Updated On:

20th July, 2020


Tourism is an activity of the movement of people that deserves the praise of all human beings. It can further be called activity of movement of people (visitors) and activities of the provider (the person or agency which supplies various services and products to the visitors) during the course of the travel. Tourism is a temporary movement of people to destinations outside of the place where they normally live and work and their activities during their stay at these destinations. Further tourism can also be called not only the activities of the provider to a visitor but it is also a process involving people and is about people, i.e. knowing people better. It is not only a short time process but is a long term relationship between consumer and provider. This means that the knowledge, skill, and attitude are important factors in providing standard services and products matching his requirements. Hence tourism can be called as the process of organised travel. Tourism is the theory and practice of travelling. Tourism is a structured break from routine life. It involves a separation from everyday life and offers an entry into another moral and mental state, where expressive and cultural needs become more important.

Hence it may be identified with recreation or renewal of life. It can be considered as a modern ritual in which people “get away from it all”; particularly the usual work world (which include the home as well as the workplace) There is an important point in this connection that tourism involves shorter periods in contrast to longer periods of ordinary life. There are basically three phases in tourism

(a) the beginning (when the tourist separates/moves out of his home).

(b) the middle (the period of his movement when he comes across new places for experiencing change) and

(c) the end (the process of his returning home after the end of the tour).

Definition of Tourism

Tourism is an activity that is very generic in nature and as such has no standard definition. Many people and many organizations have defined tourism in various ways. Some of the common yet important definitions can be found below.

1) Tourism is defined as “the inter-relationships arising from the interaction of a) tourists, b) the suppliers, c) the government of the host destination and d) the residents of the host area destination, in the process of affecting and catering to tourists”.

2) Tourism as a product can be defined as “An amalgam of three main components a) Attractions of the destination b) The facilities of destination and c) The accessibility of it”

3) One of the early definitions given in 1910 by an Austrian economist, ‘HERMAN SCHULLARD’ is “Tourism is the sum total of operators, mainly of an economic nature, which directly relates to entry, stay and movement of foreigners inside and outside of a certain, country, city or region”.

Importance of Tourism

1. Economic Progress

The tourism industry aids and supports foreign exchange reserves. It benefits our country in generating foreign currency. Every year a large number of tourists visit India and other places. They visit places; stay and shop in our country. All this contributes to a significant amount of foreign currency generation. Despite the global recession, Indian tourism grew 6.9 % to approximately $42 billion in the year 2010.

2. Source of Income

Tourism is a continual source of income for public & private income. The government charges various forms of tax that is called government revenue. The income generated through these taxes is the public income. The profit earned by a seller, by selling items like local artifacts, handicraft items, etc, to the tourists is called private income. Tourism also helps in employment generation. It created jobs specifically in the hotel industry, hospitality industry, service sector, entertainment, and transportation industry.

3. Development of Infrastructure

Have you ever noticed how the look and status of a place change when it is declared a tourist place? Actually, tourism aids and encourages infrastructure development by making way for dams, roads, connectivity, airport improvements, and any other activity that helps a tourist in visiting a place in a much better way!

4. Societal Progress

Tourism is a wonderful method for cultural exchange. It also encourages societal progress as tourists learn to show respect, tolerance, and love for each other when they visit new places.

5. Cultural Heritage

Tourism helps explain the beauty, art, history, and culture of our country. Different people visiting any country take beautiful cultural concepts along with them and spread those concepts to others while visiting other places in the world. Similarly, the local skills, languages, and art get wide exposure through tourism. For example, Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur.

6. Educational Significance of Tourism

Tourism has been of great importance for education always. Study tours, short time courses, educational exchange programs, all these are a part and parcel of International Tourism resulting in better knowledge about host countries. Even sports exchange programs can be considered under this.

7. Tourism and Environment

Tourism also has spillover benefits such as preservation of environment which covers up an area of historical sites and cultural values. PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and WTO (World Tourism Organization) have laid down laws for its preservation and conservation. India has given a new lease of life to endangered species of animals by making laws on forbidding the hunting of lions, deers, peacock, and many other birds and animals. India has also set up a separate ministry of environment and forests to monitor the use of land from the environment point of view.