For many communities and countries throughout the world tourism is the most valuable industry. Economic changes taking place in China, India, and the United States (with almost 3 billion people, half the world?s population), for example, will have major impacts on the global tourism markets of tomorrow. Social-cultural changes in Europe, with borderless tourism crossings and a common currency, are increasing opportunities for tourism growth. East Asia and the Pacific Rim are experiencing unprecedented growth and change in tourism. From the perspective of economic policy, tourism for local communities is a vital economic development tool producing income, creating jobs, spawning new businesses, spurring economic development, promoting economic diversification, developing new products, and contributing to economic integration. If local and national governments are committed to broad based tourism policies, then tourism will provide its citizens with a higher quality of life while it generates sustained economic, environmental, and social benefits.