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IGCSE Geography - Revision guide: Tourism

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Employment structures, Agriculture, The Farm as a system, Wet rice farming

Industry, high tech industry, case study of Biopolis

Leisure & tourism, impact of tourism (case study Kenya),benefits / problems of tourism

Tourism impacts

Tourism can have both a positive and a negative impact on a region.
Advantages of tourism include the following:
  • the creation of employment
  • generation of revenue
  • development of facilities and transport links
  • the mixing of people from different cultures
Disadvantages of the industry include:
  • seasonal employment
  • an increase in the cost of living for local people
  • damage to the environment
  • the creation of a 'stage' or false culture
  • the breakdown of traditional cultural values


Investigating impact of tourism on Kenya

Prolific wildlife and white-sand beaches bring about 780,000 foreign visitors to Kenya annually. Tourism generates an estimated US$500 million per year in hard currency earnings, making this sector the country's single largest source of foreign exchange.But such an influx cannot help but affect society and the environment. That's why four researchers from Moi University — with financial support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) — recently conducted a multi-disciplinary study on the costs and benefits of tourism to Kenya, examining its impact on the economy, biodiversity, pollution, and culture.

Tourism as an industry

Tourism is the world's largest income earner and was worth $500 billion in 2007. Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity.

Tourism multiplier effect

What is multiplier effect?

An effect in economics in which an increase in spending produces an increase in national income and consumption greater than the initial amount spent. For example, if a corporation builds a factory, it will employ construction workers and their suppliers as well as those who work in the factory. Indirectly, the new factory will stimulate employment in laundries, restaurants, and service industries in the factory's vicinity. (Definition from

Tourism and its impacts - A slideshow

Types of tourism

Business or Pleasure

Pleasure: need for change, see something new
* Culture (ethnic)
* History, heritage
* Nature-based (eco-) tourism
* Farm-based, rural tourism
* Personal development, health
* Visit friends, family
* Social status (to brag!)
* Recreation



Adventure tourism

Beach holiday


Growth of tourism

The growth of tourism, especially since the middle of the twentieth century, can be attributed to many factors:

  • improvements in transport (air, rail, sea and road)
  • improved working conditions (higher wages and paid holidays)
  • increased urbanisation
  • the speeding-up of the pace of life
  • improvements in education
  • official tourism policies adopted by many governments 


Tourism - Friend or foe of the Masai?