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Tourism and its secret power

Dragana Jovančević / 22.08.2016.

Tourism is a socio-economic phenomenon whose influence we can see in the development of different spheres (economic, geographical, psychological, sociological and other). As a phenomenon, whose roots date back to the beginning of human civilization, marked the twentieth century. Its key features are massivity and dynamics (some experts estimate that 3.5 billion people in the world participate in tourist voyages ). Tourism is one of the leading industries in the world, located just behind the oil and automotive industries. In many countries, tourism is a fundamental component of the export services sector and the services sector in the economically most developed countries on average employs about 65% of the total employed population.

Tourism, as an economic sector, consists of many activities based on services, which are an integral part of the various branches and that do not have much in common. The services are all economic activities whose result is not a physical product. They create added value in the form of intangible: reliability, knowledge, comfort, health, entertainment and other.

Tourism is a heterogeneous, rather unstable economic sector regarding its export activities, which is characterized by a high degree of elasticity of demand for tourism services and the inelasticity of supply and by a low level of loyalty to a destination. It is subject to significant seasonal variations.

"Tourism is composed of three essential elements:

  • a dynamic element, which includes the decision to travel to a particular destination, as well as the many factors that influence the decision
  • stay in the area (with all the interactions in the economy, environment, and social system)
  • and subsequent element, which is the result of the previous two, which concerns the effects on the economy, environment and social system with which the tourists are directly or indirectly in contact. "

Mathieson and Wall quote data of WTO and IMF revealing that International Tourism is the first export industry in the world, and together with revenues from traffic accounts for about 8% of global export revenue. Tourism is ranked among the top five exporters by a total of 83% of the country, and is one of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings for almost 2/3 of them.

"International tourism is the most important single item in the total value of world exports of goods and services." For tourism is characteristic invisible exports because there is no tangible product being transported from one to another city (country), consumers consume the product in a place where it is produced, which is also the location of purchase. This export has certain advantages. A country that has an invisible export based on tourism has a greater degree of control when establishing the price of the tourism product, as it is not burdened with tariffs and export quotas. The sale of this product achieved higher earnings because there are no international distribution and transport costs, and natural resources are only indirectly sold. Tourism as such makes significant returns on investment, and government, as well as many other organizations, seek to take advantage of tourism as a way of overcoming economic problems. It is necessary to take account of the ten issues of importance for tourism, which Page stated. Those are:

  • safety and security in tourism,
  • the impact of world economy on tourism,
  • implementation of sustainable tourism,
  • tourism policy and strategic planning,
  • the use of e-commerce tools,
  • education related to tourism and training,
  • a new tourist product,
  • quality of tourist experience (value/money),
  • partnerships and strategic alliances in tourism and
  • the impact of health issues / natural disasters in tourism.

There are many predictions about that how much importance tourism will have, and how it will develop in the future. One of them is the vision that has made the World Tourism Organization in its project "Tourism 2020 Vision". In this project, among other things says, that Europe will continue to be a major region in which visitors will come, and the region from which most tourists will go on trips, although there will be a decline in market share, as well as in the countries of the Mediterranean area which dominate by tourism as a global phenomenon. It also says that China will become the top destination and that Russia will reach the top ten places. In the world will be a total of 1.6 billion international arrivals, and tourists will spend over two trillion US $. The most important market segments to achieve significant growth will be eco-tourism, tourism based on cultural events, thematic travel, cruises and adventure tourism. The aim of this project was to identify major trends in tourism supply and demand and to determine their impact on the various sectors of the tourism industry.

In the international tourism market is constantly occurring changes that need to respond promptly. Knowledge of contemporary trends in that industry becomes inevitable.