Unit 1 The Travel and Tourism Sector

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This unit enables learners to gain understanding of the travel and tourism sector, the influence of government, the effects of supply and demand, and the impacts of tourism.

 Unit abstract

This unit will provide learners with an understanding of the global environment within which the travel and tourism sector operates. The unit examines the historical evolution of tourism, the current structure of the tourism sector, the external influences on tourism and the impact tourism has on host communities and the environment. Learners will also undertake an investigation of international and national policies and assess their influence on the tourism sector. The effects of political change on the sector’s operation will also be examined.

Learning outcomes

1  Understand the history and structure of the travel and tourism sector

  • History: pilgrimages, the grand tours, post-industrial revolution, post war, current; factors facilitating growth eg technology, time, money, freedom of movement, infrastructure, social conditions; possible future developments eg sustainability
  • Travel and tourism sector: travel services; tourism services; conferences and events; visitor attractions; accommodation services; passenger transport; relationships and links, levels of integration; Liepers tourist system, chain of distribution; private, public and voluntary sectors

2  Understand the influence of local and national governments and international agencies    on the travel and tourism sector

  •  Influence: direct, indirect; economic policy, political change, planning to minimise negative effects of tourism.
  •  Government: levels eg local, regional, national, European Union; Government sponsored bodies, regional tourist   boards; functions, interrelationships
  • International agencies:agencies eg United Nations, World Tourism Organisation, World Travel and Tourism Council, International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Air Transport Association; functions, interrelationships with governments.

3  Understand the effects of supply and demand on the travel and tourism sector

  • Demand: demographics; technological; emerging economies; political stability; changing work patterns and workforce; environmentalism; globalisation; macro-economics eg influence of currency exchange rates, interest rates, inflation, level of disposable income.
  • Supply: provision eg accommodation, tour operators, quality, service, types of products, seasonality, technology intermediaries, sustainability.

4  Understand the impacts of tourism

  • Positive: economic eg direct and indirect income, direct and indirect employment, multiplier effects, contribution to gross national product, influence on the growth of other sectors within the economy, generation of foreign exchange and government revenues; environmental eg conservation and enhancement of natural areas, historic and cultural sites, infrastructure improvement, increasing environmental awareness by tourists and host communities; social eg conservation/preservation of cultural heritage, cross cultural exchange and education.
  • Negative:economic eg leakage, inflation, seasonality, overdependence; environmental eg pollution, damage to natural and built environment, wildlife, water overuse, waste disposal; social eg loss of amenity to host community, overcrowding, commercialisation of culture, reinforcement of stereotypes, loss of authenticity, rise in crime.


  • Bartol, K. M., & Zhang, X. (2010). Linking Empowering Leadership and Employee Creativity: The Influence of Psychological Empowerment, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creative Process Engagement. Academy of Management Journal .
  • Dearnaley, P. 2014, "Competitive advantage in the new social care marketplace: a new theoretical perspective", Housing, Care and Support, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 5-15.

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