To date a lot of interpretations of this word have been seen but there could not been accurate definition of the word in literature. There have been just as many definitions as many researchers. According to Smith, 1998 chalking out an accurate definition of Tourism is perpetually impossible.
Tourism is essentially travelling around. Travelling is not restricted to just one forte. People travel for many reasons. Tourism has moved ahead by miles and bounds. Today it has become a global industry in leisure activity. The statistics claim that in 2008 there were a whooping 922 million international tourist arrivals. The growth has been phenomenal. It was 1.9 percent higher compared to what it was in 2007. International receipts emanating from tourisms hit 944 billion US dollars in 2008 which meant a real term growth of 1.8%.
Tourism is the lifeline and blood of some countries. So much so that this particular industry makes up a huge chunk of their GDP. These countries include the likes of Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Spain, and Thailand. They also include archipelagoes such as the Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives and Seychelles. This is primarily because of the money for business that they take in for their goods and services and various other employment opportunities available to them in the service industry that are directly linked to tourism. Some of the popular service industries, linked to tourism include, transportation services, for instance airlines, cruise ships, taxicabs and hospitality services such as resorts and hotels
This meant that the tourism industry had been rocked by a growth rate of 5.5 % as opposed to a four percent growth rate during 2004. Tourism industry is a vulnerable industry. It can be affected by many things such as terrorist attacks, outbreak of diseases, political turmoil etc. the global economic out break and the spread of SARS during 2001-2003 were also some of the big blows for this industry.