In recent years, tourism plays an essential role in the development of many countries that own natural or stunning views. It is true that growing need in tourist brings the valuable contribution to the society. However, its negative edges are undeniable. In this essay, three mainly effected sides: environment, socio-cultural and economy will be discussed.
To begin with, tourism has several effects on our environment. The first one is about detrimental impacts. Due to intensely increasing demand of many means of public transportation in tourist destinations, there are the high level of exhaust fumes as well as air and noise pollution around these tourist areas. The International Civil Aviation Organization reported that the number of international air passengers worldwide went up from 88 million to 344 million between 1972 and 1994. One research estimated that a single transatlantic return flight emits almost half the carbon dioxide emissions sent into the atmosphere by all other sources (lighting, heating and car consumption) used by an average person per year (ICAO, 2001).
Another harmful side is the excessive exploitation of natural resources. When expansion of infrastructures such as roads, railways and airports, and recreation facilities including hotels, resorts, shopping malls, restaurants and bars, this not only destroys the habitat of various species but also increases raw materials for buildings. These activities lead to a scarcity resource of our Earth and depletion of our living environment. For example, the extraction of building materials such as sand affects coral reefs, mangroves, and hinterland forests results in erosion and destruction of habitats. Take the Philippines and the Maldives are significant examples, dynamiting and mining of coral for hotel and resort building materials has damaged seriously fragile coral reefs and diminished the fisheries (Hall, 2001). Additionally, the excessive use of some renewable energy is also an urgent issue that the locals have to face. For instance, Various tourist activities add to water consumption, a great example being golf (Rodriguez Diaz et al. 2007). The consumption of water by golf courses varies considerably, depending on soils, climate and golf course size (Baillon & Ceron, 1991; Ceron & Kovacs, 1993). While in several tourist attractions farmers do not have enough water for their crops.
Notwithstanding, tourism is also a potential element to create beneficial influences by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. Local governments should conduct campaigns or TV programs to raise awareness of both tourists and residents of protecting the natural beauty. For instance, travellers should be encouraged to walk as much as possible and the locals should get to know more about habitat protection through educational programs of environmental conservation. Consequently, these actions can reduce the adverse influences of tourism. To sum up, although there are some negative edges of tourism to the environment, this should be improved by activities of authorities, tourist and the locals.
The second impact of tourism is the socio-cultural aspect. The major priority is the intercultural exchange. When foreigners pay a visit to new lands, they are regularly willing to find out different kinds of cultures and traditions such as beliefs, lifestyle, customs and speciality (Wood, 1994). This helps both local and travellers to gain the other friendships and mutual understanding. Therefore, there will not happen the discrimination and conflicts among people from different regions. Nevertheless, if residents are not aware of preserving characteristics, a wide range of their different traditional values and cultures might be forgotten and they have to cope with changes depend on the characteristics of visitors (Pearce, Moscardo, & Ross, 1996). To conclude, tourism has an obvious negative downside of cultural maintenance, but positive impacts of tourism on socio-cultural are much more significant.
The final influence of tourism is economic perspective. On the one hand, tourism is a crucial factor in the economic development. The most important factor is that it can create a variety of employment opportunities for not only the local but also people from other countries. Many hotels and resorts are built in prominent places, so they need a huge amount of labour and a range of positions such as tour guides, waiters, waitresses and hotel management. Therefore, tourism has a considerable contribution to the decrease in unemployment rate. For instance, in 2017, the gradual increase in tourism industry contributed USD 8.5 trillion to the global nation’s growth and created over 8.5 million jobs (International Monetary Fund, 2017). Secondly, tourism can generate a wide profit. As large incomes are yielded from accommodations, services and various infrastructures such as transport systems, hospitals, entertainment centres and exhibition malls. This allows inhabitants to enhance their living standard. Furthermore, tourism activities also increase the tax-revenue of the state governments (Gee et al., 1989). These financial resources can be allocated by the local governments for investing in other fields: education and healthcare, even they can be used to protect and regenerate natural landscape.
On the other hand, there are some undeniable outcomes that tourism brings to economy. Firstly, development of tourism is seasonal, this means the jobs of residents heavily depend on seasons in a year. As the number of tourists changes frequently and cannot be predicted, the locals have to face joblessness when the number of tourists decreases (Cooper, Fletcher, Gilbert ; Wanhill, 1993). And these jobs are often poorly paid. Moreover, there are some difficulties for the local community when they live in their attractive destinations. The primal problem is the extension of the cost of products, services and housing there. Due to the increase in profit, the prices of everything in tourism places are usually more expensive than other ones and residents whose income does not rise proportionately are often less wealthy than travellers, which discourages them to use items that they produce and even they cannot afford to stay there (Cooper, Fletcher, Gilbert ; Wanhill, 1993; Mathieson ; Wall, 1982). In short, tourism has both advantageous and disadvantageous impacts on economy and some countries relying greatly on tourism need to consider and judge carefully about these sides to find out the suitable solutions as this can be an enormous problem if tourists stop coming.
By way of conclusion, no one can deny the crucial role of tourism. In spite of the significant benefits on economic, environmental and socio aspects, there are still several drawbacks that need to be tackled by actions of governments, tourists and especially the locals.