In Praise Of Tourism

Travel drives the global economy--in part by making us want at home the things we've enjoyed abroad

Tourism is the Rodney Dangerfield of the global economy, the business that never gets respect. It drives economic development in ways that make it more important than the ballyhooed industries of the information revolution. Yet you could go to a score of conferences on international commerce without ever hearing tourism discussed.

One reason, I think, is guilt. About 11 million Americans will travel abroad this summer--80% of them as tourists. And such hordes can quickly ruin the very places they love. That's why environmental groups were so quick to criticize plans recently announced by the Mexican government to develop Baja California's...