How can we approach the question?
First, we need to understand that the command word in the question – “how far” – requires some discussion, i.e. there is a need to provide both sides of the issue – namely to explain why demand factor versus other factors will lead to the growth of global tourism.
Note the word ‘most’, hence there needs to be an assessment criteria to judge if indeed demand factor is the most important factor leading to growth in global tourism.
Finally, based on your assessment, you need to come to a judgement and final conclusion on the extent to which you agree (or disagree) with the statement.
Thesis: Demand factor is an important factor leading to the growth of global tourism
A main contributing factor to demand for global tourism is due to rising disposable income of global citizens. As people get more affluent, they will have greater purchasing power to buy more tourism products (e.g. packaged holiday tours, cruises, air tickets, etc). For most people, such tourism products can be considered a luxury good, so they are more willing to spend their income on travelling. This would have resulted in a increase in the demand for global tourism, spurring its growth.
Another contributing factor to the demand for global tourism is people’s changing lifestyles. Changing lifesyles refers to the change in the way people live throughout their lifetime from generation to generation. The pace of life today is much faster and many in the workforce find themselves working beyond the official working hours. Therefore, travelling has become a way for some people to relax and take a break from their fast-paced lifestyles at work.
Changing demographics can also contribute to the growth of global tourism. Due to better access to healthcare, there is an increasing number of healthy retirees. Travelling has also become a way for retirees to spend the remainder of their healthy years productively. Cruises are popular with retirees – they take up a larger proportion of the passengers on cruise ships in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. In Australia, there is a group of retirees called “grey nomads”, who spend much of their time travelling in mobile homes or vehicles with four-wheel drive to explore remote parts of the country. Hence, with increasing number of retirees with pension and life savings to spend, they provide the demand for tourism leading to the growth of global tourism.
Anti-thesis: Other factors are important
However, other factors are equally importat too.
Developments in technology, especially those in transport and computer-related technology, have changed the scale and ease of global tourism. Developments in technology have led to great improvements in safety, shorter travelling time and lower travelling costs for the average traveller.
Commercial air travel has revolutionalised global tourism due to ongoing technological development in jet aircraft since the 1950s. The rise in budget airlines have rapidly expanded within Europe, North and South America and Southeast Asia since the 1980s. Such airlines are cheaper than major commercial airlines because of their smaller and more fuel-efficient aircraft. In addition, these aircraft typically fly only to short-haul destinations. Costs are further reduced by selling tickets online rather than through travel agents. Some examples of budget airlines operating in Southeast Asia include Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Tiger Airways.
The rise in the number of budget airlines has helped increase the number of international travellers and has enabled more people to travel internationally and more frequently. It has given travellers the opportunity to go on holidays farther away from home and also to travel to destinations not covered by the major commercial airlines. Such destinations include Bhutan, the Pacific Islands, Northern Thailand and many islands in the Mediterranean region such as Corsica and Crete.
Other non-demand factors include ease of access to information and more air routes.
Evaluation / Stand / Judgement
There is no factor that is more important than the rest. The growth of global tourism is dependent on multiple factors which need to be considered in totality.
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