Flying Colors: Analyzing The Impact Of Travel And Tourism On People And Their Communities




Sridharan, Abhinav

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Given the rapid increase in the accessibility of travel, the tourism industry has evolved to the point where people of all backgrounds can fly and see other countries, given the adequate financial resources. This paper explores the impact of modern travel and tourism on people and their communities. With the advent of certain technologies, both the physical and informational intricacies associated with travel have evolved considerably, providing people across the world with opportunities to connect with others and integrate with local cultures. This paper was driven by the skepticism on the commoditization of the travel industry, where people are more inclined to seek quickly packaged and curated experiences over richer interactions with the local communities of their travel destination. Through academic research and analysis of real interactions, the paper seeks to answer the following questions: Why do people travel? When did leisure travel first emerge? What are the different types of travel? How are travelers perceived by a local community? Is tourism a net positive or negative for countries? To what extent if any does traveling have on one’s cultural identity? To answer such questions, I first provide a brief background on the history of travel. I then contextualize travel in the status quo, while assessing environmental, sociocultural, and economic impacts. Next, I examine potential links between paid time off (PTO) policy, cultural identity, and one’s propensity to travel. I conclude the paper by providing my own analysis on the future trajectory of travel.



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