Competition, Trends and Policy Issues
Edited by Peter Johnson
Chapter 14: Tourism
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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