and other visitors”. Van den Berghe (1994) however, asserted that tourism is “travelling for pleasure”. No matter the varieties of the definition, it is observe that tourism indeed carry a similar meaning, where it comprises the “activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes [and for at least one 24-hour period]”. In this writing, the various issues of global tourism trend will be discussed. Among the tourism-related topics that will be presented include: global tourism flows, global spend, number of people directly employed in tourism worldwide, top ten generating and receiving countries in tourism, changes in tourism industry as well as a PEST analysis in researching the major trends in global tourism.

 

Global Tourism Flows

According to the statistic provided by World Tourism Organization (WTO), the global trend of tourism from 1995 to 2004 is shown above. Referring to the Figure shown below, it is clearly shown that the inbound tourism (measured using the number of tourist arrival) is increasing over the years. In fact, until recently, the tourism activities globally are still increasing in the recent years. The growth statistics provided by WTO on global tourism activities from year 2004 to 2009 are as follow: Asia-Pacific +29%; Middle East + 20%; Americas + 10%; Africa + 7%; and Europe +4%. Overall, it is not hard to discover that the growth of tourism activities is the highest in the Asia-Pacific regions.

Global Spend

The Figure below shows the total international tourism expenditures for the top ten countries in the world. It measures the amount of money the tourists from these countries spend in the other countries. For this, Germany is the country ranked highest on the list, followed by the United States, United Kingdom, China and France. Again, most of the countries on the top ranking are from the Europe region.

Rank Country UNWTO
Regional
Market
International
Tourism
Expenditures
(2009)
International
Tourism
Expenditures
(2008)
International
Tourism
Expenditures
(2007)
International
Tourism
Expenditures
(2006)
1  Germany Europe $80.8 billion $91.0 billion $83.1 billion $73.9 billion
2  United States North America $73.1 billion $79.7 billion $76.4 billion $72.1 billion
3  United Kingdom Europe $48.5 billion $68.5 billion $71.4 billion $63.1 billion
4  China Asia $43.7 billion $36.2 billion $29.8 billion $24.3 billion
5  France Europe $38.9 billion $43.1 billion $36.7 billion $31.2 billion
6  Italy Europe $27.8 billion $30.8 billion $27.3 billion $23.1 billion
7  Japan Asia $25.1 billion $27.9 billion $26.5 billion $26.9 billion
8  Canada North America $24.3 billion $26.9 billion $24.7 billion $20.6 billion
9  Russia Europe $20.8 billion $23.8 billion $21.2 billion $18.1 billion
10  Netherlands Europe $20.7 billion $21.7 billion $19.1 billion $17.0 billion

 

Receiving and Generating Countries from Tourism

In figure below, the total tourist visiting to the top ten famous countries are shown. The total international tourist arrivals at these countries shown below are from year 2006 to 2009. According to the data, France is the most visited country, followed by the United States, Spain, China and Italy. It is observed that most of the famous countries being visited by tourists are largely from the Europe.

 

Rank

 

Country International
tourist
arrivals
(2009)
International
tourist
arrivals
(2008)
International
tourist
arrivals
(2007)
International
tourist
arrivals
(2006)
1  France 74.2 million 79.2 million 80.9 million 77.9 million
2  United States 54.9 million 57.9 million 56.0 million 51.0 million
3  Spain 52.2 million 57.2 million 58.7 million 58.0 million
4  China 50.9 million 53.0 million 54.7 million 49.9 million
5  Italy 43.2 million 42.7 million 43.7 million 41.1 million
6  United Kingdom 28.0 million 30.1 million 30.9 million 30.7 million
7  Turkey 25.5 million 25.0 million 22.2 million 18.9 million
8  Germany 24.2 million 24.9 million 24.4 million 23.6 million
9  Malaysia 23.6 million 22.1 million 21.0 million 17.5 million
10  Mexico 21.5 million 22.6 million 21.4 million 21.4 million

 

The Figure below illustrates the total tourist receipts (i.e., how much the non-resident visitors spend in the host countries) from year 2006 to 2009. It is observed that the United States rank highest in terms of total tourist receipts, with a total of tourism receipts amounted to USD 94.2 billion in 2009. The total tourist receipts for Spain rank second on the list, followed by France, Italy, and China. Again, it is observed that most of the countries in the top ranking of tourism receipts are from the Europe region.

  Country International
Tourism
Receipts
(2009)
International
Tourism
Receipts
(2008)
International
Tourism
Receipts
(2007)
International
Tourism
Receipts
(2006)
1  United States $94.2 billion $110.1 billion $97.1 billion $85.8 billion
2  Spain $53.2 billion $61.6 billion $57.6 billion $51.1 billion
3  France $48.7 billion $55.6 billion $54.3 billion $46.3 billion
4  Italy $40.2 billion $45.7 billion $42.7 billion $38.1 billion
5  China $39.7 billion $40.8 billion $37.2 billion $33.9 billion
6  Germany $34.7 billion $40.0 billion $36.0 billion $32.8 billion
7  United Kingdom $30.1 billion $36.0 billion $38.6 billion $34.6 billion
8  Australia $25.6 billion $24.8 billion $22.3 billion $17.8 billion
9  Turkey $21.3 billion $22.0 billion $18.5 billion $16.9 billion
10  Austria $21.8 billion $18.9 billion $16.6 billion

 

Major Changes in Tourism Industry

In the recent decade, tourism industry is becoming an increasingly crucial industry for various countries around the world. The emergence of tourism industry is not surprising, as when the living standard of people increases, people would like to travel around the world to experience different culture, natural phenomenon, gaining new experience and knowledge as well as to explore the world. According to D’amore (2009), tourism industry has become the world’s largest industry involving virtually every nation in the world. The author asserted that the dramatic growth of tourism in the past 60 years is one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomenons of the new century. The entire industry is growing at a fast speed. According to the author’s survey, the tourism industry has grown from a total of 25 million international arrivals in 1950 to a projected 1 billion international arrivals in 2010, and a further projection to a staggering amount of 1.6 billion by the year 2020.

PEST Analysis in Identifying Major Trends in Global Tourism

PEST analysis is a useful framework to analyze business environment, where the framework explicitly investigate four dimensions in from a macro perspective, namely, political, economic, social and technological dimensions. In this section, the major trends in global tourism will be discussed using all these four dimensions.

Political

The political landscape has huge influence against the rise or fall of tourism industry in a nation. Among the commonly political factors affecting tourism industry include: political stability, risk of military invasion, legal framework, trade regulations and tariffs, pricing regulations in a country, taxation, wage legislation, industry safety regulations as well as product labeling requirements. There are just too many factors that may affect the future of global tourism, but two main political related factors that will most likely affect the future of tourism are discussed as follow.

            The impacts of terrorism towards tourism. It cannot be denied that terrorist attack will enhanced concern of travel safety and hinder the growth of tourism industry (Baker & Coulter, 2007). One good example is the implementation of air traffic control systems. The system plays a major role in overall air travel safety such as collision avoidance, precision landing aids and ground obstacle avoidance. It is not hard to observe that the air security issues such as safety screening at airports, permanent reinforcement of cockpit doors, public safety are also being major concerns especially after the September 11 Terrorist Attack in New York and Washington. If the issue of terrorism cannot be solved effectively, the tourism industry may suffer decline from time to time.

Governments’ encouragement on tourism industry to drive economic activities. Nowadays, many of the nations start to realize the potential contribution of tourism to their economy, and are aggressively implementing policies and aids in growing the tourism industry in the respective countries. Apparently that is a worldwide phenomenon, and the impacts will be an ever increasing competition in the development and promotion of tourism among countries in future.

 

Economic

Economic factors can have huge influence towards the tourism industry. Among the critical economic factors that may affect tourism industry include: government intervention in the free market, comparative advantages of host country, exchange rate and stability of host country, efficiency of financial market, and the quality of infrastructure, the workforce skills, labor costs, and the stages of business cycles and the economy growth rate of the world. A few economic factors are identified to have huge potential in affecting the trends of global tourism in the future.

More choices of tourism destination in the future. As more and more people are observing the boom of tourism industry, entrepreneurs have been setting up more tourism destination in the recent years. For example, in the past, the Western Europe is a popular and international tourism destination, but the rise of Eastern Europe as well as Asia Pacific lure more tourists to countries located in these regions. In general, there appears to be a gradual shift of tourist arrivals from the more advanced nations to the less developed nations.

The competition is driving more professional and personalized services in the industry. As the tourism industry is becoming more competitive, the customers may demand more professional and personalized services. As a result, the travel agencies have to adapt to the new changes. Not only that, other stakeholders serving the tourists have to continuously improve the value that they deliver to the tourists to remain competitive in the industry.

A new theme in the tourism industry. The concepts of tourism are changing fast. Recently, there is a rise of a new concept in tourism industry, namely the three Es – entertainment, excitement and education. This means that the services providers in tourism industry have to incorporate such a new trend in their services and products offerings.

 

Social, Cultural and Environmental

Social-cultural factors can exert huge influences against the tourism industry. Among the influential factors include: demographic, class structure, educational levels, culture, attitudes and leisure interests. A few crucial factors that will affect tourism industry are discussed as follow.

The rise of disposable income and standard of living. As the economy of the world becoming better off, people now have more disposable income as well as more leisure time. As a result, the richer people would like to travel around the world for recreation, education, health and other purposes. Generally, it is reasonable to expect the trend to continue in the future, and the tourism industry will continue to growth in the next few decades.

The concept of sustainable is gradually incorporated into the tourism industry. Due to the recent issues on climate changes and a call for a better, greener and cleaner world, environmental activists are demanding the development of tourism industry must adhere to the sustainable concept. Today, development of tourism industry should not longer be implemented by economic rationales, but the environmental issues should also be taken into account. In line with such demand, we can observe the rise of new forms of tourism such as: “eco-tourism”, “agri-tourism” and “green tourism”.

The demographics of tourists are changing fast. In the recent years, there is a new trend where the young and the elderly people are more able and willing to travel around the world. It is then reasonable to predict that in the next decade, the amount of tourists of the two age groups mentioned above will increase faster than that of the others. Travel agencies, hotel and other services providers in the tourism industry must take such a trend into account and alter their products offerings accordingly.

 

Technological

The advancement of technology is changing the world as well as the tourism industry. Various technological improvements are changing the way the tourism industry grows in the past few decades. One of the most obvious changes due to technology is the usage of information technology in tourism industry. Nowadays, to leverage and to capitalize on the power of information technology is critical for the success of any businesses in the tourism industry. Travel suppliers and promoters are employing information technology to identify and communicate with tourists through promotion and provision of information, and to assist the tourists in their choice of destinations. Tourists that are familiar with the Internet can arrange their travel schedule online. The entire distribution channel of the tourism industry is facing huge changes. Intermediaries are slowly being forced out of the industry. However, entrepreneurs that can capitalize on the usage of information technology will definitely make big profit in the industry.

 

References & Bibliography

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