With the expansion of international trade and other forms of international economic relations, increasing the level of culture and education, international tourism begins to develop.

International tourism is a type of activity aimed at providing various kinds of tourist services and goods of tourist demand in order to meet a wide range of cultural and spiritual needs of a foreign tourist. Tourist services in international trade act as an “invisible” commodity.

The beginning of the era of mass tourism is associated with the internationalization of all spheres of public life, an increase in living standards, an increase in free time, changes in transport and communications. In the 60-70s, international tourism acquired a worldwide character. On average, about 65% of all international tourist trips are to Europe, about 20% to America, 15% to other regions (1990). Over the past 20 years, the number of international tourists in the world has increased by 1/3 and, according to forecasts, by 2000 their number will exceed 500 million. According to the International Tourism Organization, the growth rate of international tourism is 4.5—5% per year.

This growth is associated with the impact of the main factors affecting the development of tourism. They can be divided into economic and social. These factors primarily include the growth of personal incomes of citizens above the limits sufficient to meet the necessary needs, the technical improvement of means of transport and communication, the involvement of new segments of society in tourism (pensioners, owners of small businesses, family tourism). An increase in the pace of urbanization leads to the expansion of tourism — powerful tourist complexes are being formed that advertise their services. Not a small role is played by the tendency to split vacations, as a result of which the terms of tourism are reduced, but the number of trips is growing. The subjective reasons for the growth of tourism include the activities of state bodies regulating the order of entry and exit from the country and the stay of foreign citizens on its territory.

International tourism is considered by countries as one of the means of economic development, which is manifested in the following.

  • By providing goods and services to tourists, the country participates more widely in the system of international division of labor, rationally using its natural resources.

  • International tourism is an effective source of foreign exchange earnings, including through “domestic exports”, i.e. the sale of local goods to tourists. As an example, Italy can be cited, where the effectiveness of foreign exchange earnings from tourism has helped to mitigate the problems of external settlements. During the entire recent period, the current account surplus of 70-80% was formed due to the contribution from international tourism. Income from international tourism is understood as payment for goods and services made by foreign tourists during their stay in the country, with the exception of profits from additional employment and payment for international transport. International tourist expenses include payment for goods and services produced by residents of a given country abroad.

Income from international tourism is constantly increasing.

If in 1990 they amounted to $ 255,006 million, with the largest revenues received by the United States ($ 40,579 million), then in 1998 — $ 495 million (US revenues — $ 120 million), and by 2020 $ 2 billion is expected. The ratio between income and expenses from international tourism varies in countries and regions. Spain has the largest positive balance (+$14,339 million); France, Austria, Italy, and Japan and Germany have the most negative balance.

In addition, as a result of the expenses carried out by foreign tourists in the host country, firstly, the incomes of tourist firms increase (direct effect), secondly, the demand for goods and services of suppliers increases, which in turn contributes to the growth of demand for goods and services of their suppliers and, consequently, income growth in all third, personal incomes of the population directly or indirectly related to the tourism business are increasing, and this leads to an increase in consumer demand (forced effect). Indirect and forced effects are collectively referred to as secondary effects.

  • Foreign exchange income from tourism accelerates the investment process not only in tourism, but also in other sectors of the regional and national economy, contributing to the development of backward regions. With the development of international tourism, the tourism industry of industrially developed countries is rapidly developing, in the sphere of which the hotel industry, transport, food, footwear, clothing and other industries are involved. The demand for medical care is increasing, the development of handicraft industries specializing in the manufacture of souvenirs is stimulated. The development of tourism will create new jobs, increase income and GNP.