How A Successful Tourism Industry Led to Globalization

Most of us have heard the word “globalization” widely used in a variety of contexts over the past few years. But what is the actual definition of this commonly used term? Merriam-Webster defines globalization as, “The act or process of globalizing: the state of being globalized; especially: the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets.” Now that we’ve established the true definition of globalization, it’s probably easy to see how it plays a vital role in the tourism industry. After all, people visiting other countries would naturally be engaging in globalization as they purchase products and services in their travels. But what may not be as obvious is how successful tourism led to globalization. That is the topic we’ll explore in this blog.

Although it’s hard to say exactly when the tourism industry began, many historians would agree that it probably started when well-to-do citizens of ancient Rome began spending their summers in other parts of the region to escape the hustle and bustle of what was then (and is, even now) the metropolis of Rome. That would mean that tourism is, at the very least, about 2,000 years old. But the end of the Roman Empire also meant the end of tourism, albeit only for a few hundred years, as unrest in that region made travel of any sort a risky proposition at best. A few hundred years later, during medieval times, the tourism industry experienced a rebirth when large groups of people began to make holy pilgrimages. That meant that those people needed places to eat and sleep along the way. Another few hundred years later, people began to travel for other reasons – such as to improve their health and to view art, architecture, and visit historic locations. It was at this time, during the Industrial Revolution, when the tourism industry began to take the familiar form that we know today. Methods of transportation were developed, as were hotels and restaurants, to cater to tourists. Finally, beginning in the 1960s, as aircraft and ocean liners became more commonplace and more affordable for the masses, tourism became a global industry. In our day and age, if you have the time and the money, you can arrange to travel, quite literally, anywhere on the planet.

And, as it turns out, many people DO have the time and the money. According to The Statistics Portal, between the years of 2006 and 2017, the travel and tourism industry contributed $8.27 trillion dollars to the global economy. The greatest contributors include North America, the European Union, and North East Asia. While these regions continue to lead the tourism charge, other less-likely countries are making their own mark in the industry, undoubtedly due to the lucrative possibilities that tourism brings with it. Some of the most notable are African countries, such as Namibia, Zambia and Angola, to name a few.

In the KOF Globalization Index of the 100 Most Globalized Countries in 2017, it should come as no surprise that leading the list are many EU countries, including Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, France, and others. Also on the list – although further down than the EU countries – are Canada and the U.S. The KOF Index of Globalization takes into account three key indicators: economic, social and political. They define globalization as, “… the process of creating networks of connections among actors at multi-continental distances, mediated through a variety of flows including people, information and ideas, capital and goods.” While there’s no doubt about the economic impact that tourism has on the global scale, the other indicators of globalization are harder to measure – namely the social and political influences that the tourism industry brings to the global stage. But if we measure the impact of tourism on globalization with regard to the flow of people, information and ideas, as well as capital and goods, we can say with a certain level of certainty that the success of the tourism industry has more than likely led the way – both directly and indirectly – to globalization.

Trump Wins Trade War As Global Markets Plummet

It is early July, well before this article goes online, yet the landscape is pretty clear from where I stand. The U.S. and China both raised tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods Friday, July 6. This did not deter the S&P 500 from continuing its charge up to the January 26 all-time high. To boot, unemployment is historically low and the Fed is set to raise rates twice before the year ends – all this amidst a stealth discretionary spending recession.

So, how about that trade war? Let’s recap. Most folks would agree that the free trade of goods would be best for all concerned. Goods would be less expensive and those that could not compete on price would do so on quality, leading to a beneficial improvement of goods. All is well and good until protectionism and nationalism rear their ugly heads. Some nations have goods that find it difficult to compete on the basis of price and/or quality. Globally, world leaders of such nations are unapologetic in pursuing their nation’s interests at the expense of others. In trying to avoid the image of the ugly American, we have often placed ourselves at a disadvantage. Nowhere is this more evident than in trade were our trading partners often have a clear advantage.

U.S. Census Data shows that we have a trade deficit with every trading region except for South and Central America and Australia/Oceania. At only $33.14 and $14.38 billion, respectively, the last four years and a combined trade of $310.44 billion this pales in comparison with the deficit for the rest of the world, -$844.66 billion, whose combined trade is $3.578 trillion. Below are 2014-2017 averages for most of the world in billions:
Canada: -$20.01
European Union: -$149.61
Asia: -$547.49
Africa: -$2.60

China is a case in point. Aware of the huge financial benefit that comes with their 1.38 billion consumers, they extract huge concessions from their trading partners, including the U.S. When they have not barred certain U.S. business sectors, they restrict or regulate business, place tariffs on goods, or coerce intellectual property release. Note this goes one way; there is no intellectual property sharing.

These noncompetitive business practices are not fair, but until now, U.S. companies have accepted them without much push back as the cost of doing business there. That is until Trump. What Chinese leaders need to realize is that they are not in a good bargaining position and the longer they hold out the more harm will come to their economy.

Here is why. Leaders of the government-run economy are well aware of their history and realize the huge Chinese population is not going to put up with poor conditions forever. To keep discontent at bay, they have a policy of inflated economic growth. According to Trading Economics, they have averaged 11.7% GDP growth for the past 10 years but chinks in their armor are showing. From the 2010-2011 heyday, where GDP grew 19% and 24%, growth has dropped steadily and sometimes precipitously. It was 5.56% and 1.14% in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Little wonder that worried central government figures have made a big push since then for increasing their global exports, including those to the U.S., resulting in a resumption of GDP growth to 9.35% in 2017. The prospect of increased tariffs, which would make their goods less competitive, runs afoul of those plans. China’s economy is struggling and their stock market is testament to that. The smaller Shenzhen composite moved into bear market territory in February and the Shanghai composite closed in bear territory on Tuesday, June 27. The indexes went as low as -26.5% and -25.0 on July 5 but have recently recovered to -22.5 and -21.2%, respectively, as global markets have climbed in tandem with U.S. markets. That is still in bear market territory, which will curtail much need foreign investment. Meanwhile, U.S. GDP is growing steadily, the economy seems to be healthy, and the stock market is nearing new heights. Trump can ratchet up the tariff game longer knowing he has more economic wiggle room. Moreover, he can inflict more pain to the Chinese economy than they can to ours.

To see why, let’s look at the trade numbers. The trade deficit with China has averaged -$358.68 billion the last four years in a rising trend. While U.S. exports have vacillated between $110-129 billion since 2012, Chinese imports have steadily increased from $315 to 375 billion. Last year the deficit was -$375.58 billion, of which $129.89 billion were U.S. exports to China and $505.47 billion were U.S. Chinese imports. Not only is trade unbalanced, so are tariffs. Prior to this year, U.S. tariffs on Chinese agricultural and non-agricultural goods were 2.5% and 2.9%, respectively, while Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods were 9.7% and 5% for the same. True, these had been going down from a 14.1% average prior to 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization but that was part of the price and tariffs are much higher for some industries.

The Real State Of the Union

With the onslaught of Global Warming striking destruction, and fear the United States faces ever greater challenges with each passing month. The severity of weather patterns all around the globe has only intensified the urgency that humanity is facing the most crucial point in our history. The forces of denial have already hastened the point of no return. With the clock ticking and time running out it is essential that cooler heads prevail. Yet, those climate change deniers cling to their convictions that all is well and good. But, as the wrath of nature rocks a splintered nation millions are continually thrown into an inferno of hopelessness and despair.

Today, the scientific community has sounded the alarm that the planet has at the most 12 years remaining before irreversible damage is done to all life forms all around the globe. As we are seeing right now with the scorching heat and violent storms that continue to annihilate, homes, businesses, lives and livelihoods right here in the US while other parts of the world face one catastrophe after another are all reminders that climate change is one of the most severe threats to all life. The time is now and we had better act to reduce and eliminate the effects of what fossil fuel has and is doing to our world before it really is too late.

With the advent of hurricane season coinciding with the severity and frequency of violent tornadoes and flash floods through-out the mid west and central United States the billions of dollars in damage with an already crippling economy makes it clear that decisive action is needed now to negate the root causes that has placed the United States in such great peril. Not only has our continued use of fossil fuel fueled the catastrophic weather patterns that have caused the greatest desalination point in the worlds oceans but the economic policies of not only the Trump Administration but past administrations have drastically increased the number of Americans from ever achieving the American Dream.

While the media keeps focusing on how well the economy is doing, but underneath this facade of all is well and good lies a mounting avalanche of an economic catastrophe that would make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a picnic. News that isn’t reported, I bet for obvious reasons, is a far cry from what is actually reported by the main stream media. In truth there are several facts that emphatically state quite the contrary to what the media keeps reporting about the state of the US economy. When there are over 137 million Americans faced with acute financial hardship due to medical bills with more Americans every month declaring bankruptcy due to the lack of medical coverage and the high cost of medical care is a sure sign this country needs Medicare For All.

This is just the start of the financial crack in our fragile economy. A crack that is only getting wider and pretty soon our whole economy will come crashing down on an unsuspecting public. All because the media is either oblivious to the facts or are intentionally steering the public away from the real state of our economy. With the retail industry continuing it’s decline is more evident each week when there where over 6,000 stores that closed in the first half of this year alone. More closures continue to showcase the disturbing signs that all is not well and good in the American economy.

Today, 50% of our population can’t meet their basic needs like food, shelter, clean fresh water and just about everything essential for day to day living. The disposable incomes for over 80% of the population is totally insufficient to meet today’s cost of living. The media keeps reminding us that we have a very low unemployment number but what they fail to report is that the United States has over 100 million Americans that don’t have jobs at all. Our once strong manufacturing base has only withered and died on the vine of all the corporate shifts to out source American jobs over seas. Today’s farmers are going bankrupt at a rate higher than they were in the 1970′s. Consumer spending has dropped to an all time low. All of this just adds another dimension to the nations critical condition.

When we add the Trumps tariff wars has only escalated and exasperated the crippling effects of our whole economic future. More to the point is the fact that the future is really in our hands but we must act with decisive action now, not latter, if we are going to not only survive but prosper. There are ways to do just that but we first have to realize just how bad things have gotten and use a plan of direction that details solutions to the many urgent crisis of our times. That plan of direction is what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation and the National Economic Security Reformation Act details. And when they are both implemented this nation and the world will become solidified in a much brighter future for all.