What makes a country ‘economically progressive’ in this day and age?

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There are traditional signs that reveal if a country’s economy is flourishing. Some examples can be seen in the results of several domestic economic activities such as in the goods and services that a nation produces annually (GDP), their overall economic output that includes revenues from foreign investments (GNP), their yearly increase in their GDP and GNP, and many more.

While those indicators mentioned above can easily describe the state of a country’s economic prowess, the 21st century presents multi-layered challenges and victories that either contribute or hinder a country’s economic progress as a whole.

In developing countries, for example, there are several factors that can affect economic growth. These factors offer a checklist of goals that they look up to in order to achieve a more developed and progressive economy: improvements in the levels of infrastructure, the rate of labor mobility, and most importantly, the volume of foreign and direct investments.

Additionally, technological advancements should be recognized as a major indicator of economic progress, and this is quite true especially for developing countries. Technology, for one, enables them to be globally competitive and emerge as equally capable players in the world economy.

However, according to experts, it’s important to recognize the huge difference between economic growth and economic development. Economic growth can be measured through the GDP, GNP and other statistics that describe the country’s overall economic performance. However, these numbers do not fully consider other aspects such as a country’s literacy rate, environmental quality, life expectancy, social justice, and freedom – the major indicators that fully describe “economic development”.

Why countries are now spending billions on cultural tourism

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According to the World Tourism Organization, 2016 was a successful year for the international travel industry, marking a 5-percent growth in the number of tourists visiting hundreds of thousands of destinations across the globe.

While travelling has proven to offer long-lasting benefits to many people, tourism, more specifically cultural tourism has also ensured sustainable social, cultural, and most importantly economy development to their host destinations.

In definition, cultural tourism is a subgroup of tourism that focuses on how travelers engage in a country’s way of life in specific geographic areas: their history, the native art, religion, and the overall elements that constitute the entire identity of the local community.

The impacts of cultural tourism on many host countries can have lasting effects in many aspects of their region’s socioeconomic performance. In addition, it helps establish and strengthen the home culture’s image and identity not only to the world but to its young generation who seem to have forgotten the lessons and wealth of their own history and tradition.

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In countries like Japan and India, the growing industry has helped preserve their historical heritage and introduce them to a wider audience, creating harmony and understanding among the different peoples of the world.

How tourists and travelers engage in a particular country’s culture and its people does not only promote development but it also creates a positive impression on the regions’ demographic by opening a whole new perspective for the home population, especially the youth.

Most importantly, the enduring economic and social influence of cultural tourism creates better living environment and funding of new infrastructure that will only benefit the tourists but also the local community.

In fact, these benefits drive many countries to spend billions of dollars to attract international tourists primarily because of how the performance of the industry directly affects other major branches of the economy. Tourism supports businesses, creating incomes, and grows employment demands.