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Tourism industry analysis is an important tool used to measure current trends and future outlook in the travel and tourism market. This type of analysis may be done by a particular tourist-centered business, by independent agencies, or by the government. Tourism industry analysis helps build a detailed picture of tourism, on local, national, and global levels.
“Tourism” refers to travel performed with leisurely aims, as opposed to business travel or permanently relocating to a new area. In some destinations, the tourism industry can make up a large segment of the regional and even national economy. Just as with any other economic market segment, careful and detailed analysis can assist both the private and public sectors in understanding future behavior of the market based on current trends and indicators. For this reason, governments and tourism collectives often hire independent analysts to create targeted reports about the industry.
Tourism industry analysis may consider many different factors associated with the market. The amount of money spent on major tourist considerations such as accommodations, car rentals, and tourist airfare can have a tremendous impact on future expansion or contraction of the industry in the area. Money generated by tourism activities, such as skiing, boat trips, and other amusements, is also important to understanding things like the saturation of a market with a particular type of business.
In addition to analyzing how much money is spent by tourists or made by tourist-related businesses, tourism industry analysis also examines how and why money is spent. For instance, whether most tourists prefer to rent vacation condominiums, stay in large hotels, or patronize boutique inns can tell a lot about the particular atmosphere and demands of the tourist market. In addition, analyzing tourist habits in combination can help target advertising and offered services; for instance, knowing whether travelers staying at a resort are more likely to spend money on spa services than travelers who prefer bed and breakfasts.
Although tourism industry analysis is often used to examine economic factors, it may be important in determining other impacts of tourism on a region or destination. For instance, analysis might show whether crime rates go up because of rowdy spring break tourists, which might prompt more police presence during this time of year. Additionally, analysis can provide local governments with information about the damage done to the environment through tourism. In Maui, for example, government officials made headlines in 2008 for closing a popular snorkeling destination considered ecologically damaged by tourist overuse.