Green channel

Click to follow
Get rich quick? That depends on which side of the touristic divide you stand. Sue Wheat does the sums

The first package tour abroad can probably be attributed to Thomas Cook's first group trip to Paris in 1855. Package holidays really took off in the1950s, when travel companies started putting spare warplanes into action. The price of travel fell to a level where the masses could start holidaying to more exotic locations. This year, 14.5 million of us are likely to take a package holidaymakers.

But who gets what from a package tour financially? Research by Leeds Development Education Centre in its award winning Geography pack, The Final Frontier, gives the example of Kenya and shows that a maximum of around 40p out of every pound stays in the country. This includes 23p to the hotel chain (assuming it is Kenyan-owned), 8p to the safari company (again, as long as it is Kenyan-owned) and 9p to the government.

The sending country (for instance the UK) wins the economic equation with 20p out of every pound going to the tour operator and 40p going to the airline.

The amount leaving Kenya is then bumped up further when imports are paid for (10p out of every pound) and foreign debt payments are made (15p). This takes the total fleeing the country at 85p and 15p staying in Kenya.

As many tour operators use foreign owned hotels and foreign-owned safari companies, the benefits to the destination economy may be reduced even further especially if the holiday is all-inclusive.

The Final Frontier is available from Leeds DEC (0113-278 4030). It is also available on CD-ROM.

Comments