When was the last time you took a vacation and travelled to a far away destination? Just a century ago, such travel was simply not within the reach of many. Most people spent their entire life just a few hundred miles from their birthplace. Tourism travel was only for the rich and the few adventurous individuals who dared to venture to different parts of the globe. However, after the industrial revolution and the spread of globalisation as well as the forward leap in technology that has been experienced in both past and present centuries, there has been a rapidly expanding global tourism industry and it is estimated that by the year 2020, 1.6 billion people will be travelling globally. Tourism travel has been accelerated by the increase in businesses, resorts and tourism services in all parts of the globe.
Tourism is seen as the main foreign currency earner that allows most countries to pay for goods and services that have been imported. Ideally, this is a win-win situation. The country benefits while the consumer escapes the normal routine and gets to be entertained and pampered. Tourism travel to many countries has seen accrued revenue that has been used to improve infrastructure, improve education standards and meet other pressing needs. In addition, the jobs generated from the international tourism industry help meet most countries’ need for employment for its citizens.
With so many tourists travelling frequently, it has been necessary for tourist destinations to offer outstanding experiences to its visitors while offering the comforts of homes or even better. This competition is often global with the best resorts getting the largest number of tourists. Tourism travel has also demanded that most resorts offer services that are meant to ‘blow you away.’ The challenge is to offer exotic dining and recreation and a feeling of security. Destinations are also not the only ones that face the challenge of offering memorable experiences. Tourism travel must also in itself be exhilarating experiences. Airlines, cab services and tour bus services are expected to offer the same experiences and offer the same professionalism offered by the resorts. Indeed as one director of a hotel resort said, the harder the teams work to achieving these standards the higher the level of performance will be and the overall tourist experience will be uncompromisingly high as well. Tourism travel is definitely a global industry and will likely continue to grow.