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Tourism is the activity carried out for recreational purpose during leisure time. On the other hand, tourism industry is the industry that used tourism in a way to get profit. It is one of the industry that every country counts on to achieve a certain level of fame and economical advantage. It is also consider as the most exciting and progressive industry nowadays in some country like Malaysia, United States, France and Thailand. It is not exaggerating to describe that the particular country will sustain an implication if they fail to keep up their effort in the tourism industry.
According to Bloomberg.com, Malaysia is the in the top 10th country mostly visited by the international or foreign tourists. The statistic has shown that 25 million of international tourists visited Malaysia in the year 2012. It has an increase of 0.3 million of international tourists. United States is situated in the 2nd place in the list. The number of international tourist’s arrivals in 2011 is 67 million. There is a drastic increase of 4.3 million of tourists visited United States in just one year. Next, France has the crown for this battle, France is top in the list. The tourists’ arrival in year 2012 is 83.0 million whereas there is an increase as high as 1.4 million of number of international tourists compared to year 2011. The last example is Thailand. There is a total number of 22.4 million of international tourists visited Thailand and according to the findings, it has increases 3.2 million of tourists however Thailand is only the 15th top tourists destination.
Based on the result of the research, every country’s effort in making the increase in the total number of international tourist has shown the importance of this sector. This is because the particular country will receive benefits when they become tourists’ destination.
Here comes the question. Why are these country putting so much effort in tourism sector or even known them as tourism industry? The one and only reasonable reason is it brings a lot of benefits. Then, here comes the second question. How does a country benefit when it becomes a tourists’ hotspot?
The first benefit is that particular country is able to gain economical benefits. It is obvious when there are a lot of tourists no matter foreign or local tourists, they will still become consumer and start to purchase goods or use money in ways like accommodation or transport. In this way, that particular country is able to earn a good income especially from the foreign tourists. This is because of the behavior of someone as a tourists. As they come to another total different country, they will find everything is different and more interesting hence they will not care much about their expenditure. Most of the foreign tourists will have perception and reasons to make their expenses reasonable. Eventually they will spend more and more. Same thing goes to the tourists form higher currency rate will spend even more than other tourists as they feel like the currency is lower hence everything here is way more cheap and reasonable. In other words, a country could have a luxurious income from tourism industry.
On the other hand, when a country is always a tourists’ destination, the country will be noted for their tourism industry. When the country is famous, the number of tourist will have a drastic increase. The high rate of visit by tourist will increase the fame of the country. As fame is an extremely crucial factor for a developing country, this problem could be resolved by tourism industry. When the country become renowned, it become a great spot for other international company to increase their market of sales as there are larger source of consumer. Next, some international company will start to invest their money in that country. In the same time, vacancy of jobs will be provided to the citizens of the country. As a matter of fact, the country’s citizen could also be benefited and contribute towards the country by working hard. Hence, the country will gain advantage in getting invested and their citizens being employed and lower the rate of unemployed. The last benefit of the country will obtain is it will be well prepared to counter the internationally or global status which means the country will start to push their products or technology towards international level.
If that country’s product or technology are accepted globally then the county is one step closer to become a successful country. After the acceptance, many other countries will come and have cooperation in projects that bring a great amount of profit. Hence, the country must be noted for its product and technology. First, the country will introduce these products or technology to their own citizens and later towards foreign tourists. The acceptance of foreign tourists are vital as it is able to guess whether their country will accept it or not. If the products or technology is highly accepted, it means the country is able to pursue their final goal. In order to achieve the benefits above, the country must first promote itself as a tourist destination. There are several ways to promote internationally and domestically. When it comes to promoting internationally, there are actually several factors that tourists will considerate before going to that particular country. First, the safety of the country. A country should always keep their politics stable and prevent unwanted riot or demonstration. Country that always show a sign of harmony will absolutely attract more tourists.
This is because tourists will not have anxiety about their personal safety and property safety. On the other hand, the country should have lower their crime rate that will spoil the country’s image towards foreign tourists. Crime like theft, rob and rape will definitely spoil the image of the country. Hence, to solve this issue, a country should have conduct necessary action in order to remain the good image of the country. Next, the country should have increase their efficiency of their public transport like the train, taxi and bus service. This is a crucial point towards those foreign tourists who do not know the route of the country well. The factor that need to be concerned more is the time factor. The punctuality and the service rendered must be good enough to impress the foreign tourists’ heart. Obviously, a country which has a punctual and serve good services of public transport will be given more consideration than those which do not have. Besides that, a country should imply law that local should not fraud the foreign tourists.
This will usually occur in the fare of a cab or a taxi. The taxi chauffeur will raise the price of the fare to earn money. Some irresponsible restaurant or other shop will take the chance to increase their price if they are in foreign tourists’ area. Although it is not against the law to raise the price a bit higher but when the price is too out of range, the tourists will discovered it and recognized as scam. At this point, they will lost confidence against the local business shop and even to the government and last but not least the country too. They will eventually spread the news when they are back to their country. The third way is to make sure the cleanliness and the beauty of the country. A country which is neat, tidy and well decorated will definitely attract more tourists. This is quite important as the first impression of foreign tourists towards one particular country is basically about the country’s surrounding. On the other hand, the nature of the country citizen also contribute a lot in promoting the country as a tourists’ destination.
Why is it so important? This is because when the local does not welcome or even neglect their presence will eventually reduce the efficiency in promoting the country. Fortunately, this kind of incidents happen once in a blue moon. After the particular country resolves all its internal problems, it is necessary for them to have an effective way of promoting it. As a matter of fact, a country could cooperative with other nearby country in promoting their tourism industry like spreading the news through their mass media and pamphlet. Hence, two country are mutually benefited. If this method do work, for sure it will increase the number of foreign tourists’ visit. Every country will have some places that are historical or the origin place of a legend. For example, ‘A’ Famosa Fort in Malaysia is a historical place as many past warfare happened there and that is the only fort left. On the other hand, The Great Wall of China. It is a wall that its length is 21,196km long. These kind of places are actually potential places to be developed and convert to hot tourists’ destination.
This is because tourists will like to prefer places that are historical and ancient. For some country, they may have some unique factor. For example, Malaysia. Malaysia has different ethnic of citizens and each of this citizens have their own tradition and culture. This has make Malaysia a distinct place from other country. At there, tourists could feel that they are at different small country at a time. This is because all different ethnics still conduct their belief, tradition and culture hence different activities or rituals will be conducted and at last act as an attraction towards foreign tourists. Besides historical and unique of a country, some country like Thailand has develop their country into places for business trade. There are many malls and roadside shop that offer a lower price than outside or other countries. This is also a technique to promote a country internationally. The other points of attraction of this country is the biggest market place is floating on water. It is formed by many ships or ‘sampan’. This will attract foreign tourist as they did not hear of them before.
A country which is renowned of food and snacks could promote it as their specialty of the country. For instance, Taiwan, China. Taiwan is a place which is renowned for its snacks at the roadside and stalls. Many tourists go there just to ease their big appetite. Thailand is also another country will make snacks as the attraction point. Thailand provides snacks that are bizarre like insects. On the other hand, there are also country that sell surroundings and atmosphere. For example, France. There are many places in France like Paris. Paris is the capitol city of France and is most populous city of France. Paris is also known as ‘The City of Love”. This is because the atmosphere and surrounding there are romantic naturally and many couples will choose there as a place to conduct their wedding ceremony. The Eiffel Tower is also a monument that attract a lot of foreign tourists. In other words, every country will have their very own and unique factors. These factors are crucial in promoting as a tourists’ destination as these are the places that are why foreign tourists should come here but no other countries. These facts with an effective advertisement will for sure attract more foreign tourist visit to the country.
However, to enhance the tourism industry, domestic tourism is also very vital. Domestic tourism is to encourage local citizens to visit places in their own country. It is not hard to believe that nowadays some teenagers or children have not visit their local interesting places but try abroad travel before. Hence, a country should have promote to their own citizens too. There are also several ways to enhance it. First, a country should have organized some tour package for local citizens. For example, a one day trip to 3 – 4 places of local famous destination place. This is more practical towards schools’ travel. Secondly, domestic tourists should be given privilege in accommodation and other facilities. This is not meant to cause to unfair but to encourage more domestic tourism. Besides that, the services rendered must be fair and square between foreign tourists and domestic tourists.
If the given services are not even, for sure one part of tourists will have a bad image for this habits and choose other country which is fairer towards them. However, before a country does any changes to suit the foreign tourists, a country should first does a survey and gather local citizens’ thought. This is crucial because the changes that suit the foreign in order to attract more foreign tourists may accidentally cause unwanted inconvenience towards local citizens or domestic tourists. If these unwanted problems are not solved and they will cause domestic tourists to stop doing so. On the other hand, the government of that particular country should correct locals’ wrong perception about domestic tourism. One of the example of wrong perception of local towards domestic tourism is ‘If I already allocate the money for a tour, why should I choose domestic tourism? There are many better places than here’. This kind of perception should be corrected in order to encourage domestic tourism.
Everyone knows that everything has pros and cons. Therefore, there also some cons if a particular country becomes a tourists’ hotspot. The first ill-effect is the rate of pollution increases. This is due to some of those irresponsible tourists. A lot of times, tourists tend to litter and care less about the cleanliness because country they visit is not their own country. The biggest impact on the local is the garbage or litter left by the tourist. It eventually irritates the local a lot and cause uncomfortable physically and mentally. However, the government and locals always find it out too late which means the pollution already occur. Hence, government of a country should have an effective plan to counter this issue or prevent it. As the saying, Prevention is better than cure.
The second negative effect towards the society and country is the happen of conflicts. Sometimes, the culture of the tourists and the local are distinct, hence there is a chance to cause some argument. This kind of situation often happens to foreign tourists. As their language are different from the locals’ language, there is a gap between communication of local and tourists. When miscommunicate is too severe, it will definitely cause a conflict or even riot and hence harm the safety of the country. This is the part every country hope least to happen.
Although tourism industry provides a wide range of jobs, however it is seasonal. This is because there is no way a country is also visited by a lot of tourists. Hence, those seasonal workers will face problem like insecurity of the work, they will not know is there a job for them in the coming season. If they do not have a fix occupation, they will face problem like difficulties in getting real training and employment related medical benefits. The worst part is they could not feed their family members.
Last but not least, when there is an increase in the demand for basic goods from tourists will obviously cause a hike in the price and burden the local residents whose income does not increase proportionally. The rise of the tourism development will also cause an increase in the building cost and land values. The local residents will have to suffer more to cope with the drastic hike of the prices as their income remain the same.
In other words, tourism industry really brings along many benefits and ill- effects. Therefore, a country should have consider the pros and cons and the incident that may happen in order to come up with a plan that could solve or prevent the happening of these issue. Although tourism industry could lead a great fortune, a country still has to focus in other leading sector like agriculture and industry to reach an equilibrium in all sector.
1. Bloomberg (2013). [Online]
http://topics.bloomberg.com/tourism-industry ( Accessed : 5 April 2014)