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Tourism geography explained

A plane taking offIt might sound like an excuse for a lot of holidays, but tourism geography looks at some serious issues affecting many places on Earth.

When you travel somewhere, it might not feel like your visit makes a huge difference to the area. But a large number of tourists can change how many people live, as more people work in tourism and leisure jobs and fewer do things like manufacturing. Even the landscape itself can be damaged, as thousands of feet wear away soil and damage vegetation. A major part of tourist geography is the study of the environmental, economic and cultural effects of tourism.

Tourism geographers also look at how tourism develops, and why people travel the way they do. For example, how does the climate in an area affect how many tourists visit? These two elements of the subject can also overlap, as once a destination becomes popular, more people will hear about it and visit themselves.

Tourism geography has lots of overlap with other subjects, both within geography and beyond. Although it is possible to find degrees specifically in tourism geography, such as at the University of the West of England, you are more likely to study it as part of a broader geography degree.

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