The impact of tourism
Tourism is one of the greatest transformers of a country’s economy, its landscape and its customs. The effect is especially dramatic in countries or regions where tourism expands rapidly, where the economy is not strong or diversified, with low levels of income and which enjoy resources which are particularly attractive to the tourist industry (principally unspoilt natural areas). This is true of many countries, including those of the Mediterranean.
This growth model affects even the tourism industry itself: a report by the Spanish tourist board, Execeltur, demonstrated the devastating effect that urban development has had on tourism, destroying the beauty of the region and leading to unprecedented overpopulation.
Tourism and the economy
In many parts of the world today, and in some Mediterranean countries in particular (Spain, Italy, Greece, etc.), tourism is one of the most important tools for generating economic activity. This is the case not only in sparsely populated regions or those with few other resources; it is also true of cities of all sizes in regions with few natural attractions. Everywhere, tourism is seen as an easy way to earn a living. Why tourism and not another activity?