Overbooked : the exploding business of travel and tourism

by Elizabeth Becker

Hardcover, 2013




New York : Simon & Schuster, [2013]


"Travel is no longer a past-time but a colossal industry, arguably one of the biggest in the world and second only to oil in importance for many poor countries. One out of 12 people in the world are employed by the tourism industry which contributes $6.5 trillion to the world's economy. To investigate the size and effect of this new industry, Elizabeth Becker traveled the globe. She speaks to the Minister of Tourism of Zambia who thinks licensing foreigners to kill wild animals is a good way to make money and then to a Zambian travel guide who takes her to see the rare endangered sable antelope. She travels to Venice where community groups are fighting to stop the tourism industry from pushing them out of their homes, to France where officials have made tourism their number one industry to save their cultural heritage; and on cruises speaking to waiters who earn $60 a month--then on to Miami to interview their CEO. Becker's sharp depiction reveals travel as a product; nations as stewards. Seeing the tourism industry from the inside out, the world offers a dizzying range of travel options but very few quiet getaways"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member phoenixcomet
I did not read every chapter in this book because some places like Sri Lanka hold no interest for me. I did, however, read most of the chapters and was shocked to discover that on most cruise lines, the attendees are paid $50 a month as a wage, so they live off of tips only. I also discovered how critical the role of China and the Chinese are for the travel industry, what has gone wrong in US tourism and what France is doing right. Also, what a balancing act it all really is. Illuminating if you are interested in the future of travel.… (more)
LibraryThing member annbury
An excellent book, offering a wide view of travel which corresponds very closely to my own experience. i had no idea that Gingrich and his idiot Republicans did away with our spending on tourist info in 1996, and that we have just installed a website for travel to the US in 2012. She is certainly right about the large numbers of tourists in NYC, where I live.… (more)
LibraryThing member jacoombs
Despite initial promise of new look at under analyzed industry, arguments are predictable, even trite...at least to anyone interested enough in the subject to read this book. Structure suffers from chapters based on locations making it repetitive, disorganized in sometimes reading like travelogue rather than industry critique.



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