In an MA class yesterday we were discussing some definitional frameworks for tourism and the tourism industry. A common misconception (although not one held by these students!) is that tourism is the world’s largest industry. You see this ‘fact’ repeated time and time again, but it does not really bear up to much scrutiny. Click here for the latest World Trade Organisation figures on the comparative sizes of industrial sectors.
Alan Lew has a post here on the same topic, where he calculates the ‘size’ of the tourism industry and posts some text from a forthcoming book to support his view. He places tourism in about 6th place, globally.