Tourism – Good or Bad?
Introduction- Tourism is all activities, businesses and industries that provides for tourists. Tourism has grown massively over the last decade. This is because of many reasons, some being; cheaper flights, this encourages people to take holidays as it’s less expensive and therefore more accessible. Furthermore, the population has increased, therefore there are more people above the age of 18. There are many more reasons such as jobs pay better, security has improved therefore people feel safer, encouraging travel, many companies are flying representatives out to foreign countries for business deals and discussions. Lastly, people travel to other countries for job opportunities, leading to more money, a boost to the economy and therefore travel.
Benefits of tourism-
Social Benefits- There are multiple social reasons that benefit tourism. Some include that it allows people in LEDCs to practice their English by working with tourists, this could lead to them getting better jobs as English is a widespread language looked for across many businesses and employers.
Furthermore, local traditions and customs are kept alive because tourists enjoy traditional shows, eg Flamenco dancing. Also tourists like to experience foreign culture by trying traditional foods, this keeps their culture alive. This also links with tourists working with locals, helping benefit their English.
Finally, if a family member has income from tourism, it can be spent on food, medication, education, school uniform etc. This is social as it benefits the families in LEDCs who would otherwise struggle without the income.
Economic Benefits- One of the easiest benefits to notice is the jobs it presents to the locals. This ranges from directly influenced positions like tour guides, hotel staff, coach services, and restaurants. This is great as all these businesses not only pay wages to their staff, but source goods and products locally, giving a boost to local industry. Furthermore, it benefits retail and food as more people in and around shops. Leading on, you have the money that is spent directly by tourists in the economy. Not just on tourism, but there are a huge range of basic human requirements that need to be purchased, like food, clothing, hairdressing, medical services, and transportation needs that all need to be filled, along with souvenirs and amusements. In addition to what is spent by tourists, the tourism dollars that are earned, by both businesses and individuals is often re-injected into the local economy. So you’ve got more money being earned locally thanks to tourism, which is then spent in the local economy as well. This is why tourism revenues are often referred to as having a multiplier effect, because a large percentage of every tourist dollar earned is reintroduced back into the economy, again and again. This is the multiplier effect. Ultimately, the more tourist dollars coming in, the larger the economic benefit for everyone.
Environmental Benefits- Closely linked to economic benefits, money gained from tourism is going back into national parks and reserves. Some governments collect money in more indirect ways that are not linked to specific parks or conservation areas. Entry fees, income taxes, taxes on sales or rental of equipment can provide governments with the funds needed to manage natural resources. Such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as staff salaries and maintenance.
Negatives of Tourism-
While tourism can help preserve cultures, it can also water them down via commercialization. Air BnB’s advertising has attacked the sameness of hotels, suggesting real people’s homes in real neighbourhoods as an alternative. This could ruin the culture of a country via taking away possible homes, this is especially important in LEDCs. Tourists are often thought of as the more valuable people in many LEDCs, this is because of the great amount of money they bring in. This is negative as it makes the locals feel worse and less wanted, this could lead to them being treated with less respect.
Unexpected and unforeseeable events such as terrorism, impactful weather conditions and natural disasters can wreak havoc on a region, negatively affecting inbound tourism for considerable periods of time. The more dependent a destination is on tourism, the more the impact will be felt and the longer recovery will take. This could create a huge backlog of debt and money.
Tourism – Good or Bad?