THE RISE OF TOURISM
Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. For example, there were around 25.3 million international tourist arrivals in 1960. By 1990, this figure had risen to 425 million, 17 times the earlier figure. By 2000, it had risen by more than half again to 682 million and in 2008 it was 982 million – the number of international tourists has more than doubled in less than 20 years. The World Tourism Organisation forecasts that this figure could rise to 1.6 billion people by 2020 (more than 370 million of these will be long-haul travellers).
The importance of this rapid growth in tourism can be seen by the fact that the worldwide contribution of tourism to GDP is estimated at some 5%; spending on international tourism reaching US$944 billion (2008). Tourism’s contribution to employment tends to be slightly higher and is estimated in the order…
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