The tourist infrastructure is the set of physical facilities and provision of goods and services of a country or region destined to serve foreign visitors.
Some examples of these elements are accommodation and gastronomic facilities, transportation, product rental services, excursions, among others.
Likewise, this infrastructure includes facilities for commercial, leisure, educational, cultural and other purposes.
Characteristics of the tourist infrastructure
Tourism infrastructure can be classified in different ways. For example, it can be classified according to the owner of the property:
- Public : It is the infrastructure provided by the State institutions. This includes the type of infrastructure that the market may not provide in an accessible way. For example, roads and highways. Likewise, other types of facilities provided by the State, such as hotels and cultural centers, are included in this classification.
- Private: It constitutes the facilities provided by the private sector. This section includes buildings, and the provision of goods and services.
- Mixed : Finally, facilities in which the public and private sectors have participation are also considered. For example, telecommunications and information.
Likewise, the tourist infrastructure can be classified by its purpose:
- For tourism purposes : It includes the infrastructure originally created for the exploitation of tourism. For example, accommodation and transportation rental services and facilities. This infrastructure drives demand, encouraging visits from foreigners.
- Paraturistics : In this case, pre-existing or built facilities for local development and that benefit tourism are included. For example, roads and paths, and local facilities such as public transportation. This infrastructure serves to support visitors, greatly enhancing their experience.
In this last classification there are elements that can be considered part of both groups. For example, sports and leisure facilities, or the gastronomy service.
Importance of tourism infrastructure
This infrastructure allows the commercial exploitation of natural or created tourist destinations. Consequently, greater and better tourism infrastructure improves the tourism offer and increases the attractiveness of the region.
In other words, a heavenly place will not generate income from visits without these facilities or, failing that, it will be less than if they existed. Therefore, this infrastructure generates the following benefits:
- Increased consumption, attracting more people implies that more goods and services must be produced than in a closed economy.
- With the increase in demand, the gross domestic product (GDP) increases. In this sense, the impact on income will be more significant at the local level.
- This also implies that more workers, even specialized ones, are needed to meet the demand. In other words, it improves the level of employment.
- Tourist services contribute to exports, therefore, it contributes to improving the trade balance.
- With these results, it is also to be expected that it will have a beneficial impact on tax collection.
- Streamlines business activity.