Critical Study of Tourism and negative effect it has on the Environment

| December 18, 2012



Introduction

Tourism is a global industry of great economic importance, driven by human desire to experience new environments, be it the natural environment of a tropical beach or the built environment of an old city. People are travelling regularly to different parts of the world for long term stay on different purposes like vacation, business meetings, and recreation is Tourism. These people are usually called as tourist’s .Group of businesses or services which are dependent on tourism is collectively called Tourism Industry .Tourism industry has become one of the rapid growing industry across the world. The demand is increasing day by day. Most tourism places in the world seem to be France, Spain, USA, China, Italy and the UK. (Charmaine 2010)

Many countries depend heavily upon travel expenditures by foreigners as a source of taxation and as a source of income for the enterprises. Therefore, the development of tourism is often a strategy to promote a particular region for the purpose of increasing commerce through exporting goods and services.

Therefore it provides direct employment for the people associated with occupations in bars and hotels.  The average standard of living of people increases well and at the same time unemployment is on the decrease.

However, tourists cause environmental damage through forest fires, destruction of sand dunes and pollution. Consequently this serves negatively as increased pollution disturbs local residents and also it may discourage tourists from further entering the country.

After this, tourism undermines culture by commercializing it and this is often connected with increasing litter, graffiti, vandalism and noise – tourists do not always respect traditional cultures.

There are a number of benefits of tourism for both the tourist and the host destination.  On a large scale it offers a good alternative to some more destructive industries for generating income both on nationally and privately. The tourism industry encompasses many different areas, so it also creates jobs in many different areas.  With tourism come hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, tour companies, service stations, souvenir shops, sports equipment rentals, and much more.  All of this creates many different levels of employment for people in a given community.

Tourism industry is taking advantage of the demand and working more on the development side, and as a result some rural places are also getting developed. The most commonly seen advantages benefits from the Tourism include new jobs, income, and tax revenue to the government. The tourism is also bringing the knowledge of that particular place to the world, and upgrading the local cultural facilities, or an enhancement of regional conservation efforts .Generally, tourism is very profitable in the terms of income for the countries, especially to those which are in the developing stage, as this industry does not require lot of literacy or capital. And it yields good profits with less investment. (Blake and Albache 2008)

Tourism provides much needed foreign currency and foreign investment .The economy of third world country can boom through this and the population benefits as well .Development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs . So the tourism industry should work today for the better life of future citizens. As the country has more economic sources, now it can be used for the improvements of the infrastructures like roads, transportations and communication links which again will be useful for both the local people and to the tourists. As a result of increased demand of tourism, environmental development issues will be considered by the government to attract tourists. Directly or indirectly Tourism will also be responsible for the improvement of the local education standard. (Debbie 2003)

Benefits deriving from tourism development must be balanced against potential negative effects. Jobs in the travel and tourism industry are frequently low-paying and seasonal and often offer limited benefits.  In some cases, particularly where tourism strategies are ineffectual, local residents may have to pay for tourism marketing and infrastructure through higher taxes. Tourism can also increase demand for land in rural areas, which may inflate real estate prices, potentially putting the cost of housing beyond the reach of the average local resident.  This is the case for some amenity-rich tourism destinations, experiencing growth in recent years stemming from recreation-based activities (Brown and Fazzone, 1998).

Tourism may directly lead to unsightly sprawl in rural areas by creating a demand for development. Other negative side effects include potentially higher rates of crime and greater demand for local services, such as police and fire protection and sanitation services, which can be expensive to provide.  Also, tourism can risk changing the rural “sense of place” for some communities. Increased crowding and traffic congestion may also result with an influx of tourists into an area.

Greater demand for local arts and crafts can also potentially lead to a lowering of the quality of these products.  Finally, tourism risks degrading natural resources in rural areas unless3 environmental sustainability efforts are undertaken.  Many of these risks, however, can be mitigated if proper planning is employed at the outset of tourism development. (Holden 2007)

Sustainable tourism in its purest sense is an industry which attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems. It is responsible tourism that is both ecologically and culturally sensitive. (Beech and Chadwick 2005)

Sustainable tourism activities have minimal impact on the environment and culture of the host community. According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Taking a leaf from the definition of sustainability itself, sustainable tourism is also defined as a process which meets the needs of the present tourists and host communities whilst protecting and enhancing needs in the future Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. (Goodwin 2000)

Sustainable Tourism refers to a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place.

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The United Nations World Tourism Organisation defines sustainable tourism as tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Rather than being a type of product, it is an ethos that underpins all tourism activities. As such, it is integral to all aspects of tourism development and management rather than being an add-on component

The objective of sustainable tourism is to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development while reducing or mitigating any undesirable impacts on the natural, historic, cultural or social environment. This is achieved by balancing the needs of tourists with those of the destination. Sustainable tourism is tourism that is economically, socio culturally and environmentally sustainable. With sustainable tourism, socio cultural and environmental impacts are neither permanent nor irreversible. (Butler 1999)

 

Bibliography

Blake, A., J. S. Arbache, et al. (2008). “Tourism and poverty relief.” Annals of Tourism Research

Available from: http://The Disadvantages of Tourism in Developing Countries | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/the-disadvantages-of-tourism-in-developing-countries-a292259#ixzz1MQA3Ciue

Butler, W. 1999 ’Sustainable tourism’ London: Rutledge.

Available from: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/14616689908721291

Charmaine, M. 2010. ‘Land Pollution Effects on Tourism’

Available from: http://www.ehow.com/about_6643366_land-pollution-effects-tourism.html

Debbie, S. 2003.’Travel & Tourism Marketing’.

Available from: http://www.travelandtourism.com/10.1300/J073v17n04_05

Goodwin, H. 2000. ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’

Available from:

http://egis.cefe.cnrsmop.fr/Tourism%20Frontpages/Boniface%20article.htm

Holden, A. 2007. ‘Environment and Tourism’ London: Routledge.

Available from:  http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415399555/

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