The pros and cons of tourism development in rural America are varied. Tourism provides income and diversification to rural communities. Most of the dollars generated from outside visitors stay within the local economy. In addition to gains from direct sales to visitors, many indirect benefits are realized from tourism. Visitors contribute to the tax revenues collected and can influence the quality of life by financing community facilities such as swimming pools, golf courses, restaurants, and shopping facilities. Community events intended for tourists, also attract local residents. Many potential industries prefer locations that provide high quality services and recreational resources. If the community is a pleasant place, the visitors may become a permanent resident.
Tourism offers other indirect benefits. For example, the need to provide services to tourists creates new jobs in the community. Although they may not be high paying employment opportunities, these jobs satisfy the need of students and dual-earning families for part-time or seasonal employment.
All that glitters is not gold, yet tourism provides some local economic benefits.