TOURISM Tourism is travel for recreational or leisure purposes. A tourist is a person who travels and stays outside his/her own environment for a limited period of time for leisure, business or other purposes. Tourism can also be regarded as service industry involving transport systems, accommodation, foods and beverages, tours, souvenirs and some other related services (resorts, banking, insurance…). Tourism has been steadily gaining importance. In 2007 the number of international tourists amounted to 903 million, which was 6,6% more than the year before. It has become a vital branch of economy for many countries because of the large sums of money earned in tourism directly and indirectly.
1. History of tourism 1.1 People have always travelled to other parts of the world to see great buildings and works of art, to learn new languages, to get acquainted with new cultures and to taste different food. The words tourist and tourism were first used in the first half of the 19th century. The League of Nations defined the foreign tourist as someone travelling abroad for at least 24 hours; later on the United Nations changed the time period to the maximum of six months.
1.2 The medieval pilgrimage is thought to have been the beginning of European tourism. The pilgrims saw their travels as a holiday (holy day) and some customs characteristic of today's tourism existed even then (bringing back souvenirs, obtaining credit with foreign banks, using the available forms of transport). Even today religious destinations are quite common, e.g. Lourdes, Rome, Santiago de Compostella, Fatima, Czestochowa; quite similar to those are the pilgrimages to Graceland (Elvis Presley) or Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf).
1.3 In the 17th and 18th century rich English aristocrats sent their sons on the Grand Tour – a tour all over Europe for educational purposes. The souvenirs those tourists brought back to England were very often famous European works of art. 1.4 One of the very early kinds of tourism was health tourism which became noted in the 18th century in England. It was mostly associated with spas, places with mineral waters which could treat different diseases (Bath, Cheltenham). Spas were also popular in continental Europe (Karlovy Vary).
1.5 Leisure tourism - The industrialization of Great Britain brought about a comparatively rich social class of factory owners who often used their leisure time for travel. In 1758 the first official travel company Cox & Kings was formed in Britain. The British tourists travelled to the French Riviera at that time. In Nice the long pathway along the beach is called the English Promenade, in Cannes a lot of hotels have English names (hotels Bristol, Carlton, Majestic and others). 1.6 Winter tourism – The British liked to travel to Switzerland in winter (Zermatt, St. Moritz, Adelboden). Skiing was one of the few available sorts of amusement in winter time. 1.7 Mass tourism – It was made possible by the improvements in transport technology which enabled the transport of many people to their places of destination within a short period of time. An important milestone in the development of mass tourism was the invention of railways. Naturally, tourism also developed in other European countries. But Britain was by far the richest, most industrialized and economically ahead of other countries. So the development of tourism was slower and on a smaller scale in other European countries.
2. Recent developments in tourism Tourism has been developing rapidly. People nowadays have more leisure time and more money than they used to have in the past. Air travel is very fast and relatively cheap. Package tours have been in the market for almost fifty years now and they have also contributed to the development of mass tourism. Tourists are becoming more and more demanding: they want better quality products, good service, but also unspoilt environment which hasn't been destroyed by mass tourism. People go on holidays more than once a year, there is a large number of retired people who can travel any time of the year, so tourism is not so much limited to certain time periods like summer school vacation or important holidays. There are a lot of different forms of tourism, some of them being: 2.1 Medical tourism – travelling to take advantage of price or regulatory differences in various countries; to acquire what is illegal in one's own country (abortion), to obtain better care and medical treatment, to avoid long waiting lists in one's own country. 2.2 Eco-tourism – tourism which does not harm the environment (safaris, exploring rainforests or national parks). 2.3 Educational tourism – visiting other countries to learn about their culture an to exchange learning and teaching experience; to take classes according to personal interest (craft, art classes).
2.4 Creative tourism – travelling to participate actively in the culture of the host countries. 2.5 Adventure tourism – visiting a country to experience it more like a local with the aim of getting an insight into a country. 2.6 Cultural tourism – visiting historical sites and interesting cities and experiencing their cultural characteristics, visiting museums and art galleries, operas and concerts. 2.7 Disaster tourism – travelling to scenes of recent disasters just out of curiosity, not with the purpose to help. 2.8 Drug tourism – to use drugs in another country or even to purchase and bring them home. 2.9 Gambling tourism – travelling to famous gambling centres like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo to gamble (and eventually win money) there. 2.10 Hobby tourism – travelling to participate in hobby activities or interests, to meet people and groups with the same interests. 2.11 Sport tourism – to places noted for certain sports (skiing, golf, diving and others).
3. World tourism organization The first international tourist agency was established in 1925 in The Hague, this was the origin of UNWTO – the United Nations World Tourism Organization has its seat in Madrid, Spain, and it is a UN agency dealing with questions relating to tourism. It collects statistical information on international tourism and represents the public sector tourism bodies from most countries of the world. It promotes the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, and encourages the use of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The member countries and tourist destinations are supposed to get all the benefits of tourism, while the negative social and environmental effects are to be minimized.
EXERCISES I. Questions: 1. What is tourism? 2. What is the definition of a tourist? 3. What are the usual purposes of travelling? 4. What is thought to have been the first form of tourism? 5. What is health tourism usually associated with? 6. Where and why did leisure tourism appear? 7. What enabled the development of mass tourism? 8. Why did tourism first develop in Great Britain? 9. What can you say about the recent developments in tourism? 10. Name some forms of tourism and describe three of them. 11. What does the World Tourism Organisation deal with? II. Which expression fits into the sentence? 1. Tourism has been ___________ importance. a) gaining b) wanting c) losing 2. The words tourist and tourism have been known for ___________ a) almost a hundred years b) almost two hundred years 3. There are still pilgrimages to religious __________ nowadays. a) destinations b) churches c) directions 4. The Grand Tour was made for ____________ purposes. a) leisure b) business c) educational 5. The English Promenade is in ____________. a) Great Britain b) France c) America 6. ____________ contributed to the development of mass tourism. a) Better transport b) Good food c) Travel agencies 7. Travellers are ____________ to please nowadays than they used to be in the past. a) easier b) more difficult 8. Visiting museums and galleries is ____________ tourism. a) creative b) adventure c) cultural III. Match the forms of tourism with the key topics: 1. medical tourism __ learning 2. educational tourism __ historical sites 3. ecological tourism __ forbidden substances 4. creative tourism __ win 5. adventure tourism __ treatment 6. cultural tourism __ active participation 7. disaster tourism __ competition, recreation 8. drug tourism __ interests 9. gambling tourism __ environment 10. hobby tourism __ curiosity 11. sport tourism __ insight