Globalization is process by which national and regional economies, societies, and cultures become integrated through the global network of trade, communication, immigration and transportation. Globalization is said to have had two episodes. The first began around the mid-19th century ending at the beginning of the First World War. The second began after the World War II to date. Globalization has shifted focus and greatly superseded the economic side to link the world by improvements in technology, transport, communication, intercultural relations and even tourism. Factors driving globalization
Developments in ICT: Communication costs have declined over time allowing frequent use of contact through the Internet, outsourcing of IT and other services. This has helped to bring the world together since one is now able to communicate to people all around the world within a second. Recently, during the final match between Germany and Argentine 88 million people created 280 million interactions on Facebook, while 618,000 twitter users tweeted 32.1 million times about the match. This shows that globalization has a great effect on communication round the world making it easily, diverse, convenient and efficient.
Development in Transport: This has been evident in transporting both cargo and people. For cargo, there has been an increase in the number of containers and airlines that are transporting cargo around the world as well as the number of metric tons that are transported yearly. The international organization of immigrants estimates there are over two hundred million migrants around the world. This increase is due to the growth of airlines and the increased number of flights. It has interlinked the world making every place accessible.
Increased interaction: this broadly crosses over interaction with people, cultures, businesses and governments. The major cause for this is trade liberalization as well as the major changes in social media which has enhanced efficient communication. All the above has been caused by the growth and improvement of modern technology that has increased the efficiency and quality of all machines including those involved especially in the transport and communication sectors. This in turn has made the world smaller due to easier accessibility making the world a ‘global village’.
Tourism compared to other sectors of the economy is one of the fastest growing, having tourist arrivals growing at an average of 4.3 percent per annum between 1995 and 2008. The industry seeks to showcase culture and spectacular attraction that are unique to either domestic or international travelers for the sake of leisure and knowledge. It has undergone several improvements over the years that have marked significant developments in the industry. These include:
- Introduction of jet aircraft: This increased the speed to move passengers from one destination to another as well as passenger capacity. This decreased on the time used flying hence it became lucrative to travelers. An example of such jet planes is the Boeing 707.
- Introduction of the Euro currency: previously if you needed to travel across say four countries one needed to change currency four times. This proved cumbersome and time consuming. It discouraged many people from travelling internationally beacause of all the hustle. However, on the 1 January 1999, the Euro was introduced in the world’s financial market. This encouraged traveling because one needed not to worry about exchange of currency. This also facilitated the role of tourism in globalization as it made the world integrated into one by use of common currency during travels.
- Growth of budget airlines: In November 1995, the easy jet was founded having two airlines operating between Glasgow and Edinburgh, set to fly three times a day. These air lines have proved to be Europe’s most successful low cost planes. Because of their low pricing strategy, more people use budget airlines due to their cheap cost and efficiency. This has marked inevitably one of the largest growth in the airline industry.
- Level of education: the level of education has generally increased and more learning institutions are offering tourism courses even up to the doctorate stage. This has helped people to be aware of the industry to know its needs and to be able to plug in to be part of this great industry. This shows that indeed tourism is not only an industry you can benefit from but also one that we can be directly involved in to make it even better.
Relationship between Tourism and Globalization
Tourism is said to be a cause and a consequence of globalization.. As a cause it means the movement of people from one destination to another has brought about the rise of world integration, hence globalization. As a consequence it means that due to globalization, tourism came to be. Since Globalization is a tool in which the world is brought together as one tourism has sought to uphold this as it has made it possible for people to travel to different continents in the world easily. This has been made possible by the improvement and efficiency of air planes which as discussed earlier marked globalization.
Tourism has been a key factor in helping to maintain peace, harmony and cohesion in the world. This has been done through showcasing of different cultures and highlighting their uniqueness and not demean other cultures. This has not only brought the global community together to share in these spectacular scenes but also to shaped a worldview that appreciates every culture. Globalization seeks not to divide people along lines of culture, but instead using the very same to bring us together. Certain organizations such as ‘Tourism for peace’ have been founded to promote peace around the world. Both tourism and globalization have in these past years grown due to the improvement and effectiveness of modern technology.
Sectors like transport and communication have greatly boosted tourism and globalization as they have helped to bring people together and making places that were seen to be remote to be accessible. As the tourism industry seeks to take people to visit learn and appreciate new culture, globalization seeks to provide the means to make this happen. This has been made possible through the enhancing of modern technology in the transport and communication industry which are mostly used by the tourism sector for efficient working. This therefore shows that as the tourism industry grows so does globalization, since their focus and goals of success are the same.
Effects of Globalization on Tourism
There has been an increase in competition in the domestic and international tourism industry. This has been the case for Greece whose main competitors are Spain, Portugal and Italy. In an estimated model including an income index, price index of the competitors and exchange rate. Results show that the main determinants of Greece’s tourism demand are both price indexes and exchange rate.
Advertising and marketing: Globalization seeks to make the world aware of all that is happening. In a bid to market tourism and make the world aware of the rising need to embrace our different cultures, in the year 2000, in Nottingham, Great Britain the famous beauty pageant Miss Tourism World was founded. It was aimed at endorsing contestants from each country in the world to be ambassadors of their own countries’ tourism industry. This has not only brought together contestants from all over the world but also makes citizens all over the world to be glued to their screens to cheer their own and to learn more from other countries.
Also, the listing of the Seven Wonders of the World has helped to show the uniqueness of different countries hence promoting tourism in these countries. Not only is globalization involved in marketing on a global platform but also closer home. This has been seen by our countries’ efforts to promote domestic tourism. They do so by giving away braded goodies like t-shirts, towels, bookmarks, pens notebooks and many more. This helps in marketing our local tourist spots.
Additionally, there is an overall improvement of services provided: due to modern technology, services provided are of higher standards ensuring good and constant communication between the service providers and the customers. This has also ensured quality service delivery is given. This has ensured a great increase in number of tourists every year due to the quality of services provided.
There has been growth in the tourism industry: this has been marked by a large number of tourist arriving from abroad. In 2010, 940 million people were recorded as arriving in a country because of tourism. The Middle East and Asia recorded the highest number of tourists arriving being at 500 million. This has helped most countries boost their economic growth hence making tourism one of the world’s fastest growing industries that also gives a country one of the highest incomes. This has been achieved by relatively reducing costs for tourists while increasing foreign exchange rates hence an increase in the expenditure by tourists, which in turn increases the overall income of the said country. Also there is substantial growth in the number of tourist companies that are in existence, their branches and also new firms. This has been brought about by the need for tourism, travel and forms of leisure to relax a busy person with a busy schedule. This has greatly expanded the tourism sector which in turn obviously boosts the economy.
Globalization has led to the emergence of new cultural trends: globalization has an effect on the environment such that the changes observed give rise to new trends, needs and the behavior of tourists usually change and they become easily observable. Globalization has an effect on people and their way of life. Let’s look at the developed countries for example, due to their fast lifestyle and an overwhelming working condition, then there is need for rest hence tourist companies suit their customers by creating products and services that will suit them in this environment. It is therefore evident that new culture can be used to design new products for people. This is mostly with regard to their choice of tourism products that they desire.
Globalization has made impact on the environment: significant changes have occurred, affecting both the climate and the environment. One of the emerging trends from globalization is turning ‘eco-friendly’. This encourages people to preserve the environment hence a reduction in air pollution, deforestation and use of natural resources. This affects the tourism sector such that the tourist sites are still naturally attractive and the site is now ready to open doors for many other tourists.
Negative effects of globalization on tourism
On the other hand, globalization has led to depletion of natural resources: as case study, China joined the world trade organization in the year 2001, by 2002; its coal use had risen up to almost 2. 5 billion metric tons of oil equivalents. This causes a big loss on natural landscape and could poses a great danger if such places were not covered. This competition driven by the desire to achieve has kept tourists away from such danger zones. This reduces on the number of tourists arriving in such countries.
There is the aspect of environmental pollution: when coal burns without cutting down on fuel usage, carbon dioxide emissions increase hence contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer as well as destroying the clean fresh air. This in turn results to tourists becoming uninterested in visiting a country for leisure purposes.
Globalization has led to congestion. This is often brought about by traffic and people especially during vacations and poor interpersonal skills: since the world is becoming global, slowly people communicate less to each other but chat over their phones and other gadgets. This over time has seen to reduce family and friends time which is very important.
Globalization has had a great effect in the world today. It has greatly increased economic growth, especially through technological advancements. Its effects on the tourism sector have been generally positive despite of the few demerits. Governments should strive to promote globalization through tourism as it brings the global community together. However, they should try to minimize the negative effects it may have on the environment.
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