WHAT SHOULD WE DO NEXT ? > What we really MUST change for the future of humanity
REDUCE TOURISM !!
Money (or the quest for the highest profit) is the root of all evils and tourism is one of them with its many destructive consequences.
As the world population increase, more and more damages are done to the natural environment, social and cultural conflicts arise, pollution increase, land prices are skyrocketing, prostitution, crimes and drugs emerge, ...
Proper education and controlled volume of tourists can slow-down then reverse the negative effects on nature and climate.
- Limitation of tourists per year and per location
- Eco-friendly transportation (electric vehicules, bicycle, ...)
- Recyclable containers (water, soft drinks, ...)
- Garbage sorting
- Eco-villages instead of huge resorts
- Brochures explaining the local rules and traditions to respect
Positive effects of tourism : more money for locals. Only.
Negative Impact of tourism :
- Any kind of development requires some interference with the nature. Over-development comes at the cost of nature.
- There may be damage to the natural flora and fauna.
- Local people are displaced for want of coastal area development.
- With more people in the area, more natural resources are required which leads to depletion of natural resources.
- Waste disposal problems crop up and without proper measures to handle this problem it may worsen the situation.
- Due to more footfall, more transport, more noise, improper waste disposal, pollution increases in the area and disturbs the ecological balance of the region.
Many of the negative impacts from tourism occur when the amount of visitors is greater than the environment's ability to cope with the visitor volume.
Some of the consequences of exceeding the environmental capacity include strain on already scarce resources such as water, energy, food and natural habitat areas. In addition, unchecked tourism development may lead to soil erosion, increased pollution and waste, discharges into the sea and waterways, increased pressure on endangered species of animals and plants, and heightened vulnerability to deforestation, as well as loss of biodiversity.
The same way that tourism can encourage the preservation of socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, mass tourism may also erode traditional values by introducing foreign elements which are in conflict with the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of the community.
Visitor behavior can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the host community. For example, crowding and congestion, drugs and alcohol problems, prostitution and increased crime levels can occur. Tourism can even infringe on human rights, with locals being displaced from their land to make way for new hotels or barred from beaches.
Interaction with tourists can also lead to an erosion of traditional cultures and values.
Environmental Effects -- Negative
Tourism poses a threat to a region's natural and cultural resources, such as water supply, beaches, coral reefs and heritage sites, through overuse. It also causes increased pollution through traffic emissions, littering, increased sewage production and noise.
Traveling is one of the favorite activities of people around the world especially the millennials, but sometimes it can have a harmful effect on the environment.
Unrestrained traditional tourism has possible threats to a lot of natural resources from across the globe. It can lead to a lot of major problems that could totally harm the environment, such as natural habitat loss, increased pollution, soil erosion, and more. It will never be a great idea to exceed limits when it comes to tourism, particularly if the natural resources are at stake.
Increased Air Pollution
The air pollution coming from tourist transportation is one of the major negative effects of tourism. Traveling by rail, air, and road results to air pollution that damages the environment.
Apparently, a large portion of air emissions is caused by 60% of air travel from tourists going from one place to another. Additionally, transport emissions can result to photochemical pollution, acid rain, and global warming.
Prone to Land Degradation
Land resources consist of forests, wildlife, minerals, fertile soil, wetland, and fossil fuels.
The expanded construction of recreational facilities adds more pressure to both stunning landscapes and natural resources. This may result to land degradation because of the changes that is happening, which are deleterious to the land resources. More so, forests regularly endure the destructive effect of tourism as deforestation created by land clearing as well as fuel wood accumulation.
Shortage of Water Resources
One of the most essential natural resources is water. It is very evident that the tourism industry overuses the water resources for the development of golf courses, swimming pools, hotels, and even the personal use of water by some tourists. As a result, these could lead to the degradation of water supplies and water shortages. It is never really proper to waste water as everyone’s told to conserve it in any ways at home. So, it is better to save water as much as possible, since water scarcity is being a major issue in some parts of the world now.
The impact of tourism are of course attributed to ignorant and overzealous tourists who blatantly ignores environmental rules.
The introduction of the "mega resort" has been one of the most economically successful and environmentally destructive additions to the tourism industry. Large corporate owned resorts, which are usually based in countries other than those in which they exist, rarely give back to the local communities on which they depend and thrive.
More often than not, lower level positions such as maids, cooks, waiters, and bellhops are available to the local residents while upper level and management positions are reserved for corporate immigrants.
These resorts take away from smaller scale, locally owned establishments and do not contribute to the local communities in a positive manner.
Large resorts are very rarely environmentally friendly, and in turn do not normally attract an environmentally conscious clientele.
Not only does heavy construction aid erosion (especially in tropical climates) but essentially, construction and development equals pollution.
Tourist generated pollution comes from things such as rental car exhaust and oil leaks, machinery used to build hotels, commercial airplanes, and airport construction just to name a few (McLaren, 1998).
To a greater extent, after the completion of construction, tourists as a group consume a tremendous amount of natural resources and produce an equally tremendous amount of waste. The influx of tourists into a community creates a transient but permanent population increase (McLaren, 1998). Two major problems arise from a sudden population increase: an over consumption of resources, and an over production of waste. Over consumption causes problems such as water shortages, frequent loss of electricity, and over fishing of local waters. The over production of waste is an ever-present threat to tourist communities. this shows itself in the form of water and air pollution, liter, and the frequent overflow of sewage systems. As a result of these types of waste many places experience loss of potable water, loss of local animal populations, and the spread of disease and infection.
The degradation of local infrastructure results from the heavy traffic of cars and tour buses. This is especially a problem in developing nations where cars are not a household item and roads and bridges were not designed to withstand heavy traffic. In situations involving tourist oriented corporations that return most of their profits to their own countries, the host communities are left to foot the bill for repairing the damages.
In addition to tourism's environmental impacts on host destinations, there are also many important cultural issues to consider. Some of these issues result from the environmental impacts that carry over into the community. For instance, the inability of local business owners to compete with large corporations. Development of land also causes land prices to rise so that local residents cannot afford to buy. Most tourists are oblivious as to the extent of the impact they have on their host community.
Even a very conscientious traveler can bring infection and disease to a host destination. An estimated 90% of indigenous peoples in the Americas died due to exposure to disease brought over by Europeans (McLaren, 1998). Although that was a very long time ago, many "exotic" travel destinations are not as medically advanced as the more developed countries still today.
The tourism industry has a tendency to view local people as either a pool of waiters, bellhops, laundresses, and gardeners; or performers and spectacles for the tourists to see.
Things as simple and thoughtless as a tourist walking through a local market in little more than a bathing suit, not only offend, but contribute to the undermining of social standards. This type of tourist behavior demonstrates a lack of respect for the local culture. As local residents witness this lack of respect, they also witness the fact that many of the tourists are enjoying luxuries (i.e. heated water for bathing) that are not available to them. The combination of these things can cause tension between the local residents and the tourist population. And often to a further extent there is an increase in crime, mostly in the way of petty theft and pick pocketing, but sometimes sexual assault.
Example of the effects on a famous tourist destination : Barcelona (Spain)
"Every time we travel, we become part of a global movement that has the power to drive positive change for our planet and all people." (coughing !)
By Taleb Rifai, UN World Tourism Organization Secretary-General
Positive impact of tourism on Barcelona :
The most visited city in Spain, Barcelona, is also the European city with the greatest growth in the tourism sector. It recently surpassed Rome, Italy and became the 3rd most visited city in Europe, after London and Paris, receiving over 8 million tourists per year.
Barcelona began its explosive growth in the tourism sector after the 1992 Olympics. Before then it did not even have a DMO (destination marketing organization), Barcelona Turisme being founded the following year, in 1993.
The 1992 Olympics transformed the image of Barcelona and put it on the European map of popular cities for tourism.
In 1990 it was drawing about 1.7 million tourists and a decade later it almost doubled with 3.14 million tourists. From then on the rates started rising fast, in 2007 Barcelona attracted more than 7 million tourists and going upwards since then.
The positive impact is seen best at the economic level. The tourism sector is one of the driving forces of Barcelona’s economy, together with the manufacturing and fashion industries. Today it accounts for € 20 million per day, 11% of the region’s GDP, with about half a million tourism-related jobs.
Barcelona is not only a leading city for land tourism, but also has Europe’s number 1 cruise port. Last year more than 2.3 million passengers moved through the 7-terminal cruise port, injecting around € 257 million in the city’s economy.
The economic benefits of the tourism sector helped Barcelona be recognized as the Southern European City of the Future for 2014/2015, by the FDi Magazine.
Tourism also causes problems to Barcelona :
The success the Mediterranean city has among travellers all across the globe starts to see a backlash and talks are abundant about Barcelona being tarnished by too many tourists. A popular documentary called ‘Bye Bye Barcelona’ shows how some of the most emblematic places of the city are being overtaken by tourists, spoiling the authenticity of the local culture.
Barcelona has been also compared to Venice, Italy in terms of high tourist numbers, or to an amusement park with a disappearing historical heritage. The current mayor of the city, Ada Colau, proposed to limit the number of annual tourists, to be able to keep the city sustainable.
Did Barcelona sell itself too well?
These are some of the issues that remain to be tackled, to make Barcelona a sustainable city for both locals and tourists:
Local residents are constantly being pushed out of the old centre, replaced by tourist apartments, hotels and souvenir shops.
Local businesses are being shut down by international chains, stealing every time a bit more of the city’s authenticity.
Barcelona developed a sort of low-cost-tourism-for-young-people trend, with many tourists flooding the city to party, shop and drink, ignoring the local culture.
>>> The prize for the worst place in Europe for pickpocketing goes to… Barcelona !!! <<<
Public places destined to the residents, like the Parc Güell or the Boqueria fresh market, are overtaken by tourists leaving no space for locals.
The public park now has an entrance fee, while the market started to limit the number of tourists it lets in.
In response to these problems and many others, the city council initiated the Catalunya 2020 Vision for Responsible Tourism, a plan to deal with the impact of tourism in the city and manage the development of tourism in Catalonia up to 2020.
If Barcelona will become a sustainable city for tourism remains to be seen.
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