Political factors.

A number of political changes have also increased the degree of globalization and have contributed to the development of tourism around the world. Here, we must include the following:

a. Creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, WTO has pushed for the complete removal of barriers to international trade and investment.

b. Movement of people has also become easier, as many countries have removed visa requirements or have made them easier to obtain.

c. Erosion of the power of the state. Partially, authority, which had been traditionally exercised by the state, has been voluntarily transferred upward, to supranational organizations [such as the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and United Nations (UN)], and downward, to local and regional governments. This has had major implications on the development of mass tourism. The creation of economic and political blocks came with the removal of many travel barriers. For example, the Schengen Agreement established free, unrestricted movement of people within much of the European Union. The creation of Euroland removed all problems related to currency exchange. Generally speaking, the creation, consolidation, and expansion of the EU have contributed in a significant way to the development of tourism in Europe.

d. Through privatization and deregulation, states have also transferred decisions that were previously made by governments to TNCs. As a result, governments are now in a much weaker position to take action, even in strategic areas, such as labor and environmental legislation (Reid 2003). To please corporations, governments in many poor, developing countries have depossessed indigenous people of their land and resources and turned them to corporations depriving them of the resources which sustained their traditional lifestyles (Sindiga 1999). At the same time, to attract tourists organized by the leading tour operator TNCs, states are forced to engage in bidding wars with countries with similar tourist offers, which minimizes the benefits that developing countries can accrue from tourism (Reid 2003).

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