Tourism and Globalization 2023



According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing industries and contributes more than 10% of the global GDP (UNWTO 2017; Mikayilov et al. 2019). From 25 million in 1950 to 166 million in 1970 and finally to 1.442 billion in 2018, there was a significant rise in the number of foreign visitors. By 2030, estimates show that this number will have increased to 1.8 billion.

September 27 has been declared as World Tourism Day every year since 1980. This day honors the adoption of the Organization’s Statutes in 1970, which set the stage for the UNWTO’s founding five years later. UNWTO 2023 highlights the significance of more targeted and larger investments that boost prosperity overall by benefiting people and the environment.

Globalization and tourism are related phenomena that have changed dramatically in the last several years. The term “globalization” describes the growing interdependence and connectivity of nations and cultures as a result of advancements in trade, technology, communication, and transportation.

People travel for pleasure, recreation, business, and other reasons when they engage in tourism, on the other hand. Although tourism has grown as a result of globalization, tourism has also helped to promote globalization by bridging cultures, economies, and people all over the world. Nonetheless, it’s important to appropriately manage tourism’s effects, taking into account both the positive economic effects and any possible drawbacks for the local populations, habitats, and cultures.

Impact of Tourism on Globalization

  • Cultural Exchange and Integration: The worldwide integration of cultures is fostered by tourism, which promotes the exchange of cultures, customs, and ideas. Cross-cultural understanding is fostered by the cultural customs, languages, and cuisines that individuals from different countries share when they travel and interact.
  • Globalization of Supply Chains and Trade: The tourist sector contributes to the globalization of supply chains and trade by relying on a worldwide network of suppliers and service providers. Airlines fly all over the world, hotels acquire products from across the world, and tour operators work together globally.
  • Economic Benefits: An important worldwide business, tourism promotes the construction of hotels and airports as well as economic expansion and employment creation. Globalization is facilitated by this economic interconnectedness, which encourages investment and commerce.
  • Environmental and Social Impacts: Tourism affects the environment and society in both positive and harmful ways. Global awareness of environmental and cultural preservation, as well as sustainable tourism, may be fostered by it. But it may also result in overtourism, damage to the environment, and commercialization of culture, calling for global cooperation and remedies.
  • Cultural Homogenisation: While some contend that tourism homogenizes cultures by spreading Western ideas through media such as music, fashion, movies, and cuisine, this is not the only way that these values are propagated.

Eco-Friendly Tourism in a Globalised World

It is an important idea and method that attempts to encourage eco-friendly and responsible travel while taking into account how intertwined the economy and cultures of the globe are. It aims to maximize advantages for all parties involved while minimizing the detrimental effects of tourism on the environment, local communities, and culture. Here are some essential components of eco-friendly travel in today’s globalized world:

  • Environmental conservation, such as safeguarding natural resources and lowering carbon footprint.
  • Respecting cultural diversity, preserving it, and bolstering local economies.
  • Participation and Empowerment of the Community via Community-Based Tourism Heritage Site Preservation and Conservation.
  • Utilizing Innovation and Technology for Smart Destination Management.
  • Educating travelers on the significance of eco-friendly travel.
  • Enforcing laws pertaining to cultural and environmental preservation and encouraging sustainable practices through policies and incentives.

Tourism as Soft Power: Attraction, Culture, and Impact

Through the use of culture, aesthetics, and history, tourism may attract foreign visitors and have a substantial impact. Soft power encourages social inclusion, well-being, and cultural legacy by fostering global involvement and a sense of belonging. For example, India uses yoga as a diplomatic instrument to improve its projection of soft power and raise its profile internationally. The government acknowledges the economic significance of the cultural sector and revives the preservation of cultural heritage while promoting Indian cultural diplomacy. This strategy strengthens the country’s standing internationally and demonstrates how tourism may be used to exercise soft power.

Tourism Policies and International Relations

International relations and tourism strategies are intimately related. Diplomatic ties between states and the tourist industry may be greatly impacted by the regulations, marketing plans, and crisis management tactics that each country implements. When properly handled, tourism has the potential to advance economic cooperation, understanding between people, and harmonious ties between nations. Politics made by the government have a direct impact on the growth of tourism.

The development of tourism diplomacy and its implementation may lead to a rise in the number of visitors, job openings, and economic prosperity as a consequence of higher national revenue, and eventually the creation of a safe and tranquil society. On the other hand, governments now view tourism as a powerful tool for influencing international relations and use diplomacy as a powerful strategy to expand the tourist industry due to the convergence of linear and transversal forces. Promoting ties with other countries while safeguarding the nation’s interests in those interactions is the fundamental objective of diplomacy.

Tourism and Environmental Impacts

The tourist industry has significant negative effects on the ecology. They include the depletion of regional natural resources, waste management, and pollution. In places where natural resources are already scarce, overconsumption as a result of tourism is a prevalent issue. The use of local land is greatly impacted by tourism, which has negative effects on the environment and animals. These include increased pollution, soil erosion, loss of natural ecosystems, and stress on already endangered species.

These consequences might eventually undermine the very environmental assets that the tourist industry depends on. Overuse of water is a prevalent issue in travel. For instance, 60,000 people living in rural areas in a tropical country consume the same amount of water as a normal golf course. It also uses 1500 kg of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides per year. Tourism contributes more than 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 90% of which are driven by transportation. From 2016 to 2030, there would likely be a 25% rise in CO2 emissions from tourism, from 1,597 million to 1,998 million tons.

Digitalisation and Tourism Marketing

Social media has altered the process of building a reliable brand. For the tourism industry, the era of hoardings and brochures is over. Securing social media shares, positive user reviews, and satisfied customers is crucial for the success of any business on these platforms. One way that social media affects tourism is through the pre-trip research that travelers do. Talking about one’s trips is now encouraged. Companies that specialize in digital marketing are shown to be quite helpful by providing up-to-date campaigns that highlight the newest offerings. Social media marketing has several benefits for the travel and tourist sector, one of which is improved brand awareness. Social media platforms enable businesses to engage with a wide audience and build brand awareness through targeted advertising and organic exposure.

In the context of globalization, online tourist advertising has several benefits, such as cost-effectiveness and increased reach. But it also poses difficulties in terms of competitiveness, accessibility, and cultural sensitivity. In a globalized world, tourism firms need to carefully weigh these benefits and drawbacks before developing successful Internet marketing plans.

Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare

The intriguing concept of medical tourism has emerged recently and is altering public perceptions of healthcare. Nowadays, for operations, treatments, and medical procedures, people go by plane to different countries. The global healthcare industry is significantly and in many ways impacted by medical tourism. Globally, it has the potential to completely change how healthcare is provided, received, and experienced. The Indian medical tourism industry is projected to be valued at US$ 7,417 million in 2022 and US$ 42,237.47 million in 2032.

According to the prediction, demand would rise at a reasonable CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19% between 2022 and 2032. This practice serves as an example of how attitudes around healthcare have evolved from one of a localized issue to one of a global opportunity. There are several advantages to medical travel, but there are also disadvantages. It is imperative that the challenges and ethical dilemmas raised by this movement be addressed. Finding a way to capitalize on medical tourism’s positive impacts while promoting equitable access to healthcare for everyone will be crucial to a sustainable and balanced healthcare future.

Also read: Future Employment in an Automation Age

Tourism Security and Global Concerns

A crucial component of the travel business, tourism security has gained even more importance in recent years as a result of widespread worries about safety and security. In this sense, travelers and the tourist sector as a whole confront a number of difficulties and worldwide issues. The spread of infectious illnesses, social unrest, political unrest, criminality, and environmental dangers are some of the most common threats to safe and secure travel. Their reputation has been harmed by any security-related occurrences, which might lead to a decline in visitors.

Travelers’ enjoyment of their travels and the health of the tourism sector depend on maintaining traveler safety. In the tourist sector, safety and security concerns are critical, and any attractions that disregard these obligations run the danger of losing out on fierce competition for visitors. A method for making sure that safety and security are sufficiently provided is to conduct routine assessments and get stakeholder opinions. To solve these issues and promote safe and sustainable tourism, stakeholders must cooperate, plan ahead, and be well-prepared.


Without question, one of the main drivers of globalization is tourism. It fosters intercultural communication, stimulates economic expansion, advances technical innovation, and shapes attitudes throughout the world. Nevertheless, it poses some difficulties concerning sustainability, cultural conservation, and the fair allocation of advantages. In order to maximize tourism’s benefits and reduce its detrimental effects on the environment and global society, it is imperative to manage these impacts.


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