Tourism is one of the most powerful – and most often overlooked – tools for promoting economic and social development, in rich and poor countries alike.
Tourism is one of the planet's largest industries, and one of the largest exports and drivers of economic growth globally. It is one of the top five exports in over 150 countries, and ranks first in 60 countries. Tourism supports 10% of all economic activity on the planet and 8% of all global employment. It is one the largest exports and sources of foreign exchange earnings in the United States and most of Western Europe, and is also the leading export in over half of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This is true of no other industry.
In short, tourism is a big business. Thoughtfully developed, it is also, by almost any measure, an environmentally friendly indsutry. More importantly, it helps to preserve natural resources that might otherwise be depleted, and can help restore resources that have been degraded, by giving them economic value as recreational assets and visitor attractions.
Tourism is unique in so many other ways. In most countries you’ll find the most interesting and unique attractions (such as indigenous culture, wildlife, and nature reserves) are nearly always located in rural areas, where poverty is often the greatest, and the most difficult to address. This presents incredible opportunities for tourism to contribute to both the economic development and conservation of a destination.
and making a destination
more competitive helps to: