chapter  12
International Tourism and Multinational Corporations in the Pacific: the Case of Fiji
Pages 23

The very rapid growth of international tourist travel has been one of the most notable phenomena of recent decades. Between 1950 and 1974 global international tourist arrivals increased eightfold from 25 million to 213 million, with an annual increase of over 9 per cent over the period from 1961 to 1971 (Schmoll, 1977; Robinson, 1976). This mushrooming demand for overseas travel has been a direct reflection of transformations that have occurred in advanced Western economies. Of total tourist movements in 1973, 91 per cent took place between and within Europe and North America (Robinson, 1976). The social and economic changes responsible for these developments have been the widespread improvement of employment conditions, the accompanying massive extension of demand for, and creation of, consumer goods and a similar growth of service industries as new avenues for capital accumulation. With respect to the specific causes for the rapid growth of tourism, three factors can be identified. These are: the increased opportunities for individual recreation (for example shorter working hours, higher incomes, paid holidays); the revolutions in air transport and communications technologies (for example wide-bodied jet aircraft, computerised reservations systems); and what Mandel (1975) calls the 'civilising function of capital', the extension of cultural and individual needs (for example individual enrichment from experiencing other cultures).