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Global Perspective

Interview: Global Perspective
Good afternoon everyone, and good afternoon Prof. Jenkins! Welcome to this session on tourism development. I understand that Prof. Jenkins you have had extensive experiences in tourism development in terms of government consulting, and teaching, and research in this area. I guess we couldn’t find a better person than you to share with us what has happened in this industry, and what is going on today, and what is going to happen next. I guess we would like you to share with us your views on this major tourism development globally. Well, thank you very much. You give me a very large task, because you can trace tourism, as we understand it back many centuries.
Originally, Europe was the grand tour which was traveled by the aristocracy and they are very wealthy. These are the people who often travel for months at a time. However, to put into perspective, I would like to take 1950 as being the puncher year for what I would call modern tourism. Let me tell you why. 1945 was the end of the Second World War. By 1950 when many of the countries particularly in Europe was just slowly beginning to recover, and many people then who were devastated by the consequences of war, and the austerity of war-time living for the first time had some free income and free leisure time.
When you have free income and free leisure time, then people tend to want to travel. So what began to happen. A lot of the former military aircraft were used and converted for passenger use, and what developed from that time was the so-called inclusive or package tour, where you paid a single price for transport, for accommodation, for meals and guide services. Now to me, that was an era which I would call the democratization of travel. Why? Because for the very first time, ordinary people were able to travel and travel internationally. Previously as I said, it had been an elite activity. So what we find from 1950 then was the development of tourism both domestically within the country and internationally.
And if you look at that was the World Tourism Organization before it became the United Nations World Tourism Organization. From 1950 onwards, they published international statistics on tourism, so we can shed trace the development of tourism in basically two measurements. One was the number of international tourist arrivals and secondly was the amount of expenditure by international tourists. Now there is great deal of debate about the relevance and significance of these figures. But there’s no doubt at all, if you look over the last 65 years that international tourism in terms of crossing borders for leisure purposes, tourism has been a growth industry increasing at about four percent per annum over that period of time.
Now as it began to evolve then we saw other things. So if you say why do we study tourism, why are we looking at tourism, I think from about 1950 probably towards the 70s, then it was the either of the Economist’s most of the people writing on tourism or economies. Why?. Because governments invested in tourism, because they saw the economic advantages of foreign exchange earnings very important contribution of the government revenues, but also job creation. All these things then in a war devastated world economy were very important, as the importance of tourism and significance of tourism began to develop.
then I would say from about the mid-70s onwards, we then find many more social scientists particularly in the area of geography and sociology began to examine the phenomena of tourism, began to examine its impacts. Why? Because it’s a people’s industry and they said this big huge international movement of tourism is impacting on societies and cultures, and obviously societies and cultures in the tourist receiving countries were also affecting the visitors. And then from I would say early 80s onwards today, the other main future of tourism development has been regional concern, now global concern with the environmental impacts of tourism. so if you look at those three phases then, we see the tourism has developed, it continued to develop.
But it’s attracted much more of a widespread particularly social science viewpoint because of its phenomena in economic social and environmental terms. I think there’s one thing else, if you went back to the 1950s, then basically tourism was funded by countries individually, by bilateral agreements, and effectively there wasn’t a huge international institutional support for tourism. So for example, if you go back and look at the world bank statistics, we are now one of the biggest supporters of tourism. In the first say twenty thirty years of the war, our post-war period it did not invest in tourism per se. It invested in infrastructure. The biggest investors were arising from the European Economic Union, then become the European Union.
So it was the European Union particularly and in developing countries through the Lome Agreements which saw tourism has been beneficial for development in those pretty countries. And then of course, you have United Nations Development Programme and then increasingly particularly since the upgrading of the World Tourism Organization to the United Nations World Organization. You have at least three international bodies who are supporting tourism development. So very briefly what we find then, is tourism now has moved away in some senses from what economists always felt. It was a non compulsory purchase which was highly dependent on effectively income levels. Now there’s very strong evidence to say and to show that more people protect the holidays as part of a lifestyle.
So I think there’s been an economic and social change, and certainly an environmental concern about tourism, and how its role is in the development process. So this stage then and there are many examples I can give you all of this. But if I looked at those three things, I would say that we are now prepared to accept that tourism not in every country but tourism as a global activity is certainly sustainable, and because of its sustainability, because of its impact which are not just economic but social and cultural environmental. Then it’s always going to attract the interests of observers, academics, and consultants, and of course government.
So it’s a big period of time, but many of the changes then are fundamental to where we are today.

In this interview, Professor Hanqin Qiu and Profesor Jenkins will give us an overview of the tourism industry from global perspectives.

Professor Jenkins shared his understanding of tourism from a global perspective.

What is your view about the nature of global tourism perspectives?

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