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  • Burning Road: A Burning Man Travel Community
    A community for people who want to talk about their backyard burns, how they intend to get to Burning Man or other burns, and their experiences along the way. No commercial sites, please. Membership is limited to established and active members of one of the forums already on this community.

  • Understanding the Growing Industry of Travel and Tourism


    Ideally, travel and tourism is a win-win arrangement. The consumer escapes his normal routine and is pampered, entertained, or educated. But what is in it for the providers? International tourism is a ready generator of foreign currency. Most countries need foreign currency to pay for goods and services that they must import. Government revenue accrued from tourism is being used to improve infrastructure, provide higher standards of education, and meet other pressing national needs. Virtually all governments are concerned that their citizens have employment. The jobs generated by tourism help meet this need.


    To demonstrate the effect that tourism can have on a country’s economy, consider the example of the Bahamas, a tiny nation of islands stretching across the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico between Florida, in the United States, and the island of Cuba. The Bahamas has no large-scale commercial agriculture and almost no industrial raw materials. But these islands do have warm weather, pristine tropical beaches, a small population of about a quarter of a million friendly people, and proximity to the United States—assets that have been combined to produce a thriving tourist industry. But what does it take to provide tourists a pleasurable and safe vacation?


    When international travel and tourism began, the experience of visiting a foreign country was rare enough to satisfy many travelers—this despite the hardships of travel at the time. Today, however, mass communication allows many to sample far-off destinations on television without leaving the comfort of their home. Resorts are thus now challenged to make an actual visit an outstanding experience while providing the comforts of home or better. Additionally, since many tourists travel frequently, destinations often compete globally.


    Because some of the greatest benefits of modern tourism produce effects that threaten its very continuance, an expression that is being heard with increasing frequency is “sustainable tourism.” It demonstrates that some are coming to the realization that the short-term benefits of some profitable tourism practices threaten to ‘kill the goose that lays the golden egg.’ Some difficult issues will have to be addressed if the industry is to be sustained indefinitely.

    The effect of travel and tourism on the environment, the impact on indigenous cultures, the compatibility of the goals of profit-oriented resorts and megaresorts with the national objectives of the host countries—these are some of the often competing concerns that will have to be balanced in the days ahead. In recent months, concerns about safety and security have taken a serious toll on the travel industry, and these must eventually be addressed. How they will affect the growth of modern tourism in the long run remains to be seen.


    The next time you decide to get away from it all and unwind at a resort far away from where you live, you may not take for granted this global industry—national and international tourism. Certainly, the industry of travel and tourism could naturally give you the chance to see the places which you may have never traveled upon before while actually enjoying the sceneries and the time that you have with the people that are most dear to your hearts.