Tourism is now recognized as being an economic activity of global activity activity. This complex and multi-faceted industry plays an important role in the economies of many developed and less developed countries. Although the impact of tourism industry on economic life is generally positive, the economic costs are not insignificant. Additionally, the economic benefits of tourism may be offset by adverse environmental and social consequences. The measurable objective of this course is to give the macroeconomic picture of tourism’s role within national economies using the fundamental concepts learned in introductory economics courses, with specific reference to the Turkish case. Since socio-cultural and environmental impacts also form an essential part of the evaluation of the long-term advantages and disadvantages of tourism development, these issues will also be covered in some detail.
Tourism is a significant business sector for both Hampton Roads and the State of Virginia. Each year, travelers spend approximately $2 billion in the region. Furthermore, tourism constitutes over 20 percent of state sales taxes and one could reasonably expect this figure to be even higher in Hampton Roads.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to having such a large tourism sector. One disadvantage is that wages in tourism related industries tend to be lower than in other sectors of the economy. Moreover, Hampton Roads’ mature tourism economy is growing slowly. In fact, during the period 1988 – 1996 real travel expenditures actually declined by 5%.
Tourism, however, does have certain advantages. Although it is generally lower paying than other industries, it does serve to provide jobs for lower skilled workers thereby increasing the region’s overall labor participation rate. This phenomenon has a tendency to actually raise per capita incomes as workers who otherwise would be unemployed are pulled into the labor market.
There are things a region can do to boost tourism industry growth. First, a region can foster investment in existing and new events, attractions and amenities. Travelers must have a reason to come to the region. To be competitive the region needs to invest in tourism “product”. Secondly, there are steps that can be taken to secure a stable state source of marketing funds and to increase regional recognition as a tourism center through cooperative marketing efforts.
The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s fastest growing tourist destination. Its share of international tourist arrivals increased from 3% in 1970 to 11.5% in 1991, and is expected to reach 18% in the year 2000. The travel and tourism industry in the area is expected to account for more export earnings than any other industry by the turn of the century. Recognition of these economic facts has led to mounting scholarly and professional interest in tourism in the region, with a proliferation of journals, scholarly associations, and tourism studies programmes.
The growth in tourism has to meet requirements of sustainability: tourism is supposed to raise both the national income and the people’s standard of living, without degrading the natural environment and threatening the integrity of culture. This policy requires considerable investment in education and training for jobs in the tourism sector. Efforts to improve these areas have to focus not only on vocational training, but also on academic education, to provide the Asia-Pacific region with people who are able to conduct policy development and strategic management in tourism at the highest level.
It is against this background that the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) established ATLAS ASIA to offer a forum for scholars involved in tourism research and education in the Asia-Pacific region. The ATLAS ASIA inauguration conference will be organized on July 5-7, 1999, in Bandung, Indonesia. This conference is a collaborative effort by: the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS); the Department of Leisure Studies of Tilburg University (Netherlands); Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, Netherlands); the Dutch Ministry of Education; the Centre for Research on Tourism, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) (Indonesia).
The conference focuses on the relationship between entrepreneurship and education in terms of tourism employment, tourism policy making, and tourism training and teaching, both vocational and academic. The purpose is to map the field of tourism education and to compare different educational practices and experiences in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, to explore the needs for education and training among large-scale and small-scale entrepreneurs, and to discuss opportunities for and threats to tourism employment and industry growth. A comparative perspective on Asian and European countries will be welcomed. Questions will be asked about the sustainability of tourism enterprises, both small and large, and their contribution to tourism development. And questions will be raised about what ‘counts’ as tourism knowledge and the ways in which scholars think about and structure tourism education.
The conference will feature sessions on:
– human resources for tourism development;
– tourism industry perspectives and employment opportunities;
– small-scale entrepreneurship and self-employment;
– tourism education.
Topics to be addressed during conference workshops include: public versus private tourism education; standards of competency and accreditation of tourism programmes; body of knowledge for tourism; advantages and disadvantages of tourism education; grass-roots education, local participation, and community development; education and training needs in the small-scale and medium-size tourism sector (e.g. handicraft production, accommodation sector, souvenir and food vending); the art of mediation: guide training courses; self-employed people in the tourism industry; ‘front-line’ workers in the tourism industry; subcontracting in the tourism industry; the gendered nature of labour relations in the tourism industry; labour mobility in the tourism industry; and the role of the government in tourism education and entrepreneurship.
The conference will be followed by a two-week `Summer University’ on the theme of `Challenges in Tourism Management’, aimed at professionals in Asian Tourism.