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Tourism and Business Growth; Structure and Organization, Social and Environmental Impacts of Tourism

One out of the reasons for tourism is business. This, no doubt, shows the powerful and common features of these twin disciplines- tourism and Business. Since the Second World War, the growth of tourism industry has been at its remarkable rate and has proved to be consistent and significant in its growth, occasioning for further investments by business men and woman.

Tourism and Business Growth; Structure and Organization, Social and Environmental Impacts of TourismOne of the objectives of this article is to expose individuals to the concepts, principles, framework and the techniques of entrepreneurship. This suggests the introduction of business ‘at every doorpost’. The theory of entrepreneurship is meant to be translated into practical section as the learners and readers engage in small-medium scale ‘tourbusinesses’.  This, in other hand, creates job opportunities not only for young school leavers, but also for the graduates from the universities, colleges, and tertiary institutions and at the same time blankets the heart from being a ‘workshop of the devil’.


The word ‘tourism’ has its root from tour’ which means the journey made for pleasure during which many places are being visited. Tourism is in no way a new phenomenon, it is as old as human activities. All through history, people have journeyed for many reasons which included: food, water, safety and trade. The earlier travellers walked and rode on domesticated animals, but as roads were opened and improved, and government getting more stabilized, tourism began to evolve into what many today consider to be necessity. Tourism is important, and in most cases, vital for many countries. Tourism remains the world’s largest industry as relatedly noted by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 2012 Tourism is recognised as an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations (Manila Declaration on World Tourism, 1980; World Tourism Organisation- WTO. 1995). Tourism includes such business activities like accommodation. entertainment and other service related activities for tourists and visitors who are visiting a destination for individual reasons. On the other hand, tourism is the business of providing hotel, banking and communication systems, interesting sites. beaches, local display of cultures, dances, buildings and carnivals for tourists’ relaxation, visit of friends and relations (VFR), education and business adventures.

Tourism does not have a lone meaning. Many are concerned about the meanings and concepts of tourism. Thus, there is no standard meaning of tourism serving as a point of reference for students and researchers. This has resulted in researchers spending more time deliberating on the typologies and classification of tourism instead of the main content of tourism. One of such examples is the disagreement between Pigram (1985) and Murphy (1985) over the content of tourism when the former argued that tourism is a component of recreation. To this, Smith (1988) argues that researchers, national and international tourism associations, business entities, government agencies and other various disciplines give different definitions of tourism according to their individual perception and interest. Today, there is a working definition of tourism as the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal place of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater to their needs (Mathieson and Wall 1982).

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The world Tourism Organisation (WTO) defines tourism as comprising the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not m than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes Tourism is usually associated with international travel, though may also refer to travel to another place with the same country referred to as internal travel. In 1994, the United Nations classified three forms of tourism in its recommendations on tourism statistics. These are: domestic tourism,  which involves residents of the given country travelling only within this country; inbound tourism, it involves non-residents travelling in the given country and outbound tourism, this type of tourism demands residents travelling in another country. Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and a major source of foreign exchange earnings in the country. It helps a country to get economic stability.


The tourism industry hinges on many different components and other interrelated parts. For instance, transport, accommodation, facilities, attractions, activities, marketing and government regulation. Many businesses spread more than one sector and the effect is that one part of the tourism industry has significant implications for other sectors of the tourism industry. The tourism industry include those sectors which enable the tourists to travel to and fro the destination (for example, bus companies, rental car companies, airlines, travel agents, tour operators and those sectors which are part of the tourism products at the destination which include accommodation. facilities and attractions as already mentioned. The components of tourism are the human or labour force, professional associations and industry training organisations, public sector or government agencies, and regional tourism organisations.

International Organisations

Today, World Tourism Organisation as observed by UNWTO in 2012 is the most widely recognised and the leading international organisation in travel and tourism. This international organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations. The organisation serves as a global forum for tourism policy and a practical source of tourism know-how with its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. The World Tourism Organisation plays a central and decisive role in promoting development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. with the aim of contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace prosperity and universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedom. Its membership includes 150 countries and territories and more than 450 affiliate members representing local governments, tourism associations, educational institutes and private sector companies including airlines, hotels and tour operators. Other international organisations which have a specialised interest in tourism include the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which is a specialised agency of the United Nations and is concerned with the development of international civil aviation, and the International Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO) which is an inter-governmental organisation concerned with co-operation in sea transport. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an association of airlines concerned with the development and regulation of the air transportation industry. Members comprise of approximately 80% of the world’s international airlines.

Regional International Organizations

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a mix governmental and non-governmental bodies that work together to promote tourism industry professionalism in the Asia and Pacific area. The European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) this is a regional organisation with a specialised interest in tourism and concerned with co-operation and co-ordination of European airlines, In addition, the European Travel Commission is a strategic alliance that provides for the collaboration between thirty-three European national tourism organisations. The commission’s goal is to attract customers from overseas markets to come to Europe through promotional campaigns and industry trade shows.

The major reason for government involvement in tourismis concerned with the welfare of their citizens and the overall welfare of their country. This relates to areas such as economic stability, protection of natural resources, national security. public health and employment. Tourism activity can occur in all of these areas, so governments should be concerned and ensure that it is regulated and directed so as to ensure maximum benefit for the country and the negative factors minimised. However, the degree of control may differ between each country.

In some capitalist countries, the mix of private-sector and public-sector involvement in tourism can vary considerably between each country. Virtually, it is observed that every country in the world has a national body responsible for tourism. It can be part of a ministry. a constituted part of a government department or an organisation with a separate legal status Generally the role of a NTO will be to ensure appropriate development and promotion of nation as a tourism destination. The functions include: research, information and promotion within the country, overseas promotional activities, international relations, development of tourist areas, and overall tourism policy and promotion in supporting key tourism interests in a time of financial crisis.

Examples of NTO’s worldwide include: (

  • Nigerian Tourism Commission
  • Canadian Tourism Commission
  • Tourism New Zealand
  • Japan National Tourist Organisation

Key elements of Tourism

Direct elements of the Tourism Industry- These are areas of the tourism industry which come into direct contact with tourists. They are:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Activities
  • Attractions
  • Ancillary Services
  • Sales

Indirect elements of the Tourism Industry – These are often called support sectors. These parts of the tourism industry may not come into direct contact with tourists, but cannot function without the rest part of the industry. These include:

  1. Signs
  2. Roads
  3. Airports
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Building Industry
  6. Infrastructure
  7. Water supply
  8. Sewerage and waste disposal
  9. Electricity
  10. Communications
  11. Public Toilets

There are also organisation components which complement the work of the NTO at the regional and local level. Their activities are often a scaled-down version of the NTO’s work at a regional level; they often implement national policy and pursue integrated activities with the NTO providing guidance.

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Every destination requires those features that will attract tourists not only to come and see the activities and attractions, but to experience them. The attractions can range from physical features (natural or man-made) such as beauty of the mountains, hills, rocks, landscape, rich forests, mangroves, rich-bluish rivers and seas, quality of beaches, historical buildings, museums, art galleries, cultural exhibitions theme parks to activities like mountain climbing. hunting, boat cuisine, sightseeing, shopping and entertainments.

The Business of Tourism

Economic Impacts of Tourism

Tourism is very vital to the well being of many countries. The tourists generate business in a country and play a major role in achieving the socio-economic goals of development plans of the nation.

In the creation of job opportunities, tourism is the world’s largest industry that creates jobs across national and regional economies. The success of the tourism industry relies on the supply of a skilled labour force to serve the needs of the tourists. This service industry also employs the services of both the semi-skilled and unskilled labours. For example, in travel and tourism, construction, telecommunication, and retailing companies, a large proportion of men, women, and even children are directly and indirectly employed to serve the needs of customers.

In the investment and development of a region, the success is determined by the level of investment in tourism, which can be private or public. In some regions there might be an unwillingness to invest until there is a flow of tourists, but the tourists will not come to the region until there are facilities such as hotels, restaurants, banks, communication, and good destinations to attract them. Relatedly, there is a flow on effect and other industries that will be attracted to the region to provide services for both tourists and workers. It is the combination of a good tourism site. good infrastructure and other servicing firms that contribute to the economic and social sustainable development in both developed and emerging nations.

In income generation, tourism generates income through tourists’ payments for the consumption of tourism products and services and taxes levied on those goods and services in tourism industry. Taxation also contributes to income in the form of revenue for the government. Interests, rents and profits generate income from loans to companies building hotels or rental paid to the landowner for a tourism attraction and profits from direct sales of tourism products. In the tourism industry, which is labour intensive, the greatest proportion of income is derived from salaries paid to the workers that are directly serving tourists and from those benefiting indirectly from tourists’ spending. Tourism is the main income generator; it constitutes one-third income of the developing nations and it is also a major generator in the Western world. The sum of all incomes is called the national income and its importance to a country’s economy is measured by looking at the proportion income created by tourism.

In balance of Payments, international tourists contribute to a receiving country’s of national balance of payments through money being spent which is credited to their balance of payments. The outflow of a country’s money being spent abroad is an import, while the inflow of foreign tourists’ money spent in the country accounts is an export. The total value of receipts minus the total payments made during the year represents a country’s balance of payments of the tourism account. International tourism is an ‘invisible export which helps to balance imports and thus improve the balance of payments.


A cost-benefit analysis for tourism developments should assess the social and environmental effects. Sustainable tourism development means that tourism is designed to fit with the social and natural environment and not to cause the destination to become less desirable for tourists, ensitors and permanent residents. Tourism can bring about positive or negative social and environmental impacts particularly in rural areas and developing countries.

Positive Effects (Social)

Social, tourism encourages the preservation of traditional customs and cultures, ancient buildings, festivals, local handicrafts and songs that might otherwise have been allowed to wane, and creates provision for cultural exchange and pride. Tourism helps to eradicate poverty and ushers in friendliness through host and guest communities-interchanges. It also raises global awareness of such issues as poverty and fundamental human rights abuses. The improvements on the existing infrastructure and the provision of new leisure amenities resulting from tourism can benefit the visitors and the host communities.

Positive Effects (Environment)

Environmental, natural and ecotourism help to promote conservation of wildlife and natural resources such as animals and rain forests. These are now regarded as tourism destinations where some live animals are kept, preserved and maintained for tourists, visitors and the likes. Environmental, natural, and ecotourism also help to generate funding for maintaining animal preserves and marine parks through entrance charges and guide fees. By creating alternative source of employment, tourism reduces the problems of over-fishing and deforestation in developing nations.

Negative Effects (Social)

Social, the host communities interaction with the outside world (the tourists and visitors) can lead to loss of traditional customs, cultures and values. The behaviours or attitudes of the visitors in a particular community can have detrimental effects on the quality of life of the host community. This agrees with the old adage that says ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Such problems include overcrowding, abuse of drugs and alcohol, prostitutions, stealing and arm robbering, increased in the levels of crime and other related activities. Tourism can also infringe on human rights, as people of the local communities are being displaced from their land to make way for new hotels, barred from beaches and deforestation.

Negative Effects (Environmental)

Environmental, tourism poses a threat to a region’s natural and cultural resources. Tourism destroys the pathway of the forest, colours the trees, causes increased pollution through industrial emissions of heat, gas, smoke, noise, sewage production. Tourism through overuse has destroyed such things as water supply, heritage sites, coral reefs, and beaches.

Tourism can only be sustainable if it is carefully managed so that potential negative effects on the host community and the environment are not permitted to outweigh the financial benefits (


A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. In capitalist economies, most businesses are privately owned, which provide goods and services to customers in exchange for other goods and services (barter) or money. Some businesses are not profit oriented, such ones are known as state or government owned. A business owned by many persons is referred to as a company. A company is a voluntary association formed and organized to carry on a business. Types of companies include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, corporation, and public limited company (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia). Business can refer to a particular organization or more generally, to an entire market sector, for example, “the tourism business”. Compound words such as hotel business represent subsets of the word’s broader meaning, which encompasses all activity by suppliers of goods and services. The goal is for sales to be more than expenditures resulting in a profit.


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