Tourism as a Global Leisure Activity

Tourism has become a global leisure activity. Since almost every country in the world has its tourist spots, no wonder its popularity is increasing. In this connection, countries offering beautiful spots and eye-catching sceneries to the tourists around the world also earn a pile of money in return. Tourism has indeed become a major source of income for many countries worldwide and because of this, its importance is greatly stressed.

Tourism is travel for leisure, recreation and business purposes. The word tourism is mostly defined as citizens who take a trip which is a combination of the occurrence and relationships that take place from the travel and stay of non-residents, wherein it doesn’t lead to permanent residence and with no earning activity. Other definitions of tourism include, a momentary or short-term movement of people to destinations outside the country or certain place where they normally live and work and the activities during the stay at each destination, which includes all actions for all reasons. Tourism was also defined in terms of specific activities chosen by a selection and embarked on outside the home.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) describes travelers as inhabitants who take a trip to and reside in places outside their common environment for more than twenty-four hours and not more than one successive year for relaxation, industry, and other reasons not related to the implementation of an activity compensated from within the place visited. Tourism is important and considerable for countries such as France, U.S., Germany and several island nations such as the Philippines, The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives and countless to mention. This is due to the large receipt of money for business with their goods, services, and the prospect for employment in the service industries connected with tourism. Service industries include entertainment arenas such as shopping malls, casinos, various music venues, theaters, and amusement parks, transportation services such as taxis, airlines and cruise ships, and hospitality services such as accommodations including hotels and resorts.

In 1994, the United Nations classified tourism in three forms: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism. Domestic tourism includes people of a given country roaming only within that particular country. Inbound tourism involves non-residents traveling within the country and outbound tourism which involved residents roving to other countries. In addition, the United Nations also made consequent different categories of tourism by merging the three types of tourism, which are Internal Tourism, National Tourism and International Tourism. Internal tourism consists of domestic tourism and inbound tourism. National tourism comprises domestic tourism and outbound tourism. International tourism includes inbound and outbound tourism.

These are the 10 most visited countries by 2008 from the report of the World Tourism Organization (number of international tourist arrivals):

1. France with - 79.3 million
2. United States with 58.0 million
3. Spain with 57.3 million
4. China with 53.0 million
5. Italy with 42.7 million
6. United Kingdom with 30.2 million
7. Ukraine with 25.4 million
8. Turkey with 25.0 million
9. Germany with 24.9 million
10. Mexico with 22.6 million

Estimated international tourist arrivals were above 922 million in 2008.

Top ten tourism country earners of 2008 from the report of the World Tourism Organization:

1. United States with $110.1 billion
2. Spain with $61.6 billion
3. France with $55.6 billion
4. Italy with $45.7 billion
5. China with $40.8 billion
6. Germany with $40.0 billion
7. United Kingdom with $36.0 billion
8. Australia with $24.7 billion
9. Turkey with $22.0 billion
10. Austria with $21.8 billion

Countries that do spend a lot of money for the development of their respective tourists’ spots have been associated with higher tourism earnings.

Indeed tourism has a big impact on a country’s gross national product. Traveling around the world to the many beautiful scenic spots not only gives joy to the tourists, but it also helps a lot in uplifting the economy of the country being visited.

Traveling is indeed one of the most enjoyable activities to everyone. It gives a lot of benefits and advantages not only to yourself but for the countries or places as well. When you plan to go on traveling, always make sure to make the best out of every country or place you visit. Always make sure to enjoy, learn and always have fun.