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close this bookThe Courier N° 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
close this folderDossier: Tourism
View the documentTourism
View the documentTourism: planning, promotion and marketing
View the documentAir transport and tourism: industry potentiaI to be denied?
View the documentTourism and employment behind the scenes
View the documentThe tourism sector and Lomé IV
View the documentOvercoming the socio - culturaI and environmental impacts of tourism - the verdict for the Caribbean
View the documentLinks between tourism, agriculture and the environment
View the documentThe health/tourism interaction
View the documentTourism in Africa: an expanding industry
View the documentZimbabwe: a wide range of attractions and a booming tourist trade
View the documentThe Caribbean - Far greater dependence on tourism likely
View the documentEEC - Caribbean cooperation on tourism
View the documentTourism in the South Pacific - A significant development potential
View the documentTourism as a development concept in the South Pacific


Currently second only to oil and! almost certain to become the big - gest sector in international trade bythe year 2000, tourism is increas - I ingly providing a large number of developing countries an avenue of escape from the quagmire of the international commodity markets. Once frowned upon and described by many as neocolonialist and dangerous to the social and moral fabrics of the Third World, the growth of tourism is all the more remarkable for its consistency. In the four decades since international travel became “ accessible to the general public”, says the World Tourism Organisation, “ tourist activity has risen each year at an average rate of 7.1% in terms of arrivals and by 12.5% in terms of receipts (based on current prices and excluding international transport) “.

Tf tourism has weathered the storms of the world economic recession and the political upheavals and conflicts that characterised many parts of the globe in the 1970s and early ‘80s, it is clear that the urge in man to travel either for business or for leisure is very strong indeed. Linked to this are factors overwhelmingly positive to the development of tourism: the rise in Gross National Products and real incomes in the industrialised world, the extension of holiday and leisure time, the fall in unemployment, the spread of higher education, the influence of television and the mass media, etc.

With international receipts from tourism in 1989 estimated at US $ 209.2 billion, excluding transport, WTO forecasts a rise in glabal receipts to $ 527 billion in the year 2000 - i.e. an average annual growth of 9%. This forecast is based on the 1980 - 1989 data. If account is taken of the opening up of Eastern Europe, its transition to the market economy and the expected rise in incomes and standard of living of its populations, then that figure can only be revised upwards.

The developing countries’ faith in tourism is therefore not illplaced, at least not by recent statistics. Their aggregate share of world arrivals over the last decade was 22.1 %, a three - point increase over the 1970 - 80 period. (Last year there was a total of 89.5 million arrivals). Although their share of global receipts declined equally by three points, i.e. from 26.7% in 1980 to 23.2% in 1989, their total receipts on average for the decade rose 6.5% per annum, bringing in $48.6 billion in 1989 alone. This represented more or less the 9.6 % of the total value of their exports recorded in 1988. The importance of the sector becomes even more significant at the country level, from the traditional holiday resorts of the Caribbean, where it helped keep the economies afloat, to The Gambia and Sierra Leone where tourism newly embraced, emerged during the decade as the most important source of foreign exchange. More and more ACP countries are turning to it and, for them, the LomV Convention comes in handy.

Apart from its foreign exchange earning ability (this, though, is often the subject of controversy and criticism as to the proportion that is ultimately retained by the host country), tourism’s impact on the economy need no longer be demonstrated. It provides employment and can boost agriculture, manufacturing, construction, small and medium - sized enterprises, handicraft production, and the services in general. Its virtue lies in its variety: holiday tourism open to countries with natural assets that offer recreational and educational activities (fine weather, beaches, coral rcefs, wildlife, mountains, forests, lakes, historical sites, cultural heritage, sceneries, etc.); business and conference tourism open to well - located countries with appropriate infrastructure and facilities; and domestic tourism open to all countries. A country may opt for either luxary or mass tourism. Indeed it is believed that one sort or another of tourism is feasible in almost all developing countries, and for those with very few, if any, development options a significant level of tourism may become necessary.

Despite its attraction and multifaceted characteristic, tourism is not an easy sector to develop. It thrives, first of all, in an atmosphere of peace and security. It requires good marketing - market research, interpretation, orientation and promotion to be successful. And, although it is essentially a private sector affair, it requires infrastructural support from the public sector (airports, good transport and communications networks and public services such as water and electricity supplies). It requires, above all, careful planning, without which, experts warn, tourism could do more harm than good; it may result in an unsatisfactory proportion of tourist expenditure being retained as has already been pointed out; it may provoke imbalances in the local wage structures and fail to have any deep linkages with the productive sectors of the economy; most importantly, it could have devastating socio - cultural and environmental consequences.

Because of this, our Dossier lays particular emphasis on planning and on the socio - cultural and environmental dimensions, not only because tourism itself survives largely on these aspects, but because it fits in with the current international concern for our planet, the Earth. Our regional studies (of the ACP), though, reveal that what may be socially acceptable in one region may not be in another. Situations vary. However, one thing is universally accepted: tourism is an important development factor whose benefits should be maximised and evils minimised: everything possible should be done to reduce its negative socio - cultural, heulth and environmental effects.

Tourism activity in the 1980s and 1990s: Facts and figures

International tourism

Total international tourist arrivals for 1989 are provisionally estimated at 405.3 million, having grown at an average annual rate of just below 4 % over the previous decade. Though this represents a slowing down in growth rate compared with the performance in the three previous decades, there has been a resumption of strong growth since 1983. After total arrivals stagnated at around the 285 million mark in each year between 1980 and 1983, there occurred an average annual rise of 6.1 % in international arrivals between 1983 and 1989.

Receipts (excluding international transport) from international tourism reached an estimated 209.2 billion in 1989, having grown at an average annual rate in current terms of 8.2% during the 1980s.

Taking the four decades since international travel started to become accessible to the general public, tourist activity has risen each year at an average rate of 7.1 % if measured in terms of international tourist arrivals, and by 12.5 % based on international tourist receipts (at current prices and excluding spending on international transport). Each day in 1989 there were 1.1 million people travelling outside their home country and spending an average of US$ 573 million on accommodation, meals, entertainment and shopping.

Development of international tourist arrivals and receipts worldwide (1950 - 1989)

Regional performance international arrivals and receipts

The fastest growing tourist receiving region during the 1980s was the composite grouping of Eastern Asia, South - eastern Asia and Oceania (commonly termed East Asia and the Pacific) which recorded a 9.2% average annual rise in international tourist arrivals. Other regions to record above - average annual growth were Africa (7.1%), the Americas (up to 4.4.% a year during the period 1980 - 1989) and South Asia (4.2%). The worst performing regions were Europe and Middle East which achieved average annual growth in arrivals under 3% during the 1980s.

The effect of these variations in arrivals growth rates is some change in regional market shares. Europe and the Americas maintain their domestic and international tourism accounting for a combined share of nearly 82% in 1989. However, this share (and particularly that of Europe) is falling - from 96% in 1950 to 93% in 197O, further down to 87% at the beginning of the 1980s and to below 82% at the end of the decade.

The most successful tourist receiving region by far is East Asia/Pacific, which has achieved rapid success throughout the past three decades from I % of international tourist arrivals in 196O, to 3 % in 197O, 7 % in 1980 and 11 % in 1989.

Regional breakdown of international tounst arrivals, 1980 - 1989 (in millions of arrivals)

Breakdown of international tourist arrivals by region 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1989 (in percentage)

Contribution to the economy

International tourist receipts, contribution to the economies of the regions and sub - regions varies widely. Tourism is of most importance in holiday resort regions (e.g. Caribbean and Southern Europe where 24.9 °/O and 18.4 % respectively of export receipts are through tourism). By contrast, tourism is of least significance in terTns of foreign exchange earnings in Eastern Europe where less than the equivalent of 1 % of the value of exports was created through tourism receipts in 1988.

International tourist receipts as a percentage of total export receipts, by region and sub - region, 1988

Developed vs developing countries

Over the last decade, developing countries’ aggregate share of world arrivals rose by three points to 22.1 % in 1989 when 89.5 million international tourist arrivals were recorded. By contrast, though total receipts of developing countries from international tourism rose by an average of 6.5% a year during the 1980s to $48.6 billion in 1989, their share of global international tourism receipts declined by three points (i.e. from 26.7% in 1980 to 23.2% in 1989).

International tourism’s contribution to the economies of developing countries is more significant than to industrial countries. Whereas on a worldwide basis tourism receipts of developed market economy countries in 1988 represented 7% of the total value of exports, for developing countries the share was 9.6%.

Participation of developed and developing countries in international tourism, 1980 - 1989

Outlook for 1990 - 2000

· global receipts (at 1989 values) from international tourism will rise by close to 9% a year, reaching more than $ 527 bn in 2000 (based on the 1980 - 1989 data),

· regions recording higher - than - average growth in terms of arrivals are likely to be Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Africa, all at the expense of Europe, the share for which is forecast as falling from 62 % of international tourist arrivals in 1989 to 53% by the year 2000,

· the regional pattern forecast for receipts shows one variation from that for arrivals - Africa’s share of global tourist receipts will decline (from 3.2% in 1989 to 2.7% in 2000), despite an expected rise in the region’s share of arrivals (from 3.8% in 1989 to 5% in 2000),

· outstandingly the most successful tourist receiving region is likely to be Asia/Oceania. Its share of international tourist arrivals is forecast to rise from 14.7% in 1989 to 21.9% in 2000; while for receipts the region’s rise is even more marked - from 19.5% in 1989 to 30.5% in 2000.

International tourism forecasts and shares, by region, 1989 - 2000