Most countries in the world rely heavily on both domestic and international tourism. Some economies are obviously more dependant than others and you can see the devastating effects that political turmoil can have on economies in places like Egypt where toruist numbers dropped by 25% last year and likely to fall further this year. For more stable countries, then the key usually is to invest in attracting from specific areas.
The USA for example has traditionally looked to Europe to bring in a large slice of visitors. Europeans usually feel very comfortable in the US because of their language skills and the relatively high standards of living of your average European international tourist. The USA with a competitive and efficient entertainment and hospitality sector is normally great value for money too.
However although millions of travellers still arrive from Europe each year, there’s no doubt the numbers have been falling recently. The financial crisis has hit Europe hard and disposable income in the top visiting countries has fallen dramatically over the last few years. Visitors from the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have been falling presumably taking t heir holidays at home or nearby.
The internet has obviously had an affect on tourism too, the world has become a lot smaller in a virtual sense. Many people do extensive research and travel independently instead of through travel agencies. Anyone can sit at home with a computer and perhaps a US IP address in order to access some restricted sites and plan and book a complete itinerary in a well connected place like the US.
This video is also available on Youtube and shows how to access BBC Iplayer and ITV player in the US, like this.
One area that has begun to send a lot more tourists to the US for example is from emerging markets specifically in South America. Many people in these countries have always wanted to visit the US but the costs were usually prohibitive. Now some of the South American economies like Brazil and Columbia have experienced an upturn and foreign travel is becoming accessible to large parts of the population. Again the internet has made it easier when people can sit at home using their Ipad and VPN to access sites and plan their schedules from their home.