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Recent Developments

There have been a few temporary setbacks in tourism, the latest being related to the September 11, 2001 attacks and terrorist threats to tourist destinations such as Bali and European cities. Some of the tourist destinations, including the Costa del Sol, the Baleares and Cancun have lost popularity due to shifting tastes and perceptions among tourists. In this context, the excessive building and environmental destruction often associated with traditional "sun and beach" tourism may contribute to a destination's saturation and subsequent decline. This appears to be the case with Spain's Costa Brava, a byword for this kind of tourism in the 1960s and 1970s. With only 11% of the Costa Brava now unblemished by low-quality development (Greenpeace Spain's figure), the destination now faces a crisis in its tourist industry. Belated attempts to move towards "quality tourism" are difficult given competition from cheaper, unspoilt holiday destinations on the one hand and the legacy of decades of over-exploitation on the other. In many respects, Tenerife provides a paradigm of the negative impact of mass tourism. Organizations like Greenpeace and ATAN are particularly critical of development on the island, arguing that Tenerife's current tourism industry is both economically and environmentally unsustainable. Receptive tourism is now growing at a very rapid rate in many developing countries, where it is often the most important economic activity in local GDP. In recent years, second holidays or vacations have become more popular as people's disposable income increases. Typical combinations are a package to the typical mass tourist resort, with a winter skiing holiday or weekend break to a city or national park. On December 26, 2004 a tsunami, caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake hit Asian countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and also the Maldives. Tens of thousands of lives were lost, and many tourists died. This, together with the vast clean-up operation in place, has stopped or severely hampered tourism to the area.


The World Tourism Organization forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4 percent. By 2020 Europe will remain the most popular destination, but its share will drop from 60 percent in 1995 to 46 percent. Long-haul will grow slightly faster than intraregional travel and by 2020 its share will increase from 18 percent in 1995 to 24 percent. Space tourism is expected to "take off' in the first quarter of the 21st century, although compared with traditional destinations the number of tourists in orbit will remain low until technologies such as space elevator make space travel cheap. Technological improvement is likely to make possible air-ship hotels, based either on solar-powered airplanes or large dirigibles. Underwater hotels, such as Hydropolis, slated to open in Dubai in 2006, will be built. On the surface of the ocean tourists will be welcomed by ever larger cruise ships and perhaps floating cities. Some futurists expect that movable hotel "pods" will be created that could be temporarily erected anywhere on the planet, where building a permanent resort would be unacceptable politically, economically or environmentally.




Date: 2016-01-03; view: 1807

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