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.
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.