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  • Jordan Wolfe

Opinion: Trendy travel, how it affects a country’s economy

The Canals of Venice, Italy. (Photo Courtesy: Pikwizard.)

It is common knowledge that certain countries are on the rise in the tourism department. Italy and Greece have rapidly gained attention worldwide through social media postings, and certain countries have skyrocketed with tourism numbers.

The U.S. Travel Association noted there has been a massive rise in tourism numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic, and they expect it to continue growing.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, “Travel spending improved considerably in September and is now at its highest mark since the pandemic started at 6% above 2019 levels.”

Recent data from The Italian National Institute of Statistics has revealed that tourism numbers have risen rapidly in Italy.

ISTAT noted that Italian tourism is now worth about 6.4% of the GDP, and increases to more than 9% when including industries such as retail.

Much of the tourism boom is due to the increase in social media usage, with TikTok leading the way. Larger travel corporations are partnering with social media creators to gain more traction online.

Italy and Greece have become hotspots for tourism, but not for great reasons. While it is good to increase the tourism rates in these countries, it is nearly a waste. People are being influenced to travel to these stunning countries without being warned of the true costs that will be paid.

A rise in tourism numbers comes with a rise in prices. Besides hotel costs, travelers are paying a personal price as well. These prices come in the form of crowded viewpoints and crowded transportation systems. These pose not only a safety risk, but also the risk of low general enjoyment of a place that is overrun with foot traffic.

The view from a luxury hotel in Santorini, Greece. (Photo Courtesy: Pikwizard.)

Greece specifically has already been set to break records for the 2022 season since they received more than 8 million tourists in just the beginning half of the year. Increased prices bring increased spending. Due to the amount of household savings that grew during the restriction period, tourists have been able to give the Greek economy more funds.

While tourism in Italy and Greece is booming, the industry is declining in other countries. There are plenty of other countries that are in the vicinity of these two places that people do not pay attention because of the popularity of their neighbors. Croatia and Slovenia have only just begun to rise in numbers, while Bosnia and Albania still seem to be falling behind.

Following trendy travel is not always the best strategy. Higher tourism increases prices, and therefore leaves out other countries that need money post-pandemic.

As online influencers bring light to more alluring travel destinations, hope increases for their growth in tourism numbers. Travel accounts and cinematographic videos are increasing in popularity. Comment sections alone are proof that there is interest in traveling to new and unheard of destinations.

In the future, travel will have an even greater effect on the global economy. Priorities are slowly shifting as more workers choose a remote lifestyle. Many jobs have become easier to do while working from a laptop. Because of these opportunities, getting out and exploring the world has never been easier.

By Jordan Wolfe

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