Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

Tourism Industry – An Invisible Export

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Tourism Industry – An Invisible Export

Cultural heritage is significant for all human societies. It is widely believed that ancient monuments reflect the historical records of a society and, therefore, they are really valuable. People will realize the inherent value of mankind via observing the monuments, which are considered heritage belonging to the entire world.
The significance of cultural heritages do not necessarily belong to a particular nation but to the human societies. However, its particular importance for the country where the heritages are located is undeniable since it will benefit the country from different perspectives, including the financial aspect. Tourism is one of the main pillars and economic drivers of many countries. It plays an important role in terms of employment, income and maintenance of urban infrastructure and public services.
Archeologists and tourism analysts believe that the countries whose economy is dependent on tourism are seeking with strong determination to uphold tourist attraction. Additionally, cultural heritage and ancient monuments are financial resources that will create job for people. According to them, one of the prominent characteristics of tourism development is its direct or indirect effect on creating job. Tourism attractions, which need no financial support, are simply in need of an effective management.
Today, tourism industry is a boom in economic activities around the world. The development of tourism, with swift increase compared to other economic activities, has created scores of job and considered a leading industry. In short, tourism is significant in social and financial development to the extent that economists call it “invisible export”. Tourism is an export industry because foreign visitors who travel to a country purchase the “touristic experience” of that country and because it is intangible goods.
Historical heritage or ancient monuments are rich, endless, and indigenous resources which lead to economic independence and the balance of trade in the country. Based on statistics released by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), global tourism increased dramatically from 1950 to 2005 and its financial benefit increased from $ 1.2 billion to over $ 622 billion. In 2007, 10.3 percent of the global domestic product was allocated to tourism.
Tourism industry is very dynamic and its huge revenues generated by this money-making concept have attracted the attention of experts, who think that it is one of most dynamic activities in social-economic evolution. Cities and villages are the most attractive places for tourists. In order to achieve sustainable development in tourism, all social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions should be supported.
The countries that were able to handle tourism industry well, benefited to a great extent. For instance, income from the tourism industry is over $ 2 billion in Dubai, ranked after the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, and gained great success in attracting tourists in recent years.
Hence, within the emerging trends for tourism, it is well accepted that we are going to see a global increase in travel, facilitated by means of transport that are progressively breaking barriers in a more competitive global market and where tourists are making an impact never seen before. At the same time, tourism will remain closely linked to the rapid changes brought about by the exchange of knowledge, innovation and technological advances.
In fact, tourism is a flourishing industry that will benefit the countries owning cultural heritage and monuments. It provides jobs for the locals. Hotels, bars, transport, shops, and restaurants all need staffing. Tourism can provide much-needed employment for people. It raises the profile of the place generally and gives the locality a chance to show itself off and raise its profile in the world.
In addition to bringing prosperity to economy, it also allows an economy to develop a new form of income. This acts as an insurance policy in case of hard times, because the additional income coming in can help support traditional industries in case of being under financial pressure. This is especially important for communities that rely on a single industry, or where there is a concentration of industry that is environmentally damaging such as mining or manufacturing. It’s also important for rural communities, where there is significant risk based on the farming conditions and global commodity prices. Tourism allows a community to diversify their sources of income, and rely less on a single industry.
Tourism allows people to look at their history, and cultural heritage and develop their own community identity. This helps the local residents to maintain their traditions and culture, while also showcasing it for all the visitors. This advantage of tourism is what has saved many local heritage sites from destruction in addition to giving tourists a wonderful insight into the local ways of life. Tourism can help to preserve the history of a region that may be at risk of being lost.
Tourists are all potential customers, and with the right approach can be included in a business strategy that allows for fantastic success.

Ali Payam is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. She can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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