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Importance of Tourism

12 Mayıs, 2010 | 13:15

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries and provides the most economic revenue. Despite this, a lot of countries in the world attach importance to this industry. Therefore, tourism industry has negative impacts. However, Tourism must be talked with positive contributions rather than negative aspects. The most important of these positive impacts is its economic aspect, because tourism is a locomotive industry which provides money, and tourism is on supportive position.

Tourism plays an important role to increase conscious of the environment. Tourism provides to become awareness of resources for countries and necessitates to protect these resources. Economic income which tourism provides is clear. Negative impacts of tourism can be pretend not to see, because contribution tourism provides is a fact which cannot be pretend not to see. Tourism as total income has a feature of an industry which obtains higher income than a lot of economic activities.

This study was prepared by using literature review, and importance of tourism was studied to emphasize.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries and provides the most economic revenue. Therefore, a lot of countries in the world attach importance to this industry. Ozturk and Yazicioglu (2002) explained this situation that “Tourism industry’s considerable contributions to national economy are a known fact. For this reason, developed and developing countries have attached great impotance to tourism”.

As many industries, tourism industry has also shown a rapid development and has become an international industry. Some of these develeopments are on communication technologies, speed, comfort, capacity and price on transport vehicles (Ceken et al., 2008).

Tourism is an important activity for people. People need tourism as there is on increase in living standards, increased income and business life has brought trouble and stress. Bozok and Koroglu (2007) mentioned that participations number to international tourism in 2005 is 806 millions. In 2005, 806 million international tourist numbers show that people need tourism.

Despite this, tourism industry has negative impacts. Environment pollution and physical impacts come in the beginning of these impacts. However, tourism has a lot of positive impacts rather than negative impacts. The most important of these positive impacts is its economic aspect, because tourism is an event which is considered more economically (Kozak et al., 2001: 77) and it forms an economic activity area because of dimensions arrived and rapid development shown (Avcikurt, 2003: 25).

In addition, tourism industry is very important industry for developing, less developed and island countries such as Cyprus, as economic growth, foreign currency input, income and employment. These countries, especially island countries see tourism as an economic savior and an opportunity for development. In other words, tourism provides very important contributions for development of the country, because tourism is a part of development strategy (Ozbey, 2002).

We can prove economic contribution of tourism in this way: according to 2006 datas, 846 millon people participated to tourism movements and total income obtained was documented as $733 billion. If we examine as a country, according to 2006 datas, USA attracted 51.1 million people to own country and totally obtained $85.7 billion income (Ceken vd., 2008). When we look at these numbers, we can say that income obtained by tourism plays an important role for closing of a country’s external trading open.

Furthermore, tourism contributes to economy as foreign currency input and employment (Ozbey, 2002). Foreign currency input is $85.7 billion income which USA provided I mentioned above. As employment, in 2009 years, 1.2 million people worked in only Spa tourism in the world (, 2009).

It is thought which tourism has a lot of negative aspects, but tourism also provides contribution to poor people. According to Ozkok (2006); since last ten years, governments and helper foundations work to bring tourism based on poor people with activities such as cultural festivals. For instance; people produce hand-made products and sell these products in the festivals. In other words, it can be mentioned from benefits of tourism.

I mentioned that tourism has negative aspects above. Tourism must be talked with positive contributions rather than negative aspects. However, If we mention from negative physical impacts of tourism, we can say that natural sit areas may be destroyed due to excessive visitors and rubbish and noise pollution may occur. Despite this, tourism provides to become awareness of resources for countries. For instance; protecting natural resources and rebuilt…etc. (Ozbey, 2002).

Besides, tourism speeds up infrastructure and superstructure works as physical. Infrastructure works are road, water, electricity, communication, transportation…etc. Superstructure works are accommodations, restaurants, entertainment centers…etc. Countries work to catch the world standards with these infrastructure and superstructure works. For instance; in 2005 years, 2nd airplane was built in Antalya airport, a lot of investments are done for telecommunication and transportation and Antalya worked to catch the world standards (Turizm ve Otelcilik Portali, 2009).

If it is necessary to give another example; region people also benefit from infrastructure and superstructure done, various services such as fire brigade, police, health services (Ozturk and Yazicioglu, 2002).

We must not forget that infrastructure and superstructure works prepared by giving importance to environment form great expenses in the beginning, but these works will turn as long-term income for future (Aslan and Aktas, 1994).

For this reason, countries attach other countries’ people to their own values such as beautiful environment, nature, climate, sea, mountains, natural life, culture and want to get better their economy (Aslan and Aktas, 1994). Nevertheless, they give importance to infrastructure and superstructure in order to achieve that.

It is necessary to say that the biggest environment problem tourism causes is construction without plan which is not aimed at protecting nature. Solution of this poblem is physical plan which is done correctly. For instance; in (c) paragraph of 3rd matter of “ilkeler” heading of environment law of Turkish Republic; “Authorized foundations which give decisions for use of resource and foundations which evaluate the projects will pay attention that they will not affect development effort negatively and they take care of protecting environment.” This general principle includes physical planning (Aslan and Aktas, 1994).

Tourism actually helped to become conscious of people with its negative impacts. Nevertheless, Kisaovali (2007) expressed that “Polluting of the world resources with tourism movements increased environment conscious about natural boundaries. For instance; new tourist types which give more importance to cultural environment have occured.”

Furthermore, if we examine tourism as socio-economic, it is seen that tourism uses the environment as a commercial tool. Tourism meets developed country’s ethics standards to local communities, causes to increase violence, theft, crime and causes to destroy traditional values. These negative socio-economic impacts also cause dissatisfaction on community that accepts tourists (Ozbey, 2002). This situation can be minimized by doing conscious tourists. As Ozbey (2002) expressed; informations must be given tourists about features of country, economic, social, physical structures of the country that will be gone.

Nevertheless, tourism has a lot of socio-cultural impacts. These socio-cultural impacts are education, hospitality, culture (religious, art, historical remains) and custom and traditions (Kiliç, 2003). There is a close relationship between tourism and culture. For instance; it increases quality of local activities such as folklore, art and festival (Ozbey, 2002), supports to protect historical and cultural places. Each one of these factors alone can actually affect people’s holiday. Thus, it may provide a utility. Especially, historical riches, archeological and ethnography museums in Turkey can be given as an example (Kiliç, 2003). For instance; Istanbul attaches tourists with its historical and cultural attractions and due to its this feature, it obtained “2010 Culture Capital of Europe” title.

It is necessary to emphasize that tourism is important as political and health. Tourism gives recognition opportunity existence of different cultures to people who learn these cultures from visual and auditory media (Ozbey, 2002). This situation makes people closer to each other and causes for changing prejudice of people about each other. This creates a positive atmosphere between people. This atmosphere created may affect relationships between governments. In addition, doing sport opportunities which accomondation managements present, spa and healing waters make people healthy. (Turizm ve Otelcilik Portali, 2009). If the world doesn’t give importance to tourism, spa and healing waters could not be used, because the biggest factor for use of these places is tourism movements.

Tourism affects 33 sectors such as airlines, rent a car, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators, tradesmen and these sectors earn money thanks to tourism (Kozak et al., 2001: 87).

Besides, tourism is an important activity as social, because tourism is one of the most important tools which realize cultural changing between people. Tourism movements bring people to come together, provides that people meet each other better. Thus, thanks to tourism, concepts such as “regionalism, racialism, coreligionist” disappear and concepts such as “universality and human love” come in stead of these concepts (Turizm ve Otelcilik Portali, 2009).

In other words, we can say that tourism contributes to peace. Today, 1 billion people travel, meet different cultures and have different human experiences. Actually, developing of tourism every year fastly and increasing of tourist numbers show that people have potential of living together in peace (Kinay, 2008).

As a result, tourism is developing fastly in the World and Europe and economic income which tourism provides is clear. Negative impacts of tourism we mentioned can be pretend not to see, because contribution tourism provides is a fact which cannot be pretend not to see. Tourism as total income has a feature of an industry which obtains higher income than a lot of economic activities.

According to a research World Travel Organization did, in 2020 years, 1.6 billion people will participate to tourism movements and more expenses than $2.2 trillion will be done. This shows us that tourism will be the most favourite industry of the world.

School of Tourism and Hotel Management, Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

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