What’s all this fuss about the Tourism Industry?

One of the most influential and revenue-generating industries of the 21st century, the tourism industry has more to offer than just a holiday. With increasing globalization and merging economies, this industry is projected to continue expanding significantly. This expansion will be such, that every economy is trying to connect their strategic development and economic goals with the appeal of a touristic hotspot. These touristic hotspots prove to be very valuable in the development of international trade and commerce, in many ways.
It cannot be denied that many, if not all, nations have only benefitted by the development of their tourism industry. It has lucrative advantages like the generation of revenue for locals, increased inflow of foreign exchange, infrastructural and commercial developments, global exposure for the local populace, and of course, better-developed trade and stronger economies. It also helps in creating better partnerships between countries.

Tourism, as earlier mentioned, is not just holidaying or vacationing. It can be anything that urges a person to visit a particular place. This may be well within their residential locality, or the same city, state, municipality or even country! The definition of tourism must evolve with its implied idea. Now, any place that attracts patrons for a visit, for whatever purpose, can be termed as a tourist place. So, it may come as a shock to many old school thinkers to imagine that a hospital is a tourist place, but believe it or not, it is a big spot of medical tourism. Who could believe that places of worship can be spots of tourism and business? Shockingly, it is true.
Tourism development can help any economically backward nation grow faster, aid their GDP tremendously, and create employment for locals. Of course, it does bring its fair share of problems and burdens, but they can be managed using sustainable systems and corrective measures. In any case, the positives outweigh the negatives.

How are Tourism and Global Trade-related?

Tourism acts as a major catalyst in boosting international business. In fact, the two go hand in hand when it comes to the development of infrastructure and economies. Many places have emerged as tourist hubs, simply because of their development as business hubs. Ports like New York, Mumbai, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Calcutta, etc. are one of the most developed megacities of the world. Apart from being international business hotspots, they are also largely touristic cities. This is because due to the infrastructural development brought in by businesses and government for commerce, tourism naturally increases manifold in such places.

Another example is places of tourism that have developed into mega cities and centers of global trade due to their high tourist population. Cities like Paris, New Delhi, London, Beijing, Sydney, etc. fall under this category. These cities are important for their political factors or are existing places of touristic importance that later developed into commercial hubs.
A third example can be of cities or areas that experienced growth of tourists due to extreme industrialization in many fields. These cities are frequented by visitors for the various factories, industries, and markets they possess and are popular among traders looking to enhance trade and business development. Cities like Bengaluru, San Francisco, Bangkok, Frankfurt, etc. are all part of this group.

Thus, international trade and commerce give rise to tourism or vice versa. We can see that the major touristic places in the world are well-connected, heavily industrialized, developed and are a player in the global trade and commerce scenario. That reinstates the fact that both tourism and international business always go hand in hand. They are complementary to each other, and supportive of each other. Thus, in order to develop one, the development of the other is crucial.

By Shabbir Patrawala, SY- BBA(IB), Faculty of Management (UG), MIT-WPU

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