Tourism and tourist show spatial affinity. Tourists tend to be attracted to some regions from antiquity.
There are four major sets of factors affecting spatial affinity:
- The economic impact of tourism
Units of Consideration-Regions
- Tourist Regions corresponding to administrative Units (Regions, Provinces, etc)
- Tourist areas extracted and defined as special areas from the rest the non-tourist part of the country
- Tourist regions which may cover the whole of the country but whose boundary do not correspond with the actual administrative organization
The distribution of accommodation is the most widely used measure in the tourist industry. Accommodation statistics tend to be used mainly to indicate spatial variations in the importance of tourism or to identify regions of different type of tourist activity.
To find appropriate explanations, one has to examine the complexities of tourist behavior, drawing power of major attractions, professional efforts by respective state governments, the approach of Central government towards states, the status of infrastructural networks including connectivity and overall socio-economic development.
Economic Impact of Tourism
Over the past six decades, a continued expansion can be observed in the tourism sector, becoming one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, according to the data provided by UNWTO (2016): almost 1.200 million international arrivals of tourists were observed in 2015, while this number was only 25 million in 1950. Although the American continent and the Asia-Pacific regions have registered higher growth rates in the last few years, Europe is still the continent accommodating the highest number of international travelers in the world. Two European countries (France and Spain) rank among the 4 largest destinations, from the point of view of both the number of visitors and the revenues generated by tourism.
Nevertheless, the importance of Europe in the context of global tourism is higher when we consider the number of international travelers (51% of the international arrivals worldwide) rather than the revenues obtained (36%). With much fewer travelers, the Asia-Pacific region (24% of the global volume of international arrivals) achieves a similar revenue compared to Europe (33%), while the American continent registers 24% of the global tourism revenues (receiving only 16% of the international travelers)
Tourists have a special spatial affinity for some places, for example, India has fascinated the travelers from the time immemorial. Perhaps the early travelers to India were the trading Persians. Evidence of caravans from Persia visiting India lies engraved in the inscriptions dating to the Persian King Darius. During the rule of Guptas, there was free access to the ports along with western coast~ seaborne commerce with Europe through Egypt was yet another reason for travel in and around the country. There was enough evidence of cultural exchanges between Persia and Chandra Gupta Maurya.