Tourism and Attractions is travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes, usually of a limited duration. Tourism and attractionsare commonly associated with trans-national travel, but may also refer to travel attractions to another location within the same country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.
Tourism and attractions has become a popular global leisure activity. Tourism and attractions can be domestic or international, and international tourism with attractions has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism and attractions are a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases it is of vital importance.
Tourism and attractions suffered as a result of a strong economic slowdown of the late-2000s recession, between the second half of 2008 and the end of 2009, and the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus. It then slowly recovered, with international tourist arrivals surpassed the milestone 1 billion tourists globally for first time in history in 2012. International tourism receipts (the travel item of the balance of payments) grew to US$1.03trillion (€740 billion) in 2011, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 3.8% from 2010. In 2012, China became the largest spender in international tourism globally with US$102 billion, surpassing Germany and United States. China and emerging markets significantly increase their spending over the past decade, with Russia and Brazil as noteworthy examples.
In 1936, the League of Nations defined a foreign tourist as “someone traveling abroad for at least twenty-four hours”. Its successor, the United Nations, amended this definition in 1945, by including a maximum stay of six months.
In 1941, Hunziker and Krapf defined tourism as people who travel “the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity.” In 1976, the Tourism Society of England’s definition was: “Tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destination outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes.” In 1981, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined tourism in terms of particular activities selected by choice and undertaken outside the home.
In 1994, the United Nations identified three forms of tourism in its Recommendations on Tourism Statistics:
The terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context, travel has a similar definition to tourism, but implies a more purposeful journey. The terms tourismand tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited by tourists.
Until relatively recently, travel outside a person’s local area was confined to wealthy classes, who at times travelled to distant parts of the world, to see attractions great buildings, works of art, learn new languages, experience new cultures, and to taste different cuisines. Long ago, at the time of the Roman Republic, places such as Baiae were popular coastal resorts for the rich.
Modern tourism and attractions can be traced to what was known as the Grand Tour (attractions), which was a traditional trip of Europe to see attractions (especially Germany and Italy) undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means, mainly from Western and Northern European countries. The customflourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips to attractions were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition or tourism and attractions was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden, and Thomas Cook made the “Cook’s Tour” a byword.
The Grand Tour (attractions) became a real status symbol for upper classes’ students, in the 18th and 19th centuries. In this period, Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s theories about supremacy of classic culture became very popular and appreciated in the European academic world. Artists, writers and travellers to attractions (such as Goethe) affirmed the supremacy of classic art whose Italy, France, Spain and Portugal are excellent examples. For these reasons, the Grand Tour’s main destinations were to those centres, where upper class students could find attractions of rare examples of classic art and history.
The New York Times recently described the Grand Tour in this way:
Three hundred years ago, wealthy young Englishmen began taking a post-Oxbridge trek through France and Italy in search of art, culture and the roots of Western civilization. With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months (or years) to roam, theycommissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent.—Gross, Matt., “Lessons From the Frugal Grand Tour.” New York Times 5 September 2008.
The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, laid in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent to create tourism and attractions.
The Grand tour could be considered responsible for the birth of tourism and tourist attractions.