The Impacts of Tourism

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The Impacts of Tourism

Tourism has both positive and negative impacts for an area. In both the United Kingdom and in countries in the developing world tourism has been the catalyst for economic growth. Some LEDC's relyon tourism as their principle industry so much that when a problem occurs they have to work very quickly to rectify it. For instance when a hurricane hit Fiji in 1998, the tourist industry, their main source of income, was badly hit. The first thing that money was used to repair was all the hotels and their tourist facilities so that business did not lose out too much. Some locals even produced T-shirts the next day saying how they had survived the hurricane.

This section looks at some of the positive and negative impacts of tourism,both in the developed and developing world.

  • Tourism brings much needed investment into an area. If it is an LEDC, the foreign currency is very important to the local people.
  • Tourism provides employment for many local people, ranging from working in the hotels to selling trinkets on the beach. Without the tourist industry some less developed countries would have a much greater unemployment problem.
  • The money that tourism brings in can be used to improve the infrastructure of the area. New roads, airports and facilities can be built, which cater for the increasing number of tourists, but also benefit the local residents.
  • Income from tourism may be used to help conserve the natural environment that is the reason why visitors come in the first place.
  • The country can benefit from overseas investment, primarily in the tourist industry, but also in other related industries.
  • Tourism may help to preserve local cultures and communities, as they become a tourist attraction. This is certainly the case with some Masai tribes in Kenya and Maori's in New Zealand. Both use the visitor's interest and curiosity in their culture to become a tourist attraction.
The Impacts of Tourism
  • In many resorts in LEDC's very little of the money paid for the holiday actually reaches the country. The holiday company, travel agents, airlines and hotel companies swallow most of it.
  • The jobs for the locals are often badly paid, with very poor working conditions.
  • The huge number of tourists coming to see it could easily damage the environment. It is very easy for a country to see the short-term economic gains of mass tourism without really taking heed of the long-term environmental damage going on.
  • Increasing numbers of tourists brings problems such as littering, pollution and footpath erosion. All of these take time and money to clear up.
  • Overseas investment, in things like luxury hotels, can mean that the money goes back to the country of origin. These hotels may also take trade away from local guesthouses and hotels.
  • Local cultures could be devalued by tourism. They may almost become a freak show, where the visitors begin to look down on the locals as different.

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