International tourist arrivals reached the 1.4 billion in 2018

International Tourism earned $1.7 Trillion in 2019

UNWTO International Tourism Report 2019

Part 1: How has tourism grown?


  • Describe the growth of international tourism
Figure 1: International Tourist Arrivals.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1950. 68 years later this number has increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year. This is a 56-fold increase.
(Click on the graph to be taken to the interactive version)

i) Write your own definition of a tourist? You can check your answer here. 

ii) Using data from figure 1, describe the overall trend for International tourist arrivals between 1950 and 2020 (predicted).

iii) Which region has always had the greatest number of arrivals.

iv) Which region has seen the most rapid increase in tourist arrivals since 2000?

Figure 2: The map shows the number of tourists by country.
France is today the country that receives most tourists.
(Click on the map to be taken to the interactive version)

Use the interactive version of the figure 2 to answer the questions below.

v) How many tourist arrivals did France receive in 2016?

vii) Name 2 countries that received fewer than 1 million tourists in 2016

viii) Click on the “chart” button at the bottom of the interactive map. Pick two countries from each of the following regions. Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Central/South America. Download the graph that is generated, insert it into the word document and then describe the graph in detail. Be sure to describe the general trend for each country and include data.

Extension Explore the data in the map by clicking in different countries. Which country has seen the most rapid rate of increase in tourist arrivals since 2000? Have any countries seen a decline in tourist arrivals?

Part 2: Why has tourism grown?


  • Explain the growth of international tourism

  1. How have the images above contributed to the growth of international tourism? 
  2. Read the quote below. What is meant by the term, “Middle class?” 
  3. Why do you think the growth of China’s middle class has been so important to the growth of tourism? Do you think it is only China that has seen this increase in wealth? 

Analysis indicates the Chinese middle class could reach 550 million in three years — more than one-and-a-half times the entire U.S. population today.

4. Watch the video below starring a young Leonardo Di Caprio. How do you think a movie like this might affect tourism? 

The movie, “The Beach,” was released in 2000. This scene was filmed in Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

6. Now watch the video below and think about the impact that the growth of tourism can have, both positive and negative. We will be coming back to this later in the unit. 

Homework/Extension Task.

You will each be given an imaginary budget with which to plan the best 2 week holiday you can. You are to plan every aspect of your holiday, travelm, accommodation, activities etc. Put your illustrated itinerary into a ppt or word document and be ready to share it with the class.

Part 3: Tourism in Thailand


  • A case study of an area where tourism is important
  • Describe and explain the main physical and human attractions of Thailand.
  1. Watch the video above. What are the main attractions of Thailand shown in the video. 

Think? How could the attractions that you have noted down be classified?

2.  Make a table that summarises the Physical and Human attractions of Thailand in general terms. We will be looking at some of these in more detail later. 

The human and physical resources found in a particular place often influence tourism to a particular destination. Human resources are tourist attractions that have been made by people. Physical resources are the attractions that have been made by nature such as beaches or lakes

BBC Bitesize

Your trip to Thailand

3.  You are going to plan a family trip to Thailand. The trip should include both physical and human attractions. In order to plan your trip, you will need to find actual places in Thailand that you intend to visit. Make sure you include the following information.

  • A map showing where the locations you will visit are.
  • At least one photograph and a description of each location you will visit.
  • Three physical attractions such as beaches, mountains, waterfalls, lakes etc
  • Three human attractions such as temples and other heritage/cultural sites, museums, restaurants, attractions etc

Your trip should be outlined on a PowerPoint or Sway presentation and shared with the rest of the class on the class Team.

Exam Style Questions

  • Explain why tourists are attracted to Thailand all year round? (3 marks)
  • Explain why tourists find Thailand so attractive. You should refer to both physical and human factors in your answer. (5 marks)

Part 3: Tourism in Thailand, Good & Bad


  • Evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of tourism to Thailand

The Good

  • “The Thai economy benefits hugely from our sector, with over one in five of all Baht spent in the country coming from tourists. This helps to generate great prosperity and provide a livelihood for six million citizens.
  • Tourism contributed 21.6% to Thailand’s GDP, worth USD$109.5 billion when all direct, indirect and induced effects are taken into consideration
  • Travel & Tourism is responsible for 15.9% of all Thai employment, or 6 million jobs (Source
  • Money from tourism is spent on improving the country’s transport systems, electricity supply and telecommunications.
  • Tourism helps promote Thai culture to the rest of the world
  • Most tourists travel to Thailand for its extraordinary beauty. the result of this is that the government needs to look after the environment, or the tourists will stop coming. It provides money to organisations that protect the beaches and trees, and clear up litter. The Thai government also supports the creation of national parks, where wildlife is protected.
Income from tourism helps pay for improvements to Thailand’s infrastructure. This in turn helps the economy grow further.

Exam Style Questions

  • Describe two ways that tourism can earn money for Thailand (2 marks)
  • Give three different ways in which tourism has created jobs for people in Thailand. (3 marks)
  • Explain how tourism has led to the development of Thailand’s infrastructure. (4 marks)

The Bad

Remember this from earlier in the unit? Maya Bay on the small island of Ko Phi Phi Leh has been overrun by tourists and is now closed to the public until at least 2020

How tourists and fame ruined the most pristine beach in Thailand Maya Bay on the small island of Ko Phi Phi Leh became overrun with tourists. Up to 5000 visitors a day!

The Downside to Tourism in Bangkok

  • Increasing traffic congestion
  • Loss of traditional housing
  • Lack of respect for local customs and culture.
  • Increase in crime
  • Inappropriate and offensive behaviour of tourists
  • The growth of sex tourism
  • Increasing house prices
  • Pollution
  • Strain on resources such as water .

Addressing the benefits and consequences of tourism in Thailand

Exam Style Questions

  • Describe and explain how tourism is damaging the natural environment at Maya Beach (7 marks)
  • Suggest how the tourist industry benefits and disadvantages the people living in Thailand. (7 marks)
  • How might tourism have a negative impact on local people in Bangkok? (5 marks)

Part 4: Sustainable Tourism in Thailand


  • Demonstrate an understanding that careful management of tourism is required in order for it to be sustainable

Thailand’s ecotourism hot spots: a quick guide to sustainable travel in the Land of Smiles

Lonely Planet: Ecotourism in Thailand

While Thailand benefits from being one of the top 10 most touristed nations on earth, welcoming 25 million annual visitors presents considerable challenges for the sustainability of its natural environment and rich cultural traditions. Fortunately, minimising your footprint in Thailand has never been easier, with countless opportunities to enjoy a greener visit, from homestays with hill tribes and helping with the harvest, to supporting endangered wildlife.

Discover the benefits of sustainable tourism and prepare to enjoy a vacation in the natural paradise of Thailand. 

Extension: Your sustainable tour of Thailand.

Go back to the tour you created earlier in this unit. Now redesign it, trying to make it as sustainable as possible. What problems did you face in doing this? 

Exam Style Questions

  • Explain how the creation of national parks can help tourism be sustainable. (5 marks) 
  • Using named examples, explain how Thailand is managing the negative impacts of tourism. (7 marks)  
  • Explain how tourism is Thailand is being managed in order for it to be sustainable. (7 marks)