Friday, September 20, 2019
Economic, Environmental And Social Impacts Of Tourism
Economic, Environmental And Social Impacts Of Tourism Tourism is one of the largest and most dynamic international sectors. Its rapid growth, evolving infrastructure, foreign currency flows, and the introduction of advanced management techniques have influenced numerous sectors positively by contributing to social and economic development. Negative impacts Positive impacts Social Foreign influence may cause society to lose values and traditions. Locals may have their privacy invaded. Creates new job opportunities Helps implement modern ideologies. Travel helps society on a psychological level as it gives people a degree of freedom of movement. Bringing foreign expertise to the destination through conferences, therefore strengthening ties. Developing intercultural understanding Developing friendships Environmental Tourism transportation harms the environment of the destinations of origin and arrival, and pollutes during transit. Harms the destinations appeal to foreigners. Tourism may give national authorities the incentive to safeguard the environment. Economic Pollution causes strain on the national health care system, which may increase government deficit and long term debt. Local economy may suffer because of competition from other emerging destinations. Allocation of funds may be directed towards pleasing tourists rather than pleasing long-term residents. Creates employment which adds to government taxation revenue. Financial gain by stakeholders. Tourisms actual and potential impact is astounding; however such impact is not purely positive. For almost every positive impact, there happens to be a negative one. These may be subdivided into economic, environmental and social impacts, as tabulated below: Society Social contact between tourists and locals may make way for cultural appreciation through understanding, tolerance and awareness. As tourism contributes to beneficial developments in sectors such as education, why not embrace it and ensure that people continue to visit? The human aspect is crucial for the success of any tourism product. Tourists enjoy speaking to locals, and locals should be open to discourse with tourists to add value to their experience. If local culture is the base for attracting tourists to the area, it gives added incentive to preserve the local traditions and crafts which are typical to that area. In certain localities of the Maltese islands, tourists contribute significantly to the preservation of local crafts such as glass blowing and lace, as well as the maintenance of important historical monuments and structures. Although it is fortunate that tourism drives national organisations to preserve historical artifacts and monuments, it is unfortunate to know that little would be done if it were not for tourism. To maximise the positive social impacts, foreigners and locals alike must be educated. Locals must be made aware that they must care for their belongings and surroundings, and respect other cultures to make their destination more attractive on a physical and social level. On the other hand, foreigners must also be educated to ensure that they respect the traditions, cultures and surroundings of host communities. As a result of the lack of awareness amongst tourists, the fortified city of Mdina in Malta is very much disturbed by tourists. It is home to just over one hundred people, but is visited by hundreds of people on a daily basis, often running into the thousands during the summer months. The city has become such a popular attraction that the local people are beginning to feel commoditised. As a result they are developing negative attitudes towards tourists. This concept is know as Greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to the commoditisation of indigenous residents and natural surroundings, creating severe social problem. Residents are often subject to invasion of privacy as tourists fail to respect their daily lives, often gazing into peoples houses, and on many occasions, entering them to take a few quick photos. On the other hand, tourism is often beneficial in helping relatively conservative societies become more open to the world. This is the case in certain regions of Libya for instance, where state leaders have recently given the go ahead for the development of numerous sea side resorts along the coasts, as well as eco-touristic areas. As a result, Libyans may become more open to foreigners in the long run. Even though these plans have been opposed to by numerous nationals, it was done for the long term benefit of the country. During the 1980s, the Libyans were very much resistant to the changes proposed by their leaders. Foreign observers believed that the heads of states were in for a difficult time trying to convince the public of the need for social change. The importance of travel must also be pushed within companies, as it not only broadens ones perspectives but it can also help people become more productive. Travel for leisure is proven to improve psychological health by reducing stress levels. Leave from work is now obligatory in most countries around the world, simply because of the importance of leisure time. Another benefit of tourism on the structure of society may be the introduction of foreign expertise to the destination, which in turn may improve the skills of the local workforce. Foreign experts may visit a destination for conferences, through which they can develop or strengthen relationships with local entrepreneurs. As a result of such relationships, travel has given companies the possibilities to form partnerships or join affiliate programs with overseas companies. The distinctiveness of a destination is instrumental to its success, so national government or international agencies must ensure that the necessary systems are in place to avoid any sense of placelessness. Placelessness is a concept coined by E. Relph which states that places become more and more similar to each other due to globalisation. Although this may seem farfetched to some, it is still a probable scenario in the future as the world becomes even more connected. National and local governments must therefore do their utmost to promote the unique identity of the destination. For instance, Malta is the only island of its size to have its very own official language which is not spoken anywhere else in the world. Over the years Malta has been significantly influenced by foreigners, however, many of its traditions have remained intact, such as the local village feasts and the traditional Maltese folk music called ghana. However, while presenting a culture to tourists may help preserve the culture, it can also dilute or even destroy it. Local communities must therefore present traditions in their purest forms, without excessive tampering. Although the European Unions aim is to create a strong network between European countries, it strongly believes that each country must safeguard its own traditions to remain appealing. Environment The excessive development of a resource can lead to numerous negative impacts such as overdevelopment and loss of natural habitats. From an ecological point of view, some people may see tourism as the more acceptable industry. They may say that it is a lot less damaging than deforestation or overfishing, for instance, which may be true. However, those people who analyse tourism closely from all perspectives will notice that tourism does cause a significant amount of damage to the natural environment. Tourists tend to leave behind a trail of environmental degradation in the form of litter, from the excessive use of water in their hotel rooms, leaving lights on after they leave their rooms, to the burning of fossil fuels when making use of transportation to and from their final destination, as well as within it. It is well known that the tourism industry is not only made up of direct players, but also indirect players, and these play a significant part in polluting the environment. Another important factor to consider is the fact that certain localities can only accommodate a limited amount of people at a time. This concept is known as carrying capacity. Mathieson and Wall (1982) defined the tourism carrying capacity as The maximum number of people who can use a site without an unacceptable alteration in the physical environment and without unacceptable decline in the quality of experience gained by visitors. To ensure the longevity of certain attractions, carrying capacity guidelines must be respected and evaluated to ensure that little harm is caused. Although restricting the number of entrants into a facility may infringe upon profitability, in certain scenarios it is more valuable to protect something unique than to exhaust it. Advancements in environmentally friendly technologies are well underway, and numerous airline manufacturers are designing more fuel efficient aircraft which fall within emissions guidelines. Land transportation is also becoming increasingly environmentally friendly with the introduction of hybrid as well as all electric vehicles, and more fuel efficient fossil fuelled vehicles. US President Barack Obama is setting a big example by wanting all public transportation within the New York area to be environmentally friendly within the next few years. Tourism in Libya is on the rise, bringing increased demand for hotel accommodation and for capacity at airports such as Tripoli International. A multi-million dollar renovation of Libyan airports has recently been approved by the government to help meet such demands. At present 130,000 people visit the country annually; the Libyan government hopes to increase this figure to 10,000,000 tourists. Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the second-eldest son of Muammar al-Gaddafi, is involved in a green development project called the Green Mountain Sustainable Development Area, which seeks to bring tourism to Cyrene and to preserve Greek ruins in the area. Economy Minimise the negative impacts- Economic The introduction of environmentally friendly transportation systems would reduce health risks, therefore cutting health care costs for national government. This would cause less strain on the economic system. Ensure that local markets are up to date and can compete with foreign markets. Organisations must be dynamic and adaptable to rapid change. Maximise positive impacts- Economic -Promoting a countrys most popular assets will create employment as new business ventures may begin and new job positions will be made available as a result. The government must promote its destination as a secure place for investment, therefore increasing financial gain for stakeholders. Government must improve the state of the environment and make it more appealing to tourists.