The Relationship Between Tourism & Geography

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  • 0:03 Tourism
  • 0:39 Place and Distance
  • 2:59 Effects
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson covers some introductory topics related to tourism and geography. You'll learn how things like distance and place may influence tourism in addition to the impact tourism may have on the physical geography of a place.


Where would you go on vacation if you had two days? Two weeks? Two months? Two years? It turns out concepts such as time and geographical concepts like place (or location) and distance can be deciding factors in where you go and where the rest of the world goes to unwind.

Tourism is travel for pleasure as well as the infrastructure and organizations that make travel possible. This lesson will cover some of the connections between tourism and geography, including the effects tourism may have on various regions in the world.

Place and Distance

So, let's let get back to that introductory question. Where would you go on vacation over a set period of time? This set period of time closely ties in with the distance a person is going to travel. Look at it this way: if you only have two days to travel are you really going to go halfway across the world and travel 20 hours each way? No. You'll only have 8 hours left on your vacation. Even if the journey isn't halfway across the world but the distance to the destination can only be covered slowly as a result of poorly developed infrastructure, you're probably not going to go.

Thus, distance plays a key role in helping people decide where they're going to travel. Someone who has a weekend or a couple of days may be a day tourist, traveling to local or regional attractions. Someone with weeks of vacation time may travel nationally or internationally. A person who can go travel for months or years is probably going to do so internationally since they have plenty of time to cover a lot of distance.

Distance also deals with the place we're talking about in addition to vacation time. Where are you actually going? Let's say you have two weeks of vacation time. Would you rather spend it getting to a destination quickly in order to have lots of time to enjoy the sights and scenes? Or will you be willing to travel for several days to where you need to go (and back), leaving you with little time of actual vacation? Most people would choose the former.

In that case, the place matters just as much as the time you have. Even people with months or years worth of travel time may not feel like making an arduous trek to the middle of the Himalayas, or may not want to make a difficult journey to the interior of Africa, where tourism infrastructure is nowhere near as developed as places like the Mediterranean coast or the Caribbean. The latter two are easy places to travel to and settle in, whether you're going there from Europe or from the Americas.

Geography (or place) also influences the local ecosystem. What kind of flora and fauna are there? Dry arid mountain peaks with little vegetation and animals are unlikely to attract too many tourists. Africa's Savannah or a lush rainforest just might. What about the actual physical geography of the place? Is it beautiful, with lush forested mountains and beautiful lakes and streams? Or is it a flat piece of scorched desert stretching on forever?


We've just barely scratched the surface of these concepts, but we need to switch focus to something else. What about tourism's impact on various regions across the world? Is there a connection? Of course! There are obvious things like impact on the local economy, or even culture.

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