My profession landed me in the classroom teaching tourism management and marketing, along with a variety of event-related courses. This has allowed me to expand skills that I learned in a marketing career, and provided an opportunity for me to expand my passion for writing about all things food and tourism!
Tourism is one of the world’s largest service industries, encompassing a variety of sectors: transportation, accommodations, foodservice, attractions, events, adventure recreation, and entertainment. When we think of tourism, it is important to consider all sectors, as well as the tourism trade sector and other tourism services. It is all of these combined that make the tourism industry what it is.
Although we have a general understanding of the tourism industry, a true succinct definition often eludes us. Tourism is more than the tourist; it is more than the hotel and restaurant that the tourist visits. Tourism, defined, must include the host community, the government of that host community, and businesses that provide goods and services to the tourist.
The tourist is obviously important because the tourist travels and spends money. Related businesses are obviously important, for without them, the tourist would not be able to travel and spend money! The host community, although often ignored in a true definition, is important because it is the nature of that community and its offerings that can help attract the tourist … or even keep the tourist away. Government is equally important because of the role it plays in tourism policy, development, implementation, and marketing ... and the funding of these activities.
So, how, then, do we define tourism? In my mind, tourism is the combination of how all these components interact and collaborate. They are all involved in attracting the tourist to a destination (the host community) in some way. These components have to "play nice" with each other to develop a truly successful destination.