Making the World Safe for Tourism, by Patricia Goldstone

Tourists mean traveling dollars looking to be spent.  And those dollars (pounds, marks, lire) create an expanding market for aircraft, service jobs and entertainment workers, and the prospect of hard currency deposited into Third World treasuries and available to repay loans to First World banks.  Despite this seemingly happy serendipity, author Patricia Goldstone is not at all sure that tourism is in fact safe for the world.

Tourism, she argues, has become a global "one-trick economy." Replacing foreign aid, surpassing international manufacture and trade, tourism is the world's biggest business, generating 10 percent of the global gross domestic product and employing one in nine workers worldwide.  But the dark side of this good fairy is that the whole edifice rests upon two distinctly precarious legs: "the nest egg of retiring first world baby boomers and the discretionary income [once] generated by the [now defunct] global bull market."

 

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