the practice of traveling (whether on foot or by other means) as a leisure-time activity and a form of recreation.

Tourism is the most effective means of satisfying recreational needs; combining a variety of recreational activities, it fulfills such goals as the recovery of health, enrichment of knowledge, and restoration of one’s productive capacity. Tourism contributes to health maintenance, physical education, and the intellectual, cultural, and social development of the individual.

According to worldwide criteria used in estimating the scope of the tourist movement, the term “tourist” applies to all persons who temporarily and voluntarily change their place of residence for any purpose except to engage in activities for financial reward in such a place of temporary residence. Persons who spend less than 24 hours of their nonworking time in such a place are considered visitors. In contrast to foreign tourism, which crosses national borders, domestic, or national, tourism consists of travel within a single country. According to the data of international official tourist agencies, domestic tourism in the mid-1970’s accounted for 75 to 80 percent of a worldwide total of 700 to 800 million tourists.

International and national tourism are closely interconnected, with each influencing the other, since they are by nature homogeneous and identically motivated, and since they create a demand for the same basic goods and services; in many countries, foreign and domestic tourism are based on a common material technology and a common sphere of labor investment.

Depending on purpose, the following categories of tours may be distinguished: tours, or excursions, that constitute a learning experience—such as visiting attractive places and viewing cultural, historical, natural, or other notable sights; sports tours—involving participation in sports events; amateur sports or hobby tours—for such activities as hunting and fishing; local trips out of the city (in Russian, “suburban tourism”)—mass excursions of short duration by large organized groups, small groups, and individuals, including trips to special rest areas; socially oriented tours—with participation in public activities; business trips—undertaken for professional reasons; and religious tours—for the purpose of visiting places that are considered holy.

In the practice of international statistics, tourism includes trips to health and vacation resorts and trips taken to visit relatives and friends or to attend fairs or congresses. As a rule, tourists pursue more than one goal—combining, for example, a trip to a health resort with sightseeing; the goal that is dominant will determine the tourist’s choice of itinerary, time of year, duration of the journey, means of travel, type of accommodation (for example, hotel, tourist center, or tent), and such other decisions as whether to travel singly or with one’s family, to join a group, to provide one’s own camping gear, or to make use of self-service facilities. The goals and type of trip, in their turn, are determined by the tourist’s material circumstances, state of health, age, occupation, and cultural level, as well as by such factors as the material technology on which tourism is based and the extent of available public support (payments and subsidies from public and private funds, for example, or the special rates granted to tourists and tourist organizations).

A distinction is commonly drawn between organized tours, which follow a program drawn up by a tourist agency and which include the provision of given services, and individually planned trips, in which the tourist works out his own program and—to a greater or lesser extent—makes his own arrangements for services.

In the USSR. The first large-scale Russian tourist organization, founded in 1885 in St. Petersburg, was called Lipson’s Enterprise for Public Travel to All the Countries of the World. Also established were the Alpine Club in Tbilisi (1877), the Crimean Mountaineering Club in Odessa (1890) with branches in Yalta and Sevastopol’ (later the Crimean-Caucasian Mountaineering Club), and the Russian Touring Club in St. Petersburg (1895). The last was a society of cyclists with local sections in other cities, including Moscow, Kiev, and Riga, and in 1901 it became the Russian Society of Tourists (RST). The RST charter excluded students and those with low military rank from membership. The society organized trips within the country as well as abroad. By 1914 the RST had approximately 5,000 members—mostly from the propertied classes.

Table 1. Number and growth of world tourists
  1950 1960 1965 1970 1975
Tourists (millions). . . . . 25.3 71.2 115.5 169.0 220.0
Growth over preceding year (percent). . . . . 13.0 6.9 9.7 10.5
Index. . . . . 100 281 456 668 870

Soviet tourism dates back to the early 1920’s. Trips for workers were organized by the trade unions, and those for students and members of the Red Army, by the Narkompros (People’s Commissariat of Education). The first Soviet tourist organization, established in 1918, was the Bureau of School Excursions of the Narkompros. There was, however, no mass tourism at that time.

The RST, having changed its charter, was reactivated in the mid-1920’s. In 1928 the joint-stock company Soviet Tourist was established. In 1929 the RST was replaced by the Society for Proletarian Tourism of the RSFSR. In the same year, another joint-stock company, Inturist, was formed. In 1930, by decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the Soviet Tourist company and the Society for Proletarian Tourism were replaced by the All-Union Voluntary Society for Proletarian Tourism and Excursions (AVSPTE). The Central Children’s Excursion Tour Station of the Narkompros of the RSFSR was founded in 1932.

Much was done by the AVSPTE to encourage the public to take excursions and walking tours and to organize tourist centers and itineraries. In 1930 the AVSPTE had a total membership of 169,000; by 1932 it had 937,000 members, with 92 Union-level tourist centers and 6.6 million persons participating in longdistance and local trips and excursions. In 1936, a decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR entrusted the organization of local and long-distance trips and excursions to the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions; under the latter’s jurisdiction, a new agency was established—the Tourist Excursion Administration (TEA), which took the place of AVSPTE.

By 1940 the trade unions had established several thousand tourist organizational units within industrial enterprises and educational institutions; they had also arranged tourist excursion itineraries in many areas of the country, with 165 functioning tourist centers and camps. After the destruction of many tourist centers during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the Soviet trade unions in April 1945 adopted a resolution aimed at reactivating the trade union council’s TEA. In the same year, TEA offices were opened in Moscow, Leningrad, the Crimea, the Northern Caucasus, Krasnodar Krai, and the Georgian SSR. Tourist clubs were established during the 1950’s and 1960’s in all the Union republics, in 33 krais and oblasts of the RSFSR, and in 144 cities.

In 1962 the local trade union TEA’s were reorganized as councils on tourism; the Central Council on Tourism, in Moscow, included representatives of the central state and of public organizations and institutions that had a share in the delivery of tourist services. By 1965 there were functioning councils on tourism in practically all the Union and autonomous republics, krais, and oblasts, while the large cities had excursion bureaus. Under the trade unions’ jurisdiction, 452 tourist centers were in operation with a total of 80,000 accommodations; 82 river- and sea-going diesel ships were leased, and the railroads had 240 operating tourist routes. Approximately 1.7 million tourists and more than 8 million excursionists were served by the trade unions’ tourist institutions.

In 1969 the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions adopted the decree On Measures for the Further Development of National Tourism and Excursions, aimed at transforming tourist travel and excursions into a major branch of service to the population. The name of the Central Council on Tourism was changed to the Central Council on Tourism and Excursions (CCTE).

Between 1971 and 1975, 500 million rubles were allocated by the trade unions to the material development of tourism; the number of tourist centers, hotels, and camping sites increased to almost 1,000, and the number of individual accommodations grew from 150,000 to 300,000. The volume of tourist and excursion services increased from 260 million rubles in 1970 to 1 billion rubles in 1975. The scope of Soviet tourism places the USSR in the world’s top ranks. The number of persons who spent their vacations and holidays away from their usual place of residence in 1975 was estimated to be 140 to 150 million (including those visiting rest homes, boardinghouses, Sanatoriums, Pioneer camps, and the like); this figure represents approximately 20 percent of the total number of tourists in the world.

The CCTE, one of the world’s largest tourist organizations, serves approximately 26 million tourists and close to 130 million excursionists annually (as of 1975). As part of the CCTE system, more than 350 tour itineraries are in operation on the all-Union level, and more than 6,000 on the local level; more than 8,000 maritime and river cruises are organized each year, as well as approximately 9,000 train tours, more than 30,000 airplane tours, and more than 200,000 bus tours. Excursion and travel bureaus have been opened in almost 600 cities and populated areas. The USSR has more than 3,000 clubs and more than 14,000 facilities for the rental of tourist equipment. Approximately 60,000 tourist sections have been established within construction and other types of enterprises and in kolkhozes, sovkhozes, scientific research institutes, and educational institutions. Such tourist sections serve to join together individuals pursuing various kinds of sports tourism—such as hiking, skiing, water sports, and bicycling—that since 1949 have been included in the Uniform All-Union Sports Classification. Regular competitions are held in the various types of sports tourism, including all-Union competitions. Itinerary and qualification commissions, as well as monitoring and rescue services, have been set up as part of the councils on tourism. As of 1975, more than 100,000 persons had sports rankings, and more than 600 were masters of sports of the USSR in the tourist category. The regulatory norms of sports tourism are included in the all-Union physical training system named Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR.

The programs of the Children’s Excursion Tour Stations (CETS’s) were expanded between 1971 and 1975; the CETS’s are under the direction of the Central CETS of the Ministry of Education of the USSR (established in 1970). In 1975 there were approximately 200 CETS’s and more than 300 CETS-operated children’s tourist camps; approximately 1 million schoolchildren used the camps as vacation facilities, while close to 8 million went on excursions and more than 8 million on independent walking tours.

Since the end of the 1950’s, with the lessening of international tension and the growth of cultural and economic contacts between countries, the USSR’s international tourist programs have been vastly expanded. Inturist’s activities were stepped up; the Bureau of International Youth Tourism, known as Sputnik, was established in 1958, and a department of international tourism was formed in the same year as part of the Central Council on Tourism. The Board of Foreign Tourism, established in 1964 under the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, was reorganized in 1969 as the Council of Ministers’ Central Board of Foreign Tourism (CBFT).

During the 1970’s the material base of foreign tourism in the USSR was strengthened, and the geographical scope of such travel was extended. Inturist offers its services in more than 100 Soviet cities, and Sputnik has 19 international youth camps. Exchanges between foreign and Soviet trade union tourist organizations have increased considerably. The number of foreign tourists in the USSR grew from 2 million in 1970 to 3.7 million in 1975, while more than 2 million Soviet citizens traveled abroad in 1975. In terms of volume of activity, Inturist ranks in the top ten of the world’s tourist agencies, and Sputnik is the largest tourist youth organization in the world.

In abundance and diversity of recreational resources the USSR ranks first in the world. The country has at least 450 natural regions that are particularly suitable as vacation spots and as sanatorium locations, as well as more than 500 resort centers; points of interest for excursionists number in the tens of thousands. The many tour itineraries that are unique in character include the following: the 30-day railroad trip across the Soviet Union that starts in Vladivostok and proceeds through the cities of Siberia and through Moscow, Leningrad, Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius, Kiev, the Crimea and the Caucasus, by ferry across the Caspian Sea, through the capitals of the Middle Asian republics, and back to Vladivostok; the air tour that begins and ends in Moscow and stops at Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Putiatin, and the Kamchatka Peninsula (Valley of the Geysers, Gremuchii Volcano, and Petropavlovsk); the river cruise by raft along the Belaia River in the Urals; the ocean cruise starting and ending in Murmansk, over the Arctic Ocean, and stopping at the port of Dudinka for a side trip to Noril’sk; and the horseback tour in the Altai mountain region.

The development of tourism in the USSR, consistent with state policies to protect the health of the population, is strongly social in character. Out of state social insurance funds alone, more than 1 billion rubles are set aside annually to provide travel vouchers at reduced prices and various grants for the use of tourist agencies, Sanatoriums, and other health and recreation institutions. Moreover, considerable sums are expended for these purposes out of the social funds of enterprises and sovkhozes. Transportation tickets at reduced prices are made available to trade union, youth, and children’s tourist organizations. In terms of social composition, the total tourist population of the 1970’s may be broken down as follows: industrial workers and office employees, 33 percent; engineers, technicians, and intellectuals engaged in creative work, 28 percent; students, 18 percent; sovkhoz and kolkhoz workers, 9 percent; retired persons, 4 percent; others, 8 percent.

In 1975, an estimated 75 to 80 million persons went on unspon-sored trips or walking tours of varying duration, undertaking independent travel to places of organized rest and recreation, to suburban areas, or to other cities for such purposes as the pursuit of health or to engage in educational, social, or sports activities.

The population’s expenditures on vacations involving travel away from home amount to a total of 13 to 14 billion rubles a year (1975, estimate). This figure, representing about 5.5 percent of the population’s total consumption of goods and services, places tourism near the top of the scale in volume of expenditures.

Research studies of tourism are conducted by a number of organizations, including the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the central and regional institutes of health resort science and physical therapy of the Ministry of Health of the USSR, the All-Union Scientific Research Laboratory for Tourism and Excursions of the CCTE in Moscow, and the Scientific Research Laboratory for Foreign Tourism. For the training of tourist organization personnel, central and regional tourist courses are provided by the CCTE, the institute for improving the skills of specialists of the CBFT under the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and the specialized faculty at the Higher School of the Trade Union Movement of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions.

Publications pertaining to tourism include the illustrated monthly magazine Turist, published by the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, the Tour Itineraries published on a regular basis by the CCTE of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, and the illustrated magazine Puteshestvie v SSSR, for foreign tourists, published in Russian, English, French, and German by the CBFT under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The newspaper Moskovskie novosti is published in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic by the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Ties With Foreign Countries. For mass readership, a series of books and brochures on tourism is issued annually by the publishing house Fizkul’tura i Sport and by Profizdat, the trade union publishing house.


International. After its initial development in the mid-19th century, international tourism has assumed a mass character in the second half of the 20th century. Being closely linked to various aspects of the international situation, international tourism reflects such changing circumstances by developing at faster or slower rates; it responds not only to the world’s political and economic state of affairs but also to the situation in individual countries that are in a position to affect the world market of tourist services. This explains the sometimes uneven rate of growth of international tourism. Table 1 shows the growth in the number of tourists in the world between 1950 and 1975. For the purposes of international statistics, the number of tourists is taken to be the number of registered tourist arrivals in any one country; however, inasmuch as some tourists visit several countries in the course of one trip, the true figures are somewhat lower.

International tourism today is most highly developed in Europe and North America. Table 2 shows the volume and distribution of international tourism by world regions from 1965 to 1975.

Europe, the world’s principal tourist area, accounts for almost almost two-thirds of all tourists crossing international boundaries. Europeans also make up approximately two-thirds of the world’s tourists; on the other hand, relatively few tourists travel outside the continent—primarily because of the relatively high cost of intercontinental travel and the high cost of services in many non-European countries. For many years, tourist traffic in Western Europe flowed primarily from north to south. The 1960’s and 1970’s brought overcrowding in the popular tourist centers of the French and Italian Mediterranean coastline; this, together with the competitive development of the material and technological base of international tourism in other Mediterranean countries, resulted in a noticeable reorientation in the movement of European tourists to the southwest (Spain) and the southeast (Bulgaria, Rumania, and Yugoslavia).

Table 2. Volume and distribution of international tourism by world regions
  1965 1970 1975
% Index Tourists
% Index Tourists
% Index
Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87.6 75.8 100 126.2 74.7 144 158.5 72.0 181
North America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.4 16.8 100 27.3 16.1 Tourism 47.0 21.4 213
Latin America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.7 2.3 100 5.1 3.0
Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1 1.0 100 2.3 1.4 209 3.5 1.6 318
Tourism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1 1.8 100 5.3 3.1 252 8.0 3.6 381
Near ast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6 2.3 100 2.8 1.7 108 3.0 1.4 115
World total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115.5 100 100 169.0 100 146 220 100 190

International tourism in the socialist countries of Europe has expanded considerably; in 1975, visitors to these countries numbered 45 million, or 18 percent of all the world’s tourists. International tourism in the European socialist countries has been developing primarily within the framework of the socialist community. The 1970’s saw a significant increase in the number of tourists traveling to the socialist countries from the capitalist states and to some extent from the developing countries, as well as in the number of tourists from the socialist countries traveling abroad. Of the socialist countries, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia have the largest volume of international tourism.

The second major tourist region is North America (the USA and Canada), which in 1975 was visited by approximately 16 percent of the world’s tourists. Such travel was mainly in the form of “reciprocal tourism” between the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Approximately 5 million persons from the USA and close to 500,000 from Canada leave the continent each year for trips abroad. An absolute increase in the volume of international tourism is also taking place in the countries of Latin America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania, although visitors to these countries still account for only slightly more than 9 percent of all tourists crossing international boundaries. Most of the developing countries, while rich in recreational resources, lack the prerequisite material and technological base for international tourism.

In addition to the cultural value of international tourist exchanges and their political significance as a means of enhancing mutual understanding among peoples and establishing closer international state relations, such exchanges are important from the economic point of view. In some countries, foreign currency revenues from international tourism constitute an important item of income in the balance of payments, and such revenues are subject to much faster growth than are revenues from the export of commodities. Table 3 shows the rates of increase in total world revenues in the form of currency from international tourism from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. These rates of increase are somewhat higher than those based on the growth in numbers of international tourism—a circumstance that results primarily from increased prices for goods and services in the capitalist countries.

The geographic distribution of tourist movements bears directly on the distribution and growth of income from international tourism, as shown in Table 4. Such income in turn increases or decreases depending on the extent, nature, and cost of the services offered and the duration of tourists’ visits in a given country. The growth of international tourism is linked to the solution of a number of technical, organizational, and scientific

Table 3. Volume and growth of world revenues from international tourism
  1950 1960 1965 1970 1975
Volume of revenues (billion dollars). . . . . . 2.1 6.8 11.0 17.9 31.1
Growth in revenues over preceding year (percent) 17.2 14.6 16.2 10.7
Index. . . . . . 100 324 524 852 1,481

problems, many of which are common to most if not to all countries—for example, developing the material and technological base, dividing a country into districts in accordance with tourist requirements, identifying new districts and localities suitable as tourist centers, and extending the tourist season (inasmuch as the months of June, July, and August account for more than 50 percent of the number of tourists in a given year).

Branch of the economy. Tourism represents a branch of the economy that is included in the nonproduction sphere, with enterprises and organizations functioning to satisfy the needs of tourists for both material and nonmaterial services. What this branch produces is a complex of interrelated services that constitute the tour—for example, transportation and hotel facilities, trade services (including public catering), excursions and other organized activities such as sports, sightseeing, and study tours, and the services of communal housing and health agencies. Any given tour may provide some or all of these services in varying proportions, depending on such factors as tour category, mode of travel, and duration and method of organization of the trip. In the USSR, for example, the proportions for a representative study tour in 1975, based on the average expenses of individual tourists, were as follows: transportation, 30 percent; accommodations, 15 percent; food, 30 percent; purchases (industrial goods and food products), 15 percent; excursions and entertainment, 8 percent; and communications and miscellaneous services, 2 percent. The worldwide average figures for tourists traveling to attend a congress or convention are as follows: transportation (international excluded), 5 percent; accommodations, 34 percent; food, 25 percent; purchases, 15 percent; excursions and entertainment, 8 percent; and communications and miscellaneous services, 13 percent.

The variety of purposes for which trips are taken and the different ways in which they are organized have resulted in a number of new enterprises with diverse functions (such as hotels, tourist centers, motels, boardinghouses, and rest homes) and in specialized tourist institutions; in planning their service programs, these enterprises and institutions take into account the different tour categories, the various methods of organizing trips, and the age, occupation, and other characteristics of the client group.

In economic terms, the material and technological base of tourism is an aggregate of enterprises and institutions subdivided into categories that are called primary and secondary. The primary group includes such tourist accommodation facilities as hotels, tourist centers, boardinghouses, transportation facilities on tour routes, special communications offices, and bureaus for currency exchange—all of which provide services to tourists only; the secondary group includes urban and international transportation facilities, trade and public catering enterprises, sightseeing and study tour agencies, and communal and service institutions—all providing services both to the local population and to tourists as temporary residents of a given locality. In addition, many other enterprises and institutions support the operations of the primary and secondary tourist enterprises—for example, production, repair, and supply enterprises; educational institutions for training skilled service personnel, excursion leaders, guides, and interpreters; scientific institutions; and planning and design organizations. This third group of tourist enterprises, as well as those in the primary group, are usually owned or leased by tourist organizations, while most of the secondary enterprises belong to other branches of the economy—in the service and material production sphere—that contribute to the provision of tourist services. It is through the secondary enterprises that tourist activities affect the local economy: since tourists receive no material remuneration, the input of tourist funds serves to augment the net income of local budgets.

The relative extent to which primary and secondary enterprises render services to tourists depends on such factors as the state of development of tourism’s material and technological base, the length of a given trip, the tour category, and the time of year. In a study tour, for example, the proportion of excursion services and within-tour transportation facilities is usually quite large; the same is true of intercity transportation and health care services in the case of health-oriented tours, while sightseeing and public catering enterprises provide a large share of the services in the case of winter tours. Generally, the share of the primary enterprises is no more than 20 to 30 percent of all services provided, although the reverse may be true on occasion (for example, on cruises).

In practice, the special character of the economics and technology of tourist services precludes the organization of tourism on a formal basis that would unite all or even most of its material and technological base. This lies at the basis of a different point of view—namely, that tourism merely provides a market for the disposal of services and goods by other branches.

Tourism is a labor investment sphere for a considerable portion of the economically active population in all the developed countries. For example, the number of persons directly or indirectly employed in tourist service represents 5.6 percent of total employment in the USA, 4.3 percent in France, more than 4 percent in Great Britain, and approximately 4 percent of all those employed in the national economy of the USSR (1975, estimate). The tourist branch occupies a leading position in the economy of many countries. In France, for example, the income from tourism

Table 4. Distribution and growth of income from international tourism by world regions
  1965 1970 1975
  Billion dollars % Index Billion dollars % Index Billion dollars % Index
Europe. . . . . . . . . . 7.14 64.7 100 10.80 60.4 151 18.00 57.9 252
North America. . . . . . . . . . 207 188 100 3.50 195 Tourism 6.00 19.3 204
Latin America. . . . . . . . . . 0.87 7.9 100 1.70 9.5
Africa. . . . . . . . . . 0.22 2.0 100 0.41 2.3 186 2.50 8.0 1,136
Tourism. . . . . . . . . . 0.48 4.3 100 1.20 6.7 250 4.00 12.9 833
Near East 0.25 2.3 100 0.28 1.6 112 0.60 1.9 240
World total 11.03 100 100 17.89 100 162 31.10 100 282

in 1975 was greater than that from the automotive industry, thus putting tourism in the first place among the various branches of material production and services. In some regions, tourism is the only branch that can perceptibly contribute to the engagement of productive forces; it can do so through the exploitation of natural resources or attributes that no other branch of the economy can utilize—resources such as mountain air, snow cover, temperate seas, solar radiation, and aesthetically pleasing landscapes. At the same time, some resources that are currently exploited for economic purposes—for example, forests, meadows, and rivers—can be made to serve the goals of tourism as well.

The concentration of production and urbanization evoke people’s normal need to spend their vacation in a relatively unaltered natural environment. Hence a significant number of tourists, often spontaneously, choose as their target precisely those regions in which the productive forces are relatively undeveloped and the natural environment is relatively untouched. It is a property of tourism, as compared to other branches of the national economy, that it has the least negative effect on the surrounding environment. Competing against other branches for the economic development of territory, tourism is seen as an ecologically effective branch that contributes to natural conservation. Nature may be negatively affected in some instances—namely, when tourism pioneers in opening up new territory or when tourists strain the capacity of an area and thus undermine nature’s power of self-renewal. Studies are in process to prevent such impoverishment of natural resources; various types of landforms are analyzed in terms of their tourist capacity, territorial reserves are identified as subject to protection for future tourist use, and conservation measures are implemented in the organization of natural parks under national jurisdiction. Research on the all-around utilization of recreational resources has given birth to a new branch of geography—recreational geography.

Study tours and business trips—which constitute a significant portion of all tourist travel—are the tour categories that tend to converge on cultural, industrial, and scientific centers and consequently promote the development of service branches and of certain material production branches in these centers. In some cities and regions, tourism can in fact be the leading branch of the economy.

The concentration of production and urbanization evokes people’s normal need to spend their vacation in a relatively unaltered economic activity. The following categories of indicators are most prevalent: (1) data pertaining to the state of development of the material and technological base of tourism—that is, the number of places available for tourist accommodation and the number of such places per capita of the population (called the coefficient of tourist density); (2) scope of operations—that is, the number of tourists visiting specific localities, cities, and countries; (3) duration of tourist stay in a given locality or country; (4) volume of tourist services, expressed as the monetary income derived from tourists—in gross figures as well as per capita of the population; and (5) data indicating the relative position of tourism with respect to the other branches of the economy—namely, the number of persons directly and indirectly employed in tourist service, the number of such employees as a percentage of the entire productive population or of all those employed in the service and material production sphere, and the tourist share of the income from total sales as a proportion of the population.

Other categories of indicators, which are considered separately, include the following: (1) currency expended by foreign tourists, classified as a credit item; (2) expenditures by a country’s citizens on trips abroad, considered debit items (visits by foreign tourists are regarded as economic assets, while trips abroad by the citizens of one’s country are known as economic liabilities); and (3) the share of income derived from foreign tourism in the country’s balance of payments.

Tourism is practically nonexistent in countries with poorly developed productive forces (for example, certain countries of Asia and Africa). In their efforts to create their own material base for foreign tourism, some of the developing countries have been forced to seek the help of foreign capital.

In many countries, the economic importance of tourism has resulted in the organization of state and governmental institutions —including ministries, commissariats, and commissions—to implement state policy on tourism; these institutions promote the development of tourism by earmarking funds from the state budget to purchase recreation lands, to establish national parks and architectural, ethnographic, and natural preserves, to implement publicity programs, to carry out research studies, and to train personnel. Tourist policy in the capitalist states aims basically at developing national tourism. The goal is to reduce the debit share and increase the credit share of tourism, since the excess of expenditures over receipts in a country’s balance of payments is often a reflection of excessive tourist deficits.

In the USSR, state policy on domestic tourism is implemented by the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions; on foreign tourism, by the CBFT of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Tourism is an important means of promoting health and furthering the aims of cultural enrichment and political education. Tourist organizations are exempt from all state taxes, including income taxes. Considerable sums from state and trade union budgets are allocated to tourism for such purposes as developing the material and technological base, providing travel vouchers at special popular rates, and subsidizing the various tourist organizations.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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