Tourists’ search for novel and distinctive experiences and sensations has been the drivers of outbound tourism (López-Guzmán and Sánchez-Caňizares, 2012). International travellers are by nature novelty-seeking, inspired by a sense of exploration and adventure (Hartman, Meyer and Scribner, 2009). As per United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2008) international tourism has been experiencing consistent growth and destination diversification (cited in Hartman, Meyer and Scribner, 2009). International tourist arrivals grew from 25 million in 1950 to 903 million in 2007, as per UNWTO which suggests an average growth rate of four percent. By 2020 this number is expected to reach 1.1 billion. So far people from Europe and the Americas accounted for the largest travel but now people from several countries such as Middle-East, North-East, South Asia, and Central and South America also travel to overseas destinations. Travel has now become a mainstream activity for the masses.
This is perhaps the reason that despite the political crises and natural catastrophes in 2011, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicted that international arrivals would increase by 4-4.5% in 2012 to an all-time high (ITB, 2011). Despite the uncertain economic outlook, industry experts have expressed optimism for moderate growth. Rising incomes in the emerging markets, stable employment and disposable income in mature markets are expected to drive the growth. The world travel and tourism was impacted in 2011 due to several events such as the conflicts and revolutions in Arab countries, the Tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, and the political and economic drama in Greece (ITB, 2011). ...Show more