TRAVEL AND DISPOSABLE INCOME

If travel and tourism were merely a matter of people moving from one place to another, the large bulk of travel would take place in Asia. Leisure travel and most of business travel, however, depend upon disposable income, time available and the convenience of travel modes. A number of other factors also plays on travel or its absence. Among these factors are travel as a part of a culture, curiosity, the spirit of adventure and the freedom to travel. Travel-generating countries are the advanced industrialized nations. Australia and New Zealand are exceptions, both with high per capita travel. About fifteen million Americans hold passports, as a percentage of population relatively small compared to several European nations.

The number of hotel beds in an area provides another measure of the extent of tourism. The World Tourism Organization, based in Madrid, publishes information about tourism and includes these figures about the number of beds available regionally in hotels and similar establishments.2

Africa 250,000

Americas 6,545,000

East Asia & The Pacific 970,000

Europe 9,000,000

Middle East 135,000

South Asia 125,000

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