Benefits of Tourism

Benefits of Tourism

Helping Boost Tourism In Your Area

Travel & Tourism is one of the world's largest industries.

The World Tourism Council estimates that travel and tourism provides employment for more than 258 million people worldwide (that's one in thirteen workers) and generates 9.1% of global GDP.

Despite the global economic downturn, international tourist arrivals are predicted to increase from 903 million in 2007 to 1.6 billion by 2020 (Source: International Tourism Partnership).

There were 67.6 million interstate and intrastate visitors around Australia in the year ended 31 March 2011, with the number of visitor nights being more than 257 million overnight visitors.

In the period 2009-10, domestic tourism consumption represented 75.6% of total tourism consumption, whereas international consumption represented 24.4%. (Source: Tourism Research Australia).

The major contributors to total tourism consumption continue to be; Long distance passenger transportation, Takeaway and restaurant meals, Shopping (including gifts and souvenirs) and Accommodation services. Combined, these products contribute 55.2% of total tourism consumption (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Tourism is one of the most effective ways of redistributing wealth, by moving money into local economies from other parts of the country and overseas. It brings income into a community that would otherwise not be earned.

The economic impact of hospitality is far reaching. The supply chain of our industry has a knock-on effect, creating business activity in nearly all other economic sectors. Hotel guests spend money in the retail, recreation, transportation, and restaurant sectors.

Economic Benefits

Economic benefits resulting from tourism can take a number of forms including: 

1. Multiplier Effect

A tourist dollar is a new dollar injected into the local economy. A percentage of this new dollar is spent in the community by the recipient and this dollar is spent and re-spent creating a multiplier effect. The more new tourist dollars entering a local economy and the longer the percentage is retained locally, the greater the economic benefit.

Increased spending in the community generated from visitors or tourism businesses can directly and indirectly promote the viability of local businesses.

Tourism generates different types of income for a community: business income, wage earnings, share earnings, rates and levies. Direct spending by visitors has a positive impact on business profitability and employment growth. The money that is then circulated and re-spent in the economy is often referred to as indirect spending or the multiplier effect.

2. Economic Diversification

Tourism operators can play a role in highlighting the broad prosperity that tourism can bring to a community and will contribute to a greater understanding and respect for the value of tourism.

Economic diversification is, for many communities, an insurance policy against hard times. By offering an additional means of income, tourism can support a community when a traditional industry is under financial pressure, particularly where that community relies heavily on a single industry.

The expectations and needs of visitors can often lead to the creation of new businesses and commercial activities. This builds a more diverse economic base and reduces reliance on one or two traditional industries, which is often the case in rural communities.

3. Employment Opportunities

Tourism is a labour intensive industry and creates many job opportunities, especially for young people and part-time and full-time workers. In the tourism hospitality and recreation industries alone there are 50 categories of employment and approximately 200 classifications of occupations.

Tourism is a labour intensive industry and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are many opportunities for employment for young people and for people interested in part time or casual work. While some of the employment is skilled, there are also opportunities for people less skilled and who lack formal qualifications.

Employment may be associated directly, such as hotel and tour services; or in supporting industries like food production or retail suppliers.

4. Opportunities for Business

Tourism creates opportunities for the establishment of new products, facilities and services and expansion of existing businesses, which would not otherwise be justified solely on the resident population.

A thriving tourism industry supports growth in other sectors, such as transport, construction, agriculture and retailing. As tourism increases, there are more opportunities for small business to develop.

5. Infrastructure

Increased commercial and residential development.

Infrastructure including roads, parks, and other public spaces can be developed and improved both for visitors and local residents through increased tourism activity in a region.

Tourism development often results in increased revenue to councils through rates and other charges. Tourism can act as a shop window for the lifestyle of the area. It is increasingly common for people who visit and are impressed with the area to return as residents, thereby increasing demand for housing and other services.

Social Benefits

Community identity and pride can be generated through tourism. A positive sense of community identity can be reinforced and tourism can encourage local communities to maintain their traditions and identity.

Social benefits resulting from tourism can take a number of forms including:

1. Increasing Community Facilities

Tourism can stimulate new and expanded community facilities and infrastructure initiatives, such as the improvement of retail, restaurant and entertainment options, transport services, education and sporting facilities. These increase the quality of life for the community, which may not otherwise warrant the improvement, based on the residential population alone.

2. Preservation of the Environment and Heritage

Tourism activity often prompts the conservation of cultural heritage, either as a result of increased awareness and pride, or because it can be justified on economic grounds as a tourist attraction.

Tourism highlights the need for proper management and, through effective policies and planning, can ensure that the environment, heritage and inherent character of an area are preserved.

3. A Broader Social Outlook

Tourism can encourage communities to widen their outlook and to embrace new ideas. It provides opportunities for residents to interact with other people, lifestyles and cultures.

Attracting visitors to an area can heighten local awareness and interest, resulting in a greater sense of pride and ownership. The community takes stock of its assets and distinctive characteristics. This increase in pride can lead to community celebration or the revival of cultural activities.

4. Re-Population

The catalyst for residential development. In many places visitors who initially travelled to particular areas as tourists, have relocated to those areas to become residents and acquire a better quality of life.

In many areas tourism has helped to slow or halt the drift to cities, by not only making the local area and its employment opportunities more attractive to young people, but by attracting ‘sea changers and ‘tree changers’ from major population bases.