published July 16, 1993
International tourism is often regarded as a relatively harmless form of industrial development. Compared with most extractive and many manufacturing industries, lying on a beach or viewing an ancient monument certainly appear to be innocuous. Getting to one’s destination, however, and consuming goods and services once there can have a major impact on the natural and cultural environment, especially if they involve thousands of people concentrated in time and space. According to industry specialists, nearly 500 million people travelled internationally in 1991. This number is expected to grow by about 4 per cent per year until the end of the century. It is estimated that 80 per cent of these tourists come from OECD countries, with 50 per cent coming from just five countries: France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Although data on tourism and travel differ according to the source and definitions used, it is estimated that this industry had US$2 trillion in sales and employed over 6 per cent of the global work force in 1987, making it the largest industry in the world.
— Bernd Von Droste, Dana Silk & Mechtild Rossler, Tourism, World Heritage & Sustainable Development
Japanese working for a better world, by Maggie Kinser Saiki — Ken Rodgers