Tourism is big business today. There is no country in the world that is not in the global network of tourism activity. As numbers grow, there is pressure to keep the growth rate up. Every other industry has a cyclic downturn, but not tourism. To be able to understand the influence of tourism at the turn of the century, we have to distance ourselves from the blurb that surrounds tourism. We have to try to get at the basic elements that drive the process of global tourism.