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Tourism – an economic and social phenomenon

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ‎diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number ‎of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎

Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income ‎sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an ‎increasing diversification and competition among destinations.‎

This global spread of tourism in industrialised and developed states has produced ‎economic and employment benefits in many related sectors - from construction to ‎agriculture or telecommunications.‎

The contribution of tourism to economic well-being depends on the quality and the ‎revenues of the tourism offer. UNWTO assists destinations in their sustainable ‎positioning in ever more complex national and international markets. As the UN agency ‎dedicated to tourism, UNWTO points out that particularly developing countries stand to ‎benefit from sustainable tourism and acts to help make this a reality.‎

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