The Role Of Tourism In South East Asia

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INTRODUCTION
Tourism is defined by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the “act of travelling by people for recreation, leisure, religious or business purposes outside their usual environment for a period not more than one year ”. Tourism is the leading means of leisure and entertainment in the world today and the tourism industry encompasses a wide range of interconnected goods and service industries such as accommodation, transport, food & beverage, sports, cultural and entertainment services. Inspite of the fact that the whole world is engulfed in conflict the tourism industry has continued to grow. According to the UNWTO international tourists arrivals around the world crossed 1 billion in 2012 and reached the figure of 1.087 billion in 2013 showing an overall growth of 5% . The report also revealed the astonishing fact that the region showing the strongest demand for international tourism was South East Asia with growth of 10%. Tourism as an industry can no longer be ignored as its total contribution in the year 2013 towards world GDP has been estimated at 6,990 billion dollars which is almost 9.5% of total world GDP and employs 266 million people directly or indirectly which forms one in every eleven individuals in the world . Therefore every country which has the potential of attracting tourists will have to gear up to grab this opportunity as this industry has outpaced other sectors such as manufacturing, transport and even financial

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