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Chula Press. However, to guarantee an overall objective evaluation, supplementary papers and statistics were gathered from a broad range of national and international institutions e. Other sources like local universities, private and public libraries as well as some newspapers and the Internet e.
Besides secondary research, primary information was basically obtained through the series of informal interviews with key government officials e. Tourism Ministry and Ministry for Women , private sector stakeholders e. All these interview partners were asked to identify issues, recommend strategies or assess options for the future tourism development of the Dominican Republic.
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With this methodology it was intended to receive input from various key stakeholders together. These activities not only helped to clarify specific issues but had to a certain extent a brainstorming character.
As a result of travel to almost all important tourism areas, and of work experience in the tourism sector, the author of this paper has been able to make a certain comparison with personal experience and judgments. Thus, some of the results are descriptive or qualitative in nature. The process of gathering information was often delayed due to the fact that sometimes two or three meetings were necessary as the data required was either not available or not provided in a timely or efficient fashion.
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It also appeared that tourism-related businesses were not able or willing to supply the literature needed. This difficulty in collecting information was very time consuming. It is well-recognized that tourism plays an important role in the economy of the Dominican Republic. However, there have been few comprehensive studies that measure the economic impact of tourism and its linkages to other sectors in the economy. The latest detailed secondary literature in this area tends to be incomplete or out of date.
Thus, collecting and analyzing up-to-date information has often involved considerable challenges. This might be a result of the general strong North American influence, or the lack of a profound research culture in the area of tourism in the Dominican Republic. I n the Middle Ages people were tourists because of their religion, whereas now they are tourists because tourism is their religion. The core of the whole study is the development of tourism in a developing country that is known as a mass tourism destination — the Dominican Republic.
Thus, this paper starts with an introduction to tourism, with a main focus on the mass tourism phenomenon. Following this, the latest tourism figures of international tourism and future trends will be presented. According to the definition of the World Tourism Organization "Tourism comprises the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".
It is important to point out that this definition includes e. But the term can have many nuances. The current practice is to rank countries on the basis of the total number of visitors received annually. However, countries vary in their geographical and demographic size. Receipt of five million visitors annually by France and Belgium, for example, is not the same matter given their vast territorial difference. Furthermore, the seasonal fluctuation in tourism is an important aspect Wahab and Pigram A detailed definition was found in Poon 32 , who relates mass tourism to two main characteristics: a participation of a large number of people in tourism; b the holiday is standardized, rigidly packaged and inflexible; and c offered to an undifferentiated clientele.
Travel for leisure in Western Europe began a century ago, but it was limited to privileged classes. These included members of the aristocracy, bourgeoisie, political elite and some well-off urban dwellers. Travel distances, however, remained short, generally within the country. The Alps were one of the first major destinations that involved some travel. An early result of the development of railways in Europe increased travel to the Mediterranean coast by privileged European tourists, especially from the s on. But tourism advanced significantly only when industrial workers in different European countries began to receive paid and extended holidays, with reduced working hours Becker et al.
Tourism in the U. A rapid development in transportation, especially involving the steam locomotive, made travel easier and faster. This opened up the possibility of traveling longer distances as well.
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The Industrial Revolution produced a class of wealthy people who had the time to travel. Mass tourism, as we know it today is a post Second World War phenomenon, which has been an integral part of European and North American lifestyles since the s. An expanding economy in the western industrial nations, on the one hand, and sustained labor movements, on the other, allowed workers to obtain increased wages and benefits. Holidaying in general was taken as a synonym of relaxation and comfort, reflecting the growing consumer culture.
Higher education levels and greater awareness of other areas of the world also led to a desire on the part of more people to travel. Modern long-distance tourism and economic travel by large numbers of people has been favored through major improvements in transportation including the development of commercial jet aircraft services and train and highway networks in Europe, the USA, and elsewhere Hein In the past decade changes also included improved worldwide computer technology or reservation networks on the supply side Becker et al For mass tourism to develop, there has to be on the demand side a strong participation of the large middle class, as well as the relatively better-off strata of the lower classes.
This has been the case in regard to the evolution of mass tourism in Europe, and it is a process that seems to be repeating in many developing countries and regions Ghimire 6.
follow link It is a marker of status in modern societies. Previously, well-defined groups traveled to the South — explorers, traders, colonizers, missionaries, scientists and administrators, especially in the wake of mercantile trade and colonization Hein Since the s developing countries have received increasing numbers of international tourists, largely from developed countries. At this time, governments began to see tourism as an important tool for economic development - one that was also believed to result in a net resource inflow from the North.
The tourism industry was considered a more reliable source of foreign exchange than minerals, raw materials, cash crops and manufactured goods, which had increasingly unstable prices. Tourism was also seen as an exceptional opportunity to valorize national culture, wildlife and unique natural features. Important investments were made in infrastructure, tourism training, accommodation and other tourist facilities. Mass tourism involving travel from the industrialized North to the developing countries of the South is a more recent phenomenon, beginning basically in the s. Rising standards of living in the countries of the North, declining long-haul travel costs, increasing holiday entitlements, changing demographics and strong consumer demand for exotic international travel have resulted in significant tourism growth to developing countries.
The private sector, and transnational corporations TNCs in particular, were attracted because of the high growth potential of the tourism sector in developing countries. Another important frame condition in the making of mass tourism to the South was the existence in developing countries of several generous incentives that encouraged multinational hotel chains to invest.
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This included repatriation of profits, cash grants, assistance with project financing, equity participation, loan guaranties, tax-free bonds, tax holidays, investment and other tax credits, double taxation relief and so on Poon Therefore, to some extent, the massive arrival of Northern tourists over the past 25 years has reflected the ability of Northern travel businesses and TNCs to promote travel in the South, especially through package tourism.
A small number of them have probably been attracted by adventure, learning and encounters with new territories and people. But the majority of Northern tourists seem to have been attracted mainly by the pleasures of sun and beaches — and, in some cases, sex Hong ; Truong The growth in world travel and tourism since the s has been phenomenal.