belongs under the roof of culture, as it opens the doors and hearts to the
culture of other countries; history, traditions, language and cuisine, all add
to values like tolerance and understanding.
say that in 2011 there were 983 million international tourist arrivals
worldwide and in 2012 more than 1 billion. That is a lot.
is divided between all countries around the world. The top ten earners from
tourism are, in the order of ranking: United States, Spain, France, China,
Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Macao and Hong Kong.
most visited country by international tourists is France with 79.5 million in 2011.
Ranking sixth is Turkey with 34 million visitors in 2011.
in relation to this, perhaps the 1
million that come to North Cyprus and the 2,5 million that visited the South in
2011,it may seems that tourist figures have been constantly growing over recent
from the middle ages on until after WW II leisure seeking and adventure minded
people undertaking journeys were called travelers; they consisted mostly of
wealthy people, artists, writers, later photographers & researchers. The
term tourism emerged after economy growth in the 1970s-80s, reaching the middle
classes thus initiating the start of mass
tourism with cheap air fares enabling low earners to spend some weeks in the
sun on beaches.
happens when people in a country recognize the potential in tourism? They often
give up old traditional family businesses and invest in tourists attracting
enterprises such as hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, leisure textiles e.g.
printed T-Shirts, anything to remind visitors of their holiday.
told that locals often give up their jobs in villages inland, perhaps as
teachers, and move to the tourist resorts to become waiters or hotel workers.
Tourism connected enterprises have become an industry, providing economic
growth but often missing the quality of local traditions.
is all fine as long as the flow of tourism is constant and growing. Something
happens then, no matter what, and the welcome noise of wing beating migrating
birds becomes less and less; they have turned their beaks to other shores where
they can settle down for a while and enjoy life undisturbed.
the new tourist industry fails, this has an unbelievable impact on the people
and the economy generally. The entire infrastructure of accommodation breaks
down, employees don’t get paid, buildings become neglected, bank loans cannot
be paid back; property cannot be sold, there are no buyers, the cheap souvenirs
collect dust on the shelves, airlines go bankrupt. Thus a vicious circle has
begun to undermine the economy because one tooth in the gear wheel went
reasons for such disasters are manifold, be it natural or economical disasters
such as the current crisis we have here, be it the short sighted interests of
greedy investors resulting in the destruction of nature and beauty or blown-up
prizes for bad services, perhaps a neglected
environment like rubbish in streets as in the north of Nicosia. Then there’s the deterioration in the local
cuisine with the thought that tourists gorge down anything or pay any price,
e.g. Euro 5 for a simple cup of coffee. These are bad mistakes and the bill for
these mistakes has to be paid eventually.
old saying ‘The Customer is King’ is no longer valid. Countries that exist
entirely on the basis of tourism must do some rethinking. Start with the basic: What do tourists seek for the short holiday they have each year? It
is beauty, sun, clean nature, a taste of good local cuisine, lovely memories to
take home, memories that will bring them back and encourage others to do the
same. It’s not the ashtray, the carved wood or clay souvenir, or the T-Shirt
with Cyprus printed on it. This is the case, especially when they realise that
these Cyprus souvenirs come from China!