People travel for business, for pleasure, or for a combination of the two. The vast majority of these people travel to specific destinations, which represents the building blocks of tourism. Once individuals have the time, money and motivation to travel and have decided where to go, they need some means to get there. Once at the destination, these tourists, as they are now called, require some place to stay, someplace to eat and drink, something to do (sightseeing, tennis, golf, skiing, for example), and something to buy as a remembrance of the trip. This is where the transportation, lodging, food and beverage, sightseeing, recreation, and retailing industries come in.
The shortsighted operator believes that business begins when the customer walks in the front door. The smarter manager understands that there is a vast world outside the front door (called travel and tourism) that determines the shape of demand for the business that one is engaged in. Thus, the airlines realize that to sell airline tickets it is necessary to sell a destination for someone to fly to; the hotel operator realizes that the fortunes of the property are dependent upon the fortunes of the destination of which it is a part.
That is what this book focuses on. By understanding what travel and tourism is all about, those who operate businesses that rely on the visitor will be in a better position to take a pro-active role in securing that business for themselves.