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Topic Videos

Evaluating Tourism as a Development Strategy

A-Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 24 Jan 2023

This short revision video provides overview of some of the arguments for and against tourism as a key driver of growth and development.

Globally, travel and tourism's direct contribution to GDP was approximately 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019.

But the industry has been hit severely by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-21.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism’s contribution to global GDP fell 49.1 per cent in 2020 compared with a drop of 3.7 world GDP.

Evaluating Tourism as a Development Strategy

Explain with examples why tourism is important for developing countries

Tourism is important for developing countries for several reasons. One of the main benefits is that it can serve as a major source of foreign exchange. For example, in many Caribbean island nations, tourism is the primary driver of the economy and a major source of foreign currency. In addition to foreign exchange, tourism can also lead to job creation and economic growth. For example, in countries like Kenya and Tanzania, the tourism industry employs a large portion of the population and supports local businesses.

Another benefit of tourism in developing countries is that it can help to preserve and promote cultural heritage. For example, in Mexico, tourism is an important factor in preserving ancient Maya and Aztec ruins, many of which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Similarly, in Peru, tourism is a key factor in preserving and promoting the country's rich cultural heritage, including the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.

Furthermore, tourism can also have a positive impact on the environment in developing countries. For example, in Costa Rica, tourism is an important factor in the country's commitment to sustainable development and conservation efforts. The country has made significant investments in ecotourism, which is a form of tourism that focuses on preserving and promoting the country's natural resources. This helps to protect the environment and biodiversity while also providing a source of income for local communities.

Lastly, tourism can also help to improve infrastructure, such as transport and accommodation in developing countries, which can lead to a better standard of living for the people.

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