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Tourism for Developing Low-Income Countries

Tourism can become a lever that pulls the growth of country’s economy-stimulating revenues by foreign exchange, and forming new positions for employment. Tourism sector makes up around five percent of the global GDP, being a very lucrative area (Aynalem, Birhanu & Tesefay 2016). This paper is dedicated to research on the challenges of tourism in poor countries.

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For numerous developing countries tourism is one of the clue solutions for stable development of the economy, being at the same time a source of earnings through foreign exchange operations. A part of these revenues improves the economic situation of poor families, solving the employment problem, or developing local companies working in the tourist sector (Aynalem, Birhanu & Tesefay 2016). The producers of goods consumed by tourists and service providers are also at a benefit. Thus, the flow of tourists in the country improves the economic situation in local communities, which are engaged in providing services for tourists.

The effectiveness of using tourism for poverty alleviation is a topic of constant discussions of NGOs, politicians, and experts. The research data indicates that the growth of the economy associated with the development of tourism may not be accompanied with poverty reduction. The improvement only happens in areas where the poor are directly involved in the tourist sector.

Another challenge is that the poverty is linked not only with the economic state of the citizens in the country, but also with living standards, availability of education, access to healthcare, social engagement, personal dignity, and other aspects. Most likely, economic growth caused by the boost of the tourist sector will not have enough influence on major factors accompanying poverty. At the same time, there is no conventional method for measuring how the development of tourism can decrease poverty (Aynalem, Birhanu & Tesefay 2016). Thus, the studies in numerous regions do not provide trustworthy information on this issue.

The sectors that accept direct tourism generated contributions include commodities sector (accommodation, entertainment, and transportation), industries (retail, hotel and restaurant, transportation), and sources of spending, such (visitor exports, business travel spending). Indirect tourism contributions cover investment spending, government collective spending, and the effect of purchases. Induced contribution to the tourist sector covers areas of recreation, clothing, housing, food and drinks, and consumption of household goods. All these sectors make a total contribution to GDP of the country and to the employment rate.

Unequal treatment is one of the main challenges of employment in the sphere of tourism and hospitality in low-income countries. By the data of the world’s organizations, women perform around two-thirds of world’s jobs, getting at the same time less income than men, having lesser opportunities to possess land, accommodation, and to obtain an education. Another important issue is underpayment and poor working conditions. Eurofond organization reports that the sector of hospitality is characterized by low wages, overtime work with no compensation, extended working hours, and the absence of the necessary breaks, especially during the hot season.

Among the other, the sector has a poor management style, inefficient training, and inadequate corporate philosophy. Tourism is challenged by the factors of seasonality, part-time employment or prolonged work hours, underpaid family labor, and illegal labor (Medina-Munoz, Medina-Munoz & Gutierrez-Perez 2015). Employment opportunities in some low-income countries are also threatened by unstable political situations (inducing protests and riots), terroristic attacks, and spreading of contagious diseases. These are the reasons that scare tourists, causing losses in the tourist sector.

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Tourism and hospitality sectors form one of the leading sectors of the global economy. Development of these spheres creates the boost of infrastructure and forming jobs, where the poor can be employed. At the same time, it develops such areas like hotel and restaurant sector, entertainment, retail, transport and services, and local businesses related to tourism and providing tourist services. Unfair working conditions, gender discrimination, unstable political, social, and the epidemic situation in poor countries make the main challenges of developing the tourism sector.

The Impact of Innovations on Transport and Tourism Sectors

Software innovation in the twenty-first century is a great resource that promotes the increase in productivity and growth of the tourist sector. These innovations have already changed the way tourists plan their travels, discover the attractions and tourism destinations, and use transport. Thus, the paper is dedicated to the study of the impact of possibilities of such innovations in the tourism and transport sectors and their limitations.

One of the examples of using technologies in the transport sector is driverless cars. Using driverless cars could significantly reduce the amount of human-caused car crashes and optimize insurance costs (Benckendorff, Xiang & Sheldon 2019). Driverless cars are highly cost-effective, and most probably their implementation in our daily lives is just a question of time. Nonetheless, the limitation of their usage is linked primarily with possible system mistakes. Unless this technology reaches perfection, people need to take responsibility for learning the traffic rules in order to prevent possible mistakes, especially in the areas with poor road coverage.

The limitations of conventional transport are linked with its negative effects on the ecology of our planet. Some of the tourist infrastructures will need to be flexible in front of inevitable climate changes. For instance, sea resorts and hotels are vulnerable to the threat of sea level rising and to a rapid change of climate patterns. The same concerns skiing resorts, which are vulnerable to global warming tendencies. Leading tourist companies and hotels are working on developing strategies for addressing climate change. A great number of transport companies and hotels are involved in programs of carbon emissions reduction, informing their clients of potential risks of careless attitude to nature.

Nonetheless, such strategies turn out to be powerless in front of the global processes of climate change. Thus, progressive companies invest in technologies to prevent climate change, at the same time developing infrastructure that will secure their assets in cases of local changes of the climate conditions. If carbon tax is implied on airlines, there is a threat that the price of tickets may increase, discouraging tourists to buy air flight tickets. Thus, airlines are interested in improving their fleet providing, by introducing airplanes that fly on biofuel (Higham, et al. 2016). At the same time, airlines need to review their policies of flying jets to emerging tourist destinations, and reducing the number of flights to locations performing reduced tourist interest.

Finally, technological innovations have already changed the habits of travellers. Today, more than three-quarters of travellers use the Internet for planning their voyages, while only around ten percent of travellers still travel through tourist agencies. Modern technologies afford using mobile phones as tour guides, for finding information on the attractions, restaurants, locations of the desired places, and a lot more. Technology has penetrated the process of planning the journey, packing the luggage, or even overcoming language barriers while traveling to other countries. All these innovations have made the process of traveling environmentally friendly, being at the same time much more time efficient. The only limitation in using such latest innovations is awareness of the travellers and internet coverage.

Thus, technology is one of the core parameters that influence on the boost of the tourist sector. It has greatly improved the lives of travellers, making the process of traveling easier to plan and more cost-efficient. The innovations in the transport sphere may not only decrease the number of car incidents but also make traveling environmentally friendly.

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Reference List

Benckendorff, PJ, Xiang, Z, & Sheldon PJ 2019, Tourism Information Technology, CABI, Oxfordshire.

Higham, J, Cohen, SA, Cavaliere, CT, Reis, AC, & Finkler, W 2016, ‘Climate change, tourist air travel and radical emissions reduction.’ Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 111, pp. 336-347.

Aynalem, S, Birhanu, K, & Tesefay, S 2016, ‘Employment opportunities and challenges in tourism and hospitality sectors.’ Journal of Tourism & Hospitality, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 1-5.

Medina-Munoz, DR, Medina-Munoz, RD, & Gutierrez-Perez, FJ 2015, ‘The impacts of tourism on poverty alleviation: an integrated research framework.’ Journal of Sustainable Tourism, pp. 1-29.

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