Sustainable Tourism Does Not Destroy the Environment Essay

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Sustainable tourism does not destroy the environment, economy, or cultural aspects of the tourist destination (David Vaughan, 2000). Sustainable tourism is aimed at ensuring that those concerned are not affected in any way and that a positive development is realized through it. Back in the 1980s, ecotourism which consisted of activities such as wildlife exotic cultures and nature, became more common with remarkably few people understanding what the impacts of such tourism are, this led to its pitfall (Erlet, 1993). Therefore, sustainable tourism helps to improve all associated impact of tourism as a whole, and this can steadily be achieved through seeking partnership between various governments, local community and any stakeholder in the tourism industry.

How sustainable tourism can be achieved

Researches done in this field indicate that for sustainable tourism to be achieved all efforts should be channeled towards fostering co-ordination and cooperation between managers of the tourism destination and the companies involved. The stakeholders should start by simple environmental principle such as recycling of waste, seeking local partnership for resort management and more so planning for long-term sustainability achievements (David A. Lertzman, 2005).

The impact of tourism is slowly catching up with use, and without sustainable development, it will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on both the people and the environment. For example, in an economic perspective, in as much as tourism enhances economic development due to the various income generating activities, many people spend all their savings on tourism while they could have used it on improving their livelihood (Dodds, 2003). On the same note, the local people found in those tourism sites fail to benefit from the tourism itself and, on the other hand, they get to feel the impact of tourism development such as exorbitant prices of commodities due to the presence of foreigners, the wild animals are becoming more aggressive because of the high number of human activities in the parks which interfere with the animal's behavior.

The various environmental impacts being faced include the excessive use of water by these resorts to give the tourists a luxurious stay. Various species of animals and plants are slowly disappearing because of more human activities in their habitat. Wastes are slowly gaining its way into these wild animal parks, and this leads to environmental pollution (Graci, 2009).

This achievement in sustainability without making the industry suffer can be done by increasing the vertical integration of the tourism companies involved to that they would have greater control over the marketing of transportation of the tourism, holiday spots, and even manage the resorts. Therefore, by providing the right incentive to companies and resort managers to reduce the negative impact of tourism then sustainability can be achieved. But for long-term sustainability, the society (tourists) and the companies should think extensively of the effects of tourism on other people's livelihoods and homes (Helen, 2002).

Tourism and the environment

Natural environment is quite a valuable resource in tourism and due to this there is a need to preserve the natural features, cultural heritage and the sceneries among other tourist attraction sites. Though this is an exceptionally vibrant industry for most developing and industrialized countries, all efforts towards preserving it should be given much priority by the government in those countries and the industry players (World Tourism Organisation, 2000). According to a convention held early in 2002, it was found that coastal areas, wetlands, small islands, mountain and deserts were slowly gaining popularity as tourism sites all over the world (Sharpley, 2009). These areas have a biophysical characteristic known to be affected when there are high human activities in those areas. Eventually, without proper sustainability, these areas are likely to face environmental degradation, which are likely, to lead to the area losing its attractiveness thus attracting cheaper tourism hence forcing nature-based tourists to move on to other new destination and the whole process may repeat itself in other various locations (Graci, 2009).

Ecotourism can also be a source of degradation of economic, local ecological and social systems this is shown when there is high influx of tourists who have a high consumption and high waste production into these natural areas or areas within the developing countries with poor waste management system in place (Cevat, 2001). This may in-turn promote degradation of these natural features and more so cause harm to the local people. This tourist related changes in the environment has an economic impact on the country and the people living there especially if the locals use these natural areas for their sustenance, this might force them into other modes of survival such as crime, child labor, prostitution and migration among others (David Vaughan, 2000).

Tourism and economics

Economic prosperity realized in tourism has been the main driving force of the growth of this industry. At some point, this industry was being viewed as the leading foreign exchange earner and even being the backbone of several developing countries' economy (Colin, 1997). This industry was known for its high employment rate which was good for a country's economy, even though it came with several negative economic impacts which included the likes of, inflation of various commodities, inward migration of labor force hence reducing the chances of the locals to acquire job opportunities and dominance by foreign investors in land and property markets (Goodwin, 2000).

As part of the efforts to realize a sustainable tourism worldwide, there is need to improve the economic levels of the people living around those tourist destination sites. This can be done through reducing financial leakages and improving the livelihood of the people living in those destinations. Financial leakages take place in a situation where the large international companies' i.e. Trans-national corporations who dominate the markets use their dominance to push down the cost of supplies (Timothy Forsyth, 1997). This can further be explained in situations, especially in the developing world, where these companies go ahead and import skilled labor, foreign building material, travel packages and luxurious products. All these importation has an effect on the financial status of that given country, because due to this, they will be forced to sell their local commodities at a lower price which will reduce their income and market. This makes the country involved being poorer even if it has booming tourism (Holden, 2008). Financial leakages can only be minimized by creating a collaborative approach of working out this difference, consisting of the government concerned and the trans-national corporation.

As an economic strategy, the impact of livelihood in destination countries can be improved by four different types' ways. This income generating activities include acquiring wages from a formal employment, earnings obtained as a result of selling of goods, labor and other services, income from community run enterprises and dividends or profits collected from locally owned enterprise (Dodds, 2003). With these sources of income plus many more, the livelihood of the people can be improved tremendously.

Tourism and society/culture

When Tourism development comes in into a given area, it normally hinders the local communities from utilizing their land, other natural resource and water according to their desires. Tourism has led to transformation of cultures in various parts of the world even though most cultures are known not to be easily changed. Many ancient towns, which were rich, in cultures have been turned into a bee hive of various activities, with some of them not even related to the culture of the place (Colin, 1997). Such communities are known to adopt or change easily, to business minded people in order to maximize on their fortune. Most of them use their heritage to earn a living by staging events and plays to entertain the tourists also pass information about their culture, an excellent example is the 'Maasai' community from Kenya, whom some of them have abandoned their livelihoods for the thriving tourism market (Dodds, 2010).

Some of the host communities have opposed these changes to the extent that they have taken active measures to protect their rich culture. Such measure include; fencing of their domesticity, protesting wherever their privacy is breached and showing aggression to protect their interest (WTTC, 2002).

Impact of tourism development

A study carried out by David Vaughan, (2000) on the negative impact of tourism in most parts of the world shows that some of the impacts related to tourism development and its operations include; threat/loss to biodiversity and ecosystem, disruption of coast, water overuse, urban problems, exacerbate climate changes, inequitable and unsustainable resource use.

Due to the increased tourism, biodiversity and ecosystems can be interrupted by loss of wildlife especially those rare species not used to the presence of human activities around them, loss of habitat due to human activities like construction of hotels, roads, sporting place etc. The coasts are also disrupted by the large number of tourists who are more attracted to such scenery, therefore; there activities leads to erosion of the shoreline at a faster rate, the impact to the coral reefs, pollution from the sea vessels and fish spawning ground is also seen (Dodds, 2010). Tourism also…[continue]

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