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Tourism’s Importance to the Global and Local Economy By Joanne DiBona, Communications Director, [email protected] org Whenever one thinks of travel and tourism, pleasant images of relaxing on the beach, strolling through colorful neighborhoods, or hiking through a landscape of awe-inspiring natural beauty may come to mind. Not too many people associate travel and tourism with business and commerce. Yet, the economic, social and cultural benefits tourism brings to the local community, to the nation, and to the world at large are of a magnitude one might find hard to imagine.

Just how big is this contribution? Travel and tourism–encompassing transportation, catering, accommodations, recreation and services for travelers–is actually the world’s largest industry and generator of jobs. It is the nation’s third largest retail sales industry and one of America’s largest employers. It is in fact the first, second or third largest employer in 28 U. S. states and the District of Columbia, creating 7. 8 million jobs nationally. The travel and tourism industry that has developed to service the traveler contributes enormously to the U. S. economy.

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In 1999, direct travel spending in the United States by domestic and international travelers reached nearly $519 billion dollars, 5. 6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. For San Diego, the economic impact of travel and tourism is just as dramatic. In 2000, 15. 2 million overnight visitors poured $5. 2 billion into the local economy, making the visitor industry San Diego’s third-largest, following manufacturing and the military. Tourism continues to grow at a steady rate nationally, despite a few stormy clouds on an otherwise stable economic horizon. Locally, the visitor ndustry is poised for a continued strong year throughout 2001. There are several reasons for this, a major one being San Diego’s strong reputation nationally as a vacation destination that delivers a good value for the money. In this current economic atmosphere, people will be looking for travel bargains, as evidenced by the stupendous growth of consumers who are purchasing travel in record numbers on discount internet sites. Getting more bang for the visitor buck will be a leading factor influencing a traveler’s choice of vacation spot as Americans begin to tighten their belts.

San Diego not only offers a variety of accommodations in every price range, our region’s rack rates are well below those of some of the nation’s more popular destinations. Those of you who have tried to book a room recently in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, or Washington D. C. will agree. San Diego has shed its image as a sleepy resort town, thanks to our efforts to promote and publicize the diverse arts and culture and first-rate dining and entertainment opportunities available to our visitors. We can now offer the excitement of the big city, without losing the charm and ambiance that makes San Diego such a unique vacation site.

In essence, San Diego is a big city with a resort state-of-mind, boasting a combination of experiences that few city destinations in the nation have to offer. Furthermore, our reputation as a family travel destination continues to attract leisure travelers–many with kids and grandparents in tow– to our region. Baby-boomers, one of the hottest demographic markets in the travel industry, also find San Diego an excellent choice for a vacation destination, owing in no small part to the relaxing ambiance the region offers, combined with an ever-expanding list of recreational and entertainment options that appeal to the middle-aged traveler.

Over the past several years, San Diego’s reputation as a premier meetings and convention destination has blossomed among corporate and association meeting planners across the country. It’s pretty hard to beat San Diego as a convention site. Our year-round sunny climate, coupled with the natural beauty that surrounds the region and a sophisticated and vibrant downtown, make us the preferred choice for many convention and meeting groups from around the world.

With the opening of the $216 million San Diego Convention Center expansion in September, we’ll be in the enviable position of doubling the meeting space we can offer to convention and trade show groups. This means we will be able to attract an entirely new convention market we were forced to turn away for years–those mega-groups requiring the square footage our new, expanded center will offer. This newer and bigger space will immediately make itself felt on the local economy as it is projected to generate more than $1. 5 billion annually in convention and meetings expenditures.

This money will trickle down into all areas of the San Diego economy as convention consumers reach out locally for more services and products. Based on these positive factors, the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau is forecasting sustained growth for the visitor industry in 2001 with projected increases of one or two percent over levels achieved in 2000. Total visitor spending is expected to reach an all-time high of $5. 3 billion, up from $5. 2 billion in 2000 and the number of overnight visitors is expected to increase to 15. 3 million, up from 15. 2 million last year.

Taking a look at the lodging industry, San Diego’s hotel market was strong throughout 2000, a pattern that is expected to continue. We’re predicting 2001 to be a time of tremendous opportunities and challenges for the region’s lodging industry . Barring some unforeseen calamity that would force the U. S. into a recession, we forecast that 2001 will be a very profitable year for the local hotel industry. Key statewide economic indicators are strong and the economic environment in California and surrounding states remains strong for improvement in convention, leisure and corporate transient business.

Our forecast is for local occupancy levels to remain at 73. 8 percent in 2001 with average room rates moving from $109 to $111. Areas of strength will continue to be La Jolla, University City, downtown San Diego, waterfront properties and the North County coastal area. It’s important to note that during 1999 and 2000, the San Diego region added 17 hotels and 2,456 rooms. Another 14 hotels with a total of 3,328 rooms are planned. All together, the total increase in lodging supply is 5,784 or a 13 percent increase through 2003.

It appears the region is capable of absorbing several thousand new hotel rooms during the next four years, most of which should be targeted for convention center use. While 2001 may result in a “cooling off” period for some local industries, It looks promising that the visitor industry–San Diego’s third largest–will continue to enrich San Diego’s economy as interest in our region as a premier visitor and convention destination continues to grow. One of the most essential things for tourism to be successful in a particular place is the quality of the environment, both natural and man-made.

However tourism involves many activities that have a negative effect on the environment. These occur when the level of usage is bigger than the amount of caring for the environment. Uncontrolled tourism is threatening many natural areas around the world. It can put great pressure on an area, and lead to negative environmental impacts on air and water quality, vegetation, soil, wildlife, and many other things. One of the most important areas of tourism is transportation. Transport by air, road and rail is rising steadily because of the increasing number of tourists

Constant trampling of natural habitats has a negative impact on vegetation, animals, and soil as well. Large amounts of trampling on soil causes loss of organic matter, and also accelerates erosion in that area. In beaches all over the world, especially the more popular ones such as those in Hawaii, the erosion is so bad that sand has to brought in to keep the beach attractive and viable. Once again, clear signs and distinct paths are needed to minimise this impact. Tourism has many destructive environmental effects. However, it also has some positive impacts. Tourism contributes to environmental protection and …

Essay still continues 100 more words… Historical Places Lahore Fort The massive walls of Lahore Fort, built by Akbar in the 1560s, tower over the old city of Lahore, and the huge rectangle they define, 380 by 330 meters (1,250 by 1,080 feet), is filled with buildings from a variety of periods. A complete tour of the fort takes about two hours. The entrance to the fort is through Alamgiri Gate The inscription outside the Fort tells that Jehangir built it in 1618. Shalimar Gardens Three miles east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in 1642 AD.

The Gardens are spread out in typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch towers at the four corners. Originally, the gardens were spread over seven ascending terraces, but only three remain now, which cover an area of about 42 acres. Shish Mahal Shish Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors, which stands on the fort’s north side, is by far the most splendid. It consists of a row of high domed rooms, the roofs of which are decked out with hundreds of thousands of tiny mirrors in the fashion of the traditional Punjabi craft of “Shishgari” (designs made from mirror fragments).

A fire-brand lit inside any part of the Palace of Mirrors throws back a million reflections that dizzy the eye and seem like a galaxy of far-off stars turning in an ink-blue firmament. Kim’s Gun Out side the museum, not far away, Zamzama, the 18th century fire piece immortalized by Kipling as “Kim’s Gun”, takes up a surprising length of space in the middle of road. Sikh Holy Places Present in the Lahore Region are the following Sikh sites: Nankana Sahib Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539 AD) was born at Rai Bhoeki Talwandi now known as Nankana Sahib situated in Punjab province of West Pakistan.

Nankana is located about 75 kilometers west-south-west of Lahore and 39 km southwest of Sheikhupura. Nankana Sahib is connected to the district town by rail and road. Gurdwara Janam Asthan This shrine in Lahore represents the home of Baba Kalu and Mata Tripta, father and mother respectively of Guru Nanak Dev, (where the Guru was born). It was established by Baba Dharam Chand (1523-1618) son of Baba Lakhmi Das and Grandson of Guru Nanak Dev. Gurdwara Bal Lila Gurdwara Bal Lila is another magnificent shrine, about 1. 5 furlongs east-south-east of Gurdwara Janam Asthan.

It is said to have been built initially by Rai Bular. Diwan Kaura Mal Diwan Kaura Mal had this Gurdwara built in 1748. It was reconstructed by Maharaja Rangit Singh, who also enlarged and properly lined the sarovar Nanaksar. It present three-story domed building was raised during the 1930’s and 1940’s and was completed shortly before 1947. Chuharkana – Sacha Sauda It is about 20 kilometers Northeast of Talwandi Rai Bhoi (it is now a railway station on the Sheikhupura-Faisalabad section of Pakistan Railways). Gurdwara Dehra Sahib

Gurdwara Dehra Sahib symbolizes the Sikh tradition and marks the martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563 – 1606). This shrine was built in the memory of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru who compiled the Adi Granth, the principal part of Sikh scriptures. Kartarpur Some writers say that the Guru founded Kartarpur (city of the Creator) after his third Udasi. Others believe that he started the habitation of Kartarpur in 1516 right after he came back from his first travel in 1515. Gurdwara Patti Sahib It is also called Gurdwara Maulvi Patti and lies midway between Gurdwara Janam Asthan and Gurdwara Bal Lila.

It is along the road leading from Janam Asthan to the railway station. Gurdwara Janam Asthan Ramdas In Chuna Mandi area stands the ancestral home and birthplace of Siri Guru Ram Das Ji who was born here on 24th September 1534. Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh The ashes of the great Sikh ruler of Punjab, Maharaha Ranjeet Singh, and of his four wives and several slave girls lie in a dome adjacent to the Hazoori Bagh. Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh Ji There is another holy place by the name of Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Sing Ji which is situated near Naulakha Bazar.

Gurdwara Rohri Sahib And Chaki Sahib Eminabad is near Lahore. Here the Sikh yatris pay homage to the Gurdwara Rori Sahib and Chaki Sahib. Shahid Gang Another small gurdwara close to the Lahore Railway Station known as Shahid Gang has been preserved by Pakistan as it was when occupied by the Sikhs. Minar-e-Pakistan Minar-e-Pakisan is a new landmark in Lahore and stands in the Iqbal Park to commemorate the date when a resolution was passed there back in 1940 demanding the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of this sub-continent.

The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and stands 60 meters tall. Tombs Allama Iqbal’s Tomb Outside the Badshahi Mosque, near its steps, lies the Tomb of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of the East. The mausoleum is a blend of Afghan and Moorish styles of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sandstone which was quarried and brought from Rajasthan. Jehangir’s Tomb The tomb of the fourth great Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, lies three miles north-west of Lahore across the River Ravi. It has a majestic structure made of red sand-stone and marble.

The outer entrance to the tomb opens out into a court-yard which was used as a caravan Serai during Mughal times. An entrance to the right leads into a Mughal garden with exact geometrical pattern balancing each side. The marble tomb is approached from four corridors leading from the garden. Noor Jehan’s Tomb The Empress Nur Jehan, “Light of the World”, was the only empress whose name appeared on the coins of the Mughal empire. She was buried in 1845 AD at Shahdara (Lahore) outside Jehangir’s mausoleum across the railway line. Qutub-ud-Din Aibak He was appointed Governor of India in 1191 AD by Muhammad Ghauri.

He established the Slave Dynasty on the death of Muhammad Ghauri in 1206 when he assumed independence of his reign and was followed by nine other slave kings. He was a patron of the building art and is known to have erected some monumental stone buildings in Delhi and elsewhere. A very avid player of polo, he died in Lahore in 1210 AD while playing the game. His tomb can be visited in Anarkali Bazaar. Tomb of Asif Khan In the courtyard near Jehangir tomb lies buried his brother-in-law, Asif Khan, father of Shah Jehan’s beloved Queen Arjumand Bano.

He lies in a tomb that today shows little of its former splendor. Shrines Shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hajvery The shrine of this renowned saint of Lahore (d. 1071 C. E. ), is close to the junction of the Lower Mall and the Circular Road. Data Sahib was a great Sufi saint whose well-known work, “Kashf-ul-Mahjub” has been translated from original Persian into several European languages and is considered a classic. His grave is surrounded by a beautiful mosque. Mosques Badshahi Masjid The Imperial or the Badshahi Mosque is across the courtyard from Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort.

The Mosque, which is made up entirely of red sandstone was built by Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals, in a record time of two and-a-half years. Its construction was completed by 1674 AD. It has a beautiful gate-way which measures 21. 33 metres in length and a courtyard that measures 161. 5 x 160. 6 metres and is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers. The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers. Four lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 metres, soaring up to 54 meters.

Golden Mosque or Sunehri Masjid The founder of the mosque was Nawab Shah Bhikari Khan, son of Raushan-ud-Daula Turrabaz Khan, deputy governor of Lahore during the reign of Muhammad Shah and the viceroyalty of Mir Noin-ul-Malik. Golden Mosque is situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar. It was built in 1753 AD. It is remarkably beautiful with three golden domes. The mosque is elevated on a higher plinth, surrounded by old bazaars. Because of its color the mosque glitters in the sunshine as if it is a golden miniature place to bow before the Almighty Allah. It has a beautiful gate-way which measures 21. 3 metres in length and a courtyard that measures 161. 5 x 160. 6 metres and is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers. The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers. Four lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 metres, soaring up to 54 meters. Pearl Mosque Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, beyond the audience hall, was for the exclusive use of royal ladies. It is carved from marble having the luster of pearls. Nearby “Naulakha”, a marble pavilion is inlaid with floral motifs and precious gems.

Wazir Khan’s Mosque Wazir Khan’s Mosque is in the old city, 300 meters from Delhi Gate. This unique mosque is one of the most beautiful in Pakistan. It was built in 1634 by Hakim Ali-ud-din, popularly known as Wazir Khan, who was governor of the area during the reign of Shah Jahan. The Mosque is justifiably famous for the colorful fresco and tile decoration which adorns both the interior and exterior of the building. TDCP RESORTS Jallo Park Tourist Resort It is situated in the park spread over 550 Acres which consist of wildlife enclosures, children play area and other amusements.

TDCP Resort offer air-conditioned Tourist Huts, Dormitories, Camping, Barbecue and Restaurant facilities. Changa Manga Tourist Resort TDCP Resort is situated 80 Km from Lahore. Changa Manga is the world’s largest man made forest on about 5000 hectors. TDCP offers air-conditioned lodges for tourists. One can enjoy with mini-train ride in the natural environment and boating in the beautiful lake. Kallar Kahar Resort It is a beautiful spot on the bank of a natural lake full of waterfowls and surrounded by hills. It takes approximately 2 hours on motorway from Lahore and Islamabad to reach this beautiful resort.

The nearby attractions are Kitas Temples, the mausoleum of Hazrat Haq Bahoo where dancing peacocks can be seen, Nandana Fort where the famous historian Al-Beruni measured the circumstance of earth, Khewra Salt Mines and the nearby area where pre-historic period fossils has been discovered. TDCP Resort consists of 12 bedrooms motel, restaurant, public amenities, Barbecue and boating facilities. motel, restaurant, public amenities, Barbecue and boating facilities. Fort Munro Resort Another pleasant summer site in Southern Punjab situated 80 Km from Dera Ghazi Khan on Quetta Road and is 6470 feet high than sea level.

The tourist enjoys adventurous drive along with rock formation on way. TDCP Resort consist of 5 bedrooms motel/restaurant on the bank of a beautiful Dame’s lake and fruit garden Lal Sohanra Resort The TDCP motel and restaurant at Lal Sohanara Park and Game Reserve is spread over 10 acres near Bahawalpur. The air-conditioned 6-bedroom motel is set in idyllic surroundings and has its own restaurant, snack bar and swimming pool. The nearby lake offers excellent boating and fishing facilities. This area is best for eco-tourism and is called the gateway to Cholistan Desert.

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