Tourism- Phenomenon & Concept

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Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act. A tourist is someone who travels at least fifty miles from home, as defined by the World Tourism Organization .
A more comprehensive definition would be that tourism is a service industry, comprising a number of tangible and intangible components. The tangible elements include transport systems - air, rail, road, water and now, space; hospitality services - accommodation, foods and beverages, tours, souvenirs; and related services such as banking, insurance and safety & security. The intangible elements include: rest and relaxation, culture, escape, adventure, new and different experiences.
According to Hunzikar & Krapf – Tourism is the sum of the phenomena & relationships arising from the travel & stay of the non-residents so far as it does not lead to permanent residence and is not connected to any money earning activity.
According to Beckner – Tourism is the sum of relations & services connected with a voluntary change of residence for non-commercial & non-professional reasons.
According to The League of Nations,1937 – Tourism covers the social activity of those who travel for a period of 24 hours or more in a country other than a person usually lives in.
According to Rome conference on Tourism ,UNO conference on international tourism-1963 – Any person visiting a country other than that in which he has his usual place of residence, for any reason other than following an occupation remunerated from within the country visited can be considered as a visitor.
To know:-
International tourism refers to the tourism act when a person travels from one country to another.
Domestic tourism is the one within the country.
Outbound tourism refers to tourists leaving the country.
Inbound tourism refers to tourists entering the country.
Tourism is….
A)    An industry without smoke.
B)    Education without classroom.
C)    Integration without legislation.
D)    Diplomacy without formality.

What is a Tour ?
Tour essentially consists of the following elements
   1)  Purpose of Journey
   2) Time taken for the journey
   3) The situation in which the tour was undertaken
   4) Other activities undertaken besides the journey.
Time period required for the tour depends upon the duration of vacation, Price of the tour/day, attraction & activities included, number of destinations, whether individual tour or package tour, whether sightseeing tour or special interest tour.
Purpose of Tour
Basic motivatory factors for a tour :- Pleasure ( Sun, Sand & Sex), Relaxation, Health, Sports, Curiosity & culture, Ethnic & family, Pilgrimage, Status & Prestige, Professional & business,Special interest, Education, Adventure & Wildlife etc.
Other motivatory factors to induce Tours :-
1)      Psychological – A break for boredom, freedom, relaxation.
2)      Economic – Rise in prosperity, discounts in travel, discounts in taxes.
3)      Socio political – Encouragement by society, Pilgrimage, LTA/LTC/ Meetings & conventions in tourist destinations.
4)      Time factor – A long vacation ( a weekend of 2 days).


Tourism Products & Services
Tourism phenomenon is divided into products & services due to the very fact that a tour is a speculative investment by the tourist and selling a tour is similar to selling any product or service. Tour gives a psychological & emotional satisfaction as in the purchase of any other service or product.
Tourism Products include: Natural resources (ex- scenic beauty, adventure), Transport- Travel by Rail/Air/Water/Road, Accommodation as in hotels &lodges, Food in restaurants etc., Handicrafts & other souvenirs, beauty parlor & massage parlors, Theatres, Cabarets, Health clubs etc.
Tourism Services include: Travel agencies, Tour operators, Guide services, event booking services etc.
Who is a Tourist?
Tourists are persons travelling for:-
1)      Business.
2)      Pleasure & domestic reasons, family get togethers.
3)      Participating in meetings, conferences/ seminars/scientific & administrative purposes.
4)      Pilgrimages.
5)      Sports meet.
6)      Education & research.
7)      Sea cruise.
Following persons are not tourists if they:-
1)      Come in a country for remunerative purposes.
2)      Come to establish residence in the country.
3)      Stay in school hostels.
4)      Are residents in frontier zone country and work in the adjacent country.
5)      Travelers passing through a country without stopping over , if the journey takes 24 hours.


Benefits & Adverse effects of Tourism

Benefits:                                                                  Economic
1)      Foreign exchange earnings.
2)      Contribution to government revenue.
3)      Employment generation.
4)      Redistribution of National income.
5)      Regional development.
6)      Multiplier effect .

Social
1)      National Integration.
2)      World peace & understanding.
3)      Diplomacy.
4)      Protection of arts / heritage / historical monuments / local culture / flora & fauna.
5)      Spiritual significance.
6)      Human relationship.
7)      Exchange of Ideas.
8)      Improvement of infrastructure.
9)      Education value.

    Adverse effects:
1)      Pollution of Air/ Noise/ Visual / Water.
2)      Water disposal.
3)      Ecological disruption.
4)      Environmental hazards.
5)      Damage to historic & archaeological sites.
6)      Land use problems.
7)      Over crowding & congestion.
8)      Effects local residents – price & population.
9)      Antisocial activities- Prostitution, drugs, smuggling, STDs/AIDS.

Origin, Growth & Development of Tourism
The tourism business is at least 2,000 years old. It began when wealthy citizens of ancient Rome, deciding they would rather spend their summers away from the city, took trips to the countryside and the coast.

A tourist industry soon sprang up to cater for the Romans’ travel and accommodation needs, and for a while it thrived. But Roman tourism ended with its empire, and for hundreds of years the turbulent economic, social and military situation in Europe made frequent, safe travel out of the question.

During the medieval era, however, tourism again appeared thanks to a growing interest in pilgrimages. The organisers arranged the tourism basics of itineraries and places to eat and sleep. And from records such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it’s evident that many pilgrims were keen to relax and enjoy themselves as well as visit a holy shrine. In fact it’s from the Old English word hāligdæg (holy day) that “holiday” derives.

But it was two other factors hundreds of years later that encouraged the start of more widespread and regular tourism: health and culture. Those who could afford to do so began to visit the spa and seaside towns of eighteenth century Europe to benefit from the spring waters and fresh air. Others, most notably the English, took educational holidays to countries such as Italy with the intention of studying paintings, sculptures and architecture, and visiting historical sites.

Straightforward leisure tourism took hold when industrialization across Europe gave rise to an affluent middle class with an increasing amount of free time. Entrepreneurs started to build tourist hotels with an infrastructure of roads, carriages and ferries. Tourism began to take shape as an international industry.

The industry was popular and steadily successful from the early nineteenth century. But for the most part, it was expensive and limited to a small number of locations. Then everything suddenly changed. In the 1960s, a growing number of people had disposable incomes, and with this extra money came a desire for a different lifestyle. At the same time, reasonably-priced commercial aircraft were able to carry passengers to and from any airport in the world.
Some key points in the history which contributed to the growth of Tourism phenomena & industry are given below:
1.      The desire to travel was intensified with the introduction of money by Phoenicians and Sumerians in 2000BC.
2.      ‘Shulgi’ ruler of Babylonia provided protected roads and rest houses encouraging travelers in 750BC.
3.      The Phoenicians were considered to be the first travelers-2000BC.
4.      Romans published travel magazines and advertised for temples, resorts, & spas-450BC.
5.      Students from various corners of the world came to India to study in it’s universities-at Vikramshila, Nalanda, Amravati, 2000BC-700AD.
6.      Greek currency was accepted in the neighboring states.
7.      Visitors in Egypt carried souvenirs back home-1200BC.
8.      Greeks hosted Olympics which was visited by far off countries. Services like accommodation, food, gambling, dancing girls & guides (Proxeuros) were provided to the tourists.
9.      Roman empire built roads to all corners of their empire which helped tourism to grow.
10.  Package tour was organized by the Roman travel agents.
11.  Games & Gladiatorial contests attracted people to Rome.
12.  Pilgrimage was encouraged in India with Adi Shankaracharya notifying the four Dhaams.
13.  Buddhist sanghas established the tradition of sponsored pilgrimages to monasteries.
14.  Arthashastra of Chanakya tells about travel infrastructure, travel taxes, passport & permits, types of vehicles, routes etc.
15.  Travellers were accommodated in dharamshalas & Serais.
16.  Pleasure travel was promoted by the mughals. Jehangir built imperial Gardens all over his empire.
17.  Kos minars are milestones introduced by the muslim rulers of Delhi Sultunate.
18.  The Silk route was used by business men & tourists to travel from Europe to China.
19.  Grand Tour was a term associated to the travel undertaken by students in the Medival age to go and study in the modern day Universities located in Florence, London, Rome, Paris etc. Commercial facilities were provided by banks, Travel & accommodation by travel houses like Thomas Cook in railways, roadways , taverns & Inns.

Transition to Modern Tourism

Tourism in the modern period developed due to the following happenings:

1)      Advancement in the technology of travel in the industrial revolution in Europe.
2)      Rise in productivity in the industries with economy rising.
3)      Emergence of Tour operators & travel advisors like Thomas Cook.
4)      Discovery of exotic locations.
Tourism Development in India – Reasons
1)      Development of the Railways.
2)      Increased activity of tourism by the British & the Indian Elite.
3)      Increased number of schools with lodging hostels.
4)      Concept of building circuit houses & Dak bungalows by the British.
5)      Increased number of dharamshalas in the Pilgrimage centers.
6)      Indtroduction of aviation sector by Tata airlines, to be later called as Air-India and later incorporation of private air lines.
7)      Building of Youth hostels by state governments.
8)      Commissioning of the STDs & Tourism corporations.
9)      Concept of LTC & LTA by govt.
10)  Wide network of T.V.
11)  Growth of modern Tour operators like SITA.
12)  Increased activities of organizations like TAAI, IATA, PATA, IATO etc.
13)  Separate Ministry of Tourism.
14)  New Tourism concepts like adventure tourism, ethnic tourism.
15)  Human resource development by emphasizing on Tourism & Hotel Mgt education.
Types Of Tourism in the Modern Era:
1)      Agri- Tourism.
2)      Cultural Tourism.
3)      Culinary Tourism.
4)      Medical Tourism.
5)      Slum Tourism.
6)      Dark Tourism.
7)      Heritage Tourism.
8)      Space Tourism.
9)      War Tourism.
10)  Rural Tourism.
11)  Educational Tourism.
12)  Recession Tourism.
And many more such types…….


Sustainable Tourism

As per World Tourism Organization- "Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.
World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987 implies "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Sustainable tourism can be seen as having regard to ecological and socio-cultural carrying capacities and includes involving the community of the destination in tourism development planning. It also involves integrating tourism to match current economic and growth policies so as to mitigate some of the negative economic and social impacts of 'mass tourism'.



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