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What Is the Connection between Tourism and Community Development?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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The connection between tourism and community development lies in the impact that tourism has on the host community. Any economic benefits found in tourism make up the most notable association between tourism and community development. Other effects of tourism may be socio-cultural or environmental.

A significant number of communities depend on tourism as a primary source of income. For these communities, the income derived from a well-managed tourist trade could translate to an increase in tax revenue and a general improvement in the economy of the community. Tourism contributes to the growth of a community because it creates a lot of jobs in the various industries associated with tourism. Some examples include the hospitality industry, transportation, crafts and arts as well as entertainment. The association between tourism and community development can be seen in the manner in which an increase in business opportunities and corresponding employment opportunities contribute to an increase in the earning potential and standard of living of the members in the community.

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Tourism and community development are also linked by the effect that tourism has on the improvement on the infrastructural framework in the community. A country or community that is a tourist destination will undertake certain infrastructural development projects that will make the area more attractive to visitors. For instance, the community will invest in the construction of good roads as well as the establishment of a good transportation and communication system and other types of projects aimed at enticing more visitors to the area. Such investments also help enhance and facilitate community development, because the local community members will benefit from them as well.

Another way in which tourism and community development are associated is through the impact that tourism has on the environment. For instance, most tourist destinations rely on natural resources as their main tourist attractions. Such tourist attractions are most often places like waterfalls, unspoiled beachfronts, local flora and fauna as well as historic sites and monuments. Places that are considered to be essential to the tourist industry are usually preserved and maintained in a manner that would probably not have been the case if not for their importance to the community. Most times, serious effort is put into the restoration and protection of these places, including ecological studies aimed at further development of the community as a whole.

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