The Impact Of Tourism On Economic And Sociopolitical Development

872 Words Sep 18th, 2016 4 Pages
Tourism has been a widely researched and discussed field of anthropology, with interest gaining in the early 70’s. In this essay I will define tourism as “a temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing a change” (Smith 1989, p. 2). Tourism is of great interest to anthropology as it happens across all societies and cultures. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation recorded that 1 billion tourists crossed international borders in 2012 alone, and estimate that international tourist arrivals will grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. Currently tourism globally generates 10% GDP and 1 in 11 jobs. It accounts for 7% of the worlds exports and 30% of service experts and last year generated 1.5 trillion US dollars in export earnings (UN, 2016). Clearly the sheer scale of tourism and it’s impact on economic and sociopolitical development is of importance to anthropologists. Anthropologists have used tourism as a lens to study a wide range of issues, cultural identity and expression, social economic and political change and globalisation to name a few.

Forms of tourism range from traveling to the coast on a weekend or touring art museums in Europe. However, the tourism I will be discussing in this essay is international tourism focusing on western first world tourists traveling to non western or second world countries. Where the locals are seen as exotic and their are large socio spacial gaps between the tourists and the…

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