Tourism consists of a wide variety of different sectors that offer diverse services to tourists as well as to local residents. People make up an integral part of tourist-related services and products. In this article, you will get to know all about tourism, its advantages for both the tourist and the host country, as well as a breakdown of all 5 sectors within this industry.

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What is meant by Tourism?

Tourism is defined as the business of attracting tourists to the host country, city or any destination or to the visitor’s own country through accommodation, entertainment, and tour offers.

Who is a Tourist?

Anyone travelling for leisure, business, sports, family reasons, romance, shopping, or recreation purposes, and staying overnight in a place outside their usual environment is classed as a tourist. There are many reasons that motivate tourists to visit another destination. Some of these include the curiosity about the foreign country’s culture, its people, music, places of interest, architecture, and special events that take place in that country. The desire to meet new people and experience different environments can drive people to want to travel to new destinations.

The Main Advantages of Tourism

There are many benefits of tourism for both the host country and the tourist. The following are some of the most important ones:

  • Economic: every country or city in the world relies heavily on tourism as a key source of employment and income. Tourists bring in money and play an especially important role in the economy of developing countries. Tourism is seen as the most important source of welfare for these countries.
  • Social: aside from the revenue generated by tourists, there are also great cultural benefits to tourism. Local communities can feel proud of their country for being a place of interest for tourists. This gives them the opportunity to showcase their culture, history, and traditions to all the visitors.
  • Improved infrastructure and international relations: tourism not only prompts the developing countries to improve infrastructures for tourists, but it also promotes better relations between the nation states, thus improving the value of their currency and encouraging the learning of a new language.
  • Better standard of living: since tourists inject money into the country, the results will be improved standards of living for the host community.

The 5 Tourism Sectors Explained

The tourism industry is divided into 5 different areas; transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, recreation & entertainment, and related industries. Here is a quick overview of each sector:

1. Transportation

This sector covers land, water, air, cruise, rail, taxi, bus, aeroplane, and space travel. Efficient transportation is essential to any country’s tourism industry. It is part of the infrastructure since it needs to cater to the needs of tourists. As more visitors travel to another destination, improvements to the railways, roads, and ships will become necessary in order to reduce travel time. The following are the different modes of transport used in the travel industry.

Airline Industry

Air transportation can be domestic and international flights. Domestic flights depart from one point to another in the same country, whereas international flights depart to a different country. Travellers may travel through private or public airlines.

Car Rental

Cars are popular means of transportation.The rise in private car ownership has meant that more tourists are choosing to drive their own cars to the country they are visiting. But very often, car hire companies offer rental cars at the airports in collaboration with airlines so renting a car becomes more convenient and affordable.

Water Transport

There are many kinds of water transportation for passengers, including ocean liners, ferries and hovercrafts. Although cruising has gone through a slow decline in the past few years, ferries are still the necessary means of transport for cars and passengers to pass from one part of the country to another.

Coach Services

Coaches are an important part of the tourism sector as they make long-distance travel convenient and affordable. Tourists can take day trips to local attractions on the bus or catch the coach from airport to the city centre.

Railway

Rail travel is now easily available throughout all the countries in the world. It is one of the most popular means of transport and generally speaking, there are two ticket types offered by trains; first and second class. The long-distance trains normally have sleeping cabins and catering services.

Spacecraft

Space travel is a new element that will become popular in the coming years. A spacecraft will carry travellers into space within a matter of hours. Virgin Galactic has already sent a spacecraft into outer space and is planning to offer tourists commercial flights in the future. Other parties who are operating in the space tourism industry are SpaceX, Blue Origin, Orion Span (Space hotel) and Boeing.

2. Accommodation

The accommodation sector consists of different hospitality services that can include self-catering establishments, budget and luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts, farmhouses, hostels, villas, and even campsites. The half-board accommodation will normally include breakfast and dinner with the price, while the full-board service will also include lunch. This sector is extremely important to the tourism industry as visitors need to relax and feel comfortable in their chosen location. Here are all the different types of accommodation tourists can choose from.

Hotels

Hotels cater to both business and pleasure visitors. These establishments offer travellers a wide range of facilities, such as conference rooms, restaurants, spa, fitness centres, shops, and swimming pools. Some hotels are part of a larger company and some are privately owned.

Shared Accommodation

A good example is Airbnb, which is an online marketplace enabling individuals to rent out their accommodation. This platform allows online visitors to book a shared room or an entire house. They can filter their search results based on their budgets. Shared accommodation can be cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Hostels

These are almost always low-budget types of accommodation suitable for adventure travellers, backpackers, or those who have a tight travel budget. Some hostels provide bunk beds with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities while others require guests to bring their own sleeping bags.

Camping

Campsites provide travellers a specific site for staying overnight or longer in their own tent or campervan. Camping sites normally appeal to those who want to experience the outdoors or take part in recreational activities, such as canoeing, fishing, or hunting.

Bed and Breakfasts

B&Bs or guesthouses offer tourists an intimate insight into the country’s culture and people. This is one of the reasons a traveller may choose to stay in a bed and breakfast. Most B&Bs are family-run establishments and can also cater to business travellers.

Cruises

Cruise ships come under the accommodation sector because they are also a form of accommodation, not just transportation. On a typical cruise liner, passengers are allocated their own cabins for a specific time. Travellers also have the option of renting the cabin for the entire duration of their stay on the ship.

Farmhouse and Agri-tourism Accommodation

Eco-tourism has enjoyed considerable success in recent years. Many European countries with agricultural traditions are offering travellers farmhouse accommodation as a means of increasing revenue, especially during the off-peak season. This trend encourages tourists to experience healthier outdoor living.

Time-share Accommodation

This is a specialised type of holiday ownership property. Multiple users hold rights to the subject property and each one is given a specific period of time in a year to use the property. Time share can be one week or longer at the same time every year.

3. Food and Beverage

Food and beverage is an important part of every traveller’s experience. Many tourists prefer dining out when they are away from home, while others may decide to eat fast foods. The food and beverage industry offers travellers the opportunity to experience the local cuisine and socialise with the locals at the same time. The following is a list of different eating and drinking establishments.

Restaurants

These establishments provide tourists the chance to get to know the local cuisine and meet new people. There are various eatery categories from fast food chains like Burger King and KFC, to luxury and international restaurants that cater to higher budgets.

Catering

This category is a group of food services that offer catering in more remote locations. Within the catering sector, various food and beverage offerings can be found at hotels, planes, cruise ships, and even trains. Catering is also offered in many tourist attraction sites.

Bars & Cafés

These are an important part of the country’s local economy, offering visitors a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Bars and cafés offer alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, hot beverages, and a chance to socialise with the locals or other tourists. Most of these drinking establishments are smaller than restaurants and some even serve food.

Nightclubs

Discos or clubs are one of the most essential parts of the food and beverage industry, especially for the younger travellers. Nightclubs provide tourists with music and dance entertainment during the night and they can be the main reason for a traveller’s visit to a particular destination.

4. Recreation

This category includes entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, city tours, and casinos. Tourists seek entertainment in new locations as part of their trip and they are mostly attracted to entertainment options that they wouldn’t normally find in their own home country. For most, shopping is another entertaining attraction, hence the importance of malls and shopping centres in the destination they choose. To get a better idea of what the recreation sector entails, take a look at the following:

Casino

Casinos have always been associated with luxury and glamorous travel resorts. However, with the growing casino industry, it’s become widely popular among all kinds of travellers. Casinos often offer music or live show performances and they can mostly be found in hotels.

Tourist Information

In the modern world of hospitality industry, tourists can obtain information about the destination they are visiting both online and from tourist information centres. This can be in the form of brochures, maps, and websites highlighting local attractions.

Shopping

Shopping is an active part of a visitor’s travel plans and it can be combined with local activities and attractions. The travel industry is closely connected with the retail industry in order to attract tourists to major destinations. This is one of the reasons almost every country in the world offers duty-free goods to attract customers.

Tourist Guides and Tours

Most tourists look for information about the destination they are visiting once they get there. Tourist guides are knowledgeable individuals who talk about the country’s culture and traditions as well as take visitors on tours around the city.

5. Connected Industries

The related industries are the final category here that are linked either directly or indirectly to the travel and tourism sector. These industries provide customers with travel-related services, such as insurance as well as assist them with currency exchange, tour arrangements, and any other service to make their travel experience more comfortable. To learn more about the related industries and what they entail, refer to the list below:

Financial Services

To fund their travel arrangements, tourists need access to credit or currency exchange facilities. Insurance is another important part of financial services and mandatory for all travellers. After all, a visitor travelling to another country may need coverage for medical care, baggage loss, flight delay, or personal accident.

Travel Agents

Travel agents create holiday itineraries to match their customers’ needs. They reserve flights and hotels on behalf of their customers and even offer package holidays by working with a tour operator. Travel agents are paid commission by the hotel or tour supplier.

Tour Operators

Tour operators sell package holidays that combine accommodation, flights, airport transfer, car hire, tour guide, and sightseeing trips. This can be arranged as a set itinerary or included as part of the traveller’s holiday experiences.

Online Travel Agencies or OTAs

Nowadays, more and more users are booking their travels online. The rise of online travel agencies has meant that users can now quickly and easily compare prices of flights, hotels, and any other travel service with a click of a button.

Tourism Organisations

These are mainly companies that act on the tourism industry’s behalf and watch out for their interest. These organisations have influence over national tourism regulations and aim to bring the various sectors together.

Educational

Also known as the MICE industry, conferences, meetings, and educational centres are all part of tourism, where large groups of people are brought together for a particular purpose. These are valuable for the travel industry and generate a high source of income through transportation, accommodation, and attractions.

Top Tourism Trends and What They Mean For the Tourism Industry

Tourism is an important part of any economy and governments are always looking for innovative ways to create sustainable and competitive tourism development. Almost every country in the world considers tourism to be an essential component of supporting the economy. Integrated tourism trends help increase the strategies of public and private businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry. The guide, ‘Tourism Trends: Opportunities for the Tourism Industry’, explains the most important tourism trends that every hospitality manager should know about.

The Latest Trends in Tourism Marketing

With the growing importance of technology and staying connected, it’s no wonder that tourism marketing techniques are evolving at a quicker pace than ever before. In this sector, each practise has its own features and if you wish to stay ahead of the competition, you must assess all your options carefully. Tourism marketing has become the lifeline of all businesses within the Tourism industry, so it makes sense to adapt the right marketing techniques in order to generate profit. The article, ‘Tourism Marketing’ will help you understand the concept of adapting your marketing strategies to the latest trends in tourism industry.

How Technology Trends Are Taking Over the Tourism Industry

The advent of technology is fast developing in the travel and tourism industry with regards to how businesses are interacting with their customers. As a result, companies are adopting various tech trends to improve customer experience and operational efficiencies. The article, ‘Key Technology Trends Emerging in the Travel & Tourism Industry’ provides the most relevant tech trends to watch out for in the tourism industry.

The Relevance of Revenue Management for Tourism Industry

Revenue management has now become the cornerstone of running a highly profitable business in the hospitality and tourism industry. The rise in tracking and analysing available data may seem like a complicated process for the industry, but the truth is, it provides a wealth of benefits and opportunities for your business to thrive. If you want to gain better insight into the role revenue management plays in the tourism industry, make sure you read this article, ‘Revenue Management; clearly explained!’.

A Comprehensive Guide to Tourism Management

The important role tourism management plays in the travel and hospitality industry has provided many benefits for businesses in this sector. However, the importance of tourism depends on how it is structured. After all, it contributes towards the economic growth of a country by helping to create a positive image of the host country. If you wish to work in tourism management, make sure you refer to the article, ‘Tourism Management: All You Need to Know About Tourism’ for an insight into the industry and the available careers within it.

As you can see from this article, tourism is essential for every country’s economic prosperity. This industry is a highly complex and diverse set of sectors that relies all kinds of agencies and businesses as well as citizens to participate in its development.

Want to Learn More About Related Industries?

The hotel industry is part of the hospitality industry and the hospitality industry is part of the tourism industry. All of these industries have in common that they are large service industries in the world and increasingly important in the modern age. But what is the difference between the hotel and hospitality industry or the travel and tourism industry? In the following articles you learn more about related industries.

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