The rapid strengthening of financial and economic position of the tourism industry has led to the fact that in many countries tourism has become a significant factor of regional development. Territorial authorities of different hierarchical levels, from counties and districts to the Federal authorities, concerned about the development of tourism and localities with valuable recreational resources. Tourism seen as a catalyst of the regional economy, allowing for not only the entire complex of recreational resources, but also the most effective way to use the aggregate industrial and socio-cultural potential of the area while maintaining environmental and cultural diversity.
On this basis, the authorities have initiated the development of a strategy of tourist activity, together with business — development of tourist infrastructure, the creation of national parks and recreational areas, attracting investment and growth in the number of visits to the region.
According to the world tourism organization, in 2007 the number of international tourist arrivals amounted to about 900 million (in 2004 — 766 million).[citation 2124 days] In 2005, Europe had 444 million arrivals to the Asia-Pacific region — 156 million, North and South America — 133 million, to other regions — 75 million[citation 2124 days]
The tourism product is finally turned into an economic category only in the context of mass tourism. The intensity of tourism is an indicator that gives an idea of what part of the country’s population (in percent) annually makes at least one trip. When the intensity of tourism is above 50 %, we can say that in the country tourism has a mass character. Tourism balance of a country is the ratio between the value of goods and services sold to foreigners in the country, and the cost of goods and services sold to the citizens of this country abroad. If the balance of the tourism balance is positive, then we say that the economy of this country tourism is active (Thailand, Switzerland), if negative — passive (Germany, Russia).