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Urban tourism - Essay Example

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Increasing worldwide visitation and foreign travel has given tourism a unique status as, not only an extremely lucrative industry, but one with continued growth potential. It possesses almost limitless growth potential, both as an income and a job generator…
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Urban tourism

Download file to see previous pages... Increasing worldwide visitation and foreign travel has given tourism a unique status as, not only an extremely lucrative industry, but one with continued growth potential. It possesses almost limitless growth potential, both as an income and a job generator. Accordingly, many countries, both developing and developed, are actively engaged in the integration of the tourism industry in their socio-economic development projects and in the promotion and support of their tourism industry. World Tourism Organisation facts and figures are strongly supportive of the viability and the validity of the aforementioned approach. In 2004, the industry grew by 10% and in 2005 by 5%, far more than the 1.5% long-term average for any other industry. Last year there were 800 million worldwide tourists and the industry generated US$680 billion. Added to that, the sector employed (and continues to employ) 10% of the global labour force (WTO, 2006). These figures quite clearly underscore the importance of the tourism industry and the reason why countries are both promoting it and integrating it into their national socio-economic development plans.The tourism sector is an expansive one, in the sense that there are various forms and types of tourism. When explaining the aforementioned, Hall and Page (2000) clarify that the different types of tourism are determined by vista/destination, intent and activities. It is, thus, that urban tourism, rural tourism, safari tourism, and seaside tourism, among others, have emerged (Hall and Page, 2000). Of these variant forms of tourism, urban tourism is particularly important. This is not simply because, as Hall and Page (2000) point out, because it is one of the oldest types of tourism but because it is one of the most economically lucrative, insofar as it involves comparatively significant volumes of tourist expenditure within major cosmopolitan cities. Given the stated, this paper will focus on urban tourism in two major cities, Paris and Dubai, comparatively outlining the strategies by which these cities attract tourists and sustain tourism and the ways in which the cities themselves are marketed and managed as tourist destinations. The characteristics of urban tourists will also be explored.
2 The Economy of Urban Tourism
The economic importance of urban tourism stems from the fact that it improves the quality of life for an urban city's residents, boosts the city's vitality, and improves its economic position (Hall & Page, 2000). Accordingly, many urban governments and policy makers are now relying on tourism for economic regeneration and for strategic local development (Rogerson, 2004). According to Jurowski and Brown (2001), "When attempting to maximize the benefits for a specific community, planners should gather information about individuals who stand to gain economically from the development, those who are currently using the resource to be developed, those who are attached to their community and those with a strong environmental attitude" (p. 9).
As may be inferred from the preceding, tourism has become an important and essential element of urban area economics and can significantly contribute to a city's revitalization or recovery (Haywood & Muller, 1988). According to Sirgy and Su (2000), tourism had grown into the "largest industry surpassing automobiles, steel, electronics and agriculture" (p. 342). As such, the industry has become an important part of global economics and tourism research is being centered on direct, indirect, and total effects of visitor spending, which affects jobs, regional output, and taxes (McHone & Rungeling, 2000). The economic impact of tourism is driving researchers to explore several aspects of this industry, including consumer satisfaction, travel behaviour, hospitality opportunities, leisure measurement, and recreation interests (Kozak & ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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