I ran into this:

This year´s World Tourism Day highlights the global potential of tourism for socio-economic development. With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people.<Source>

I know what "potential" mean and what "global" mean but about their combination, I feel not sure.

  • 1
    What do you think global means, and what do you think potential means? Why can't you put those together?
    – tchrist
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:09
  • 1
    @tchrist global means " ​relating to the ​whole ​world" and potential means "someone's or something's ​ability to ​develop, ​achieve, or ​succeed"
    – Juya
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:14
  • 1
    Not sure what the problem with a world-wide ability to get ahead would be.
    – tchrist
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:16
  • 1
    @tchrist exactly what does a world-wide ability mean? ability to make change all around the world?
    – Juya
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:19
  • 2
    It can happen anywhere. I still don't understand your confusion.
    – tchrist
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


In this context the world global refers to all the people in the whole world more than physical world itself.

And the world potential has some similar meanings you can use in different contexts.The meaning for this word you thought is likely to be used in a context related to physics or generally science.

In this context the word potential was used as a synonym of the word possible.And the definition for this sense from Oxford Dictionary is that

(often potential for/to do something) The possibility of something happening or of someone doing something in the future.

And some related example sentences are

They were of course unaware of the latent potential for economic growth just around the corner.

It has experienced strong growth in the past three years and has good potential for future growth.

the crane operator’s clear view reduces the potential for accidents.

So the organizers in this forum forecasts and takes attention how possible tourist movements for the future can affect socially and economically a country or a city which has a potential to be visited by millions of people.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/potential Definition 1.1

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