UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD OF TOURISM
Spending time in locations far away from home, specifically for pleasure and recreation, is indeed a modern mechanism of social organizations (Abram and Waldren, 2021). Exploration of distinguished tourist centres indirectly saves tourists from embarrassments, difficulties or dangers, too (Lenggogeni, Ritchie and Slaughter, 2019). However, tourism—as well as other activities such as pilgrimage—directly gives mental liberation and self-fulfilment. Industrially, innovative strategies implemented in contemporary tourism have strengthened democracy and improved globalization.
The tourism industry stands comprehensively as it focuses on the transportation and hospitality industries thereby creating value for individuals and increasing the profitability of travel companies and their investors (Achmad and Yulianah, 2022). Findings show that factors impeding growth of contemporary tourism include:
(a) Differences in resource reallocations to the sector
(b) Tourist trading, and
(c) Distribution of facilities (Duan, Xie and Morrison, 2022).
This research focuses on the future impacts of developing contemporary tourism through the lens of some positive and negative influence it has on the environment, global economy, and socio-cultural systems of every country. Literature review highlights the need to understand the impact of contemporary tourism and how the countries/regions can utilize the information to assess and address both simple and complex issues that have huge impacts on the future of tourism.
A global strategic approach to transforming tourism requires strong commitment to systemic issues (e.g. ethics, health crisis, change of world order, and the commercialization of tourist destinations) that pose obstacles to the implementation of innovative development strategies (Duan et al, 2022; Cooper and Hall, 2007). This strategic approach tries to ameliorate security sluggishness and lapses in risk management thereby strengthening systemic structures for any potential implication of the flow of tourism in the future (Op cit, 2007).
Evidence-based studies show that successful development of contemporary tourism at the global stage also requires understanding of climatic conditions, and the economic and transportation systems of tourist regions. A modern-day tourist is often keen to understand the emotional drive of the travel to ensure that he or she properly maximizes the opportunity to express themselves and experience travel connection with the local environment (Gelbman, 2021). It is mostly possible for a contemporary tourist to understand, forecast and teach about the future of contemporary tourism—including the prospects and problems of tourist destination (Ponsignon, Lunardo and Michrafy, 2021). Furthermore, long-term goals such as the cultural exchange between locals and tourists, boosting of economic revenue, development of infrastructure, and elevated employability are results of the growth of contemporary tourism (Khan et al., 2020).
The impact of tourism is enormous thanks to technological advancements, especially in the global transporation sector. Without geographical linkages between locations (cities, states, regions and countries), the flow of modern-day tourism would be quite cumbersome and unprofitable. The interconnectedness between the take-off point and destinations has been crucial to the development of global economies as the transporatation sector boosts performance of other sectors in different ways. To maximize opportunities from tourism, contemporary tourists must have a wide experience between regions as they mingle with people from different cultures, receive diverse services, and experience environmental changes (Kozhukhіvska et al., 2022).
It is globally known that the economic growth of nations depends on tourism, industrialization, and agricultural development (Lohmann and Netto, 2016). Investment in the renovation of tourist centres or locations is directly proportional to the economic growth of nations (Williams and Shaw, 1998). Studies also show that improved tax revenue, increased standards of living, and employability are some of the positive results of contemporary tourism, especially in developed countries like the UK and U.S. (Kumar, Hussain and Kannan, 2015).
In developing countries such as Nigeria, Chile, and Pakistan, the basic motivation for investing in contemporary tourism is to promote economic mutualism or generate economic growth in the host country as well as the tourist’s home countries thereby improving infrastructure development and domestic income (Cave and Dredge, 2020). The system of contemporary tourism doesn’t generate income for the tourist and organizations sponsoring tours. Tourism is a capital-intensive venture. Decline in traditional employment, increased living costs, and seasonal unemployment are some of the negative effects tourism has on the economy (Kumar, Hussain and Kannan, 2015). Further, tourism development increases the level of industrialization and number of migrant workers—and this might increase unemployment and crime rates. But industrialization also empowers local workers who are into farming, forestry and fishing to contribute to national development through food and material production (Randhave and Upadhye, 2022). While developing countries lose opportunities from tourism development due to economic recession, developed economies strategize to attract skilled labour through the tourism sector (Achmad and Yulianah, 2022). A study conducted in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan to analyse perceptions of the local community regarding the socio-economic and environmental impacts of tourism (Jehan et al., 2022) showed that tourist operations in the Gilgit Baltistan region promote the economic status of the citizens. However, the natural environment was negatively affected due to exposure to foreign culture and norms (Jehan et al., 2022). The researchers suggested that communities/regions should not entertain tourists because it is unethical and the negative effects may outweigh perceived benefits.
The United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 5, identified Climate Action as crucial to addressing the environmental influence on tourism (Verhun and Bondarchuk, 2022). Seasons such as winter, summer, spring and fall are factors one should consider before embarking on tours (Randhave and Upadhye, 2022). Mass tourism via research studies has proven to be dissatisfactory because online data/information differ from reality in most cases. Thus, tourists contemporary tourists prefer regions that are peaceful, safe, (Naumov, 2022) and at the same time responsibly maintained not only by the local community for every tourist who visits such places (Randhave and Upadhye, 2022). Environmental degradation such as air pollution arising from use of fossil fuels may affect land and seas during tourist seasons—and this contributes to unsatisfactory tour experiences. These examples indicate that environmental sustainability is crucial to tourism development (Caponi, 2022).
On the other hand, an increase in tourist activities promotes awareness about the destinations. Therefore, regular visits may promote ecotourism and sustainable syudy tourism by students or researchers (Hoseinzadeh Nosrati, Esgandari, and Nazoktabar, 2022). Places like Gambia and Costa Rica possess environmental-friendly resources and these features make them a preferred tourists’ destinations.
Research has importantly revealed that a grossly negative impact of the environment on tourism is the inability of the environment to cope with the influx of tourists/visitors (Lenggogeni et al, 2019). These impacts are mostly seen in mass tourism. Furthermore, degradation of the soil profile, for example, by soil erosion, increases the vulnerability to fire outbreaks, which do not just have negative effects on the environment but increases financial burden on governments, organizations, investors and communities. Pressure on the natural resources during mass tourism also leads to land degradation and lowers its productivity level (Galli, Barioni and Mancini, 2022).
Cultural operations refer to people’s traditions, values, beliefs and way of life. Culture differs among ethnic groups, countries and regions. In the world of contemporary tourism, culture plays the role of setting boundaries and regulations that determine behaviours and activities within tourist destinations (Zhuang et al, 2019). The influence of culture and socialization on tourism is therefore evident in how residents perceive contemporary tourism. Copper (2013) argues that short-term changes in value are recognizable but the long-term value progressively changes the beliefs and socio-cultural impact on tourism (Achmad and Yulianah, 2022).
However, findings indicate that socialization and culture have both positive and negative impact on tourism. Based on the living conditions and lifestyle of residents, including their local culture, it is easy to identify the socio-cultural impacts of operating tourism. The social-cultural impacts of contemporary tourism include higher revenue generation and improved transportation facilities as seen in China, Iran, China, and Malaysia (Zhuang et al, 2019). Tourism and recreational events increase the motivation of local people as seen in the United States and Fiji Islands. Tourism also revitalizes local cultural practices as observed in Iran. Negatively, the socio-cultural impacts of contemporary tourism include increased racial discrimination and high rate of crime as seen in Botswana, Tanzania, and China (Achmad and Yulianah, 2022). Studies show the positive impact of tourism in host communities can outweigh the negative if governments formulate policies that promote resident-tourist relationships and cheerful interconnectedness—a strategy for achieving sustainability of World Heritage Sites (Jurado-Rivas and Sánchez-Rivero, 2022).
The impacts of national and global sectors on contemporary tourism should prompt national and global leaders to focus more on the positive impacts and antagonistically act toward the negative impacts. This effort will foster interconnectedness and sustainability among tourists and host communities. Economically, tourism promotes trade; it also creates employment opportunities thereby increasing revenue and awareness (that is, global recognition of tourist destinations). Contemporary tourism also contributes to equal distribution of labour and economic growth of nations as is seen in multicultural and diverse countries like Canada and the United States. Socio-culturally, the style of communication as well as the interaction between host regions and tourists influence relationships between both parties thereby boosting growth of tourism. Tourists are meant to pay rapt attention to regulations at tourist site, the attitude of the tour supervisor, the number of co-tourists, the security system, and the environmental operations of destinations. To some extent, the length of seasons of tourism is directly proportional to the economic, environmental, and socio-cultural impact on the tourists—and this should be considered while making plans on the duration of tours.
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