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Impact of Tourism on Environment

Tourism depends on environment; it has devoured and will always deplete the natural resources.  The environmental impacts of tourism can either be constructive or destructive. Even the simplest type of tourism like going to a zoo consumes various resources of the environment; such as animals, plants, or birds. Such an uncomplicated type of tourism renders positive as well as negative effects. The cases of detrimental might be the capturing the animals from natural habitat and putting them in the zoo, while the fact that they are getting enough protection from hunters and other adverse environmental conditions could very well be considered as the bright side of the story.

All activities utilize resources and generate waste, probably all these activities could potentially damage the environment, and tourism is not an exception to this rule. It has flourished as being one of the biggest industries, and anything happening at a mass level does produce several beneficial and harmful actions. This article is going to briefly illustrate some of the most significant effects of tourism that contribute to the environment in such ways that can be appreciative and hostile too.

Direct financial contribution and contribution to government taxes

Revenue collected from entry fees to parks and sources alike can specifically fund the expenses for safeguarding and managing environmentally sensitive areas. Special tariffs can be obtained from tour operators and tourists for conservation activities and park operations. The tourism company Discovery Initiatives contributed near about forty-five thousand US dollars in a year to Orangutan Foundation. That sum of money is earned from just five groups, each comprising ten tourists, who went to the Tanjung Puting National Park. The earned revenue fully subsidizes the care center, takes care of the rehabilitated orangutans, and also provides salary to the rangers and the staffs.

User fees, sales tax, income tax, license money for fishing and hunting, or recreational equipment rentals compensate park ranger salaries and the financial liabilities for conservation and maintenance programs. For instance; in Belize, Seychelles has introduced an entry tax of ninety US dollars per person, which is collected from all the incoming travelers.

Over-tourism

There is an old proverb that too many cooks spoil the broth, and this idiom is perfectly valid for the tourism market also. Tourists create employment, but far too many of them do have a detrimental effect on the standard of life, and this phenomenon is known as over-tourism. To put things into perspective, the affair of over-tourism has created havoc in Chile, rural Patagonia, and the urban Barcelona. The Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, Polish capital Warsaw, Venice, Rome, Macau and Kuala Lumpur; all of them were listed among the top ten over-crowded travel destinations. The Mount Everest is disturbingly littered, and international visitors outnumber the residents of Iceland to a great extent. In 2016, the top ten US parks witnessed more than forty-four million visitors, and the (NPS) National Park Service is searching for ways to shield the natural treasures.

Better environmental planning and management

Improved ecological management of hotels and tourism facilities can provide the natural areas with an extended set of benefits. However, it asks for carefully chalking out elaborate plans for controlled development, which can be made by analyzing the environmental resources the area in question has. Planning helps selecting the appropriate alternatives between conflicting uses, or aids in finding ways for making them compatible. Costly mistakes can be avoided, and the gradual depletion of significant environmental assets can be prevented, provided the tourism development has been planned and implemented early enough.

Cleaner production methods can be instrumental to plan and operate tourism facilities in such ways that minimize the environmental impacts they cause. For instance, green buildings reduce the harms caused by the tourism business. These new age architectural marvels liberally use non-polluting and energy-saving construction materials, sewage systems, and power sources.

Mega-events and their repercussions

The London 2012 Olympics surprisingly saw rows of vacant arena seats, and this baffling incident can be attributed to the unreasonable fear or crowds, shockingly high ticket-prices, and disruption. Admittedly, major event hosting can leave a legacy that in turn could cause the local economy to incur losses more than the anticipated benefits. After the 2004 Olympic in Athens came to an end, venues remained unused, and the Greek city ran into a debt of fifteen billion US dollars. Four years later, at the way too more expensive Beijing Olympics, the very same thing happened. Again, in 2013, America’s Cup generated a fair amount of civic pride and political controversy too. San Francisco Chronicle reported that the unpaid tab amounted to eleven and a half million US dollars for the city that hosted that grand event.

Preservation and protection

Tourism can contribute meaningfully and greatly to protect the environment, conserve, and restore the bio-diversity and also utilize the natural resources in a sustainable manner. Natural areas and pristine sites are acknowledged as valuable, because of their universal appeal, and the requirement to sustain the attraction can result in the creation of wildlife reserves and natural parks.

New regulations and laws have been enacted in Hawaii for preserving the local rainforest and protecting the native flora and fauna. The marine life depending on the coral reefs that surround the island and also those reefs are now protected. This US city has eventually transformed into an international center for performing research studies on ecological systems. It is no surprise that promoting and preserving the tourism industry of this island happened to be the primary driving force for such activities.

Concluding Remarks

To conclude, all the positive and negative effects of tourism discussed above can either prove to be virtuous or vicious for the environment. Natural environment and tourism can be mutually beneficial, and co-exist too, provided the tourism sector is willing to offer a helping hand and taking the initiative for preserving natural resources can offset the negative impacts caused by this industry.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It, Mark Twain

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