Why has tourism grown?

Tourism is the world’s largest industry, worth $500 billion dollars in 2007.
Leisure accounts for 75% of all international travel. There were nearly 900
million tourist travellers in 2007 and this is set to rise to a massive 1.6
billion by 2020. In most countries, domestic tourism (people going on holiday in
their own country) is between four and five times greater than international

The tourism industry is therefore one of the greatest providers
of jobs and income in countries at different stages of development. The reliance
of different parts of the world on tourism varies. For 83% of countries, tourism
is one of the top five sources of foreign exchange. The Caribbean countries get
half their GDP from tourism. The top six destination countries are France,
Spain, the USA, China, Italy and the UK. Germans spend more per person than any
other nation on holiday, followed by Americans, British, French and Japanese.
Factors affecting the growth of tourism 2
Social and Economic factors
Since the 1950s families have become wealthier. Incomes are larger and so is
disposable income (the amount left to spend as you wish after essentials such as
housing, food and bills are paid). Most families have two working parents
whereas in the past there was only one.

People have less children: it is less expensive to take a small family on
holiday than a large one.
Car ownership has grown meaning people can travel more easily to different
tourist locations
People have more leisure time: in the 1950s people only had two weeks
holiday a year compared to between four and six today.
Life expectancy has increased which means people live longer so can visit
more places
There are more retired people due to better healthcare and they also have
good pensions so could possibly afford several holidays a year and they have
more time to travel
Factors affecting the growth of tourism 2
Improvements in technology
travel is quick and easy – motorways, airport expansion and faster jet
aircraft have all contributed to this
flying has become cheaper and booking online is quick and

Expansion of holiday choice
during the 1950s and 1960s coastal resorts were popular and in the UK the
National Parks were opening and offering new opportunities
the 1970s saw a decline in seaside holidays due to competition from cheap
package holidays to mainland Europe, especially Spain
packages are now available to destinations all over the world that offer a
huge variety of sight and activities