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Industries in Europe

Competition, Trends and Policy Issues

Edited by Peter Johnson

This important book, a successor volume to European Industries, brings together a number of in-depth and authoritative studies of key European industries, providing fascinating insights into their nature and characteristics.
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Chapter 14: Tourism

Barry Thomas


Barry Thomas INTRODUCTION Tourism is probably the world’s largest industry: by the end of the twentieth century it employed more than one hundred million people (over 6 per cent of the global workforce), and accounted for around 6 per cent of the world’s GNP.1 Within this industry Europe is dominant. Table 14.1 shows that EU countries account for 7 of the world’s top 15 destinations (the 7 accounting for 34 per cent of the world’s total), 7 of the top 15 earners (31 per cent), and 8 of the top 15 spenders (38 per cent). This chapter examines the tourism industry in Europe, and for the most part attention will be confined to the EU. After a brief discussion of the nature of tourism, the principal trends in tourism and the differences in the size of the industry across different European countries are examined. The chapter then considers aspects of the structure, conduct and performance of the industry, and finally discusses some issues in tourism policy. The chapter concentrates on certain parts of the industry such as hotels and tour operators. Space does not permit coverage of all the different kinds of business activity involved in tourism and there are therefore some significant omissions, the most notable being transport. What is Tourism? The tourism industry is difficult to define exactly because the standard supply-side approach to the categorisation of an industry, where enterprises and organisations are classified together, and industries differentiated...

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